New Wave music--a movement that breathed life into the moribund late 1970s and early 1980s--produced any number of ingenious, talented musicians, including Elvis Costello, the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads... really, the list is a long one.
This week's featured artists, Men Without Hats, a Canadian group with an ever-changing lineup, belonged to a different group of New Wavers... what can best be described as the heavily-synthesized side of New Wave. Bands like A Flock Of Seagulls, the Thompson Twins, and everyone's favorites, A-Ha, were not only into synthesizers, they also liked bizarrely unthreatening and uninteresting names.
It was quite a time to be alive!
Like many of the synth bands, Men Without Hats had one big, big hit--in their case, "The Safety Dance," which hit #3 in Billboard in 1983. This week's video, "Pop Goes The World," was their highest-charting follow-up, getting to #20 in 1987.
We're keenly interested in what modern viewers make of Men Without Hats and their video stylings, so please feel free to post often!
1 - Behind the curtain there is always
a Great Oz! Let the Earth beware! Secrets will
2 - "What the?... I've been transported to the Land Beyond the Curtain...could this
be fabled Bubbylonia??!"
3 - "Fellow Bubbles! Our veil has been pierced," announced Gummo, The Sentient Bubble and Lord Protector of Everything. "And by a third-rate Canadian band whose twee instrumentation will, I predict, make them forgettable laughing-stocks!"
4 - "If only
I could return to Earth and 'toughen up' our instrumentation!"
5 - "Unless
...unless I can unmask this 'Gummo' as a charlatan and take my
rightful place as Lord Protector of Everything."
6 - "Flee, fellow Bubbles! Lest the stench of the mid-'80s--our only weakness!--render us helpless!"
7 - "They fear me and
the inferior music of my era! Who has the upper hand now??"
8 - "Bubbles! Accept Men Without Hats as your gods! Kneel before me now and I may let some of you live!"
9 - "Wha...? Gummo has shrunk the Earth and flattened it into two dimensions! This will make polar air routes completely meaningless
, the fiend!"
10 - "Damn! I stepped on Canada, most likely destroying millions of acres and dozens of people! Gummo is wily!"
11 - "Oh, no! Now The Sentient Bubble has ordered By-Tor, The Snow God, to attack and eat our girl bass player, robbing our songs of what little bottom they had!"
12 - "No matter! Our losses mount! Gummo has defeated Men!"
13 - "The evil By-Tor is celebrating the triumph of turgid, progressive rock and extended 'concept' songs over inoffensive pop! All is lost!"
14 - "Let this be a warning to you living 20 or 21 years in the future! Don't
surrender mankind's right to light, airy, inconsequential pop music! I can only pray that the music of the 21st
century requires no active thought at all