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|Back to the 80s: Happy 50th Birthday Michael Jackson & His Top Songs of the 80's
|08.31.08 (8:32 pm) 
Well, 2008 has now had the honor of celebrating the 50th birthday of three of music's biggest icons. I have already had issues of Kickin' it Old School commemorating the events for Prince and Madonna. If you missed either of those, be sure to click on the names and it will take you to those issues. Now, I must add Michael Jackson to this group. The King of Pop's birthday was on August 29th and he turned 50 years old.
I am still a big fan of Jackson's music. One of my very first issues of Kickin' it Old School touched on the subject of separating art from the artist. This issue specifically referenced Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson including top 10 lists for both of them. The Jackson top 10 list included songs from his entire career (and did not include any links to videos), so I thought this time I would focus solely on his music from the 80s like I did for Madonna.
Jackson is a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His Thriller album (1982) spent an incredible 37 weeks at #1 on the US album charts. His Bad album is the only album ever to have five #1 singles in the U.S. He revolutionized the music video industry and helped put MTV on the map. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records, 13 Grammy Awards, a total of 13 number one singles in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Billboard Hot 100 era) and the sale of over 750 million units worldwide. His generosity and humanitarianism have been second to none over the years. Yes, he is a weird dude, but moreso an amazing entertainer and musical genius.
Here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 MICHAEL JACKSON SONGS FROM THE 80's (+ Bonus 6):
Honorable Mention. "We Are The World" (1985) by USA For Africa - This song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. It features performances by 37 artists and Jackson sings a portion of a verse as well as prominently in the bridge and chorus. The sales of the single were intended to help famine-relief efforts in Ethiopia. It was the best-selling single of 1985 and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 staying there for four weeks. I thought this song at least deserves honorable mention and here is a link to watch the video for this song.
16. "Bad" (1987) from Bad
15. "Thriller" (1982) from Thriller - I like the video much more that I like the actual song. The video ranked #1 on my Top Music Videos of the 80s which I highly recommend you check out if you haven't already. There is a link to watch the famous video (short length film) for this song there.
14. "The Girl is Mine" (1982) with Paul McCartney from Thriller - The first of two duets with McCartney on this list
13. "Dirty Diana" (1987) from Bad
12. "State of Shock" (1984) with Mick Jagger from Victory by The Jacksons - This song was originally written by Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury (of Queen) and there are bootleg copies of a demo of the two singing it together out there. The final version would be sung with Mick Jagger. [link to song playing]
11. "Beat It" (1982) from Thriller - Features a great guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen. [link to video]
10. "Another Part of Me" (1987) from Bad - Actually this song was originally recorded as part of Jackson's 1986 3D film Captain EO which played at Disney World. [link to video of a live performance]
9. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (1982) from Thriller [link to song playing]
8. "Say Say Say" (1983) with Paul McCartney from McCartney's Pipes of Peace - This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and held that spot for 6 weeks. It has a pretty entertaining video as you might expect. [link to video]
7. "The Way You Make Me Feel" (1987) from Bad [link to video]
6. "Billie Jean" (1982) from Thriller - Jackson performed this at the Motown 25 anniversary celebration where he first demonstrated his infamous "moonwalk." It is now considered an iconic performance and here is a link to watch it (moonwalk happens at about the 3:30 mark of the video). This song also had a popular music video which was one of the first by a black artist to receive heavy rotation. This was pivotal in the evolution of MTV. [link to video]
5. "Smooth Criminal" (1987) from Bad - This is a very cool song, with an even cooler video. The video is about 9 minutes long and is well worth watching in my opinion. [link to video]
4. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (1982) from Thriller [link to live performance]
3. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (1987) with Siedah Garrett from Bad [link to live performace with Sheryl Crow (instead of Garrett) who actually was back-up singer on Jackson's Bad Tour]
2. "Human Nature" (1982) from Thriller [link to song playing]
1. "Man in the Mirror" (1987) from Bad - Love the message of this song as well as the song itself. [link to video]
There's my list which includes links to at least the top 12. The videos are great because in most of them you get to see Jackson's amazing dancing talents. I ranked them based on how I like them and not necessarily the pop culture impact or popular success (which should be obvious based on where "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" rank). What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorites? These songs still sound amazing to me 20-25 years later. Hope you also like the pictures that show Jackson when he still looked relatively normal. Happy 50th Birthday to the King of Pop!
That will do it for another issue of Kickin' it Old School. I don't think there are any other major pop culture icons celebrating their 50th birthdays this year, but if they are we will do a special Kickin' it just for them, too. Thanks for reading and if you enjoy it please come back often and/or tell some friends. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I saw this picture and had to agree with the statement. There are not many things you could do to be as cool as this dude...
Quote of the day: "If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with." -Michael Jackson
Download this: I would obviously recommend anything from the list above, but will specifically choose "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson for this issue.
|Back to the 80s: Best 'Dancing' Scenes from 80s Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|08.29.08 (9:20 pm) 
This is the second part of a two-part issue. The first part was the Top 10 Best "Singing" Scenes from 80's movies. If you have not read that one yet, be sure to click on that link and do so. This part will cover the best "dancing" scenes from 80's movies.
I guess "dancing" can be interpreted in different ways, so in this list you will see many different variations. I used a loose definition of dancing especially with a couple of the choices, but thought they were close enough to include. With that, I am going to jump right into the list. Here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 DANCING SCENES FROM 80's MOVIES (+ Bonus 14):
Honorable Mention. Goonies (1985) - In this movie, the other kids are a little hard on the chubby kid. They make "Chunk" played by Jeff Cohen shake his belly around in a dance they refer to as the "Truffle Shuffle." It is a short dance, so I thought I would at least give it an honorable mention. Here is a link to watch the scene.
24. (tie) Stripes (1981) & Cocktail (1988) - These two met what I considered the very loosest definition of the dancing. First, one of my favorite scenes from any movie in the 80s is in Stripes when the platoon oversleeps and go to perform at their graduation led by "John Winger" played by Bill Murray. The choreographed routine could be considered dancing (I guess) and here is a link to watch the scene. Second is another scene from Cocktail where "Brian Flanagan" (Tom Cruise) and "Doug Coughlin" (Bryan Brown) perform a choreographed drink mixing routine set to "Hippy Hippy Shake" by The Georgia Satellites. Again, this could be considered dancing (I guess) and here is a link to watch this scene. The rest of the scenes are pretty legitimate dancing.
23. (tie) Blind Date (1987) & Best Defense (1984) - These two are linked together because they feature dancing at gun point. It's not surprising that someone shooting a gun at your feet will make you start to dance quicker than anything else. In Blind Date, Bruce Willis gets John Larroquette's character to show some moves. In Best Defense (which is a pretty awful movie despite having Eddie Murphy in it), Murphy's character fires a gun instructing the guy he's shooting at to give him some Michael Jackson and James Brown.
22. White Nights (1985) - From a technical standpoint, this scene should probably rank near the top of this list, but I've never been a huge fan of this film. Directed by Taylor Hackford, the performance of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines still deserve recognition especially for this scene. Here is a link to watch it.
21. The Karate Kid Part II (1986) - This is the sequel to one of my personal favorites and guilty pleasure movies, the 1984 original. There is a scene in this where Daniel-san swing dances to Bill Haley & the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" with his new love interest Kumiko. Here is a link to watch this scene. There is also a scene which would technically qualify from the original The Karate Kid when Daniel-san goes to the school costume party dance dressed as a shower. He ends up getting a short slow dance with Ali. Unfortunately, I could not find a video on that scene.
20. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) - This is not a very good movie, but it did have a fantastic cast including Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Julie Brown and Michael McKean. There is a silly dancing sequence featuring Damon Wayans' "Zeebo" character and the song "Baby Gonna Shake" by Royalty. Here is a link to watch this scene.
19. The Big Chill (1983) - This movie stars an outstanding cast including Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt and Kevin Kline among others as baby-boomer college friends who reunite years later to attend the funeral of a friend. The film features an outstanding soundtrack of 60s Motown classics including the song featured in this particular scene. The friends are making dinner together listening to "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by The Temptations and can't help but start dancing. Here is a link to watch this scene.
18. Beetlejuice (1988) - This already ranked on my Best Singing Scenes list with "Day-O" but I also thought the ending scene of the movie deserved to be included on the dancing list. This scene features "Lydia" played by Winona Ryder dancing to "Jump in the Line (Shake Señora)" by Harry Belafonte along with some of the other characters. Here is a link to watch the entire scene.
17. Caddyshack (1980) - I had to include this short scene from one of my all-time favorite comedies. This features "Al Czervik" played by Rodney Dangerfield saying "So What? So, let's dance" before cranking up Journey's "Anyway You Want It" from a radio built into his golf bag. Love this scene and here is a link to watch it.
16. National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) - As the Griswolds travel across Europe they make a stop in Germany. Trying to immerse themselves in the culture, they attend an Oktoberfest type of party where a group of dancers ask for "Clark" played brilliantly by Chevy Chase to join them. Comedy ensues and here is a link to watch this scene.
15. Coming to America (1988) - This is one of my favorite comedies of the entire decade. It features a scene early in the film when "Prince Akeem" is to meet his betrothed "queen-to-be" but before that there is a tribal dance performed. Here is a link to watch this scene, but the only video I could find was not an English version. You can still see the dancing.
14. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) - This lesser known film stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. Parker plays "Janey" who disobeys her father and auditions to be on a dance television show. She makes it to the audition finals and here is a link to watch this scene which begins with the song "Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)" by Q-Feel.
13. Airplane! (1980) - This is one of the funniest movies of all time and it happens to include a dancing scene. "Ted Striker" (Robert Hays) and "Elaine Dickinson" (Julie Hagerty) perform a scene reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever but only it takes place in an unexpected location. Here is a link to watch this scene.
12. Fame (1980) - This film follows young students and their teachers trying to make it at a High School of Performing Arts. These students are focusing on drama, music and dance. Irene Cara is one of the stars of the movie as "Coco Hernandez" and she also sings the title song, "Fame." This song won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It would later become the theme song for the TV series (inspired by the film) which ran from 1982-87. The song is featured in my most memorable scene from the film where the students flood out of the school to dance in the streets. Here is a link to watch this scene.
11. Teen Wolf (1985) - Michael J. Fox stars as "Scott Howard" who is a high school student that suddenly discovers he is a werewolf. Fox does an admirable job with this material and creates a film that is at least somewhat entertaining. In one scene after he embraces his werewolf persona, the wolf arrives at the school dance and proceeds to impress almost everyone with his dancing abilities. Here is a link to watch this scene.
10. She's Having a Baby (1988) - In this film written, directed and produced by John Hughes, Kevin Bacon's character is prone to his imagination running away a little. In one such scene, the suburban neighborhood breaks out into a choreographed dance number centered around lawnmowers and cutting the grass. Here is a link to watch this scene.
9. Dirty Dancing (1987) - "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." This whole movie is about dancing and it all culminates in the final scene where "Baby" played by Jennifer Grey and "Johnny" played by Patrick Swayze dance to "(I Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Here is a link to watch this scene.
8. Can't Buy Me Love (1987) - In this underrated 80's teen comedy, Patrick Dempsey plays "Ronald Miller" a nerd who tries to buy his way into the popular crowd at his high school. In preparing to attend a school dance, he thinks he is watching Dick Clark's American Bandstand, but is instead watching a PBS special on the "African Anteater Ritual." He masters these new moves and performs them at the dance where, due to his sudden popularity, everybody else joins in. Here is a link to watch this scene.
7. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) - This is a strange film since it is based around the Pee Wee Herman character, but it has developed its own cult following. On a side note, this happens to be director Tim Burton's first full-length film. There is a great scene where Pee Wee ends up in a biker bar and to get out of trouble performs a very interesting dance to the song "Tequila" by Chuck Rio. Here is a link to watch the entire scene, but the actual dancing starts at about the 2:30 mark within the video.
6. Rain Man (1988) - In a touching moment during this film which won the Best Picture Oscar, "Charlie" (Tom Cruise) takes time to teach his autistic brother "Raymond" (Dustin Hoffman) how to slow dance. I have always liked this movie very much and this is one of my many favorite scenes. Later, "Raymond" gets a chance to dance with "Charlie's" girlfriend in an elevator while listening to music from a Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movie. Unfortunately, I could not find a link to allow you to watch this scene, but highly recommend you watch this entire movie again.
5. Flashdance (1983) - Jennifer Beals stars in this movie about a blue collar worker who really just wants to be a dancer. It's not a good movie no matter how you look at it, but it was very popular and does feature a good soundtrack as well as some great dancing scenes. We have this movie to blame for the leg warmer fashion trend from the mid-80s. One of those dancing scenes, performed to "Flashdance...What a Feeling" by Irene Cara, ends the film with a feeling of triumph. Here is a link to watch that scene. The best dancing scene in the film takes place to Michael Sembello's "Maniac" and here is a link to watch that iconic scene. I am not a fan of the film, but I can always watch that scene.
4. Footloose (1984) - The film revolves around "Ren" played by Kevin Bacon who moves to a new town that has outlawed dancing. He makes it his mission to find a way to change the rules and bring dancing back. He tries to teach his new friend "Willard" played by Chris Penn how to dance in an entertaining montage. But the whole movie culminates in the final scene when they are finally allowed to have the school dance which is appropriately set to "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. Here is a link to watch this scene. "Hey, hey, I thought this was a party. Let's dance!"
3. The Blues Brothers (1980) - This is a hilarious movie based on the SNL characters created by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. As funny as the guys were, the music they made was legit. The film features many great music scenes and a couple that could qualify for this list. The best might be a scene featuring Ray Charles and his song "Shake A Tail Feather." Here is a link to watch this scene where the dancing in the street really makes it special. You could also include the church scene featuring James Brown.
2. The Breakfast Club (1985) - This movie is one of my all-time favorites from any decade and has ranked highly on a few other lists including Best John Hughes Movies of the 80s. Later in the movie after the group gets to know each other better and begin to relax, there is a scene when they play music and just let loose dancing. This scene is set to a little known song "We Are Not Alone" by Karla DeVito. Love this one (which could have easily ranked #1) and here is a link to watch it.
1. Breakin' (1984) - This movie features some of the worst acting, but showcases some of the best dancing. I could also have included Beat Street (1984) which also featured the art of breakdancing. Breakin' includes several scenes with "Turbo" and "Ozone" performing outstanding routines. It is a cheesy movie, but worth watching for the dancing. Here is a link to watch one of the battles between rival dance groups. Here is also a link to watch one of my favorite scenes from early in the movie featuring "Turbo" dancing with a broom. This movie really allowed this type of amazing street dancing to receive some mainstream exposure and attention. I have great memories of pulling out the cardboard myself and poppin', lockin' and breakin' with friends.
BONUS: "Turbo" has another great dance scene in the sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984). It includes some trick photography allowing him to literally dance on the ceiling (like Lionel Richie talked about). Here is a link to watch this great dance scene (it starts at about 0:55 mark).
There's my list. I am sure many of you would rank them differently, so let me know what you think. Let me know if I missed any of your favorites! Many 80's movies featured high school dances (Sixteen Candles, Better Off Dead, Fast Times, etc.), so I did not really include those unless there was a specific scene that stood out. Between the "singing" scenes on my last list and the "dancing" scenes on this list, you have some of the best scenes from 80's movies all together.
That will wrap up this special two-part issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. Hope you enjoyed reliving those great scenes through the video links. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "LIKE". Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow Old School on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love..
Check this out: I came across this picture which I thought would have been the definition of "frustration" for a guy in the 80's...
Quote of the day: "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -John F. Kennedy
Download this: I am going to recommend a song that is included on the soundtrack for the movie Breakin'... "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus with Chaka Khan
|Back to the 80s: Best 'Singing' Scenes from 80s Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|08.27.08 (10:14 pm) 
This is part one of a two part issue of Kickin' it. Both will have to do with scenes from 80s movies. Part one will countdown my favorite scenes from 80s movies where the characters are singing. Part two will be my favorite scenes where the characters are dancing. These are two lists I have been holding for a while and thought this would be a good time to publish them.
So, we will start with "singing" scenes from 80s movies. First, I decided to rule out scenes involving real singers performing. This took Prince, The Blues Brothers, and Madonna (and others) out of the running. The scenes I considered could involve the characters actually singing and/or lip synching. Some of these songs could be included on both the singing and dancing lists, but I made the call on which list I would put them on. You really need to look at both lists together, so that is why I decided to call this a two part issue. Here is a link directly to part two which is the best "dancing" scenes from 80s movies (but read the singing list first).
Before I get to what I consider my best of the best, I thought I would give you a couple of the best of the worst. There are a couple singing scenes that are pretty bad, but I have always found funny. One is from Coming to America (1988) when "Randy Watson" played by Eddie Murphy sings "Greatest Love of All" accompanied by his band Sexual Chocolate. Here is a link to watch that scene. The other is from The Naked Gun (1988) when Leslie Nielsen's character, "Frank Drebin" pretends to be "Enrico Pallazzo" singing (butchering) our National Anthem prior to a baseball game. Here is a link to watch that scene. I thought both of those were worth mentioning though I just could not bring myself to include them on my list.
Now, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SINGING SCENES FROM 80's MOVIES (+Bonus 7):
Honorable Mention. 48 Hrs (1982) - The first scene introducing Eddie Murphy's character "Reggie Hammond" shows him sitting in a jail cell listening to his walkman (you know it's the 80s when someone is listening to a walkman). He is obviously listening to the song "Roxanne" by The Police because he is singing along at the top of his lungs. Here is a link to watch this scene.
17. Cocktail (1988) - Tom Cruise plays "Brian Flanagan" who is a bartender in New York City while going to school for his business degree. There is a scene where he has the entire bar singing along to Robert Palmer's classic "Addicted to Love." Here is a link to watch this scene.
16. Platoon (1986) - There is a scene when members of the platoon, including Charlie Sheen's character "Chris Taylor," are relaxing a little and listening to some music. They begin singing "Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. It was always one of my favorite scenes in this film which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Sorry, but I could not find a link to this specific scene.
15. Streets of Fire (1984) - This film features a young Diane Lane playing the role of lead singer of Ellen Aim & the Attackers. She performs two songs really by the band Fire Inc with lead vocals by Holly Sherwood. The first is "Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young" and the other is "Nowhere Fast." Here is a link to watch "Nowhere Fast." It is interesting to see Diane Lane in that role after all these years. Then there is also a group in the movie called the Sorels which is made up of actors Stoney Jackson, Grand L. Bush, Mykelti Williamson and Robert Townsend. They sing Dan Hartman's hit song "I Can Dream About You" which is actually sung by Winston Ford for the film and lip-synched by Jackson. Here is a link to watch them sing that song in the film. This is a great song which would end up going to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and had much more success than Streets of Fire ever did.
