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Never Found in the '80s: Return of Live Bonus Week with The Replacements

It's been a while since my Never Found series has been found in the SIT80s' blog. A recap of the concept may be in order. Never Found in the 80s features musical acts which never found their way onto the American Top 40 Pop charts during our favorite decade. That's pretty much it.

I thought I'd do another Never Found Live Bonus week. The bands I'll feature this week have all been previously profiled in this series, so my general verbosity will be somewhat curtailed. Maybe.

Let's kick off the week with the very first band I profiled, way back in March 2013: From Minneapolis The Replacements. The Replacements were notorious for their occasional drunken mess live shows, but they could also deliver some real corkers.

The live footage I've chosen is from the UK's Old Grey Whistle Test program from February, 1986. The boys play ‘Kiss Me On The Bus' from their album ‘Tim' (1985). This clip is one of the last live performances of all four of the original members. Lead guitarist Bob Stinson would be fired due to his excessive drinking (and that's saying a lot knowing this band's drinking proclivities) by year's end.

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This Scandal song came within a heartbeat of the top 40

The '80s Cruise has begun and just because the rest of us were left behind, let's not be broken-hearted as we'll bide the time with a full week's Lost and Found videos in between Steve's reports from the ship. I know we are not broken-hearted because if you listen to Scandal today, you can hear the Beat Of A Heart.

For a boy growing up in the '80s there were plenty of celebrity crushes candidates out there. It could have been VJ's Nina Blackwood or Martha Quinn or perhaps one of my favorite crushes like Patty Smyth of Scandal. Scandal only released one EP and one album in the '80s, but what they lacked in quantity was made up for in quality - even if the charts didn't appreciate it. Case in point is Beat Of A Heart, that was the third single off The Warrior album. While the title track hit the Top 10, Beat Of A Heart fell just short of the Top 40 at No. 41 at the beginning of 1985.

The video for Beat Of A Heart shows the transformation of Patty Smyth from a new wave cutie in the 1982 Goodbye To You video to a breath-taking sex symbol. Smyth would go solo after The Warrior album and had success including the monster smash duet Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough with Don Henley in 1992. …

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30 years later, is ‘Pretty in Pink’ one of John Hughes’ best movies or one of his worst?

Thirty years after its release, Pretty in Pink is revered by the ‘80s generation, and why not? Like most John Hughes movies, it has a heart bigger than its chest. It has actors in roles that would define their careers for decades to come. And it had a soundtrack that most of us have memorized word for word, note for note.

Released on Feb. 28, 1986, Pretty in Pink was a success right from the start. On a $9 million budget, it grossed $40 million. And critics were generally pleased; Pretty in Pink maintains a 79 percent “fresh rating” on Rotten Tomatoes.

On the surface, the story might not be horribly original: A girl from the wrong side of the tracks (literally) meets one of the rich and popular guys at school and they try to make it work. Dig a little deeper and you might find this: Pretty in Pink is a study of flawed male characters.

Duckie has a crush on Andie and can’t let go, no matter how obvious it is that she doesn’t share his feelings. Andie’s dad can’t let go of his wife, who left him and Andie when times got tough. And Blaine? Well, if you can’t stand up to your friends, then you really are just a major appliance.

The late film critic Roger Ebert gave Pretty in Pink three stars, writing: “… Although it is not a great movie, it contains some moments when the audience is likely to think, yes, being 16 was exactly like that. … Pretty in Pink is evidence, I suppose, that there must be a reason why certain old stories never seem to die.”

So where does Pretty in Pink stand among Hughes’ films? Well, as long as Curly Sue is around, it will never be the worst. And Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller tend to share the winner’s circle. So let’s look a little closer.

