Monday, August 19, 2019

Musical Monday - It's My Party by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: October 17, 1981 through November 7, 1981.

This is an electronica remake of Leslie Gore's 1963 hit, and it is weird. Not only is the music changed to electronic pop, through most of the song the beat is at a languid pace, giving the tune a kind of surreal sounding feel. Just when you think you've adjusted to the changed tempo of the music, it suddenly accelerates again in a somewhat disorienting manner. The oddness is compounded by the fact that Gaskin's voice is not nearly as strong as Gore's was, so if you've heard the original, you probably end up mentally comparing the two, and the comparison does Gaskin no favors. I can't say this is a good cover version of the song, but it isn't really terrible either. It is just strange, and to a certain extent, unnecessary.

For some reason this song stayed at the top of the U.K. chart for four weeks. Granted, it only had the tepid competition of Adam and the Ants' song Prince Charming to beat out to reach that spot, but the fact that this song was ascendant for a month is somewhat puzzling. The lyrics aren't particularly interesting, and the cover version isn't really a particularly danceable song. The arrangement is mildly interesting, but not overly so. There's just not much here that stands out as being really good about this version of It's My Party, so I can only surmise that it just served to fill up space until something better came along.

Previous Musical Monday: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants
Subsequent Musical Monday: Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) by Christopher Cross

Previous Musical Monday: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic by the Police

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Dave Stewart     Barbara Gaskin     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Monday, August 12, 2019

Musical Monday - Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: September 19, 1981 through October 10, 1981.

I have to say that I am kind of at a loss. I didn't understand the appeal of Adam and the Ants in the 1980s, and I don't understand the band's appeal now. Their music was mediocre, their esthetic simultaneously pretentious and juvenile, and their look silly without being cool. I am completely mystified by their popularity.

Further, while this song was number one in the U.K., Endless Love was still dominating the U.S. charts. While Endless Love wasn't groundbreaking, and probably stayed at the top of the U.S. charts longer than was really warranted, it was a better song than this one. Not only that, this song somehow knocked Tainted Love off the top of the U.K. charts, which is entirely baffling. The fact that Prince Charming went on to stay in the number one spot in the U.K. for an entire month is completely inexplicable.

Previous Musical Monday: Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Subsequent Musical Monday: It's My Party by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin

Previous Musical Monday: Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: It's My Party by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Adam and the Ants     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Book Blogger Hop August 9th - August 15th: The Mass of Jupiter Is Approximately 318 Times Greater Than the Mass of Earth


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: What authors do you always read and recommend?

1. Kelly Sue DeConnick
2. Tom Doyle
3. Kameron Hurley
4. N.K. Jemisin
5. Alethea Kontis
6. Naomi Kritzer
7. Ursula K. Le Guin
8. Ann Leckie
9. Andre Norton
10. Sarah Pinsker


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, August 5, 2019

Musical Monday - Tainted Love by Soft Cell


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: September 5, 1981 through September 12, 1981.

Tainted Love is one of the first songs to reach number one that I recollect as being unequivocally identifiable as a product of the 1980s. There had definitely been quintessentially 1980s groups with number one hits prior to this point - Blondie for example. Hall and Oates for another. But their previous songs had clearly had roots in the prior decade. This one is definitively from the 1980s.

The other thing about Tainted Love is that pretty much everything about the song is memorable, from the hard hitting beat, to the wandery lyrics, to the nigh insane video that seems to mostly feature a man yelling at a little girl amidst a collection of people wearing a hodge-podge of period costumes.

I remember listening to this song on the radio in my grandmother's car. She drove a huge brown sedan - I think it was a Bonneville - and my family was visiting my grandparents in the summer, returning from the heat of Africa to spend time in the Virginia heat in the middle of August. We were in a parking lot, headed to pick something up, probably at a local drugstore, and it was beastly hot and humid. The car was cool, with the air conditioning putting in extra work to keep it that way, but what made me want to stay and sit after we had parked was the song. I remember being fascinated by it because it wasn't really like anything I had ever heard. I made my grandmother sit with the car idling until the song ended, and then we stepped out into the sun.

Previous Musical Monday: Japanese Boy by Aneka
Subsequent Musical Monday: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Japanese Boy by Aneka
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Soft Cell     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Book Blogger Hop August 2nd - August 8th: The 317 Coalition Advocates for Increasing the Federal Funding for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you own more than one copy of a book?

There are many books of which I own more than one copy. Most of the duplicate copies that I own were unintentionally acquired, usually because I forgot I owned a particular book and bought it again. I have been going through my collection over the past several months identifying and culling these duplicate books, so their number has been reduced considerably.

There is a very small handful of books that I have intentionally bought second copies of, mostly because I have a fancy copy and want to have a reading copy available as well.


Book Blogger Hop     Home