Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Venus, Sugar Sugar, Yada Yada

It was 25 years ago this summer that Stars on 45 took the world by storm and started the medley craze. John at Lost in the 80s found a test subject who was six months old in the summer of 1981 and who has somehow lived the ensuing quarter-century without ever hearing of Stars on 45. He sent the subject the original "Medley" and some of the other medleys that made the charts in 1981 and 1982, and reported the test subject's reactions. It was all done in the name of science, and no 25-year-olds were harmed in the making of it, as far as we know. (I don't feel so good, but I'm sure I'll be fine.) The post also includes a video for the original "Medley," which is a typical early-80s mashup featuring dancers with a questionable sense of rhythm, bad lip-synching, public-domain silent-movie footage and child porn.

(I confess: On one of my college radio shows, I played a couple of the medleys in their original album versions, each of which ran 15 minutes plus. And no, I wasn't high. Now it's your turn to confess: How long was it after "Medley" left the airwaves before you could hear the original versions of the Beatles songs it featured without also hearing the Stars on 45 segues in your head?)

Watch the video. Listen to the medleys. You know you want to.


At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went. I watched. I winced. It was like a car wreck that you can't turn away from. Of course I remembered every segue. It took me back to 'the early '80s so fast I almost got whiplash.

However, a few disco handclaps into the music and I realized it didn't sound as long-ago as I'd thought it might. And then I realized that I subject myself to 30 minutes of such schlock three or four times a week. Any female who frequents a Curves is aurally assaulted with similar cringe-worthy medleys each time you step into the place. Bad covers, sometimes with a common thread, all set at the same 130 beats per minute for proper exercise intensity. The location I attend has a CD player loaded with 40 of them, all supposedly different, yet all mind-numbingly the same. I know them all by heart. Ugh.

Almost makes me wish that Curves would play some of those "Stars On" or "Hooked On" medleys instead--in the medley genre, these would be considered the "originals." Scary thought.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous John Ham said...

I sure don't remember this stuff, though I was all of 7 years old in 1981. What I do remember is Jive Bunny, and if the pattern holds, we can expect a resurgence in the awful medley trend in 2013.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Willie said...

I was at a used record store about a month ago. Thumbing through the 45's, I found a copy of "Stars on 45." For about a half-second I considered buying it. After further review, I passed. It just did not interest me enough.


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