80s

Listening to ‘run’

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Never one to shy away from self-reference, in keeping with my post “Listening to ‘mud'” I found myself listening to songs featuring the word ‘run’ after searching up the Iron Maiden song ‘Run To The Hills.’ Including the prime motivator, here is the resulting mix.

Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills –  The video is execrable: a low-budget mix of  lip-synced band footage and horrifying, racist caricatures from some wretched old public domain film. The music is an orgy of power chords and a heart-pounding drum performance from Clive Burr. The video misses opportunities, but the song redeems itself as an archetype of 80’s metal.

Riding through dust clouds and barren wastes
Galloping hard on the plains
Chasing the redskins back to their holes
Fighting them at their own game
Murder for freedom the stab in the back
Women and children the cowards attack!

Run to the hills, run for your lives!
Run to the hills, run for your lives!

The Kingston Trio – Run The Ridges – The standard for vocal performance set by The Kingston Trio was already so ridiculously high they learned to adopt a certain style of performance art to bring something new to the stage and studio. All children raised in the radio era, their minds were inevitably deeply attuned to the dramatic qualities of the human voice even before they took up singing. All of the drama, good humor, and action conveyed in old time radio shows like The Cisco Kid, The Aldritch Family, or Mercury Theatre on the Air appears later as the breathless, desperate lead vocal performance. In classics like ‘M.T.A.‘ you imagine the three of them standing around a microphone in lovely seersucker shirts. In tunes like this though one can’t help but picture them on horseback, shooting nervous glances over their shoulders as they fly through the forest, the wail of scent dogs rising behind them.

Well, I’ve got your name in San Jose and your picture’s there to see.
And they’re shootin’ men in Texas just because they look like me.
And we will run the ridges of our green land Tennessee
And we will hide for forty years if that’s what’s meant to be, meant to be…

Run DMC – Proud to be Black – The closing track from 1986’s Raising Hell, this song was an early hip hop foray into black pride. Many children of the 80’s inherited the black empowerment mindset from their parents and wove it into their perspective. After all the groundbreaking fun and butt-shaking dance beats, Run DMC made sure everyone present knew what time it is.

I’ll attack this matter, in my own way
Man, I ain’t no slave, I ain’t balin’ no hay

Dennis Brown – Run Too Tuff – From his 1975 release ‘Just Dennis,’ this track –the homestyle chilly-chill– was produced by Winston “Niney the Observer” Holness.

Man take it easy on yourself,
man take it easy just watch your step.

 

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Squeeze – Another Nail In My Heart

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Glenn Tilbrook does a terrible lip sync but more than makes up for it being the picture of 80s pop-rocker and delivering a beautifully symmetrical, deftly-fingered, tonally sensitive lead that’s worth a listen in headphones, especially for you guitarists (closeup of fingering in video). Strong stuff.

I had excuses those little boy lies That she computed by watching my eyes And told me firmly She couldnt stand it I’m bad on her heart She dropped her makeup and I found the bar Now it concerns me I’ve had a bad time Now love is resigned I’ve been such a fool I’ve loved and goodbyed So here in the bar The piano man’s found Another nail for my heart

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

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Of all  I learned at boarding school a love of Lloyd Cole (with or without the Commotions) sits interchangeably atop the rankings with lockpicking.

Pumped up full of vitamins
On account of all the seriousness

The English Beat – Spar Wid Me

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When music like this comes on in the kitchen I transition into a sort of reverse sea-legs, shoulders gimbaled so the bowl of eggs I’m beating  stays level despite the skanking taking place belowdecks. Featuring Ranking Roger and the masterful Saxa:

Come I seh you brudda Matt nuh bother gwan lik a rat, eh!
Because de rat him get a dead up by de cat, uh!
You sister Pat noh bother gwan like dat, eh!
Because we all know dat Elvis died fat…

Whip It! – A Flow Chart

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Whip It!: A Flow-Chart
Whip It!: A Flow-Chart – Click for full-size version

Link to the Devo original video here.

Office Moment: GISM – Endless Blockades for the Pussyfooter

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That moment when you realize the bleed from the Japanese hardcore playing on your (open-sided Grado SR-80) headphones has caught the attention of your coworkers.

They surely send you the demagogue
They surely send you the militaristic
They surely send you the bombing
They surely send you the death in action…

MARRS – Pump Up The Volume

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I can explain how I came to develop a dance routine to this song using ‘old Jewish guy on his way back from the ______ Bar Mitzvah’ characters.