THE CHARACTERS:
ONE OF THE BEST:
Sorry, Jon Cryer and James Spader, but you’ll always be Duckie and Steff to us. And that’s a good thing. Molly Ringwald turned Andie into a girl power symbol long before girl power. And Harry Dean Stainton is the dad we all want to root for.
ONE OF THE WORST: Andrew Dice Clay essentially is himself as the bar bouncer. But is that a bad thing? Andrew McCarthy? Well, you’re a heck of a travel writer these days.
VERDICT: One of the best

THE STORY:
ONE OF THE BEST:
There’s a reason this storyline gets recycled time and time again: People like it and relate to it, as Ebert said. But let’s face it. Without Duckie, Steff, Iona and dear old dad, we wouldn’t be talking about this movie today.
ONE OF THE WORST: John Hughes knew the movie wasn’t one of his best; that’s why he did Some Kind of Wonderful with the ending he wanted all along.
VERDICT: One of the worst

THE MUSIC:
ONE OF THE BEST:
If You Leave. Shellshock. Wouldn’t It Be Good. Bring on the Dancing Horses. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want. And that amazing title song by the Psychedelic Furs. Aside from Purple Rain, is there another ‘80s soundtrack you still hold as dear to your heart?
ONE OF THE WORST: I don’t dare nitpick here. But if forced to, I prefer the original Furs version of Pretty in Pink.
VERDICT: The best.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS:
ONE OF THE BEST:
There’s no Ferris-on-a-parade-float moment, but Duckie lip-synching and dancing to Tenderness comes close. Others include: Duckie meeting with Andie’s dad; Duckie getting advice from the Diceman; Duckie making out with Iona; Oh, and maybe Andie tearing Blaine a new one for dumping her as prom date.
ONE OF THE WORST: Can we all agree that there’s little to no chemistry between Andie and Blaine? Every encounter reminds me of the worst dates I ever had.
VERDICT: One of the best

INTANGIBLES:
ONE OF THE BEST:
There’s a growing belief with some iconic ‘80s movies that style outweighs substance. I don’t think that’s the case with Pretty in Pink. Yes, it has tremendous style. And though the story might appear worn some 30 years later, remember that in 1986, these were the issues that consumed our brains. Will we go to the prom? Why does everyone pick on me? Will that person ever love me? And what the hell are we going to do after high school. Pretty in Pink taught us to tackle those issues and conquer your fear. Be brave and let the chips fall where they may. Believe in yourself. And always remember: That’s not a candy machine in the girls restroom.
ONE OF THE WORST: Can we say what nobody else wants to say? Andie’s prom dress is the pits.

VERDICT: Pretty in Pink remains one of the best John Hughes movies of his era.

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The story of Shalamar and 'Dead Giveaway'

The story of Shalamar is an interesting story in the annals of '80s music history. What are some of the tidbits about Shalamar to be revealed? You'll have to ready the post as we just can't have a Dead Giveaway?

Trivia Item No. 1 was that Shalamar was masterminded by Soul Train's Don Cornelius. Shalamar's early roster was juggled when Cornelius thought Soul Train dancers Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels would look better as the face of Shalamar instead of its original members. After some modest hits like the Top 10 hit Second Time Around, Daniels became Trivia Item No. 2 when he might have been the first person to perform the  Moonwalk on TV. His dancing skills caught the attention of Michael Jackson and it is Daniels who taught MJ to moonwalk for his iconic performance on the Motown 25 Special in 1983. Daniels also helped choreograph MJ's Bad video.  Trivia Item No. 3 has already been revealed as Jody Watley emerged from Shalamar and became an even bigger solo artist, but she still was in Shalamar in 1983 when Dead Giveaway was a Top 40 hit.

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Watch Stephen Colbert sing 'Blister in the Sun' with the Violent Femmes

We all know the words to Blister in the Sun by the Violent Femmes, right? The 1983 tune is burned on our brains - and the brain of late night talk show host Stephen Colbert, who sang it with the band Tuesday night.

"I think I've played [it] a thousand times, and I can't wait to hear a thousand and one,” Colbert says before introducing the band. Watch it again in this web exclusive.



The acoustic performance on Colbert’s program was to promote their new album We Can Do Anything.

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Here’s who’s starring in film version of ‘Ready Player One’

If you’re an ‘80s fan, you should have read Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One at least a few times by now. The book's movie rights were snatched up by Hollywood a year before it was even published and Steven Spielberg quickly signed up to direct. The only question remaining was who would play the main characters.