14. Eddie and the Cruisers (1983) - Michael Paré stars as "Eddie Wilson" in this film based on the novel by P.F. Kluge. The song "On the Dark Side" is sung by John Caferty and the Beaver Brown Band, but performed by the fictitious band in the film. Here is a link to watch the video for that song. Nine months after the film was released in theaters, "On the Dark Side" would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another song that ended up being more successful than the film it came from.
13. The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) - This is a fantastic movie starring Jeff and Beau Bridges as the piano playing Baker brothers. The real star of the movie, though, is Michelle Pfeiffer as singer "Susie Diamond" (for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress). Pfeiffer amazingly sings herself in this movie and does it very well. I almost did not include this performance on this list because it was so professionally done (and that is probably why I have it ranked a little lower on the list). Great movie which I recommend and her is a link to watch the sexy scene featuring the song "Makin' Whoopee."
12. Stripes (1981) - There is a scene at the beginning of Basic Training when the group is learning to march. Bill Murray's character "John Winger" begins singing the Manfred Mann song "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" with Harold Ramis' character "Russell Zisky" joining in for the second verse. Here is a link to watch this scene.
11. Top Secret! (1984) - This film created by Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker is a parody of both the World War II and Elvis films. In his first feature film role, it stars Val Kilmer as "Nick Rivers" as an American pop singer who gets mixed up with a resistance movement while in East Germany. Typical gags and humor of other films like Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Val Kilmer actually sings the songs in the movie which all sound like Elvis, Little Richard or The Beach Boys. Here is a link to watch a scene where Kilmer performs a couple of these songs.
10. ¡Three Amigos! (1986) - I had previously announced this as ranked #100 on my Favorite 80's Movie list in my special 100th issue. There are several humorous songs written by Randy Newman in this movie, so I will give you links to two of them. First, here is a link to the amigos singing "Blue Shadows" and here is a link to the amigos performing "My Little Buttercup."
9. Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - This is one of my favorite 80's movies and it has a great scene towards the end when the Tri Lambs win the big Homecoming Talent Show with a special musical performance. It does not feature a lot of singing, but does include a rap by "Lamar." Here is a link to watch this scene.
8. Adventures in Babysitting (1987) - This movie stars Elisabeth Shue as "Chris Parker" and features a scene later in the movie where they perform the "Babysitter Blues," but that is not the scene that puts this movie on my list. It is the very first scene during the opening credits where Shue's character is singing along to "Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals. I always had a crush on her, so I loved this scene and here is a link to watch it yourself.
7. Risky Business (1983) - This is the second of three appearances by Tom Cruise on this list. This movie includes the iconic scene of Cruise's character "Joel Goodson" dancing around in his underwear singing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll." Here is a link to watch this scene. Could have been on Best Dancing Scenes list, but chose to put here instead.
6. Three Men and a Baby (1987) - The best part of this movie is a scene when the three guys played by Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg, are trying to get the little baby to go to sleep. The sing the song "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" by The Spaniels which I remember also as the ending song on the television show Sha Na Na. I'm not a huge fan of this movie, but this scene is pretty great and here is a link to watch it.
5. Back To the Future (1985) - This is an obvious choice. The scene when Michael J. Fox's character "Marty McFly" joins the band to sing the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" is a classic itself. Here is a link to watch this scene.
4. Top Gun (1986) - There are two scenes from this movie involving singing which I particularly enjoy. The first one is obvious when Cruise's "Maverick" along with Anthony Edwards' "Goose" spot a woman who happens to have lost that loving feeling. Here is a link to watch that scene. The other is a scene when the two couples are having fun at a bar and then break out into a version of "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis. My favorite quote in this scene is when Meg Ryan's character yells "Take me to bed or lose me forever." Here is a link to watch this short scene.
3. Beetlejuice (1988) - This was a tough one to decide whether I would put it on the singing or dancing list, but obviously I decided to put it here. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis' characters are ghosts trying to frighten a family out of their house. They decide to possess a dinner party making them sing and dance to "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte. Here is a link to watch this hilarious scene.
2. Pretty in Pink (1986) - In a fantastic scene, "Duckie" played by Jon Cryer storms into the record store singing and dancing along to the Otis Redding version of "Try a Little Tenderness" trying to impress "Andie" played by Molly Ringwald, his one true love. It doesn't seem to work, but what is there is one of the very best singing scenes from an 80s movie. Here is a link to watch this scene.
1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - During a parade in downtown Chicago, "Ferris" played by Matthew Broderick somehow takes over a float and lip synchs to the song "Danke Schoen" followed by The Beatles version of "Twist and Shout." This memorable scene quickly became iconic and here is a link to watch the part where he does "Twist and Shout." This clearly deserved the top spot on my list and could've very well been on my Best Dancing Scenes list, too.
There's my list. I hope you enjoyed it as well as the links to watch most of these entertaining and memorable scenes. Let me know if you have any favorites that I happened to miss. Remember, for the sake of this list, I did not include performances by real singers. Here is a link to part 2 of this issue which will include my favorite "dancing" scenes from 80's movies.
So that will wrap up this portion of this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I have not given you any optical illusions in a little while, so here is one from justcool that I like. Just so you know, nothing is actually moving in this picture. It is just your eyes and brain making it look like it is.
Quote of the day: "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden
Download this: I am going to go with one of the songs performed on the list above... "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding
|Back to the 80s: Happy 50th Birthday Madonna & Her Top 10 Songs from the 80s - Kickin' it Old School
|08.22.08 (8:24 pm) 
A big birthday happened recently and I did not want to let it pass without at least commenting on it. Pop icon Madonna turned 50 years old (on August 16, 2008)!!! Earlier this year, the purple one, Prince, also turned 50 and I had an issue dedicated to him which included my Top 20 songs by Prince. Go back and check that one out if you missed it.
I am not as much a fan of Madonna, but I will definitely acknowledge her success, longevity and pop culture impact. What she has accomplished is really rather amazing. Back on March 10th, Madonna was deservingly inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame along with John Mellencamp and others. I had an issue of Kickin' it which focused more on Mellencamp which included my Top 10 songs by him. In this issue, I briefly mentioned Madonna and included a link to watch the video montage that played before her induction. I recommend you click on that link to go back and watch that video again.
Guinness World Records list her as the world's most successful female recording artist of all time and the top-earning female singer in the world with an estimated net worth of over $400 million, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. She has constantly reinvented herself over the years both with her musical sound as well as her fashion look. Although most were not commercial or critical successes, Madonna has acted in 22 films including most notably Evita (1996) for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
Madonna was particularly influential in the 80's, so I thought I would take this opportunity to publish my top 10 songs she released during that decade. She had 16 songs which reached at least the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Four of those hit #2 and impressively 7 went all the way to #1. With all of those hits, I decided to give you a few bonus songs added to my list, but will include links to the video for each of the top 10. So here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 MADONNA SONGS FROM THE 80s (+ Bonus 8):
18. "La Isla Bonita" (1986) from True Blue
17. "Papa Don't Preach" (1986) from True Blue
16. "Causing a Commotion" (1987) from Who's That Girl soundtrack
15. "Cherish" (1989) from Like A Prayer
14. "True Blue" (1986) from True Blue - I remember distinctly being stuck at home on a Saturday night in 1986 and watching a marathon of homemade videos for this song on MTV for a contest that they were having. Pretty sad, but I heard that same song played probably 20-30 times that night and each time I hear it now it takes me right back to that year.
13. "Holiday" (1983) from Madonna - Only reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 which is lower than any other song on this list
12. "Lucky Star" (1983) from Madonna
11. "Like A Virgin" (1984) from Like A Virgin - I am not as big of a fan of this song, though it was really her breakout hit and possibly her most recognized song
10. "Who's That Girl" (1987) from Who's That Girl soundtrack [link to video]
9. "Dress You Up" (1984) from Like A Virgin [link to video of live performance]
8. "Express Yourself" (1989) from Like A Prayer [link to video]
7. "Like A Prayer" (1989) from Like A Prayer [link to video] - Video was a bit controversial, but the song is quality. Interesting bit of trivia regarding this song is that it features some electric guitar riffs by none other than Prince.
