Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Along with Bob and Midge, some other artists who lent their talents included, Paul Young, Duran Duran, U2, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Heaven 17, Banarama, Culture Club, Kool and the Gang, Sting, Spandou Ballet, George Michael, Jodie Watley, some dudes from Big Country and a freak called Marilyn ripping off Boy George's shtick. Even David Bowie left a personal message on the extended remix of the song.
The video, as expected, got massive air play and did raise a lot of money for the cause that led to a multi-country Live-Aid concert and American artists to do their own song under the name U.S.A. for Africa and Canadia artists under the name Northern Lights. It also propelled Bob Geldof as the poster child for famine relief and also led to a Nobel prize and a Knighthood from the Queen (the real one - not the band).
Honestly, Bob deserves nothing but praise for his efforts but as expected, he also became a target. He couldn't have a meal in a restaurant without some reporter asking him how it felt to eat with so many people starving in the world. What the hell is wrong with people? Bob did more for charity in one day than most people do in a lifetime. Think about that as you go for seconds this Christmas.
Retro Christmas Video Bonus !! (sorry for the Yoko)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Remember him? If your a retro fan then you are aware of the odd phenomenon from the mid 80s that spawned a bit of a craze. With technology becoming a bigger part of our lives and video technology pushing new boundaries, the timing was perfect for the emergence of a fictional artificial intelligence doing his thing on a video screen.
Max Headroom got his start as British TV series but became better known thanks to a video by Art of Noise that featured him performing for "Paranoimia". That led to a gig as a spokesman (spokesgraphic ? spokesimage ? spokesthingy ?) or talking head for New Coke that helped propel Max into the public conscienceness.
Due to his popularity, Chrysalis released a Christmas song featuring Max singing "Merry Christmas Santa Claus" with his trademark stutter and quirky delivery.
Monday, December 14, 2009
There was always a beautiful Christmas scene with snow and a happy family sharing a magical Christmas moment with tender looks and gentle hugs. Then while sipping on hot cocoa, mom would present a beautifully wrapped gift to little Cindy who opened it and beamed like the little cherub she was to the delight of the whole family.
Of course nowawdays they show little Cindy freaking out because she didn't get a 3g iPhone or a new car with a big bow waiting for her in the driveway. Meanwhile dad is sleeping on the couch because he thought a new blender would be the perfect gift to go with the Slap Chop he bought mom for her birthday. Was it really necessary to hurl it at him like that? How's he supposed to return it now?
With that in mind, let's take a look at a couple of Christmas ads that you'll remember and will warm you up better than any Snuggie ever could.
There are of course some exceptions.........
Friday, December 11, 2009
Glass Tiger's breakout hit from 1986, "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" featured Bryan Adams doing some backup work many classic hallmarks of cheesy 80's videos. Big hair - check, pastels and shoulder pads - check, gimmicky sets - check, children pretending to play instruments - check, loose story line featuring other children - check?!?! Not sure what the connection with the kids would be but.... there you go.
The song went number one in Canada (naturally) and number 2 in the U.S. (surprisingly) and also charted pretty good in many other countries as well. The band originally called themselves Tokyo which confused some so they changed their name to Glass Tiger and succeeded in confusing everyone else.
This song is pretty much Elin Woods anthem at the moment.
For an unrelated Tiger experience, click the picture below to play the Tiger Woods Outrun flash game. Hope all those girls were worth it Tiger - somehow, I doubt it.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hey - don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against him and certainly hope for the best for all of us but it's almost been a year now and I hope the wave of goodwill he rode in on doesn't get eroded with some of the decisions he's made so far and lack of action in some cases on other issues. I've got my fingers crossed for all of us.
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Earons describe themselves as an Astro Funk band (not too many bands in that category I assure you) from Earon Earth and get their inspiration from the cosmic mythology teachings of Sun Ra, an eccentric Jazz musician who claimed to be from Saturn and part of the Angel race that preached peace and love above all. I shit you not. You can't make this stuff up. He also happened to be one of the first musicians to extensively use electric keyboards and synthesizers in his music.
