The 1970s were a golden age for records made by actors who played policemen on television. Not only did David Soul from Starsky & Hutch have several hits, but Telly Savalas of (the great) Kojak got to number one in 1975 with a cover of Bread’s “If”. This was despite the fact (or because of) that he couldn’t sing and basically spoke his way through it. The lollipop-sucking Telly/Kojak was such a huge star back then that his hit record even spawned this parody version the same year which itself got to #25.
My Mum was going out with a man called Barry at the time which may be one reason she bought it (listen to it to know what I’m talking about) but as these things go it was actually quite funny. At least we thought so back then. Some of the lines became family jokes for years so maybe it’s the nostalgia taking over but it still makes me chuckle, as does the b-side “Butch Soap”.
Yin & Yan were two voiceover artists called Chris Sanford and Bill Mitchell. They also released an album which I’ve never heard but can’t imagine is that good. There’s only so much comedy mileage you can get out of gags based around a guy with a deep voice who can’t sing.
I was in my early 20s when John Hughes was making his teen movies in the 1980s so they didn’t mean much to me and I didn’t see them until years later. Someone who was a teenager back then would know better than me but I’m not sure how much of a big deal they were in England at the time anyway. The English school experience was so far from the apparent glamour of American high schools — they have cars! — that I imagine we would have a hard time relating. Though, depressingly, we are now copying them by having things like Proms in British schools. What was wrong with the good old school disco with warm orange squash and crisps?
But even though I didn’t see the movies I did think Molly Ringwald was rather cute. At the same time my future wife was at high school in Miami trying to look like her.
This is the song probably most associated with Hughes’ films, and for us old Post-Punkers who were fans of Simple Minds’ early stuff, marked the point when we thought they went downhill. Doing a song for a Hollywood movie and becoming big-in-America stadium rockers was beyond the pale and got them kicked out of the Cool Kids Club.
Now I’m a lot less snotty about that sort of thing I’ve come to think this is a terrific record. Granted it’s no “I Travel” but I especially like this long extended version which plays up the throbbing beat and sparkly synths to make it sound more like a proper epic Simple Minds record.
Spring is here and time to throw off those big coats and get out the t-shirts and shorts. Why not refresh your wardrobe with a stylish new tee designed by yours truly? As always they’re only $14 for a limited time so BUY! BUY! BUY!
Hurray For The Riff Raff is a band led by singer-songwriter Alynda Segarra. Born in the Bronx with Puerto Rican roots, her latest and sixth album The Navigator is a concept album about racial identity and a thrilling record that mixes American roots music with Latin rhythms and Rock. A definite contender for album of the year.
A mate of mine was seriously into Breakdancing back in the day. Him and his “crew” used to go to Covent Garden on the weekends, stick their flattened cardboard boxes on the ground, and show off their moves to the tourists. He taught me how to do the Moonwalk but I’ve long forgotten that particular skill.
Lana Del Rey has a great new single out right now which has got me listening her older records again, particularly some of the remixes of them. For some reason her songs are really well suited to being taken apart and reconstructed, whether it’s as pumping House or moody electronica like these two.