June 08, 2009

Welcome to the Summer of Fun

And by "fun," of course, I mean a month of 80s nostalgia so . . . er . . . nostalgic that, well . . . so, yeah.

A couple months ago I did something very similar on Facebook: for 4 weeks, I posted a video of an 80s pop tune every weekday around some theme: Canadian Content, songs about girls, and so forth. I had fun, and the feedback I got was largely positive, so I decided to repeat the experiment - only this time, I am posting to the blog instead of just Facebook. (Thanks to the magic of RSS, the blog also goes to Twitter and Facebook in any case.)

So here we go again. My first weekly theme: Cover tunes. I thought this theme would be fun for the previous iteration, but put it on hold.

The inaugural tune is "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol. This song was originally a hit for Tommy James & the Shondells, and it topped the charts for three weeks in the U.K. in the summer of 1968. Idol recorded "Mony Mony" in 1981, but it was years later, in 1987, that it topped the Billboard singles chart.

While James' original has a rough, R&B vibe, Idol's is more typical of the hard rock of the 1980s, even though it's more or less a straight cover. Idol, the ex-punk rocker, is musically more aggressive, and some impressive shredding by guitarist Steve Stevens doesn't hurt the tune at all, either.

Unfortunately YouTube won't let the video be embedded, so you'll have to click through to hear it:

"Mony Mony" was a regular at high-school dances. Given the, er, customary chant between the lines of the verses, I'm surprised it wasn't banned.