Deadline.com says Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life, Mud) will play the starring role of Parzival in Spielberg’s film adaptation. Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) will be Art3mis and Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Bloodline) plays the villainous Nolan Sorrento.

Set in a dystopian future (is there any other kind, ‘80s fans?), Ready Player One presents a world consumed by an online virtual reality known as the OASIS. Parzival and his teenage friends are devoted to unlocking the puzzles left behind by the OASIS creator, a man who was an ‘80s freak. The book is full of Easter eggs that will dazzle anyone from the ‘80s generation.

Ready Player One is scheduled to be released March 30, 2018.

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Back in the '80s, 'Don't Stop The Music' was our generation's mantra

What makes a friendship to into romance? Sometimes it's music and so the story goes for Yarbrough & Peoples who would never say Don't Stop The Music.

Carl Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples first met each other at their childhood piano lessons and that connection formed a friendship that led to the formation of Yarbrough & Peoples in the '70s. With the help of The Gap Band, Y&P was signed to their label and in 1981 their debut single, Don't Stop The Music, was released and the song became a No. 1 R&B smash and made it to No. 19 on the pop charts.

The low-budget video for Don't Stop The Music is all performance video with an odd appearance by puppets during the electronic voice portion of the song. Y&P would hit the R&B charts several more times in the '80s before deciding in 1987 they would get married and move back to their hometown of Dallas and live a more calm life. They continue to perform and release music as Gospel artists.

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You better think (THINK!) about this forgotten Aretha Franklin hit

Just because you are sired The Queen of Soul that doesn't mean that you can't rock. In the '80s, Aretha Franklin not only rocked a little, but Rock-A-Lott.

With countless hits on the R&B charts, Franklin became the Queen of Soul by hitting the Top 40 43 times in her career, including eight trips in the '80s. Still, she only had two No. 1 hits in her career with Respect in 1967 and 20 years later with her I Knew You Were Waiting duet with George Michael. In 1986, Franklin released the album Aretha which is notable for being the last album cover art drawn by Andy Warhol. The first two singles, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Jimmy Lee, were modest hits before the third single, I Knew You Were Waiting was a smash. The last single off Aretha was Rock-A-Lott, but it only made it to No. 82 on the singles chart.

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The other 'Juice' in the '80s gave us this Top 10 hit

Webster's dictionary cites 1986 as the year when it first recognized the slang word "diss" in the lexicon. Was it a coincidence that the same year the ultimate diss song of the '80s- The Rain - was released?

Oran "Juice" Jones was one of the first artists on the Def Jam label and in 1986 he hit gold and the Top 10 with The Rain. The video for The Rain mirrors the lyrics of the song as Jones discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him. While initially hurt, the twist of the song is Jones plots revenge against his girlfriend. For those who in retrospect think that Jones' mid-song rant and video is misogynic, they might be interested in checking out the response song to The Rain. Later in 1986, female rapper Miss Thang released the song Thunder and Lightning which ups the ante on insults and portrays a different perspective and ending to The Rain video.

In 2014, Jones appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and sang The Rain for Kimmel's birthday show in which Kimmel sings backup and Scandal's Bellamy Young shows up to take the verbal abuse from Jones to Kimmel's great delight.
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Phil Collins, ex-wife decide they have groovy kind of love, will remarry

So much for separate lives. Eighties pop god Phil Collins is planning to remarry his ex-wife, according to the UK’s Guardian.

Collins married Orianne Cevey in 1999 and had two sons together. They split up in 2006. When Cevey and her sons moved to Miami, Phil followed. The former Genesis frontman just recently announced his "retirement" is over and that he'd be making new music and touring again soon. Was it something in the air tonight?

“Our separation was the wrong decision,” Orianne Cevey old the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick.

“We realized we missed each other,” Collins told the Guardian. “We made a mistake and we’ve fixed it.”

So, against all odds, Collins and Cevey say they plan to marry again. But you can’t hurry love, so no date has been announced.

[Getty Images]

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Podcast: 36 years later, the Mirace on Ice remains just that

Today marks the 36th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the nickname given to the U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Team's win over the Soviet Union. Nearly four decades later, when superlatives are over-used by talking heads on 24-hour networks, the term "miracle" still seems totally appropriate for this event.

