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Tag Archives: 1980s

The Hal Linden Follies

An interesting bit of TV ephemera was recently posted in 10 parts on YouTube — TV Guide magazine’s 1980 year-in-review. If the idea of an all-singing, all-dancing Hal Linden turns your crank, by all means check out part one below. Actually, the show is an intriguing concept when you ponder that a few newsworthy events of 1980, like the U.S. pulling out of the Olympics and the Screen Actors Guild strike, meant (horrors) less stuff to watch. The special includes behind the scenes clips from Shogun and a heart-to-heart between Tom Brokaw and Ed Asner. Not to mention thorough rehashes on Dallas and country music (this was the Urban Cowboy era, after all). And Shields & Yarnell!

The No. 1 Song in Heaven

Spent the last few days getting reacquainted with a great ’80s album, Savage by the Eurythmics. This one blew me away when it came out in 1987, then my CD copy got stolen by a family member in the Great Theft of 1993. Hearing it now, I’ve noticed the disc does contain a few mediocre tracks (“Wide Eyed Girl” is just annoying), but it’s never been topped as a vehicle for the fabulous pipes of Annie Lennox. She’s in peak form here, assured but not yet the overly-stylized diva she’d become during the solo years. Savage also about a hundred times more risky than what came before (the shrill Revenge) or after (the slick/commercial We Too Are One). I can see why Eurythmics fans treasure this particular album.

One of the most interesting aspects of Savage is the fact that Lennox and Dave Stewart teamed with director Sophie Muller (and a few others) to film videos for all dozen of the album’s tracks. The resulting video album was one of the earliest examples of its type. The clip below, “Heaven,” is one of my favorites. I could totally picture it being played on the runway at a swanky ’80s fashion show:

She’s Hot, She’s Sexy, She’s Dead

Today’s video is the opening of CBS’s tribute to their recently deceased comedy queen, Lucille Ball, broadcast April 26, 1989. I may have watched this when it originally aired. Lucy’s death was a huge deal that year, garnering the kind of media coverage usually reserved for world leaders and royalty.

On a related note, of late we’ve been watching a lot of I Love Lucy‘s third season DVD set (a gift for Christopher’s birthday). This was the first season after Little Ricky was born. Although it contains a lot of hilarious episodes, the darn baby gets dragged out all the time and it stops the comedy dead in its tracks. Lucy and Desi Arnaz must have realized what negative impact Little Ricky had, since the following season they bounced back with a baby-free trip to Hollywood. I do believe the show hit its peak during seasons four (Hollywood) and five (European trip).

More of CBS’ Lucille Ball memorial tribute: Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

A Pinch of Basil

Today’s video is another forgotten ’80s tune I just discovered this week — Toni Basil’s “Over My Head.” I think this song actually betters “Mickey;” too bad it barely made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. The video has a terrific concept with multi-talented Toni dancing in and out of vintage pulp book covers with various “outrageous” looks. She’s a helluva dancer, of course, and the theatricality she used on her image is very prescient. The Lady GaGa of 1983?

Huggy Bear Gone Viral

An adorable circa 1983 commercial for Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. What, you never heard of Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear? That’s because the pink ‘n fuzzy toy only exists as a character in the forthcoming Toy Story 3; the commercial is actually a promotional tool from those sneaks at Pixar. Brilliant!

Remember Kids, Users Are Losers

Remember this 1987 anti-drug PSA with crazy-haired pop singer Regina and McGruff the Crime Dog? Staying on the straight and narrow never looked so totally awesome.

Related: Download Regina’s 1986 LP Curiosity featuring the wonderfully Madonnaesque hit “Baby Love.”