To my great surprise I found myself sunbathing at the beach this weekend (in the north-east of England! in April!), hence this week’s music videos are all beach-themed as I dream of the summer ahead and the summers from thirty-odd years ago.
10. Belinda Carlisle – Circle In The Sand
A nice near-literal video for this pretty 1988 track – there’s a lot of sand but not a lot of circles.
9. Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer
It was perhaps inevitable that the ultimate ’80s summer anthem would have a beach scene in the video. The black and white film makes it a bit gloomy, but that’s consistent with the pessimistic feel of the song.
8. Boy Meets Girl – Waiting For A Star To Fall
The video for this late ’80s cheesefest starts off with a suitably cheesy beach running scene. Love that epic sax solo!
7. Fleetwood Mac – Big Love
This is a more familiar sight for a British beach! Fleetwood Mac huddle in coats and scarves on a night-time beach in one of the many sequences of this brilliant video.
6. Blondie – Call Me
Bit of a seasonally-confused video here, as the beach shots of Debbie Harry are interspersed with her in a coat looking cold in New York City. Maybe she goes on holiday somewhere for the beach scenes.
5. Erasure – Ship Of Fools
The beach in this video is all made up of rocks and shells and therefore not at all suitable for sunbathing, although Andy Bell gives it a good go.
4. Wham! – Club Tropicana
Most of this ultimate summer holiday video is poolside, but George Michael does take a brief trip to the beach halfway through. It looks a bit overcast, though, so I don’t blame him for heading back to the pool.
3. The Bangles – Eternal Flame
A nice sunset beach scene here among the floaty images of Susanna Hoffs and co singing along to the song.
2. Duran Duran – Rio
Duran Duran made pretty much all of their videos on beaches during the jetsetting Rio era, but this one for the album’s title track is the most colourful and fun. The yacht scenes are the most iconic, but the beach scenes are blue-skied and beautiful and make me want to book a holiday.
1. Elton John – I’m Still Standing
I love everything about this ridiculous Cannes romp, from the ostentatious outdoor piano to Elton’s comedy glasses to the pre-Strictly Bruno Tonioli dancing his way through Cannes in a succession of ’80s leotards. The best bit, though, is when Elton lines up the dancers on the beach and pushes them over in a chain of human dominoes.
It’s starting to grey over here in Newcastle, so I suspect I won’t be taking any more trips to the beach for a couple of months now. I’ll have to make do with ’80s videos in the meantime!
Day 40, and Now! #40, which takes us to 3rd August 1998.
Let’s see what the hits were that summer!
Track 1: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – Grease Megamix
Megamix of You’re The One That I Want,Greased Lightnin’ and Summer Nights from the 1978 film. It was apparently created in 1990 but wasn’t really a hit until the late ’90s. This was another favourite at my school youth club.
Track 2: Spice Girls – Viva Forever
Lovely tune, nice melancholy atmosphere, gorgeous Spanish guitar. The last song of the classic Spice Girls run to feature Geri Halliwell, and in many ways it’s a nicer farewell song for her than Goodbye was.
Track 3: Karen Ramirez – Looking For Love
I had this one on a Top of the Pops 1998 compilation. I’ve never been that keen, as I find the tune a bit dull.
Track 4: Billie Piper – Because We Want To
Thought of it as a clearly-awful-but-sort-of-guilty-pleasure at the time, now think it’s just awful, but as a Doctor Who fan it’s always amusing to be reminded of Billie Piper’s ’90s pop career.
Track 5: All Saints – Lady Marmalade
So-so cover of the Labelle track. It would be eclipsed a few years later by the much-more-memorable Moulin Rouge! soundtrack cover, so I’ve not listened to this one in years.
Track 6: Mousse T and Hot ‘N’ Juicy – Horny
You couldn’t escape this one in 1998, and at the time I quite liked it. It’s not aged well though.
Track 7: The Tamperer and Maya – Feel It
‘What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her?‘ That is the lyric, right? It’s what I’ve always heard, anyway. Everyone called this ‘The Chimney Song’ at the time. Nowadays I’m more interested in the Can You Feel It? sample, which works quite well in this track.
Track 8: Aqua – Doctor Jones
Follow-up to Barbie Girl. I remember a few of my friends complaining because they thought Aqua would have been the perfect one-hit wonder. This one is a bit uninspired, but there are actually quite a few crackers off that first album, so I’m glad they stuck around for a while.
Track 9: Steps – Last Thing On My Mind
Steps lose the comedy line-dance schtick and settle into their standard full-on Abba tribute sound. I’ve always found this one a bit annoying, to be honest.