The Earons themselves all went by numerical stage names which included .28 (vocals), .33 (keyboards), .22 (guitar), .69 (bass) and .18 (drums) which if you add it all up comes to 1.7 which is pretty much the amount of time this song remained at number 1 on the Hot Dance chart in 1984.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
From the creative mind of designer Logan Walters comes a new take on an old foe. Now, how cool would it have been to wear the sweater below while playing Space Invaders back in the day? Probably not so much..........
Kind of rude I admit but that ad had nothing on the ad below that kind of illustrates what our 50s era modern mother was eluding to. Subtle like a brick to the side of the face. Yet another example of an ad designed and written by a man, sold by a man and bought by a man. Keep in mind - these are both real ads from back in the day.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This game helped put Nintendo's gaming console on the map and was a major factor in the recovery of the video game industry after the crash of 1983. It's inspired many clones, sequels, cartoons and spin offs but Mario remains one of the most popular and recognizable video game characters ever created. Many non gamers also know who Mario is - not too many characters can make that claim. Italian plumbers everywhere burst with pride on that thought.
Check out the flash version below!
The first is Michael Zager Band's "Let's All Chant" from 1978 that reached #1 on the Disco singles chart and also crossed over to the Soul singles chart and made it to #15 and #36 in the Top 100 chart. The classic chant refrain of "ooah ooah" became a popular staple in many clubs during the 90's and can still be heard today during many a retro set.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I posted the version with sub-titles because it is amazing how the creator, Ricardo Autobahn managed to find and splice (is that even a proper term for editing anymore? Am I dating myself? Do I care?) together all these relevant bits of dialog so seamlessly that it proves he's either really good at editing or has unbelievable amounts of time on his hands. Either way, I look forward to more!Enjoy.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Coca Cola did an ad in 1979 featuring all-Pro Pittsburgh Steeler defensive back "Mean" Joe Greene which became an instant classic. They actually remade the commercial for Super Bowl XLIII featuring current Pittsburgh Steeler defensive back Troy Polomalu that had a bit of a twist from the original. Here they are together - see if you spot the subtle differences.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
They released a number of great albums all with decent critical acclaim and a few classic hits per disc but the biggest and most memorable tracks have been The Cutter, The Killing Moon, Silver, Seven Seas and Bring on the Dancing Horses which was used on the soundtrack for John Hughes' "Pretty in Pick" which is one killer soundtrack and a must for all retro lovers.
Retro Video Bonus !!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
By now you've all seen and heard of the knucklehead, fame whoring family that have parents that would do anything to get on TV. No - not John & Kate..... no, not Hulk and Hulkette Hogan...... no, not the Lohans....... no, not the "insert useless reality star here". I'm talking about the Heene family that apparantly build giant weather balloons in their spare time when they aren't busy swapping wives on national TV. One of these babies launched yesterday with speculation that one of their soon to be Darwinism victim kids was on board. The kid's real name is Falcon so it kind of was inevitable that at one point in his life he'd try to fly - kind of obvious in retrospect.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
He became forever etched in mainstream pop culture when he appeared in Cyndi Lauper's video as her rather disgruntled father. That ushered in the era of "Rock and Wrestling" which was responsible for making the WWF a household name and also responsible for some of the most hideous music and videos of the era............ it hurts me to even remember that. I'm going to need a moment.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
There are some that prefer the older games over the new ones due to their simplicity and the fact it takes them back and reminds them of simpler times when you fed quarters into a machine in a dingy, smokey arcade rather than save your quarters to finally drop $300 to $500 on gaming consoles. Who are these people? How can you spot them? Look for the following clues. In other words, you might be a retro arcade game junkie if you own..........