6. "Open Your Heart" (1986) from True Blue [link to video]
5. "Into the Groove" (1984) from Like A Virgin [link to video] - Also appears in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan which stars Madonna with Rosanna Arquette
4. "Live To Tell" (1986) from True Blue [link to video] - Also appears on the soundtrack to the movie At Close Range which stars Madonna with then-husband Sean Penn
3. "Crazy For You" (1985) from Vision Quest soundtrack [link to video]
2. "Material Girl" (1984) from Like A Virgin [link to video] - Everything about this song is definitive of the 80s decade
1. "Borderline" (1983) from Madonna[link to video] - This song only made it to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it is easily my favorite from her catalog
There's my list. What do you think??? I'm sure many of you would rank "Like A Virgin" much higher than I have. Leave some comments. Remember, this only includes songs from the 80s, so everything from "Vogue" onward did not qualify. A couple of my later favorites were released in 1994 including "I'll Remember" from the With Honors soundtrack and "Take a Bow" from Bedtime Stories. Like I said earlier, I would not consider myself a fan of Madonna, but she does hold an important place in the landscape of 80s music and pop culture so she gets my respect. Happy belated birthday, Madge. Though she does not look it, I still can't believe she is 50.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. If you are looking for more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are looking for more of my top 10 lists, please click there for a summary. If you are looking for anything else, please use the search box in the right hand column. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Are you looking for some cool t-shirts featuring 80's movies, cartoons or television shows??? Whether you are or not, you should check out 80s Tees.com. You can get there by clicking on the boxes with the ad in either the left or right hand column. That will take you directly to the website and you can browse through the hundreds of t-shirts they have available. It is entertaining to just peruse the many humorous choices (and who knows, you might find one that you need to have). I have just a couple of the choices shown here, but there are way too many great shirts at this site to do it justice. Please give it a look. I know you won't be disappointed.
Quote of the day: "A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want." -Madonna
Download this: With all of those songs to choose from, I think I am going to go with... "Crazy For You" by Madonna
|Back to the 80s: Milwaukee's Statue Honors 'The Fonz' - Kickin' it Old School
|08.19.08 (10:06 pm) 
A while back, I published my Top 10 TV Characters from the 80's which you should go back and check out if you have not already. Coming in at #5 on that list was none other than "Arthur ‘The Fonz' Fonzarelli" played by Henry Winkler on the television series Happy Days.
Not sure if you remember or not, but Happy Days was set in the city of Milwaukee (where I live) as was the show Laverne & Shirley, though no scenes were actually filmed here. Milwaukee has always been proud of its connection to the great sitcom which aired from 1974 to 1984. A few years ago, an effort was begun to honor the television icon here in Milwaukee with a bronze statue. The fundraising effort was known as "Bronze the Fonz" and today, August 19th, 2008, the statue was finally unveiled. Here is a link to a short video of the unveiling.
The day was proclaimed Henry "The Fonz" Winkler Day in all of Wisconsin and the statue now stands proudly downtown on the east side of the Milwaukee River just south of Wells Street. Winkler was joined by former cast members from the show - including Marion Ross (Mrs. Cunningham), Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham), Erin Moran (Joanie), Don Most (Ralph Malph) and Anson Williams (Potsie) - as well as Garry Marshall who was the show's creator, director and co-producer. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams from Laverne & Shirley, which was a spin-off of Happy Days, also were present. Ron Howard (Richie) was unable to attend, but was to have a message played on the scoreboard at Miller Park before the Brewers game where Winkler was to throw out the first pitch.
Henry Winkler ranked impressively at #32 on the Entertainment Weekly list of "The 50 Greatest TV Icons of All Time." The leather jacket worn by "The Fonz" is displayed proudly at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. And now he has a bronze statue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Other television icons to have statues in other cities across the country include Mary Tyler Moore in Minneapolis, Bob Newhart in Chicago, Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners in New York City, Samantha from Bewitched in Salem, Mass., and Andy Griffith in Raleigh, N.C.
Winkler seemed genuinely honored by the statue and special occasion and had many fine things to say about the city. "It's unbelievable, it really is and I hope that this statue really represents in the way that this amazing city deserves," Winkler said. He said the residents of Milwaukee have become his adopted family, with their warmth and hospitality. "I share every inch of this statue with my family, with my television family and with my adopted family. From my bottom of my heart, thank you," he said.
The statue shows "The Fonz" with his trademark two thumbs up and makes a welcomed addition to the rich tradition of Milwaukee. Unfortunately, they do not make great sitcoms like Happy Days anymore and a great television character like "The Fonz" does not come around too often anymore either. I will just end this with the immortal words of Arthur Fonzarelli, "Ayyyyyyyyyy!"
That wraps up a short issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you enjoy Kickin' it, please be sure to come back often and also please tell a friend. Check the Archives in the upper left hand column for all of the past issues organized by month. If you want a summary of just the 80's related issues, please click here. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Back in a 1977 episode of Happy Days, "The Fonz" did a water-ski jump over a shark. Here is a link to the video to watch this infamous scene. This moment when he "jumped the shark" was described as the peak moment of the television series and after that moment the show began its downward turn. Jon Hein coined this phrase and made it into the pop culture reference it has now become. He began to detail these similar moments in other television series. These moments may be scenes like Fonzie jumping a shark that finally convince viewers a show has fundamentally and permanently strayed from its original premise. In those cases these moments are viewed as a desperate and futile attempt to keep a series fresh in the face of declining ratings. In other cases the departure or replacement of a main cast member or character or a significant change in setting changes a critical dynamic of the show. You can delve into the fascinating world of "Jump the Shark" by visiting the website. There you can find details on hundreds of shows as well as some humorous tell-tale signs that a show is getting ready to jump. Hope you enjoy this pop culture treasure.
Quote of the day: "The time is always right to do what is right." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download this: "Home" by Michael Bublé
|Back to the 80s: Top 50 Best Old School Rap / Hip Hop Songs 1980-1989
|08.17.08 (10:29 pm) 
It seems that many internet searchers end up at Kickin' it Old School expecting to find "Old School Rap," so it is long overdue for me to publish my top 10 rap/hip hop songs from the 80s. This is a pretty comprehensive list because rap was my music of choice in the mid-80s (before it really started to get too gangster and violent).
Just to clarify one thing before I start, this list will only include songs from the 80s. Some people consider some rap songs from the early 90s to be "old school," but for the purpose of this list those songs will not be included. So before you get concerned that I missed a particular song, please double-check to make sure it was from 1989 or earlier.
As usual, the candidates are very strong here, so I am actually going to provide you with my top 50 (with even more songs than that due to ties)!! As added value, there will be a link to a video for each of the 50 spots though in some case it is just the song playing over a still picture. I thought this was important to let you hear the songs especially if you have never heard them, can't remember them or just wanted to bring back the memories. So without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 RAP SONGS FROM 1980-1989 (+Bonus 40):
Honorable Mentions. "Rapper's Delight" (1979) by The Sugar Hill Gang & "Walk This Way" (1986) by Run-DMC featuring Aerosmith - Because it was technically not in the 80's, I wanted to at least give honorable mention to "Rapper's Delight" which is commonly known as the first rap hit. I probably would have had to place it in the top 10 if I included it in this list. It definitely has a disco feel to it which you can see and hear with this link to the video. I also wanted to give an honorable mention to "Walk This Way" which was from the groundbreaking album Raising Hell. This song really served to officially let rap crossover into the mainstream since it was the first rap song ever to make it to the top 5 in the Billboard Hot 100. I am a huge fan of Run-DMC, so you will see them represented well on the list below. I feel that they really took the genre to the next level and this particular song was a big part of that. Here is a link to the video for "Walk This Way."
50. "Bust A Move" (1989) by Young M.C. from Stone Cold Rhymin' [link to video] - A little commercial, but still not that bad
49. "What People Do For Money" (1984) by Divine Sounds [link to video] - Almost forgot about this one
48. "8 Million Stories" & "Basketball" (1984) by Kurtis Blow from Ego Trip [link to video for "Basketball" mentions many of the great NBA players of the time] - Probably should recognize "The Breaks" from way back in 1980 because it was one of the early successes for the genre, but I really have never liked it that much though many might rank it highly on a list like this.
47. "Egypt, Egypt" & "And My Beat Goes Boom" (1984) by Egyptian Lover from On the Nile [link to song playing "Egypt, Egypt"]
46. "Boyz-n-the Hood" (1988) by Eazy-E from Eazy-Duz-It [link to video]
45. "Words I Manifest" (1989) by Gang Starr from No More Mr. Nice Guy [link to video]
44. "Jam On It" (1984) by Newcleus [link to song playing]
43.(tie) "Paper Thin" (1988) by MC Lyte from Lyte as a Rock [link to video] & "Ladies First" (1989) by Queen Latifah featuring Monie Love from All Hail the Queen [link to video] - Wanted to recognize some of the pioneering lady rappers
42. "Don't Fight The Feelin'" (1988) by Too $hort from Life Is...To Short [link to song playing]
41. "High Rollers" (1988) by Ice T from Power [link to video] - I remember seeing Ice T for the first time rapping during the breakdance battles in the 1984 movie Breakin'
40. "Hey Ladies" (1989) by Beastie Boys from Paul's Boutique [link to video]
39. "Nobody Beats the Biz!" (1988) by Biz Markie from Goin' Off [link to song playing] - More people know him for his clown around songs like "Just a Friend" but he really was a solid lyricist
38. "Cinderfella Dana Dane" (1987) by Dana Dane from Dana Dane With Fame [link to song playing]
37.(tie) "Roxanne's Revenge" (1984) by Roxanne Shante [link to video] & "The Real Roxanne" (1985) by The Real Roxanne with UTFO [link to song playing] - The first was a response to the UTFO song "Roxanne, Roxanne" and sparked what were known as the "Roxanne Battles" between Shante and the Real Roxanne
36. "Hit It Run" & "It's Tricky" (1986) by Run-DMC from Raising Hell [link to video for "It's Tricky" which also stars magicians Penn & Teller] - DJ Jam Master Jay does not get enough credit for the group's success and he is missed after being tragically murdered in 2002. R.I.P. JMJ.
