This Week In The 80’s: Young Love & Nuclear Bombs
February 7th, 1987. I’m a junior in high school. I drive a hot car (’71 Matador Red Chevelle Malibu), I’m in a band and I’m dating a cute girl. Two of those three things will survive the week.
(insert record scratch here)
It’s a week before Valentine’s Day and my girlfriend breaks up with me. Heartbroken, I spend a healthly amount of time listening to Glass Tiger’s “Someday” (#8 on the chart this week) and Journey’s “I’ll Be Alright Without You” (#27 on the chart this week) for the next week or so.
Aah, young love…but I digress.
Elsewhere on the charts, Madonna sit’s at #1 with “Open Your Heart”. Next week, Bon Jovi will move into the top spot for a month with “Livin’ On A Prayer” but this week they sit at #3. The Beastie Boys are climbing the charts with “(You Gotta) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT (To Party!)” a song that started as a goof as they mocked what they referred to as “big dumb rock songs”. The video for the song garners them incredible exposure on MTV and propels the song to an eventual #7 spot. And, after peaking at #4 last week, Genesis and “Land of Confusion” sit at #6 this week.
Guitarist Mike Rutherford wrote the lyrics for this song and called this “a kind of ’80s protest song,” adding “it’s about how we’re making a mess of the world we’re living in. It should all be easy yet it’s all so difficult.” The video was made using puppets created by Peter Fluck and Roger Law, who had a British TV series called The Spitting Image (a show that would often make fun of the band). The video itself cost a small fortune to make as each of the somewhat disturbing puppets cost about $10,000 but won the 1987 Grammy for Best Concept Music Video. It is the only Grammy Genesis has ever won, and they weren’t even in the video. At the MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated in six categories, but lost them all to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.”
The video belongs in a cold war time capsule as, at the end of the video, the Ronald Regan puppet accidentally launches the nukes. Reminds me of the fact that, as a kid, that was a very real fear for a lot of people.
This Week In The 80’s is a weekly look at the Top 40 charts with Eric Vardeman. His Twitter handle is @ericvardeman.