Title: Person – Person

Artist: Joe “King” Carrasco & The Crowns

Album: Synapse Gap (Mundo Total)

Year Released: 1982

What It Is: A hella fun Tex-Mex rock ‘n’ roll song from one of the best party bands ever to come out of Texas.

Riffage / Hookage: Any song with a farfisa is going to have hooks.

Cowbell?: Nah.

Words Of Wisdom: “Herman? He can’t even tie his shoelaces!”

Mixology Report: Always great for a party mix!

Top Five Genius Results: Too much partying for Genius!

For The Good Of The Order: The discography of Joe “King” Carrasco is kind of a mess. Some songs, like “Buena” appear on three different releases with three different recordings. You may remember Joe from “Party Weekend” on MTV, but that song was recorded at least twice.

Here are two vids. The first is the MTV vid that is hilarious even now; gotta love the production value. Not values, value.

The second is from the “Son Of Stiff” tour in 1980 and it shows that the whole intro routine was worked out well before the song hit vinyl.


Maybe I booked too many travel days. Ah, well, all in pursuit of Platinum status.

Title: The Safety Dance

Artist: Men Without Hats

Album: Rhythm Of Youth

Year Released: 1982

What It Is: An all-time MTV classic. You’ve heard this. You’ve danced this. You love it, right?

Riffage / Hookage: The synth riff is an earwig. I hear echoes of it in other songs. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s pretty much a legendary synth riff.

Cowbell?: No, but there’s handclapping!

Words Of Wisdom: “Say, we can act if want to
If we don’t nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile”

This song is some allegory of some sort, you know. I really haven’t spent too much time trying to figure out they lyrics.

Mixology Report: Perfect for all kinds of mixes, but make sure they’re lighthearted.

Top Five Genius Results: A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran
Devo – Whip It
Modern English – I Melt With You
Gary Numan – Cars
Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?

Wow, it’s an MTV highlight show!

For The Good Of The Order: We danced to this at our wedding. Yes, it’s true. I think our parents were amused, or non-plussed, or something!

The vid, of course!

And now, the literal version!

Title: To Look At You

Artist: INXS

Album: Shabooh Shoobah

Year Released: 1982

What It Is: Kind of a moody, introspective number that was a the third single off of their breakthrough record. While it wasn’t played much in the States, from what I gather it was pretty popular elsewhere.

Riffage / Hookage: The chorus is hooky, as Michael Hutchense stops mumbling and actually sings during the chorus. There’s not really much in the way of verses though. I guess that’s how a song gets catchy, if it’s almost all chorus!

Cowbell?: Nope. Not here.

Words Of Wisdom: “What do you fear in the simple
Still of a summer’s night
I understand I sympathize for a day dream
Fairytales and I love you”

Mixology Report: It is rather moody, but it may surprise people who thought INXS was all up and loud.

Top Five Genius Results: Us Forces – Midnight Oil
Bittersweet – Hoodoo Gurus
Dirty Creature – Split Enz
Lonely In Your Nightmare – Duran Duran
The Unguarded Moment – The Church

Hmmm…just because they’re AUSTRALIAN doesn’t mean that 4 of those songs are the best choices, genius!

For The Good Of The Order: First real rock concert that I went to – INXS opened for Men At Work. I told the friends I was with that INXS will be bigger than Men At Work. Laughter and scoffing ensued, but who was right? HEH!

Video time…live…in person.

Title: Beyond Belief

Artist: Elvis Costello

Album: Imperial Bedroom

Year Released: 1982

What It Is: The kick-off track from one of Costello’s best albums. The Attractions are in rare form, the production by Geoff Emerick is right on target, and Costello’s writing is at its best – both tuneful and wordy! In fact, sometimes a bit too wordy (as it may have hampered its success on the radio). (Wait, what am I kidding, Costello on the radio? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Riffage / Hookage: In a dense song like this, it’s hard to establish a true hook, but the song is rather singable despite the verbosity.

Cowbell?: No, a cowbell wouldn’t add anything here. The production is dense enough to swallow up anything like a cowbell.

Words Of Wisdom: “You know she has no sense
For all your jealousy
In a sense she still smiles very sweetly

Charged with insults and flattery
Her body moves with malice
Do you have to be so cruel to be callous

And now you find you fit this identikit completely
You say you have no secrets
And then leave discreetly”

Mixology Report: Costello’s a pretty consistent element in many of my mixes, because of his ever-mutating sound.

Top Five Genius Results: Hitsville UK – The Clash
I’m The Man – Joe Jackson (sidebar, each time I hear that song now, I think of this OSU football rant. (“I’m A MAN! I’M 40! at 2:25”, but I digress…)
Crazy – REM (cover of Pylon tune)
Kiss Me On The Bus – The Replacements
TVC15 – David Bowie

For The Good Of The Order: What can I say about Costello? Um, have about three days. Basically, buy his stuff. He’s great!