35. "Road to the Riches" (1989) by Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo from Road to the Riches [link to video]
34. "6 In the Morning" (1987) by Ice T from Rhyme Pays [link to song playing]
33. "Roxanne, Roxanne" (1984) by UTFO from Roxanne, Roxanne [link to video]
32. "You Gots to Chill" (1988) by EPMD from Strictly Business [link to video]
31. "Fat Boys" & "Stick 'em" (1984) by The Fat Boys from Fat Boys [link to video for "Fat Boys"]
30. "Freaks Come Out At Night" (1984) by Whodini from Escape [link to video] - Could have also included "Friends" and "Five Minutes of Funk" both from that same album
29. "Push It" (1987) by Salt-n-Pepa from Hot, Cool & Vicious [link to video]
28. "Children's Story" (1988) by Slick Rick from The Great Adventures of Slick Rick [link to video] - Slick Rick's best moments were as the rapper with Doug E. Fresh's Get Fresh Crew
27. "How Ya Like Me Now" & "Wild Wild West" (1987) by Kool Moe Dee from How Ya Like Me Now [link to song playing "How Ya Like Me Now"] - Kool Moe Dee was one of the members of the Treacherous Three during the early 80's and had an ongoing feud with LL Cool J
26. "Let's Get It Started" & "Turn This Mutha Out" (1988) by MC Hammer from Let's Get It Started [link to video for "Let's Get It Started"] - Most people think of the 90's Hammer and "You Can't Touch This" but he is underrated for his rapping talent which he showed when he burst on the scene
25. "Rock Box" & "Hard Times" (1984) by Run-DMC from Run-DMC [link to video for "Rock Box"]
24. "Gittin' Funky" & "Rollin' With Kid n' Play" (1988) by Kid n' Play from 2 Hype [link to video for "Rollin' With Kid n' Play"] - Became better known for the House Party movies, but were favorite rappers of mine before that
23. "I'm Not Going Out Like That" & "Run's House" (1988) by Run-DMC from Tougher Than Leather [link to video for "Run's House"] - I wish I could have found a video for "I'm Not Going Out Like That" because I feel that is one of the group's best and more underrated songs
22. "Criminal Minded" (1987) by Boogie Down Productions from Criminal Minded [link to song playing] - The rapping genius behind BDP is the great KRS-One
21. "Brand New Funk" & "Time To Chill" (1988) by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince from He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper [link to video for "Brand New Funk"] - They are probably better know for "Parents Just Don't Understand" but Will Smith is an underrated rapper as I discussed in this past issue of Kickin' it
20. "We Got Our Own Thang" & "Big Tyme" (1989) by Heavy D. & The Boyz from Big Tyme [link to video for "We Got Our Own Thang"]
19. "Straight Outta Compton" (1988) by N.W.A. from Straight Outta Compton [link to video] - Though I am not a fan of gangster rap, this super group took the genre by storm and rap would never be the same
18. "Paid In Full" (1987) by Eric B. & Rakim from Paid In Full [link to video] - Rakim might be the best pure rapper ever
17. "Fight the Power" (1989) by Public Enemy from Do The Right Thing soundtrack [link to video] - ranks on my Best Songs from 80's Movies list
16. "King of Rock" (1985) by Run-DMC from King of Rock [link to video]
15. "Me, Myself and I" (1989) by De La Soul from 3 Feet High and Rising [link to video]
14. "It Takes Two" (1988) by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock from It Takes Two [link to video] - Like many of the songs on this list, I can still recite this song from start to finish
13. "Self Destruction" (1989) by Stop the Violence Movement [link to video] - Collaboration between several East Coast rappers including Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, Heavy D., Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte and Kool Moe Dee created a great song with a greater message. Similar song by the West Coast Rap All-Stars called "We're All in the Same Gang" might have made this list, but was released in 1990.
12. "Rock the Bells" & "I Can't Live Without My Radio" (1985) by LL Cool J from Radio [link to song playing "Rock the Bells"] - I remember seeing LL for the first time in an impressive scene from the 1985 movie Krush Groove and here is a link to watch it for yourself
11. "Top Billin'" (1988) by Audio Two from What More Can I Say? [link to video need to turn volume up a little on this one to hear]
10. "Ain't No Half Steppin'" (1988) by Big Daddy Kane from Long Live the Kane [link to video] - Kane is one of my all time favorites and I also could have included "Raw" from that same album
9. "Paul Revere" (1986) by Beastie Boys from License to Ill [link to song playing] - I could have included this entire album ("Brass Monkey," "Girls," "The New Style" and more) though "Fight For Your Right" received the most mainstream attention
8. "My Philosophy" (1988) by Boogie Down Productions from By All Means Necessary [link to video]
7. "The Symphony" (1988) by Marley Marl's Juice Crew from In Control Volume 1 [link to video] - Impressive collaboration by rappers Craig G., Master Ace, Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane which has always been one of my favorites
6. "Rebel Without A Pause" & "Don't Believe the Hype" (1987) by Public Enemy from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back [link to video for "Don't Believe the Hype"]
5. "Follow the Leader" (1988) by Eric B. & Rakim from Follow the Leader [link to video turn up the volume a little for this one]
4. "Planet Rock" (1982) by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force [link to video] - Bambaataa was an originator and innovator with other greats like "Looking For the Perfect Beat" which were perfect for break dancing
3. "Sucker M.C.'s" (1984) by Run-DMC from Run-DMC [link to song playing]
2. "The Show" & "La Di Da Di" (1985) by Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew [link to song playing "The Show"] and [link to song playing "La Di Da Di"] - I had the 12" single that had both of these songs on it and I played that thing to death
1. "The Message" (1982) by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five [link to video] - Out of respect, there should be no argument that this is number one and "Don't push me because I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to lose my head. It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under."
There's my list which includes a literal who's who on the rap scene during the mid to late 80's. Let me know if there are any songs or artists you feel should be included. Hope you enjoy all of those great links. Those are still many of my favorite rap songs even when you add in the last 18 years. Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane and if you are too young to have heard these the first time around, then I encourage you to give them a listen.
That will wrap up this special issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks so much for reading. Though it is not what you would consider traditional 80's music, old school rap music was a big part of the 80's for me. If you are interested in reading more of my 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the new Fan Page where I ask you to then click on the "Like" button. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across this picture of an interesting product. You know, the regular stuff is SO fattening that you really should give this a try...
Quote of the day: "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." -Victor Hugo
|Best Songs with the Word 'SUMMER' in the Title - Kickin' it Old School
|08.15.08 (9:30 pm) 
NFL pre-season football games are taking place and my fantasy football drafts as well as Labor Day are just around the corner. Do you know what that means to me? Summer is almost over already. Yes, we will still have some enjoyable weather for the next two months or so, but once football season starts it begins to feel like Fall to me.
I have been meaning to publish a list that had to do with Summer, but I never seemed to get to it. I thought I better get this done before Summer is gone. This list includes my favorite songs that include the word "summer" in the title. It originally began as only songs from the 80s, but I decided to expand it to all time. The word has to appear in the song title, not the artist, so sorry but Donna Summer songs do not automatically qualify.
I was only planning on doing a top 10, but had a few extras that I felt were worth mentioning so I am going to give you 16 plus an honorable mention. I am including a link to a video for the top 10 so please check those out if you are not familiar with those songs. Here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SONGS WITH "SUMMER" IN THE TITLE (+Bonus 6):
Honorable Mention. "Summer Girls" (1999) by LFO - I almost ranked this song in my top 10 because it is catchy and I kind of like it, but then decided it just didn't quite belong there. The song actually climbed all the way to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1999 despite rumors that it was never even meant to be released (demo tape was leaked to a radio station). The best part to me are the 80s references which include "Alex P. Keaton," New Kids on the Block, Footloose, "Paul Revere," cherry Pez among others. Here is a link to the video for "Summer Girls."
16. "Summer Love" (2006) by Justin Timberlake
15. "Summer" (2006) by India.Arie featuring Rascal Flatts & Victor Wooten
14. "Summer's Here" (1981) by James Taylor
13. "In The Summertime" (1970) by Mungo Jerry
12. "Endless Summer Nights" (1988) by Richard Marx
11. "Dusk and Summer" (2006) by Dashboard Confessional
10. "Summer Nights" (1978) from Grease by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John [link to video]
9. "Summer, Highland Falls" (1981) by Billy Joel [link to video of live performance]
8. "Suddenly Last Summer" (1983) by The Motels [link to video]
7. "Cruel Summer" (1983) by Bananarama [link to video]
6. "Summer Breeze" (1972) by Seals & Crofts [link to video of song playing]
5. "Hot Fun in the Summertime" (1969) by Sly & the Family Stone [link to video playing song]
4. "Summer In the City" (1966) by The Lovin' Spoonful [link to video of live performance]
3. "Summer of ‘69" (1984) by Bryan Adams [link to video]
2. "Boys of Summer" (1984) by Don Henley [link to video which won Video of the Year at the 1985 MTV Video Awards]
1. "Summertime" (1991) by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince [link to video] - I can't describe it, but this song is just simply summer to me and I truly love it (and probably always will)
There's my list and I am glad I was able to get it published before the Summer had passed us completely by. Any songs you feel are missing? Hope you get a chance to watch the video links and I am sure you can find the videos for the other songs without links. Enjoy the rest of your Summer while you can, but you can enjoy these songs with "summer" in the title any time of year.
