Shiny Happy People

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!!! With today being the official first day of Spring, I’m tuning it back to 1991 with something shiny… and something happy… “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M.. Enjoy!!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 6, 1991 (UK), Sept 3, 1991 (US)

TRIVIA: The song features guest vocals by Kate Pierson of the B-52’s, who also appears in the song’s music video.

It was originally used in the unaired pilot as the theme tune for the sitcom known then as Friends Like Us (which went on to be known as the very popular Friends).

Despite the song’s success, band members were ambivalent about being known for a pop song that lacked gravitas. “It’s a fruity pop song written for children. It just is what it is,” Michael Stipe told the BBC’s Andrew Marr in 2016. “If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be Shiny Happy People”.

See you next Tuesday!!



Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to 1997 with “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba. Enjoy!!


TRIVIA: Vocalist Dunstan Bruce retrospectively observed that, before the group wrote the song, they “were in a mess: we had become directionless and disparate”. He credited “Tubthumping” with changing that, telling the Guardian that “It’s not our most political or best song, but it brought us back together. The song is about us – as a class and as a band. The beauty of it was we had no idea how big it would be.”

See you next Tuesday!!

Karma Chameleon

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to 1983 with “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club. Enjoy!!


TRIVIA: In an interview, Culture Club frontman Boy George explained: “The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It’s about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.”

The song was originally to be called “Cameo Chameleon”; the band was recorded in interviews in mid-1983 stating this was to be the title of their next single.

See you next Tuesday!

I Melt With You

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite songs from the ’80s… “I Melt With You” by Modern English.


TRIVIA: At the time of the song’s writing, vocalist Robbie Grey was the primary composer of the song, though all of the band members were credited as songwriters. He described England at the time of the song’s writing to be a bleak place, due to the recession: “There was no money. There’d be no power—you’d be at home with candles.” These conditions and his fears of a nuclear war inspired “I Melt With You”. The song depicts a couple making love while an atomic bomb is dropped. Grey wrote the song in three minutes in his London bedroom after smoking marijuana. He described the song in an interview as a “love song”, but more about the “good and bad in people […] The last thing we wanted was to write a song where boy meets girl, they go to the cinema and make love, and that’s the end of it.”

The song became the band’s sole hit single, largely in the United States, where it was featured in the film Valley Girl and on MTV.

See you next Tuesday!!

Love In The First Degree

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! With only 3 days until Bananarama comes to Toronto, I’m tuning it back to their awesome song (and equally awesome music video), “Love In The First Degree”. Enjoy!!

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: September 28, 1987

TRIVIA: “Love in the First Degree” is Bananarama‘s biggest-selling single in their native UK.

As one of their final performances with Fahey, the group performed the song at the 1988 BRIT Awards with a large entourage of male dancers dressed only in black bikini briefs. The song was nominated for best British single at the BRIT Awards, but lost to Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, also produced by Stock Aitken Waterman.

See you next Tuesday!!


Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY: Valentine’s Day Edition!! Today I’m tuning it back to 1996 with “Lovefool” by The Cardigans. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 14, 1996

TRIVIA: The song was featured in the film Romeo + Juliet just two months after the release of the single, as well as in the 1999 film Cruel Intentions.

Nina Persson wrote the lyrics to the song at an airport while waiting for a plane. She said that, at the time, the song had “a slow bossa nova feel”.

See you next Tuesday!!

One Love

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of Bob Marley‘s Birthday (he would have been 73 today), I’m tuning it back to “One Love”. Let’s get together and feel all right!


TRIVIA: A posthumous music video was directed by Don Letts in 1984 to accompany the Bob Marley & The Wailers compilation album, Legend. It stars young British boy, Jesse Lawrence, in his home on the World’s End Estate, and on the King’s Road dancing at the head of a large crowd of punks, locals and tourists as well as archival footage of Marley (from the “Is This Love” music video). It also features several cameo appearances including Paul McCartney, two members of Bananarama, Neville Staple of The Specials, members of the reggae groups Aswad and Musical Youth, Suggs and Chas Smash of Madness; some of the short clips in this video are also in Madness’ video for their song “The Return of the Los Palmas 7”. The song was also released alongside the video and gave Marley a posthumous UK hit when it reached number 5 in May 1984.

See you next Tuesday!

Life Is A Highway

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today I’m tuning it back to 1991 with “Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 20, 1991

TRIVIA: Cochrane has said the song was originally envisioned several years before its release as “Love is a Highway,” but was shelved while he was still working with his band mates in Tom Cochrane and Red Rider during the late 1980s.

See you next Tuesday!

Groove Is In The Heart

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning back to 1990 with the super-fun “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite. I dare you not to feel the groove. Enjoy!


TRIVIA: Though the album version was not recorded until 1990, the song was originally written in the late 1980s; it was performed live as early as 1989.

The backing track was built around many samples, primarily the main riff from Herbie Hancock‘s track “Bring Down the Birds” from the Blowup soundtrack and Vernon Burch‘s “Get Up”, which provided the drum track and also formed the basis for the famous breakdown featuring a slide whistle. Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins provided guest vocals, and the rap is provided by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest.

See you next Tuesday!!


Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! I was shocked and saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries. She was an incredible singer and her music was a big part of my teenage years. Today I’m tuning it back to the beautiful “Dreams”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 29, 1992

TRIVIA: There are three versions of the video. The first version of the music video features Dolores O’Riordan donning her original hairstyle that is seen on the Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? album cover. The video revolves around O’Riordan with the other band members flashing up throughout the video while she’s sitting on in a chair with a cross as a back or a close up of her face and eyes. The video shows a mirrored image of O’Riordan to show she does the background vocals and towards the end the band members fade in and out constantly in front of O’Riordan.

The second version shows the Cranberries performing the song in a dimly lit aquatic-themed room interspersed with shots of geometric flowers hitting water. This video received high rotation on MTV’s 120 Minutes in 1993 before the release of the bands next single, “Linger”, and the re-release of “Dreams” worldwide.

The third version, directed by Peter Scammell which was most commonly shown in America, shows the Cranberries performing the song in a nightclub. After which, Dolores O’Riordan heads out to a house where grave robbers dressed in black have placed in a very large tree pile. Dolores bathes the tree pile in water and a man is buried under the pile. The water frees him and in the final seconds of the video, the man wakes up.

BONUS VIDEOS: Here is the first version of the music video…

And here is the third version…

See you next Tuesday!