Election Day Voting Special (80s music video edition)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today's comments section (see puzzle write-up for 11/4, below) has drawn attention to a deep divide in our country - it concerns the relative quality of 80s pop music. Who knew? In the spirit of settling this debate, I offer the following poll.

If Music Videos Were Running For President, I Would Vote For:

A. The Crosscan Party

B. The Orange Party

Or perhaps a third-party candidate-

C. The "Girls Rock Your Boys" Party

or D. The Very Bad Ideas Party

VOTE NOW (in my sidebar poll)


Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Glad we had a better choice at the real ballot box.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

chefbea1 11:36 AM  

too bad Neal Diamond or Frank Sinatra weren't on the ballot. I would have voted for either. (guess I'm showing my age again)

Peter 11:41 AM  


Too funny. I think we need to get real jobs -- too much time on our hands. But don't get me wrong. I think any of the four would make a fine new national anthem.


Geoff 11:56 AM  

Now now, I don't think these four videos are truly representative of the 80s. For example...


But I did vote for Quiet Riot. Styx was real close though.

Greene 12:12 PM  

What, no Yma Sumac?

Wade 12:38 PM  

Also I gotta say that I agree that "Don't Stop" was and is an irritating song. And it was already 15 years old when Clinton chose it! What's up with that?

Here's a weird thing that happened. In the spring of 1994 I was driving around Austin one night and I started singing Steve Winwood's "Arc of Diver," kind of making up the words because I don't really know all of them, which is not an impediment to me singing a song I really like. I don't know what made me think of that song, which came out in 1981, because you never really know what makes you think of those things. I turned on the radio and that song was playing (those last four words should be read as italicized.) Jealous night and all her secret chords indeed!

fikink 12:45 PM  

On this ELECTION DAY, may I put in a word for the Traveling Wilburys who first convened in the 80s and sang their prognostic End of the Line?

billy 12:53 PM  

hmmm, i have to protest in favor of the father of the music videos with my top three:


that is all.

Shamik 1:02 PM  

Or the first music video on MTV: "Hey Mickey."

Orange 1:17 PM  

I tried to show the "Mr. Roboto" video to my kid a couple weeks ago. None of us could make it through the whole video—and I say that as someone who had bought the album.

I would have preferred an alternate New Wave pop candidate on the ballot—some Human League, or Flock of Seagulls, or Thomas Dolby, or the Fixx, say—but had to choose Hommes Sans Chapeaux.

Wade 1:32 PM  

Orange, you might have won me with Thomas Dolby. That song's a scream. Falco would have been tough to pass up, too.

Wade 1:35 PM  

I revoke my Falco nomination. I thought he did "One Night in Bangkok" AND "Rock Me Amadeus." He did only the latter. That won't suffice.

mexgirl 2:49 PM  

There is so much good 80's music! think just of Steve Winwood, Tears for Fears, XTC, U2 (with the Joshua Tree), and let's not forget about fun-to-hear-at-parties Devo, Men at Work, even Madonna!
In any case, Rex's choices leave me with no one else but "Safety Dance"to vote for.... I mean, I love "total eclipse" but, seriously, as videos go I rather look at a group of happy villagers prancing around than to all of that eye makeup! (and don't even get me started on those Mr. Roboto guys...)

dk 3:12 PM  

A write in vote:


mexgirl 3:27 PM  

Viva Cyndi! (though I prefer "girls just wanna have fun)

Rex Parker 4:12 PM  

"Safety Dance" has come from way back to take the lead. Polls are open for another 8 hours. Vote.

And I have to say that "Total Eclipse" has my vote, hands down. Epic silliness meets the sublime. A song I can both mock and adore. The video just seals the deal.


markus 4:15 PM  

I gotta go with Quiet Riot. Not only is "Cum On Feel The Noize" a worthy cover of the Slade original, but only Kevin DuBrow (and possibly Klaus Meine of the Scorpions) could pull off sex appeal with a receding hairline.

I rest my case.

@shamik "Mickey" was not the first video on MTV that belongs to The Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star"

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

I'm going to have to write in A-ha's "Take on Me". The most iconic combination of an 80s song and video.

Also check out the amazing literal interpretation of the "Take on Me" video.


Orange 4:45 PM  

I have never been able to get on board with "Cum On Feel the Noize" owing to spelling and punctuation issues.