PlayStation 2 Controller Soap Bars
Pac Man Oven Mitts
Pac Man Ghost iPod Speaker
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Back in 1984 when Apple launched their new Macintosh during the Superbowl, they hit the ground running with a commercial that took advantage of the whole George Orwell "1984" Big Brother controls you, you need to break free shtick along with a dose of healthy female athlete running without a sports bra angle. Well played Apple........ well played.
The commercial served notice that they would be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come and the battle still wages on. Frankly I could care less and still do the PC thing and respect those that choose the Apple way of life. Wish I could say the same about Apple users though - lighten up already. I'm not ready to be converted so move on already. Life's too short - don't worry, be happy. Can't we all just get along?
Bonus Video !! Wonder if Bill Gates wishes he could take these words back!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Today's example, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate TV ad featuring the electro funk classic, "Don't Stop The Rock" from Freestyle. I think it's a good ad since it resonates with me because of the music and it's goofy enough that you'll be talking about it but it took me a few views to finally remember what product the ad was actually about. Not so good as far as advertising goes.
Still - how many of you forgot about this song until you saw it on the Cadbury ad? Retro lives!!
Well - wish no more. Click the pic below of the clueless teacher (played by the ever awesome Ben Stein) for the link to the perfect soundtrack to this stunned moment.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Their songs charted in 28 countries and they produced three platinum records, nine gold and a dozen silver ones all in the span of three years. Not bad considering many people in North America never even heard of them. "Just an Illusion" was their highest ranked U.S. single at 27 even though it reached #2 in a few countries including the U.K.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Soft drink origins date back when herbal cola syrup mixtures were sold in pharmacies as cure-alls and brain tonics. Colas back then actually contained coca extract from the kola nut that is better known today as cocaine. Needless to say people liked to get their cola fix but found the stuff too hard to drink straight so pharmacists began mixing it with water at first and eventually soda water which many people found be a very pleasant tasting beverage. Fast forward 100 years, the cocaine is no longer an ingredient, but we're still sucking the stuff back like it actually does a body good. Hardly.
So here's a small tribute to some of the Pepsi ads from back in the day. Why Pepsi instead of Coke? It gave me an excuse to post an ad with a young Cindy Crawford.........that's why.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Samuel Gompers, an American, is the one to thank for the eight hour work days and worker's compensation. He organized the American Federation of Labour and was their president for many years and helped make the American work force one of the highest paid in the world.
Ironically, another American named Sam, Sam Walton created an outlet for merchandise that is mainly made in non-unionized countries with low standards of living and deplorable work conditions with no benefits, which has led to some North American suppliers close their factories here and ship jobs off-shore. Go figure.
Something to think about as you chow down on chicken and tater salad at a Labour Day picnic. In honor of labour day, here's a few videos with an obvious theme that relates to the nature of this much welcomed holiday.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Eurythmics came on the scene with "Sweet Dreams" in the early 80s and as if Annie Lennox's incredible voice wasn't enough, you also got the cool visual imagery to accent the song and really solidify the mood and feeling it produced whenever you heard it afterwards. The images of the video made you think how it all connected to the song and it stayed with you. (Having said that - what's with the cow in the video?)
By contrast, Pop Music by "M" (pronouned "Ehmm" - yeah, I'm kidding) was so hokey that it almost seems like a parody produced in someone's basement. Everything from the cheap set to the seizure like dance routines make this video so bad it's actually good. This song was a hit but I hope the dude didn't spend all the money in one place - he sure as heck didn't spend it on the video!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
In 1981, Music Television went on the air in the U.S. and single handedly changed the way music was marketed and promoted virtually overnight. MTV was the brainchild of Warner Communications and American Express, who funded Warners' cable business but wanted a commercial outlet to reach the teen and young adult markets who traditionally have high disposable income.
When Warner and Amex gave the go ahead for the channel, the timing couldn't have been worse. In the late 70s, record companies were hurting and looking to cut costs and one of the first things on the chopping block were music videos which were being produced for late night TV and specialty shows and were mainly filler on local channels.