That will wrap up a short issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you enjoy Kickin' it with me, then please come back often and be sure to tell a friend to give it a try too. If you are looking for my other Top 10 lists, click there for a summary. More 80s issues coming up soon. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I have always been a fan of the Muppets and I recently came across some funny videos featuring "Beaker" and some interesting takes on classical music. I encourage you to check out this video for "Ode to Joy" as well as this video for the "Habanera" which also includes the Swedish Chef & Animal. Both make me laugh. Hope you get a kick out of them, too.
Quote of the day: "A life without love is like a year without summer." -Swedish Proverb
|Tom Hanks Top 10 Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|08.14.08 (10:31 pm) 
Not too long ago, I had an issue beginning to discuss the 1000th issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine (double issue dated June 27 & July 4, 2008) that proclaimed "the new classics" which were the best of the last 25 years. In that issue of Kickin' it Old School, I discussed EW's movie selections and particularly from an 80's angle. I promised to come back and discuss some of the other sections like music albums and TV shows, which I still intend to do soon.
In this issue though, I wanted to touch on one more small topic from the movie section. There was a readers' choice poll of who our favorite movie star of the last 25 years. As you see here, the overwhelming choice was Tom Hanks. I can't argue with that choice and that is most likely who I would have to choose for that honor myself. If you can't make it out, he was followed by Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise (but Hanks had over half of the votes). I thought this might be an appropriate place to publish my top 10 Tom Hanks movies.
Hanks really started his rise to fame in the early 80's when he starred on the sitcom Bosom Buddies from 1980-1982. At my age at that time, I just thought it was funny to see two men dressing up like women. Here is a link to watch the opening intro and theme song for Bosom Buddies (a version of Billy Joel's hit "My Life"). He then had a recurring role on a great family sitcom, Family Ties, as "Uncle Ned" back in 1983.
To stick with the 80's for a little while, Hanks really started to get noticed after two movies he released in 1984, Splash and Bachelor Party. One of my very favorite films from the 80's is Big (1988) which won Hanks a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Hanks has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes (winning 4) and 5 Oscars (winning 2) for Best Actor during his career so far. This is very impressive and he has already deservingly received the AFI Life Achievement Award. Here is a link to the intro for the AFI telecast when Hanks received this award and at least the first two minutes are well worth watching.
I have been waiting for an appropriate time to publish this list, so without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 TOM HANKS MOVIES (+ Bonus 5):
Honorable Mention. That Thing You Do! (1996) as "Mr. White" - He plays a relatively small acting role in this film, but Hanks was also the writer and director of this film which I find incredibly entertaining. I would probably rank this in my top 5, but since his acting is not a prominent part of the movie, I decided to just give it honorable mention. Here is a link to the video for the song from the movie.
15. Bachelor Party (1984) as "Rick Gassko"
14. You've Got Mail (1998) as "Joe Fox"
13. Splash (1984) as "Allen Bauer"
12. Philadelphia (1993) as "Andrew Beckett" - Amazing individual performance by Hanks won him his first Oscar for Best Actor, but I am not as much of a fan of the movie as a whole
11. Apollo 13 (1995) as "Jim Lovell" - As with most films based on true stores, I am still amazed when a movie is able to trap your attention even when you know how it ends
10. Catch Me If You Can (2002) as "Carl Hanratty" - Ranks on my Top 10 Steven Spielberg Movies list
9. The Terminal (2004) as "Viktor Navorski" - Also ranks on my Top 10 Steven Spielberg Movies list
8. The Green Mile (1999) as "Paul Edgecomb"
7. Saving Private Ryan (1998) as "Capt. John Miller" - Ranks both on my Top 10 Steven Spielberg Movies list as well as my Top 10 Movies Nominated for Best Picture Oscar That Didn't Win list
6. Sleepless in Seattle (1993) as "Sam Baldwin"
5. A League of Their Own (1992) as "Jimmy Dugan" - Ranks on my Top 10 Baseball Movies list
4. Cast Away (2000) as "Chuck Noland" - Hanks' character is on screen alone often with very little dialogue for a majority of the movie, yet I found it riveting and extremely entertaining
3. Big (1988) as "Josh Baskin" - Here is a link to watch one of my favorite scenes in cinema history!
2. Toy Story (1995) & Toy Story 2 (1999) as the voice of "Woody" - Ranks on my Top Animated Feature Films of All Time list
1. Forrest Gump (1994) as "Forrest Gump" - Won him his second of back-to-back Oscars for Best Actor
There's my list. He has made so many movies over the past 30 years that I am bound to have missed one of your favorites. Road to Perdition? The Da Vinci Code? Turner & Hooch? Joe Versus the Volcano? Let me know in the comments what your favorites are. Here is one more link to a short video tribute to some of Hanks' finer performances.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. As I said, I do plan on discussing the music and television sections of the EW "new classics" issue soon, so keep an eye out for that. I also will be getting back to some more specific 80's related topics next. If you are looking for more of Old School's Top 10 lists, please click there. If you have missed any past issues of Kickin' it, you can find the Archives in the upper left hand column or you can use the search box in the right hand column to find a specific topic. Peace and much love.
Check this out: As you probably know, musician Isaac Hayes sadly and suddenly passed away this past Sunday (August 10, 2008) at the age of just 65. He is known especially for the song "Theme from Shaft," but I will always cherish him as the voice for "Chef" from the television show South Park. I thought I would provide a couple links to some short funny scenes from South Park featuring good ol' "Chef"...
Chef singing his "Make Love" song,
Chef responding to a tough question from the children, and
Chef in a "Thriller" type of performance
There are so many classic moments from that show, so those are just a few short ones. Hayes left the show back in 2006. He is a pop culture icon and will be truly missed.
Quote of the day: "If you're funny, if there's something that makes you laugh, then every day's going to be okay." -Tom Hanks (in a Women's World interview 10/11/2005)
Download this: "As Time Goes By" by Dooley Wilson - From the amazing movie Casablanca, but also done by Jimmy Durante and used in the film Sleepless in Seattle
|Back to the 80s: Awesomely Rad Cool 80's Collage - Kickin' it Old School
|08.10.08 (7:58 pm) 
This will be a short issue. A while back, I simply posted a video that included a montage of 80's movie pictures set to music. If you missed that, click on the link and be sure to go back an watch that. Now, I happened across a very cool collage of 80's pop culture icons.
It was created by someone named Andrew Chorney and I think it is awesome. It includes a who's who from 80's pop culture. It was so wide, that I broke it into 3 separate parts to make it easier to fit here. How many of these faces do you recognize???
I hope you are as impressed as I was. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of 80's memories in this one amazing piece of art. I think it is pretty fantastic and I find new memories each time I look at it. I can't say enough positive compliments, so I will just stop there.
That is all I have for you in this short issue of Kickin' it Old School. Hope you love it as much as I do. If you are looking for a summary of more of my 80's related issues, please click there. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across a video that I find odd, but fascinating. Two mainstays of 80's pop culture come together in an unexpected way. Here is a link to watch "Boba Fett" from the Star Wars movies meeting Flashdance. Enjoy.
Quote of the day: "We should get into the habit of reading inspirational books, looking at inspirational pictures, hearing inspirational music, associating with inspirational friends." -Alfred A. Montapert
Download this: "Something About You" by Level 42
|Remembering Bernie Mac - Kickin' it Old School
|08.09.08 (1:38 pm) 
It was less than two months ago when I felt compelled to honor comedian George Carlin after his passing. Now, once again, I stare at my autographed movie poster from Ocean's Eleven (right next to the Dogma poster that has Carlin's signature on it) and see the name Bernie Mac boldly signed right in the middle. The news of the actor/comedian's sudden passing due to pneumonia complications is very sad. Here is a link to an article discussing this heartbreaking turn of events.
I definitely consider myself a fan of Bernie Mac. I remember first noticing him on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and then in some bit roles in movies. He really seemed to break out after the 2000 release of the movie The Original Kings of Comedy where he performed stand-up comedy along with three other black comedians (Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley). This is an extremely funny film though it does often contain cursing and very explicit language. That does not bother me and cannot overshadow what a comedy genius Bernie Mac or the other three are. Here is a link to a short hilarious part from this show, but I do warn you that it contains a curse word used repetitively during it.
Then in 2001, Bernie Mac was given his own television sitcom on Fox called The Bernie Mac Show. This was a very funny and underrated show that won Mac the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in radio and television. The show was loosely based on Mac's own life where he takes custody of his sister's three children when she has to enter drug rehab. Mac's character was impressively ranked #47 on TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dad's of All Time" which was published back in 2004. The show had a nice run, but was cancelled after the 2006 season. Here is a link to a portion of the very first episode of The Bernie Mac Show and you can tell how funny it is from just this short glimpse. That is definitely worth watching.
In 2001, Mac also was given the opportunity to crossover into the mainstream with his role in the movie Ocean's Eleven. He would also appear in both of the sequels, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. The original is one of my very favorite movies of all time. In 2004, Mac would star in the baseball movie Mr. 3000. Much of this movie was actually filmed here in Milwaukee using Miller Park where the Brewers play for the baseball scenes (similar to 1989's Major League which was filmed at Milwaukee County Stadium). Some of the filming was open to the public to be the crowd in the stands and I was able to attend one evening of shooting. I specifically remember being impressed with how charming and personable Bernie Mac was and how he took time to interact with the crowd despite the fact he was working. It was not what you would expect from a big time television and movie star and it made me an even bigger fan from that point on. I actually enjoyed Mr. 3000 very much and here is a link to watch the movie's trailer which is very well done as far as trailers go.
