Bette Davis Eyes

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Last week I watched the horror-comedy “The Final Girls” (a wonderful homage to ’80s slasher films with tremendous heart) and it featured the song “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. So today I’m tuning it back to 1981 with this fantastic song. Sit back and enjoy…

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: March 10, 1981

TRIVIA: The song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. DeShannon recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement. In this original incarnation, the track is performed in an “R&B lite” arrangement, featuring a prominent uptempo piano part, as well as flourishes of pedal steel guitar and horns. However, it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song in a radically different synthesizer-based arrangement, that “Bette Davis Eyes” became a commercial success.

The Carnes version spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100 (interrupted for one week by the “Stars on 45 Medley”) and was Billboard‘s biggest hit of the year for 1981.

Bette Davis wrote letters to Carnes and the songwriters to thank them for making her “a part of modern times”, and said her grandson now looked up to her. After their Grammy wins, Davis sent them roses as well.

See you next Tuesday!!

Advertisements

Relax

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY: BANNED EDITION!! Every so often, a company (or higher-ups) get their panties tied in a knot and decide that banning something is the answer. To those companies/people I say… RELAX!!!! Here’s the banned music video to “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 24, 1983

TRIVIA: The first official video for “Relax”, directed by Bernard Rose and set in a S&M themed gay nightclub, featuring the bandmembers accosted by buff leathermen, a glamorous drag queen, and an obese admirer dressed up as a Roman emperor, was allegedly banned by MTV and the BBC, prompting the recording of a second video, directed by Godley and Creme in early 1984, featuring the group performing with the help of laser beams. However, after the second video was made the song was banned completely by the BBC, meaning that neither video was ever broadcast on any BBC music programmes.

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s the second video that most of us are familiar with.

See you next Tuesday!

Pop Goes The World

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today I’m tuning it back to Pop Goes The World by Men Without Hats. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 1986

TRIVIA: The song very generally tells a story of “Johnny” and “Jenny,” the two members of a fluid musical group (both the members’ instruments of choice and the band name appears to change throughout the song, though Johnny is primarily a guitarist and Jenny is a bassist) on their quest for fame in the industry, though at one point the lyrics note that they come to the realization that they could make “more money on a movie screen.”

See you next Tuesday!

I Got You Babe

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today is GROUNDHOG DAY and Wiarton Willie has predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil, however, did not see his shadow and is calling for an early spring. In the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day, Phil (Bill Murray) keeps reliving the same day over and over. Each day begins at 6:00AM with the song “I Got You Babe” playing on the radio. So in honour of the Groundhogs, let’s revisit this classic tune by Sonny & Cher.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: July 9, 1965

TRIVIA: Sonny Bono, a songwriter and record producer for Phil Spector, wrote the lyrics to and composed the music of the song for himself and his then-wife, Cher, late at night in their basement. Session drummer Hal Blaine played drums for the song with other members of The Wrecking Crew supplying instrumental support. “I Got You Babe” became the duo’s biggest single, their signature song, and a defining recording of the early hippie countercultural movement.

Sonny and Cher last performed the song together during an impromptu reunion on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman on November 13, 1987

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s a clip from Groundhog Day when Bill Murray’s character has just about had enough of “I Got You Babe”.

See you next Tuesday!