June 07, 2010

You look like you're lots of fun

It's time once again for the Summer of Nostalgia. Since the music of the 1980s is officially retro now, what better way to celebrate the beginning of the summer season, the month leading up to Canada Day, and the beginning of my half-year slide to 40, than by feebly attempting to recapture my lost youth?

As in the past, each week I have organized my selections into themes. Last summer, I spent a week posting 80s covers of older tunes; this year, I figured I'd turn that around: these are covers of 80s tunes, done later.

So let's start with one of the most recognizable hits of the 80s: "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)." This dance number by Dead or Alive hit #1 in the UK and Canada in 1985. Not surprisingly, it has been covered numerous times - including several re-releases by Dead or Alive themselves, most notably in 1995 and 2003 (which recordings typify the worst and best qualities of dance music in their respective decades). A cover of "You Spin Me Round" in 2000, used in the soundtrack to the movie American Psycho, put the industrial band Dope on the map, although it is frequently misattributed to Marilyn Manson:

I can't think of a much sharper contrast than the original, Stock-Aiken-Waterman pop number and Dope's dark, gothic rendition. But they both work.