Six years ago, on the 30th anniversary of this huge upset, Stuck in the '80s recorded an epic podcast marking the event. Little has changed in the six years since, so we present it again today. Enjoy.

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Here's that other top 10 hit by Phillip Bailey in the '80s

It's been a while since we've committed a full week to R&B videos, so let's start the week off with a question. Who was the top male falsetto voice of the '80s? There are some good candidates like Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat and the bizarre Klaus Nomi, but for my money, it's Phillip Bailey. Why? Because I Know.

While Maurice White handled most of the lead vocals for Earth, Wind & Fire, Phillip Bailey was always there singing lead on selected singles like Fantasy and he is etched in history with his "ba de ya" backup vocals on the classic September that rivals Shining Star as the consensus favorite EW&F song. We all loved Bailey's smash duet and funny video with fellow drummer Phil Collins, Easy Lover, that made it to No. 2 in 1985, but that was not Bailey's first solo effort as in 1983 I Know was a Top 10 hit on the soul charts. …

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What do Prince and They Might Be Giants have in common?

With thousands of songs in their arsenal, how do the two Johns of They Might Be Giants get ideas for their songs? Sometimes it's just as simple as word association like today's pick of Purple Toupee.

They Might Be Giants are no stranger to the SIT80's blog and podcast being guests on Podcast #117, but their debut on Lost and Found begins today with Purple Toupee. So what inspired John Linnell (the lanky accordion player) to think of the title Purple Toupee?  Like a lot of people in the late '80s he was listening to some Prince and thought - Purple Rain ... Raspberry Beret ... mishmash them up and its sounds like Purple Toupee.  Granted the lyrics of Purple Toupee, released in 1988 off the Lincoln album, have nothing to do with Prince, but in continuing our '60s theme this week, the oddball lyrics do reference '60's events like Selma and the JFK assassination, although in a sly manner.

The video for Purple Toupee is the typical silliness you get out of a TMBG video with the two Johns intertwine performance with a visit to Astroworld at Coney Island - the same place that was featured in the movie, The Warriors. …

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'The Last Starfighter' set to return as Hulu series

"Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by Hulu to defend the ‘80s from another bad remake of a beloved classic." Yes, 1984’s The Last Starfighter will get new life as a TV series called Future Man.

Hulu has commissioned a Future Man pilot for a 30-minute “comedy” starring Josh Hutcherson (“Peeta” from The Hunger Games.) IO9’s Gizmodo site says the show’s pilot nearly matches the plot of The Last Starfighter. Hutcherson plays a young gamer whose skills land him a offer to become a warrior and save the Earth from invading aliens.

Yes, as IO9 says, it’s also the same plot as Ernest Cline’s new book, Armada.

Even Xur and the Ko-Dan armada think this is a bad idea.

Lance Guest played the lead character (“Alex Rogan”) in the original along with Catherine Mary Stewart as love interest Maggie Gordeon, Dan O’Herlihy as his gung ho iguana co-pilot and the late Robert Preston as Centauri.

No word on when this will reach our screens. I just hope Hulu also gives us Death Blossom to deliver one massive volley at close range.

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George Gaynes of Police Academy, Punky Brewser dies at age 98

George Gaynes, best known as the spacey Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy movies, died Monday, according to Variety. He was 98.

Gaynes is best known to ‘80s fans for a large body of work on TV and film. In addition to his Police Academy role, he was the adoptive father in Punky Brewster and the lecherous soap opera actor in Tootsie. He’s also seen in guest spots on WKRP in Cincinnati, General Hospital, Cheers, Hotel and Matlock, among many others.

Gaynes’ career, however, dates all the way back to 1955 and the NBC Television Opera Theatre. His final role was in 2003’s Just Married.

In a 2004 interview with DVDverdict.com, Gaynes says he’s still recognized on the street by fans, but for which role often varies.

“You know, it depends on the generation and gender,” he said. “The males usually go for Police Academy and the young women now in their late 20s or so go for Punky Brewster. I am recognized quite frequently because they're still playing that stuff on television!”

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