|From the Lunch Bag Gallery|
[Last Chance to Go Someplace Fun! -- Redux] -- [This flashback first appeared on August 8, 2014, but it's still perfect for this weekend.] I've noticed a certain kind of advertisement on TV recently. And I have also noticed some youngsters worrying that the Summer will wind down before they go someplace or do what they want. Yes, we are getting close to "back-to-school" season. There is still time, however, for one last trip before kids give up their sun-drenched freedom for assigned seating and homework. So, for this week, let's enjoy some 80s songs about ... going places (other than a classroom). To read and hear more about this theme, just travel beyond the break.
Flashback #1: "Straight has curve | Smiles, eyes, powers to confound me | I lose my nerve | Your voice, it echoes all around me."
The Call was a new wave band that formed in Santa Cruz in 1980. Including their self-titled debut, which was released in 1982, they released a total of 10 albums before they disbanded in 2000. They recorded their fourth -- and probably their most successful -- album over the summer of 1985. They were were between contracts at the time due to legal issues. And they might have wondered if they would ever get another song on the air. But the bickering ended, and the record was finally released in 1986, after they signed with Elektra. That record, Reconciled (1986), boasts such guest stars as Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds' Jim Kerr, and Robbie Robertson (of The Band). The album's first single, "Everywhere I Go," is our first Flashback of the day. It was a top 40 hit, peaking at #38 on the US Hot Mainstream Tracks chart.
Flashback #2: "Vacation | All I ever wanted | Vacation | Had to get away."
The Go-Go's were the first all-female band that wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. They have three studio albums that charted in the top 20, with two of them going Gold or better. And seven of their 11 singles peaked in the top 100. Although the title track of their 1982 album is about a relationship rather than, um, going someplace fun, "Vacation" still became an anthem for travel, beaches and road trips. So, I'm using it for our second Flashback. This video shows The Go-Go's performing an early version of the song. If you want the single version, go here. [Note: The Go-Go's are currently in the midst of the farewell tour announced earlier this year.]
Flashback #3: "Take it hip to hip rocking through the wilderness."
Our third and final Flashback of the day is "Roam" by The B-52's. It was the fourth single off their fifth studio album, Cosmic Thing (1989). Thanks to the success of "Roam" and "Love Shack," Cosmic Thing was something of a comeback record for the band after their four-year hiatus, which had been triggered by the 1985 death of their original guitarist, Ricky Wilson, due to an AIDS-related illness. Actually, Cosmic Thing was more than a comeback, it was the band's mainstream breakthrough. After "Roam" was released in January of 1990, the song peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles, and it spent a total of 19 weeks on the chart, going Gold and earning The B-52's a Grammy nomination. The Discovery Channel used "Roam" for their commercials throughout the 90s, solidifying the song's association with fun, travel, and exploration.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!
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I'll see you in seven!