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A happier time and place with Kirsty MacColl

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While some of our favorite '80s singers fade from memory, there isn't a year that we don't think about Kirsty MacColl thanks to her co-singing on Fairytale of New York (with The Pogues), which is featured every year in the blog during the Christmas season. With Christmas behind us, we tip our cap to MacColl again with another one of her singles - He's On The Beach.

MacColl only released two solo albums during the '80s and those ranged from 1981 to 1989. Like many other U.K. artists, releasing independent singles was more common for MacColl as some of her biggest singles like They Don't Know and A New England were released without the support of an album. Another great stand alone Stiff Records single was He's On The Beach from 1985. The single did not chart even if her home country, but that doesn't diminish the great pop song and its scenic video.

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Loving this Melvin James video is strange

One of the news headlines that caught our eyes this month was the announcement that The Ringling Brothers had decided to shut down the Greatest Show on Earth after 132 years in business. Circuses were still a big part of '80s pop culture from movies like Big Top Pee-Wee to popular music videos like Def Leppard's Animal and also little seen ones like Melvin James and Loving You Is Strange.

In 2015, we brought to light Melvin James on Lost and Found with his underrated Why Won't You Stay (Come In, Come Out Of The Rain) and today we go deeper with Loving You Is Strange. In our first post on James, we had little information on him other than he grew up in Iowa and then moved Minnesota - perhaps in between he left to join the circus?

The video for Loving You Is Strange is a nice one as James arrives in town on motorcycle as the a new hired hand at the circus and tries to steal the heart of a seductive circus worker away from some clowns - and by clowns, I don't mean jerks, but literally ... clowns. As his love affair heats up, things get freaky with the circus girl (who could have imagined that!) leaving James with a confused and broken heart. …

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