Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guilty Pleasures Part Thirty-Four -- Thanksgiving 1983

You know what I'm thankful for? That we're already 25 years past 1983. Was it really a quarter century ago? It's hard to believe that we're that far away now. It's amazing when I look at the Top 100 chart for the year and I remember every single song. 1983 was a year of great transition in our family. I was in the middle of my college years and we ended up moving to a new home on edge of town. In order to make things work, my dad had to go through a series of very complicated financial transactions and for a few painful months was paying mortgages on 3 houses. I can't even imagine the stress that must have caused, especially because interest rates were just awful -- a typical 30-year loan carried a 13.4% interest rate. That financial strain changed my life, because it meant that the semester I'd planned for the following winter, which was supposed to be in Spain, ended up being back at Beloit. Goodbye Spanish major and hello, English major. As a consolation prize, I ended up running the school newspaper instead.

In those days a lot of my interest was in drinking beer and listening to music. And it was a good year for both drinking beer and for music, despite such dubious milestones as Frank Stallone's "Far From Over" and the collected works of Laura Branigan. But there were some songs that are easy to forget that would push your fun button. And the videos were always a hoot, in the classic 1980s incoherent way. Remember any of these?

Dead Giveaway, featuring Jody Watley getting all robotic

Der Kommissar, with icy Eurobabes and unexplained tarantulas

Twilight Zone, with gratuitous chorus girls dressed in dominatrix outfits

Our House, with moms in drag and great Wallace and Gromit-style wallpaper

Come On Eileen, with fashions by Oshkosh B'Gosh

Just a festival of odd random stimulation! When you try to sort all that stuff out now, it makes it easy to understand why beer was so necessary back in the day.

So, you know the drill -- pick your favorite (if you have one) and/or tell me what was going on for you back in 1983.


dmarks said...

The late Laura Brannigan even did her own version of "Der Kommissar"

my name is Amanda said...

A ska version of "Come On Eileen" during MY college years made me love the original.