Track 10: Groove Generation and Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Semi-cover of Sayer’s 1976 track. It’s basically a messy cut-up sample-y version of the original with a misplaced rap where the verses used to be. Not impressed by this one.
Track 11: Bus Stop and Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting
Another semi-cover of a ’70s hit, this time with Bus Stop rapping all over Carl Douglas’ classic track. While it doesn’t quite live up to the original, I’ve always had a soft spot for this version.
Track 12: Ultra Naté – New Kind Of Medicine
Another one that was also on my TOTP 1998 compilation, and it’s another boring tune, I’m afraid.
Track 13: Lutricia McNeal – Stranded
Nice piano opening, but the main tune doesn’t do anything for me.
Track 14: Lighthouse Family – Lost In Space
While it’s not my favourite Lighthouse Family track ’cause it’s a bit slow and dull, I always liked the video because of the helicopter shots of the then-new Angel of the North. Now that I live near the Angel of the North, that makes it even better.
Track 15: Boyzone – All That I Need
It’s an okay tune, but it’s just a bit too cheesy for me.
Track 16: All Saints – Under The Bridge
Repeated artist alert! Lady Marmalade and Under The Bridge were a double A-side, and I guess the Now! compilers couldn’t pick which one to include.
It’s a cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song that is much less epic than the original. I quite liked it at the time, though.
Track 17: K-Ci & JoJo – All My Life
I adored this one at the time and even bought the single. I still think it’s a lovely tune, though it’s a little saccharine for me these days.
Track 18: Janet Jackson – I Get Lonely
Boring tune, irritating instrumentals! Not keen on this at all.
Track 19: Sparkle and R Kelly – Be Careful
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
Another dull, irritating track that was also on my TOTP 1998 compilation (the lyrics are good, but they can’t save the tune). Looking back, I’m not sure why I bought that compilation – I didn’t actually like most of the tracks that were on it.
Track 20: Peter Andre – Kiss The Girl
Cover of the classic Disney track from Aladdin. Hated it at the time, still think it’s pretty awful. It comes nowhere near the original.
Track 21: Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer
Classic 1984 hit, back in the charts for some reason. Not complaining!
Track 22: The Mavericks – Dance The Night Away
Found it annoying then, find it annoying (and depressing) now. Never been a fan of this one.
Track 23: Eagle-Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
This one, however, I’ve always loved! Gorgeous tune.
Track 24: Catatonia – Road Rage
Great, classic singalong track from Catatonia. Wonderful tune.
Track 25: Natalie Imbruglia – Big Mistake
I’d forgotten about this one! Great tune with a nice epic chorus.
Track 26: Embrace – Come Back To What You Know
Hated it then, hate it now. Awful, depressing dirge.
Speaking of which…
Track 27: The Verve – Sonnet
It’s another depressing tune from the Verve, although after that godawful Embrace song, it sounds almost lively.
Track 28: Massive Attack – Teardrop
Great, epic track! A classic.
Track 29: Mansun – Legacy
This one’s a bit drone-y for my liking. Not keen.
Track 30: Baddiel & Skinner and The Lightning Seeds – Three Lions ’98
Reworking of Three Lions from 1996 to tie in with the World Cup in 1998. It’s just as bad as the original.
Awful, repetitive dance track. This was also on TOTP 1998.
Track 34: Lucid – I Can’t Help Myself
Irritating, depressing dance track. This was also on TOTP 1998. Why did I buy that compilation?
Track 35: Perpetual Motion – Keep On Dancin’ (Let’s Go)
Irritating squeaky hook throughout, repetitive beat, messy lines, uninspired spoken vocal. It’s time to get out of the imaginary ’90s nightclub again.
Track 36: Barbara Tucker – Everybody Dance (The Horn Song)
Slight throwback sound to this one, which has a vocal that sounds like it should have been released earlier in the ’90s. The titular horns, meanwhile, are super annoying.
Track 37: Imaani – Where Are You?
Nice atmosphere to this track, quite like it.
Track 38: Adam Garcia – Night Fever
Pointless cover of the Bee Gees track, released as part of the Saturday Night Fever: The Musical soundtrack. Because of the nature of the release, it was never going to add anything interesting to the original, let’s face it.
Track 39: Kerri-Ann – Do You Love Me Boy?
‘Not on Spotify’ Type 2: YouTube Pause (TM).
The calypso instrumental is a bit different, and it’s fairly solid pop, but the tune is pretty uninspired.
Track 40: Los Umbrellos – No Tengo Dinero
Another one I’d forgotten about. I quite liked it at the time ’cause of the Spanish chorus, but I find the vocal pretty irritating now.