At the time, videos were never really considered a necessity and some of the more avant garde artists like David Bowie and Talking Heads were using them as an artistic extension of their music but most bands were simply churning out performance videos either as concert footage or hokey and staged performances that they lip synched badly too. The consensus amongst the record companies was that videos had a negligible impact on sales. At the time they were probably right.
The race to get the channel on the air in 1981 was on before record execs completed their 1982 operating budgets. Before deciding on Music Television, MTV was almost dubbed TV-1 and TV-M for Television Music which really didn't roll of the tongue to well so it was switched around and the young channel found it's name. Now that they had a name, they went out and tried to get their hands on as many videos as they could. So how many videos did they have in their library on launch day? A whopping 250.
Original MTV VeeJays
Some record companies like MCA and Polygram flatly refused to be a part of the channel and didn't provide any videos at all. The channel struggled to convince the companies that videos would help promote the artists and boost their record sales. Because of the fact that many record companies were slow to get on board, the video cupboard was kind of bare and heavily stacked towards certain artists. For example, thirty of the 250 videos on hand were Rod Stewart videos. Regardless, MTV figured once they showed some minor signs of success, the record companies would come around. So on August 1, 1981 MTV launched with its first video, the prophetic (yes, I'm talking about you Christopher Cross) "Video Killed The Radio Star" by the Buggles.
It didn't really catch on with the cable companies at first. Their now infamous, "I want my MTV!" campaign changed all that and had thousands of people literally screaming the phrase to local video companies convincing them to add the new channel to their roster and it quickly swept across the U.S. and was making money by 1984. The influence it had on pop-culture was undeniable.
Christopher Cross- great face for radio
It was no longer good enough to have a good song as a musician, you had to have a look and a photogenic (videogenic? is that even a word?) face to make it. Network television took notice and tried to compete with shows like ABC Rocks and NBC's Friday Night Videos but MTV was 24/7 music videos and nobody was doing that.
MTV had its share of controversy as well. For one thing, they refused to play " Billie Jean" or anything else by Michael Jackson saying that "R & B" wasn't what MTV was all about similar to why Country music wasn't being played on MTV either. Ironically, Canada launched its music channel, Much Music, with "Billie Jean" as the first video they played. Upon closer inspection of the playing rotation for February 1983, MTV only had two videos being played that featured black artists: Tina Turner and the dude from The English Beat. MTV was given the ultimatum of either play "Billie Jean" or no more videos from CBS and their associated record labels. Obviously they caved and "Billie Jean" not only became iconic, but it changed the way most videos would be made going forward. It raised the bar to what a video can be - a visual representation of the song, not just a lip-synced, pseudo concert performance.
The second video aired on MTV
MTV did come around though. Four years later they launched "Yo! MTV Raps" and helped turn rap and hip-hop into the mainstream genre that it is today. Some of the other classic programming they provided over the years include their "Unplugged" acoustic series, Beavis and Butthead, Total Request Live (TRL), along with their various award shows. Along the way though they did lose sight of their roots and moved away from playing music videos to providing reality programming like Punk'd, The Real O.C., A Shot At Love, The Hills, The Ashley Simpson Show (Editor's note: sweet baby Jesus, make it stop), The Surreal Life, The Osbournes, Pimp My Ride and a host of others that are numbing our children's brains and providing zero cultural significance and making us all a wee bit shallower and dumb..........but I digress.
It's interesting to wonder how many artists from the 80s and 90s would have even seen the light of day in North America if it wasn't for the musical vehicle that was MTV.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The song reached number 8 in the Uk Singles chart and number 26 on the U.S. Hot Dance Music / Club Play charts. This was the final song written by Vince Clark before he left to team up with Alison Moyet to form Yazoo (later changed to Yaz) and is the only Depeche Mode video to feature Vince Clark. It's also the last video anywhere with Vince Clarke featuring a full head of hair with no shaved areas. I tend to nit pic with my trivia at times.