Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Best Songs of 1982. (Or Not.)

Here is yet another list from my old site. (Oh, and happy birthday honey!)

The latter half of 1982 was when I really began taking an interest in music. This list, still secured in a ravaged Mead Trapper Keeper, covers both sides of a piece of looseleaf paper. The title is below a crossed-out "WPGS" written in balloon letters (the last three being my initials). I think it was originally intended as a playlist for the radio station of my imagination, but then I probably decided that that was kinda gay, so it became a somewhat less gay year-end favorites list.
The nerdly Trapper Keeper, festooned with Creature Feature stickers.

Four other friends, surveying my list, recorded their agreement by putting a symbol beside the songs they liked, but only Chris I_____ had the sense to associate his name with his checkmarks, and thus I include his choices here, represented by the symbol . (The cross symbol seems appropriate, as we were probably goofing around with this list when we were supposed to be writing the Act of Contrition fifty times for whatever transgression we were currently guilty of.) The identities behind the other symbols (a circle, a star, and an X) remain a mystery, as will their preferences in Pop New Wave and flashy music video opportunists.

("in no particular order")

Da Da Da -- Trio

Peekaboo -- Devo (†)

Stray Cat Strut -- Stray Cats (†)

Runaway Boys -- Stray Cats (†)

Shock the Monkey -- Peter Gabriel

I Have the Touch -- Peter Gabriel (†)

Down Under -- Men at Work (†)

Be Good Johnny -- Men at Work (†)

Wishing -- Flock of Seagulls (†)

Telecommunication -- Flock of Seagulls (†)

Rock the Casbah -- Clash (†)

Pressure -- Billy Joel (†)

Allentown -- Billy Joel (†)

Nobody But Me -- George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Look of Love -- ABC

Some Day, Some Way -- Marshall Crenshaw (†)

Mirror Man -- Human League (†)

Love Plus One -- Haircut 100

Annie Get Your Gun -- Squeeze (†)

Town Called Malice -- Jam

Save it For Later -- English Beat

Senses Working Overtime -- XTC

Love My Way -- Psychedelic Furs (†)

Kids in America -- Kim Wilde

Chequered Love -- Kim Wilde

Really Saying Something -- Bananarama (with Fun Boy Three)

I Could be Happy -- Altered Images (†)

Desperate But Not Serious -- Adam Ant

Goody Two Shoes -- Adam Ant (†)

Talk Talk -- Talk Talk (†)

Our House -- Madness (†)

Der Comisar (?) -- Falco (†)

Once in a Lifetime -- Talking Heads (if it is a 1982 song) (†)

Romanticize (sic) -- Combo Audio (†)

She Blinded Me with Science -- Thomas Dolby (†)

Images of Heaven -- Peter Godwin (†)

Mad World -- [no artist listed, but it's Tears For Fears]

Temptation -- New Order

Let Me Go -- Heaven 17

Built For Speed (album) -- Stray Cats

Geez, not exactly "Nuggets," huh? Unless we're talking butt nuggets... Some good stuff, but yeah, quite a few steamers on there. But look at what seventh-graders listen to nowadays--also painfully impacted crap, but today's bands make Combo Audio sound like the friggin' Beatles! Their song, by the way, was actually named Romanticide, but since no one remembers it but me and maybe Louie the Looper (the WLIR late-night DJ who was always late for his shift), I guess it doesn't matter.

Having recently seen the documentary Spellbound, I would like to point out that this list is presented here precisely as written. I was a pretty good speller even then, though I'd like to think my sporadic capitalization (ahem, not reflected here) was due not to ignorance but rather a kind of irreverence. (Lazy carelessness is also a plausible explanation.)

For the record, I disavow any liking of Billy Joel or Human League. I mean, most of these songs are okay, the musical equivalent of melted Velveeta, but while typing out this list out I really chided my past self. TWO selections by Kim Wilde and Adam Ant, but only one apiece by the Clash, the Jam and Talking Heads? And NO Costello? (Well, okay, that was the year of "Almost Blue," so maybe I can let it slide.) Obviously a very video-influenced list, but I would give foremost credit to WLIR, which was itself somewhat influenced by MTV (though some of these songs I heard on 'LIR months before they hit the charts and music television).

Speaking of WLIR, the only thing I still have on tape of that station is a live hour with Bob and Doug MacKenzie at some Long Island club, which happened around the time of this list, I suppose. It's not very funny, but it becomes amusing after reading about it in Dave Thomas' book "SCTV." He said the whole thing was a nightmare, a gig the radio station and record company tricked him and Rick Moranis into doing. They were tired and annoyed about having to do an impromptu performance, but did their best to entertain a huge crowd of drunken imbeciles. They sometimes sound like they're babysitting that Twilight Zone kid who wishes things into the cornfield, realizing that if they make one wrong move, things could get ugly. Ah, that's how I remember the Island... charming in a brutish way, and always a hint of a barely-hidden seething, the rising buzz of white noise, the threat of sudden violence... or maybe that was just me. [August 2017 add: Holy crap, I finally uploaded the tape to YouTube! Go to my blog post about it!]


Blogger Brian Kunath said...

Wow, you have two picks by Flock of Seagulls and neither are "And I ran." Impressive.

Tue Jun 26, 02:47:00 PM 2007  
Blogger psaur said...

Ever the iconoclast...

Tue Jun 26, 03:01:00 PM 2007  
Blogger MO'SH said...

I don't know if I'm the circle or the star, but whichever one is next to the Billy Joel songs, ABC and Heaven 17, is me.

Sheffield rules!

Tue Jun 26, 07:47:00 PM 2007  
Blogger JGerardi said...

I don't know if I am the circle or star either but I do know I would have been heavy on the Stray Cats and possibly the reason that their whole friggin album was inserted on the list as I was convinced that was the Sgt. Pepper of our generation.

Wed Jun 27, 08:50:00 AM 2007  

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