Archives » 1980s

Live It Up 20: It Won’t Be Easy (Without You)

This is a curiosity. The theme from the 1987 TV series Star Cops. Written and performed by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues.

Star Cops Theme – It Won’t Be Easy (Without You)

This is how the opening credits looked.

Live It Up 19: Elstree

Everyone remembers the Buggles’ big hit Video Killed the Radio Star but I always had a soft spot for this lament about the old film studios.

The Buggles: Elstree

Live It Up 18: Nothing Ever Happens

This is Del Amitri’s first UK hit but only just creeps in here, being released as a single in December 1989.

Despite Justin Currie’s prowess as a song writer subsequent singles failed to achieve quite as much chart success.

Del Amitri: Nothing Ever Happens

Live It Up 17: Safety Dance

A piece of slight bonkersness from 1983 via the wonderfully named Men Without Hats. I must say its message about freedom from interference by bouncers on dance floors entirely passed me by in the 1980s.

Men Without Hats: Safety Dance

Live It Up 16: Kayleigh

Just because.

Not the single, though. The album version with extended guitar solo.

Marillion: Kayleigh

Live It Up 15: The Whole of the Moon

One from 1985. A mine of quotable lines.

“Too high, too far, too soon,” “trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears,” “every precious dream and vision underneath the stars,” “you came like a comet, blazing your trails.”

The Waterboys – The Whole of the Moon

Live It Up 14: Dignity

Dignity was in effect Deacon Blue’s manifesto.

One of the things I particularly liked about the song was its Scottishness, (“a Sunblest bag,” “on my holidays,” “I saved my money.”)

Deacon Blue: Dignity

This is a variorum edition where the video may just possibly be sending up Duran Duran.

There is a more restrained version accompanied only by piano here.

Live It Up 13: Our Lips Are Sealed

Lyrically this reminds me of the hymn, “Christian Dost Thou See Them?” a version of which is on You Tube here.

The best known version in Britain is the one by Fun Boy Three, whose lead singer Terry Hall co-wrote it – a restrained, almost gloomy, treatment with more than a hint of menace.

The original by the Go Go’s (whose guitarist Jane Wiedlin was the other composer) is much more carefree; a typically bouncy pop song.

Fun Boy Three: Our Lips Are Sealed

The Go Go’s: Our Lips Are Sealed

Live It Up 12: Somewhere In My Heart

Another of the good lady’s favourites. (I didn’t buy this one though, even if it is a piece of perfect jaunty pop.)

Aztec Camera: Somewhere In My Heart

Live It Up 11: I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues

Another of the good lady’s favourites. I bought the album Too Low For Zero for her Christmas that year on the basis of this.

The track is an almost perfect latter day popular song, with a great Stevie Wonder harmonica solo. I especially liked the lyrical echoes of Amoreena from Tumbleweed Connection.

It’s also unusual in the John canon for giving a writing credit to Elton’s long time guitarist Davey Johnstone.

Elton wears a wig with a quiff in this. It suits him!

Elton John: I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues

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