Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for April 21, 2023

[Too Shy] -- 1983 was the year of Kajagoogoo. At the very least, it was the year people around the world heard how "Kajagoogoo" was pronounced. That is because their debut album, White Feathers, was released on April 18, 1983. 40 years ago this week! Let me back up a bit. This band was originally founded in 1979 as Art Nouveau, but they could not get a record deal with that moniker. After adding Christopher Hamill, who used the stage name Limahl, as their lead singer in 1981, they changed their name to Kajagoogoo.  According to the "Official Kajagoogoo History Page," the name was coined by phonetically writing out a baby's first sounds. I do not know if it was this new name or the new singer that tilted the odds, but Kajagoogoo scored a record deal one year later, their 1983 debut, White Feathers.

And that debut included the band's very first single "Too Shy," which became a worldwide phenomenon. It charted in the top 25 in many countries, even reaching #1 on the UK Singles Chart, #1 in Germany, and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The bass playing of Nick Beggs was part of what made "Too Shy" so iconic. Don't believe me? Check out this video in which Paul Thompson does a deep dive into that bass line.  

Although bassist Beggs wrote or cowrote six of the 10 tracks on the original release of White Feathers, "Too Shy" feels and sounds like it was written and performed by an entirely different band from the rest of the album, at least to me. And while White Feathers' other two singles -- "Ooh to Be Ah" and "Hang on Now" -- were also hits in the UK, they performed only marginally outside the country. So, Kajagoogoo is best known for one mega-hit: "Too Shy." I believe that qualifies them as a one-hit wonder, particularly as Kajagoogoo started to implode as a band toward the end of 1983 and called it quits in 1985 after their third album, released as a relaunched trio named Kaja, failed to chart. 

Anyway, here is "Too Shy" and the rest of the debut album -- including all the bonus tracks from the 2004 rerelease -- in all their hair-sprayed glory. 

FlashbackWhite Feathers (April 18, 1983)

That's all for this week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. 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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