11. The Contours, “Do You Love Me”The first of the twin horrors inflicted on our culture by Dirty Dancing, a movie that was set in 1963 and released in 1987. An equivalent movie released this year would take place in 1990. Have a nice day.
This AT40 aired during the summer before I went to college, and it took me to song #30 on the countdown to find a song I've ever heard before. (To be fair, I also never saw Caddyshack II, so....sorry, Kenny Loggins?). But after that....yeesh. Not a great summer for music (other than Tracy Chapman and TTD).
Next year, Back to the Future will be as old to us as 1955 was to Marty McFly.
Speaking of which, showed BTTF to the kids about a month ago - BIG HIT. (The very uncomfortable scene of Biff and Lorraine in the car, however - BIG MISS. Really wish Zemeckis and Gale hadn't gone there.)
Took me to...#2. I have no idea what that Breathe song is.
A year or so ago I was listening to a countdown on the XM '80s channel (not a replay of AT40, but a Billboard countdown hosted by one of the MTV Original 5) from 1988 or 89. The unfamiliarity of a lot of the music hit me. There seemed to be a lot of forgotten songs from little-remembered albums by well-known artists, and late-career second acts by dinosaur rockers.I put it up to the absolute stranglehold the major labels had on the charts in the pre-Soundscan era. I think those charts were almost completely fraudulent, products of payola to both the radio stations and record stores producing the musical equivalent of Soviet agricultural statistics.
Really? From #22-18, you've got a bunch of pretty immediately recognizable stuff--Rag Doll, New Sensation, Simply Irresistible, Sweet Child O'Mine.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, ADAM.
I remember Foolish Beat, but nothing else from there until #22.
I can't remember who said it (Adam Scott?), but I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were talking about how weird of a concept Happy Days was, as a show that came on in 1974 set in 1956, as if it happened long before. If they were to remake it today, Bill Clinton would be running for reelection.
I wonder if I still have my tape recording of this broadcast... (I was one of those who would hold the recorder to the speaker if necessary...) I remember 40 and 39, a handful between 38 and 25 and almost all from there on down. I guess summer between 8th and 9th grades were pretty formative for me!
We've talked about this before around some of my Klosterman posts -- I think the difference is that YouTube, iPods, cable tv, DVDs, etc make the cultural past much more present to us than it would have been for past generations. We don't need to find an "oldies" station to remember what the culture was like twenty years ago.
To clarify, I was going from #40 down; I knew most artists from 40-30 (who in blazes are Denise Lopez and Climie Fisher?), but not songs. Had to play a few between 30-1 to remember them, but I had heard about 2/3 of those. #23 reminds me that 1988 was the summer that Cheap Trick's sellout dropped me into a mild despair.
There's not much to dispute if we're saying that the 1970s were a wildly different era from the 1950s, in a way that dwarves the societal differences between the 2010s and the 1990s. And there's definitely something to Adam's point in terms of the scope of present-day access. But for those of us who grew up in the 70s and early 80s, pre-expanded cable landscape, our cultural "present" actually stretched back to at least the late 1950s, given what was on TV when we came home from school. We didn't live it, but it was ingrained or maybe infused into our lives - I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, etc. The concept of 1950s nostalgia in a 1970s world isn't so incongruous in that context, I don't think (see also Happy Days prototype American Graffiti; Grease; the very existence of Sha-Na-Na). It seems to me that most successive eras have examples of this. In the late 1980s-early 1990s, it wasn't so incongruous to see 1960s nostalgia play out in The Wonder Years. Spanning the late 1990s and early 2000s, we had That '70s Show and the lone, perfect season of Freaks and Geeks. And just this season, we had a certified mini-trend of TV shows (The Goldbergs, Surviving Jack, The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire) set in the 1980s.
Put another way, I am currently the age that my mother was the year I graduated from high school. And she was OLD.
Y'know, I just did the math on this - I am too. Yikes.
Tell me more...
ADAM. This was cruel and unusual.