The combination of mexgirl's comments and markus's mention of "Video Killed the Radio Star" brings to mind that "I'm on-a, whoa-oh, Mexican, radio" song. The head emerging from the bowl of beans remains one of the most transcendent images from MTV's early years, if you ask me.

SethG 5:10 PM  

Plus, Cum On Feel the Noize is a 70s song.

I sent this to Crosscan and Orange before, but I think I can share it with the rest of you on this entry. Later, if you want, maybe I'll come back and tell my Mr Roboto story.

April 24, 2007
Kampala, Uganda

I was eating Thai food with Laura at Krua Thai. She asked if I'd heard of the band Bright Eyes, I said I hadn't but I knew the song they might be named for pretty well. But then I couldn't remember it...I just remembered it was Bonnie Tyler. She had no idea what I was talking about.

All night I was distracted, and I couldn't think of the song. Then, when we were leaving, she called a driver to come pick her up and take her home. I waited with her and they were gonna drop me off where I could catch a taxi.

When Max got there he was listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart, and not even the dance remix. I said "This is the song!". She said "I know, it's great." I said "No, this is THE song. Turn around, bright eyes." The song ended, then it started again--Max was actually driving around listening to it on repeat. I stayed in the car until we got to another taxi area so I could hear more.

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

These are our choices? We're the greatest country in the world and this is what we can come up with?

I'm reconsidering my regret at being drunk for the entirety of the 80's. Seems I didn't miss anything. The last thing I heard prior to the 80's was this so it gets my vote for the 80's song/video. Consider it the Nader of the bunch

Crosscan 6:38 PM  

Wow. What is going on? I am away from my computer today but a blackberry check sees I have a party and all sorts of 80s weirdness. I can't see the videos or vote on this thing but I am strangely torn as I love eclipse the song, not so much the video. Just remember I will never beat Orange in speedsolving so here's my one chance to top her. Thank you for your support.

andrea carla michaels 6:57 PM  

and not a post-Beatles song in sight! Paul could have had his own category!
What with STARR sneaking in to today's puzzle.

I actually BOUGHT "Oh Mickey" as I had a crush on a Swedish Micke at the time but think I lost my nerve to give it to him!
"Oh Mickey you're so fine your so fine I lost my mind, Hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!"

WHich reminds me of Fergie's
" B-a-n-a-n-a-s " in HOllerback girl...
It might be "sampling" from Mickey!

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

Traveling tonight, but back to re-vote (early and often) for Total Eclipse. I am, however, safely dancing now that PA has been awarded to Obama.


Crosscan 9:27 PM  

I'm home and have watched the videos. Bonnie Tyler rules.

So what's everyone up to tonight? Anything happening down there? :)

fikink 9:45 PM  

yes, crosscan, we blue states are seceding. We are packing stem cell research, the dyno-mite beaches and the good pot. We are coming north if this doesn't turn out well. Leave the light on.

Phineas 10:54 PM  

Why quiggle over the bottom of the barrel - I mean - the highlights of a lost decade. Rex's picks are awesome representations. Each one evoked equal dosages of misplaced nostalgia and actual physically-experienced queasiness.

The Noize does the least for me, but I liked seeing the ancient stereo / tuner and particulary the cassette tape Walkman. Falling over. Classic early music video.

Mr Roboto. Painful. Not even in a good way.

Don't you think midgets portrayed disfavorably in a video today would be an automatic lawsuit?

Total Eclipse sums up the schmaltzy sentimentality, the anti-politics, the crude video, the big hair....it's got it all. Holy crap. I just restarted the video...children, doves, ninjas, young teenage boys in bathing suits being doused, gymnasts, fencers....in a church. Backlight. Dear god. Iconic.

Howard B 1:16 AM  

Orange - re: Mexican Radio - not to mention that the song has one of the silliest rhyming lyrics in memory:
I wish I was in Tijuana
eating barbecued iguana.

Classic. I love it.

Domo arigato, Mr. Rex Parker.

green mantis 5:09 AM  

Late night yay: thank you America.

Crosscan 7:56 AM  

While I suspect some Crosscan voters may have pressed the Styx button in error, and the networks have not yet declared, I will graciously concede my narrow defeat to Orange and her Montreal-born selection of Men Without Hats. I will hand over her prize, a Montreal Expos cap, in Brooklyn.

Domo arigato and merci beaucoup to all my supporters.
I'm Kilroy, Man With Hat.

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