Here’s a live 2003 version of this great tune from A & E’s “By Request” show. Dig it, kiddies!

Title: Tell Me When It’s Over

Artist: Dream Syndicate

Album: The Days Of Wine & Roses

Year Released : 1982

What It Is: You’ve heard of teen angst? This is college ennui. I used to joke this is the song that epitomizes worst thing you can hear while in a passionate ’embrace’. (I guess that’s not a joke.) But really, it’s more than that. Looking back into my 20’s – a lot of my life was sitting around waiting for something to happen (in small-town Indiana, and even in Indianapolis – that’s not hard.) Now, with two kidlets running around, there’s always something afoot, so there’s not ennui. Frustration, maybe, on why the oldest decides that minding is optional and the youngest thinks clothes are optional, but not ennui. No sir.

Riffage / Hookage:A hell of a guitar riff from Karl Precoda matches Steve Wynn’s weary voice. The chorus is hooky in a bored kinda way (and that’s a compliment!)


Words Of Wisdom: “Oh there must be some kind of answer
Yeah but the question was closed
Ah you got really imagination man
And I really don’t know
Cause I don’t wanna know, oh yeah”

Mixology Report: You betcha. Especially those who have a grounding in 80’s paisley underground / indie rock, and those who have a predilection for psychedelic-ish mopey tunes. (Not emo, mind you…)

For The Good Of The Order: This was the ‘leading light’ of the paisley underground movement (a loose collection of LA bands that also included The Three O’Clock, The Bangles (early), and Green On Red. Of course, the Bangles broke out after they abandoned their retro sound (sadly). A & M put a lot of marketing oomph behind them but Wynn and the band sometimes preferred to just jam and feedback for 20 minutes. Soon, the band imploded, leaving Wynn on his own (with a loyal drummer) to carry on the name, but not the tradition of what made them a great band. He really needed Precoda to balance him. Sigh.

Here’s a great find, excusing the quality of the video / audio. But it’s the original incarnation of Dream Syndicate when they were on tour for their second album.

Title: Der Kommisar

Artist: Falco


Year Released: 1982

What It Is: A neat little funk dance rock earworm that made it big during the MTV era, and also that a hacky English band covered it and got a hit single. Oh, and it’s in GERMAN! (Mostly).

Riffage / Hookage: Great bass line, and a great hook, and the guitar is sublty cool. Yeah, this is a hit.

Cowbell?: Electronics, baby. No need for the bell o’ the cow.

Words Of Wisdom: “Wir treffen Jill und Joe und dessen Bruder hip,
Und auch den Rest der koolen gang
Sie rappen hin, sie rappen her
Dazwischen kratzen’s ab die Waend’
Dieser Fall ist klar lieber Herr Kommissar
Auch wenn sie anderer Meinung sind
Den Schnee auf dem wir alle talwaerts fahren
Kennt heute jedes Kind
Jetzt das Kinderlied”

What he said…

Mixology Report: Great for an 80’s mix, for sure!

For The Good Of The Order: A decent song can bridge the language barrier, and forcing lyrics into English (see Nena) dilutes the power of the song. That being said, I know bands like Trio and Kraftwerk sang in English for the English market, (Ok, Kraftwek and singing isn’t exactly congruous). And then the Beatles and Peter Gabriel recorded their songs in German. What am I saying? Nothing, I’m babbling. I had a point, somewhere, but I think I got sidetracked by the cheesy Falco video below…

Title: President Gas

Artist: The Psychedelic Furs

Album:Forever Now

Year Released: 1982

What It Is:Well, it wasn’t SUPPOSED to be fortune telling about the most recent past president of the US of A. It was more of a jab at Reagan, of course. But by gosh, some of the lines fit right in with “W”, especially from the view of those across the pond.

Riffage / Hookage:I love the guitar and keyboard intro riff / hook that carries through the song. Richard Butler’s vocals don’t really lend to good chorus hooks, but he tries.

Cowbell?:No. Some good drumming by Vince Ely, one of the Furs that was gone by the time the next album hit the streets. In 1981 they were a sextet, by 1983 a trio.

Words Of Wisdom“It’s a real cowboy set,

The electric company
Every day is happy days
It’s hell without the sin”

Mixology Report: 80’s fans will love that it’s not one of the Furs’ hits, but it sounds contemporary enough (well, OK, enough is subjective) that it’ll fit pretty well. Just don’t give to those who read Ann Coulter or watch and agree with Hannity.

For The Good Of The Order: I saw them my freshman year of college. They were at DePauw, and they were a trio + sidemen. It was a great show. I was two rows from the stage. Richard Butler sweated on me.They played the two songs I knew right out of the box, and then went on with their show. When they did this number, it electrified the crowd and 90% of the people knew the words. I soon caught up!

Here’s a live TV spot from them. Richard has mike issues at first!