Bernie Mac was an Old School kind of guy. He was only 50 years old and had a lot more comedy to give us. Unfortunately we will not get to see it, but we have his stand-up comedy, movies and television show to remember him. I felt obliged to at least honor his work in this small way here on Kickin' it. Here is one more link worth checking out to a Vibe list of Bernie's 10 Most Hilarious Moments and that includes videos for each moment.
So that will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. If you have missed any previous issues, please check the Archives located in the upper left hand column organized by month. If you are in search of a specific topic, please check out the search box in the right hand column. Type your word or topic in that box and it will give you a list of all issues of Kickin' it that include those words. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I saw these pictures on another blog here at Tblog and thought I would share them with you because I thought they were cool. Hope you enjoy them and I recommend you check out Justcool's blog for other cool pictures and the like.
Quote of the day: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Download this: "Where Is The Love?" by Black Eyed Peas
|Back to the 80s: The Summer Olympics 1980, 1984 & 1988
|08.08.08 (9:47 pm) 
It is 08-08-08 and that means the 2008 Summer Olympics kick off today in Beijing, China. I unfortunately have to admit that I am not much of an Olympic fan these days. I will casually follow the games and cheer for America as well as outstanding athletic competition, but I will not really go out of my way to watch like so many of us did back in the 80's.
There were three Summer Olympics held during the decade of the 80's (1980, 1984 and 1988). I thought I would recap the highlights of each of those events which helped create some American pop culture icons.
1980 - Held in Moscow in the Soviet Union
Not much to report this year because the U.S. boycotted the games in protest of the 1978 Soviet War in Afghanistan.
1984 - Held in Los Angeles, California in the United States of America
The Soviet Union returned the favor by boycotting the 1984 games as did East Germany. Both of those nations usually competed very strongly and their absence created an opportunity for the U.S. athletes to really dominate. And dominate is what the U.S. did as they won a total of 174 medals (115 more than West Germany which was the next closest country). The U.S. won 83 gold, 61 silver and 30 bronze medals at the 1984 summer games.
> Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing led the U.S. Men's Basketball team to a gold medal before going on to become NBA superstars.
> Carl Lewis makes his first of four Olympic appearances and equals the amazing 1936 performance of Jesse Owens by winning 4 track and field gold medals (in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump).
> Mary Lou Retton captured the hearts of Americans when she became the first gymnast outside of Easter Europe to win the gymnastics all-around competition. Here is a link to a video of when Retton scored the perfect 10 vault that she needed to win the gold. You can hear the crowd going wild and she became an instant icon.
1988 - Held in Seoul, South Korea
There was far less boycotting that had taken place in the previous three Olympics and that resulted in the largest ever number of participating nations to that date (160 nations and 8391 athletes!!). This also resulted in much more even competition and thus the U.S. only finished third with 94 total medals won (behind both the Soviet Union and East Germany which had not participated in 1984). The U.S. won 36 gold, 31 silver and 27 bronze medals during the 1988 summer games.
> U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner (nicknamed Flo-Jo) was the star of the track and field events winning 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal. Here is a link to a short video tribute to Flo-Jo's accomplishments at the 1988 games.
> Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson sets a new world record in the 100m, but later is disgraced by being disqualified for use of a banned substance (steroids).
> American boxer Roy Jones, Jr. received the Val Barker Trophy awarded to the most impressive boxer of the games despite a controversial loss in the gold medal fight to a South Korean opponent. Allegations were made that the fight was fixed to allow the South Korean to win and the three judges ruling against Jones were eventually suspended for those actions.
> The U.S. Men's Basketball team only wins the bronze medal after losing to the Soviet Union. This embarrassment would result in professional basketball players being used to compete instead of only amateurs and the formation of the "Dream Team" for the 1992 games.
> American diver Greg Louganis win back-to-back titles in both the springboard and platform diving events even after hitting his head on the board during the springboard event finals. Here is a link to short video on Louganis' 1988 accomplishments.
> Whitney Houston would release the song "One Moment in Time" as an Olympic theme song. This song would reach #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in the top 40 for eleven weeks. Here is a link to the video for this inspirational song which includes many amazing highlights from the 1988 summer games.
I am not saying these are the only highlights, but these are the ones that I remember most. I have my fondest Olympic memories from 1984 and 1988, so I thought (in keeping with my usual subject matter) I would give you the 80's angle on the Summer Olympics. Hope it brought some fond memories back to you and to those of you who still love watching the Olympics, I wish them to thrill you and exceed your expectations.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks so much for reading. If you are looking for more of my 80's related issues, please click there. If you enjoy Kickin' it, please tell a friend or two and be sure to come back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: This is an interesting photo that I thought I would share. The sign reads "Be Prepared For the Unexpected" and shows a huge tree trunk which has apparently landed on and crushed an automobile. I hope nobody was driving the car when this happened.
Quote of the day: "The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
Download this: Based on this issue's topic, I have to go with... "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston
|Morgan Freeman Survives Crash & His Top 10 Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|08.05.08 (10:13 pm) 
We almost lost one of the great actors of our generation on Sunday night when Morgan Freeman was in a near-fatal car wreck. Here is a link to a story describing the incident which left the 71 year old actor in serious condition.
Freeman was airlifted to the hospital and ended up having surgery for over four hours to reconnect nerves and repair damage to his left arm and hand. It will take him months to fully recover from the injuries. The good news is that it seems everybody is going to be okay and Freeman will hopefully be back to work making great movies again soon.
I figured this was as good of a time as any to publish my favorite movies starring Freeman. It is strange to remember that Freeman had roles on the 1977 educational PBS show called The Electric Company including "Easy Reader." He really gained notoriety over 20 years later in 1989 when he appeared in three tremendous movies which will all rank on the list below. So with that, I will give you OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 MORGAN FREEMAN MOVIES:
Honorable Mention. Bruce Almighty (2003) as "God" & Deep Impact (1998) as "President Tom Beck" - I figure you have to at least give him honorable mention any time you're playing God and the President.
10.(tie) Along Came a Spider (2001) & Kiss the Girls (1997) both as "Dr. Alex Cross"
9. Nurse Betty (2000) as "Charlie"
8. Lucky Number Slevin (2006) as "The Boss" - Very underrated movie definitely worth seeing, but here is a link to my Most Underrated Movies list
7. Lean On Me (1989) as "Principal Joe Clark"
6. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) as "Hoke Colburn" - Freeman received Oscar nomination for Best Actor and the film won the Oscar for Best Picture
5. Gone Baby Gone (2007) as "Jack Doyle"
4. Glory (1989) as "Sgt. Major John Rawlins"
3. Million Dollar Baby (2004) as "Eddie ‘Scrap Iron' Dupris" - Freeman won Oscar for Best Supporting Actor
2. Seven (1995) as "Det. Lt. William Somerset" - also ranks highly on my Top 10 Brad Pitt movies list
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) as "Ellis Boyd ‘Red' Redding" - Freeman received Oscar nomination for Best Actor. This film ranked on my Best Picture Nominated Movies Not To Win the Oscar list
His comforting voice was the narrator in The Shawshank Redemption and he also narrated for March of the Penguins and War of the Worlds. I have still not seen Bucket List yet, so that is why that movie is not on my list. Not sure if it would make my top 10, but I do hope to see it soon. The biggest movie missing from my list is probably Unforgiven which won the 1992 Oscar for Best Picture. I have never been a big fan of that movie or any westerns for that matter unless you include Blazing Saddles.
That is a pretty strong list compiled over the last 20 years, so I am just very grateful as a fan that Freeman survived that car wreck and can hopefully add a few more great films to this list. I am sure he is counting his blessings as well. So that wraps up this quick issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I will be back with more 80's topics real soon. To find all of my past issues, please see the Archives in the upper left hand column which are organized by month. Please consider subscribing or at least coming back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong has teamed up with Demand Media to create Livestrong.com. This is really a healthy lifestyle networking site that provides information and articles on all sorts of medical or health topics. Seems pretty interesting, so I thought you might think so too. It also includes a link to the Lance Armstrong Foundation which raises funding and awareness for the fight against cancer.
Quote of the day: "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." -George Bernard Shaw
Download this: "The End of Innocence" by Don Henley
|Back to the 80s: Talking Heads Top 10 Songs - Kickin' it Old School
|08.03.08 (10:29 pm) 
I recently discussed the long-awaited reunion tour of The Police and now I hear that another 80's star will be making fans happy in a similar way. It was announced that David Byrne, the lead singer of the band Talking Heads, will be going on tour this fall. The exciting part for fans is that Byrne will actually be performing songs from his Talking Heads days.
The tour will also include songs from a new album being released where Byrne collaborates with Brian Eno, former producer and songwriter for Talking Heads, called Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. Here is a link to a website where the new album and tour were conspicuously announced. Tour dates have yet to all be announced, but it is scheduled to begin in September.
The Talking Heads hit the scene in the late 70's, but really achieved some mainstream popularity in the early 80's. This recognition was aided by many of the unique and creative music videos which reached the public by way of MTV. I recently published my Top 20 80's Music Videos and Talking Heads was ranked in the top half of that list, so be sure to check that out if you haven't already.
