Archives » 1980s

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

Notable Anniversary

You may have noticed my Live It Up posting this week came today (Thursday) rather than the usual Friday.

That’s because tomorrow is a sigificant anniversary of a certain event; one that this blog could not let go past unmarked.

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