Borderline

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today I’m tuning it back to “Borderline” by Madonna. I have to admit, I had never seen this music video until last week. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: February 15, 1984

TRIVIA: In 1982, Madonna was working with producer Reggie Lucas on her debut album. She had already composed three songs, when Lucas brought one of his own compositions to the project, calling it “Borderline”. However, after recording the song, Madonna was unhappy with the final version. According to her, Lucas used too many instruments and did not consider her ideas for the song. This led to a dispute between the two. After finishing the album, Lucas left the project without altering the songs to Madonna’s specifications. Hence, Madonna brought her then boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez to remix “Borderline” and two other recorded tracks. On hearing the final version, Seymour Stein, head of Sire Records declared, “I dared to believe this was going to be huge beyond belief, the biggest thing I’d ever had, after I heard ‘Borderline’… The passion that she put into that song, I thought, there’s no stopping this girl.”

“Borderline” was filmed on location in Los Angeles, California from January 30 to February 2, 1984 and was the first video that Madonna made with director Mary Lambert, who later also directed the videos “Like a Virgin”, “Material Girl”, “La Isla Bonita” and “Like a Prayer”.

See you next Tuesday!

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Don’t You Want Me

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite songs from the early ’80s… “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: November 27, 1981

TRIVIA: Originally conceived and recorded in the studio as a male solo, lead singer Philip Oakey was inspired by the film A Star Is Born and decided to turn the song into a conflicting duet with one of the band’s two teenage female vocalists. Susan Ann Sulley was then asked to take on the role.

In 1981 record company Virgin were becoming aware that the promotional music video was evolving into an important marketing tool, with MTV being launched that year. Because it was agreed that the video for “Open Your Heart” had looked “cheap and nasty”, Virgin commissioned a much more elaborate and expensive promotional video for “Don’t You Want Me”.

See you next Tuesday!

Free Fallin’

It’s TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Sadly, we lost another legend in music yesterday as Tom Petty has passed away at 66 years old. This loss hits particularly hard for me as my Father has been the lead singer of a Tom Petty tribute band since I was a kid and I was raised on his music. So today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite Tom Petty songs (although there are many), “Free Fallin'”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 27, 1989

TRIVIA: The song was written by Petty and his writing partner for the album, Jeff Lynne, and features Lynne on backing vocals and bass guitar. The duo wrote and recorded the single in two days, making it the first song completed for Full Moon Fever.

Petty explained in an interview with Billboard magazine that he and Jeff Lynne were sitting around trying to come up with a song, and Lynne got him to say “free falling”. The next day they went and recorded the song. He didn’t write it about any person, but instead what he saw on his frequent drives along Ventura Boulevard.

BONUS VIDEO: Although “Free Fallin'” is one of my favourite songs by Tom Petty, the music video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is probably my favourite video.

See you next Tuesday!

You’re My Best Friend

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today I’m tuning it back to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen in honour of the return of WILL & GRACE this Thursday. If you remember the finale, this was the song that closed out the show. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 18, 1976

TRIVIA: John Deacon (bass guitarist) wrote the song for his wife, Veronica Tetzlaff.

See you next Tuesday!!

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of the 2 Emmy wins for the BLACK MIRROR episode “SAN JUNIPERO”, I’m tuning it back to Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” (which happens to have been released exactly 30 years ago yesterday). If you haven’t seen “San Junipero” yet, make an effort to see it!! It’s a wonderful, beautiful story. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: Sept 18, 1987

TRIVIA: The music video was directed by Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton.

See you next Tuesday!!

You Got It (The Right Stuff)

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of Stephen King’s “IT” (which had an amazing opening weekend at the box office!), I’m tuning it back to “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by New Kids On The Block. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’re probably scratching your head. But if you HAVE seen the movie, then you might be having a little chuckle to yourself. Either way… Enjoy!!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: Nov 7, 1988

TRIVIA: In 1992, “Weird Al” Yankovic parodied the song on his Off the Deep End album as “The White Stuff,” a loving ode to the white filling in Oreo cookies.

See you next Tuesday!!

Stuck In The Middle With You

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to “Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: February 1973

TRIVIA: The song is used in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 debut film Reservoir Dogs, during the scene in which the character Mr. Blonde (played by Michael Madsen) taunts and tortures bound policeman Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) while singing and dancing to the song. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tarantino recalled:

“That was one of those things where I thought [the song] would work really well, and [during] auditions, I told the actors that I wanted them to do the torture scene, and I’m gonna use ‘Stuck in the Middle With You,’ but they could pick anything they wanted, they didn’t have to use that song. And a couple people picked another one, but almost everyone came in with ‘Stuck in the Middle With You,’ and they were saying that they tried to come up with something else, but that’s the one. The first time somebody actually did the torture scene to that song, the guy didn’t even have a great audition, but it was like watching the movie. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is gonna be awesome!'”

A cover by Grace Potter is the opening theme of Netflix series Grace & Frankie.

See you next Tuesday!

Go Your Own Way

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: December 1976

TRIVIA: The song was written on a vacation in Florida in a house the band rented. By this point, the members of Fleetwood Mac were not getting along very well. Mick Fleetwood, the band’s drummer, remembers the tense atmosphere during this time:

“It was hardly a vacation. Aside from the obvious unstated tension, I remember the house having a distinctly bad vibe to it, as if it were haunted, which did nothing to help matters…and that’s where Lindsey played some of his stuff for the album. It was rough but it was great, though the setting didn’t do it justice…”
See you next Tuesday!!

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today (in honour of yesterday’s Solar Eclipse), I’m tuning it back to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1983

TRIVIA: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” had to be shortened for radio play. Tyler did not believe that the song was radio-friendly at its full length; the song was reduced from seven minutes and two seconds to four minutes and thirty seconds.

Producer Jim Steinman said in an interview with Playbill:

“with Total Eclipse of the Heart, I was trying to come up with a love song and I remembered I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song. Its original title was Vampires in Love because I was working on a musical of Nosferatu, the other great vampire story. If anyone listens to the lyrics, they’re really like vampire lines. It’s all about the darkness, the power of darkness and love’s place in dark…”

BONUS VIDEO: If you’ve never seen the “Literal Video” version of the song… watch it NOW… (p.s. You’re welcome).

See you next Tuesday!

Stand

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! I was recently going through some old Mix Tapes (yup, still have them) and came across one that I made during my last year as a Counsellor-In-Training at my summer camp back in 1996. It was very interesting to see the mixes I put together at 15 years old. One of the songs on that tape was “Stand” by R.E.M. … which I’m tuning it back to today. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: January 1989

TRIVIA: Singer Michael Stipe has said of the song’s origin that he and the other band members were discussing The Banana SplitsThe ArchiesThe Monkees, and similar 1960s pop groups. “They threw these super bubblegummy songs at me, and I said, ‘I’ll raise you and see you one.’ And I wrote the most inane lyrics that I could possibly write. Now, it was a very intentional thing to do that. I really like most of those songs, in fact.” Guitarist Peter Buck described “Stand” as “without a doubt, […] the stupidest song we’ve ever written. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though”, comparing the song to “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen in terms of ‘stupid’ lyrical content.

“Stand” was used as the theme song for the 1990–1992 Fox sitcom Get a Life, starring Chris Elliott.

See you next Tuesday!!