They would release four studio albums before 1982 when Brian Eno would part ways with the band (and go on to produce some mega hits including U2's Joshua Tree). Talking Heads would release four more albums after that including Speaking in Tongues (1983) and Little Creatures (1985). The band would officially break up in 1991 when David Byrne left to continue pursuing a solo career. Talking Heads was deservingly inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and the band did reunite for a performance during the ceremony.
Though this tour is not an actual reunion of the Talking Heads, it will be nice to see that Byrne will be performing some of those amazing classics. I thought I would take this chance to publish my favorite songs from this outstanding band, so here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 TALKING HEADS SONGS:
10. "Girlfriend Is Better" (1983) from Speaking in Tongues
9. "Psycho Killer" (1977) from Talking Heads: 77
8. "Love -> Building On Fire" (1977) released only as a single & later on compilations
7. "Road to Nowhere" (1985) from Little Creatures
6. "Take Me to the River" (1978) from More Songs About Buildings and Food - Cover of an Al Green classic
5. "Once In A Lifetime" (1980) from Remain in Light [link to video]
4. "Wild Wild Life" (1986) from True Stories [link to video]
3. "This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)" (1983) from Speaking in Tongues [link to video]
2. "Burning Down The House" (1983) from Speaking in Tongues [link to video]
1. "And She Was" (1985) from Little Creatures [link to video]
There's my list and it includes links to the videos for the top five spots. The videos are all pretty great and definitely worth watching. It will definitely be interesting to see what this new album is like when it is released soon and hopefully it will be reminiscent of some of these great Talking Heads classics. Fans should enjoy this because it does not seem we will get the satisfaction of a full reunion any time soon.
That wraps up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you missed any previous issues, just click on the Archives in the upper left hand column to find them all organized by month. If you are searching for any particular topic, please type it in the search box in the right hand column and it will help you find it. To find a summary of all my other 80's related issues, please click there. To find a summary of all my other Top 10 lists published so far, please click there. Peace and much love to you all.
Check this out: I have written about the USA Network television series Psych before, but I am going to mention it again. The third season has begun and it is one of the few series that is showing new shows this time of year. I have also written about hulu.com before, but I will also mention it again because you can watch all the episodes of Psych for free there. Here is a link directly to a recent episode called "Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?" which took place during a high school reunion and has lots of 80's references (specifically John Hughes movies). I enjoy this show very much and hope you do too. Here is a link to the official website of the show where you can find lots of interesting stuff about Psych. If you want to watch the shows, I suggest hulu.com though.
Quote of the day: "Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." -Theodore Roosevelt
Download this: I will go with "And She Was" by Talking Heads since it is ranked #1 on the list above
|100th Issue of Kickin' it Old School - #100 ranks on 3 Big 80's Lists
|08.01.08 (10:22 pm) 
This is a special issue of Kickin' it Old School. This marks my 100th issue, so I felt that deserved a proper celebration. To that effort, I decided I am going to give you a sneak peek at a couple of my BIG 80s lists. What kind of sneak peek you may ask??? Since this is issue #100, I am going to tell you what ranks #100 on each of my three BIG 80s lists.
These are three lists that I have yet to publish, but are some of the lists which I receive the most requests for and interest in reading. The three lists include my top 100 movies from the 80's, my top 200 songs from the 80's and my top 100 pop culture icons from the 80's. I am not sure quite how or when I will be publishing the rest of these lists, but for now I hope you enjoy #100 from each of them.
These BIG lists are significant undertakings that I take very seriously. The lists are really based on my FAVORITES and not necessarily the best. On the movies list for example, I am not ranking them on the critical acclaim and/or quality of each film, but rather the entertainment value. I also am ranking them based on my current perspective and not necessarily how I felt during that decade. I expect that the last 20-25 years have enriched my perspective, though that perspective may also be affected by nostalgia. You will have to wait to see the complete lists, but here are your sneak peeks at the #100's.
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 100 POP CULTURE ICONS OF THE 80s (1980-1989):
100. Max Headroom - Max was a character that came on the seen around 1985 who gave the appearance of being a futuristic computer-generated talking head. He was a head inside of a computer monitor that featured characteristics such as stuttering, distortion and an electronically sampled voice. There was not enough technology at that time to really have computer-generated characters such as Max Headroom. Max was actually performed by actor Matt Frewer who wore a latex mask and foam rubber prosthetic makeup while being superimposed over a moving geometric background. Here is a link to video which describes how Max Headroom came to be, the culture phenomenon he developed into and includes some fun footage of the man himself.
The character originated in 1985 as an announcer for a British music video program called The Max Headroom Show. He caught on quick and a television series was developed, but that only last 14 episodes in 1986-87. In 1986, musical group The Art of Noise released the song titled "Paranoimia" which featured the voice of Max Headroom. The character really took the U.S. by storm when Max Headroom was made a spokesperson for Coke and successfully generated interest in the cola brand. He would even be honored as the coverboy on an issue of Newsweek officially announcing his pop culture status. Here is a link to one of the Max Headroom New Coke commercials from that time (very cool & brings back fond memories). I have always been partial to Pepsi, but back in the mid-80's I was actually convinced to "catch the wave" and choose Coke over Pepsi for a short period of time. I attribute that decision almost solely to the charisma of one Max Headroom. I don't feel I am that easily swayed nowadays, but you never know. ...TO BE CONTINUED...
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 200 SONGS OF THE 80's (1980-1989):
100. "Jungle Love" (1984) by The Time - "My jungle love (OH WE OH WE OH), I think I wanna know ya (know ya)." I admit that the lyrics are nowhere near prolific poetry, but the band jams and it is a fun catchy song. Here is a link to a video for the song featuring footage from the movie Purple Rain. "Jungle Love" was written by lead singer Morris Day and band member Jesse Johnson. The song, which only peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, was on the album Ice Cream Castle by The Time. It really gained popularity when it was performed in Purple Rain which also starred lead singer Morris Day in a somewhat prominent role.
The Time was actually assembled by Prince and that is why they were featured in Purple Rain as well as other Prince movies. Surprisingly, the original songs are mostly performed by Morris Day on vocals and Prince playing the instruments. The band members, which included now superstar producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, only performed the songs during live shows. The Time broke up in 1985 when Day went on to pursue a solo career. Portions of the band, including Morris Day, reunited in 1995 and still tour together today. "Jungle Love" was performed by The Time at the end of the 2001 Kevin Smith film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I am a big Kevin Smith fan, so here is a link to the movie performance. The video features the famous dance that Morris Day always does during this song and Jay & Silent Bob coming up on stage. The Time also performed "Jungle Love" at the 50th Grammy Awards earlier this year (February 10, 2008) as part of medley joined by Rihanna. "OH WE OH WE OH"   ;...TO BE CONTINUED...
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 100 MOVIES OF THE 80's (1980-1989):
100. ¡Three Amigos! (1986) - This movie stars three of the funniest actors of the 80's with Steve Martin (as "Lucky Day"), Chevy Chase (as "Dusty Bottoms") and Martin Short (as "Ned Nederlander"). The movie is a story about three out-of-work silent film stars who are recruited by an oppressed Mexican village to help save them because the villagers assumed the "amigos" were really the characters they played on screen. Comedy ensues as the misunderstanding makes for several hilarious moments. It was written by Steve Martin, musician Randy Newman and SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels. Michaels was also the co-producer, so there were several SNL connections in the film including Chase and Short as well as small parts played by Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz. Here is a link to a video which features some of the highlights from the movie.
¡Three Amigos! was directed by John Landis who also directed some other great comedies including Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and Coming to America as well as the music video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller." It is rumored that Steve Spielberg originally considered directing the movie, but ended up choosing to do E.T. instead (good choice). It is also rumored that Spielberg had wanted Bill Murray to play the character that Chevy Chase played and Robin Williams to play the character that Martin Short played. That may have been an even funnier cast if that would have happened. The "three amigos" has been referenced often as a nickname for other famous groups of three. Here is a link to a recent reference to the film in this ESPN commercial featuring the three Boston Celtics stars Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. They even perform the trademark move of the amigos (funny stuff). You may ask the question, "If this movie is so funny, why is it ranked only at 100?" Well, it is a funny movie with moments of brilliance, but for me it should have been even better considering the potential of the tremendous cast. That is why it only ranks at #100 for me. ...TO BE CONTINUED...
So there is your sneak preview of those three BIG 80's lists and that will wrap up the 100th issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this special issue. I want to send a special THANK YOU to all the tblog community who reads & supports Kickin' it as well as all of my other regular readers. I appreciate it more than I can tell you! Keep an eye out over the coming months for the rest of these BIG 80's lists to be published. These lists will not all include this much detail with each selection, but I figured I would include a little extra in this special 100th issue. Looking for more of my 80's-related issues? Click here for a summary of those. Looking for my published Top 10 lists? Click here for a summary of those. If you like what you read, please spread the word and be sure to bookmark this site in your favorites so you can come back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across another sign which made me chuckle. I can't imagine any situation when a sign like this would be necessary. Can you?
Quote of the day: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need." -The Rolling Stones from the 1969 song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
Download this: I think I have to go with the obvious choice for this issue... "Jungle Love" by The Time... but I will also include "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones (since it was the quote of the day)
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