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Was 2013 tuff enough? The Fabulous Thunderbirds help 'Wrap it Up' until 2014

Put a fork in 2013 and grab your favorite noisemaker as you prepare to ring in 2014. It's been a fun year for SIT80's and today we Wrap It Up for the past year with The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

After struggling for 12 years in anonymity, the Austin-based T-Birds became recognizable MTV stars with the breakout hit Tuff Enough. Wrap It Up was the follow-up single and reached No. 50 on the charts in 1986. The video puts the band a country club full of cleavage where lead singer Kim Wilson tries to bring the beret back in style with mixed results.

The T-Birds actually became a footnote in internet history when in 2000 they became the first band to broadcast live on the internet using HD cameras on February 16, 2000. While the T-Birds still perform, only Wilson remains from the original lineup as guitarist Jimmy Vaughan (Stevie's older brother) left in 1990.



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Forget 2013! What were the Top 10 albums of 1983?

I detest all the "Best Albums of 2013" lists. New music? Please. Makes me want to dry heave. As I was pontificating yesterday while getting my hair buzzed at a Supercuts here in the Orlando area that gratefully seems to only play '80s music, "new" music died a long time ago. We only are allowed to study the relics these days.

And so, I turn my eyes instead to 1983 and the "best of" lists. Today, I found a Top 10 albums from 1983 list from Definitely a different perspective. Here's their top 10 picks along with a quick quote from its author. Click here for the full article.

TOP 10 ALBUMS of 1983:

10. FRONTIERS (Journey): "Journey’s eighth album was no mere copycat effort and yielded a slew of classic singles like ‘Separate Ways,’ ‘Faithfully’ and ‘Send Her My Love,’ fated to become both airwave and concert staples."

9. LET'S DANCE (David Bowie): "... Proving that the great chameleon of ‘70s rock wasn’t finished reinventing himself, always anticipating new trends in music and fashion in the burgeoning MTV era."

8. GENESIS (Genesis): "Top 10 hits like ‘That’s All’ and ‘Mama’ showed that Phil Collins was now fully established as the band’s frontman." …

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By any name or secondary hit, this '80s pop star wore out his welcome quickly

Where you tired of Terrance Trent D'Arby and Wishing Well in the '80s? If so, perhaps you missed If You Let Me Stay.

If You Let Me Stay was the first single released by New York native D'Arby and though it only peaked at No. 68 on the U.S. Singles chart it was a Top 10 hit in the UK and hinted at the success that was soon to come in his native country. The video is from a performance on England's Top of the Pops and shows off the great voice and energetic dance moves of D'Arby.

The ‘80s file on D'Arby is fairly known. Born Terrance Trent Howard and then adopted by his stepfather with the last name Darby, young Terrance became a Golden Glove champion and was a member of the Army boxing team when he enlisted. After going AWOL, he was discharged, moved to Europe and started performing music as D'Arby and released his debut album Introducing the Hardline According to Terrence Trent D'Arby in 1987. In 1988, the second single Wishing Well went No. 1 and gave the confident D'Arby little reason to be humble as he declared his album was the most important album since The Beatles Sgt. Pepper. …

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Never Found in the '80s: Les Rita Mitsouko

Ok, I know what you're asking.  You're asking, "Dim, we gotta know, when you were hanging out at the legendary nightclub First Avenue, what song would you dance yourself to exhaustion to whenever it was played?"

Well, there were a number of them, but what jumps to mind is this gem from the eclectic French pop group Les Rita Mitsouko.  The song is called C'este Comme Ca (which translates to "it's like that") and it is so irresistibly catchy that, no matter how tired I might have been, I couldn't help by get back on the dance floor.  While you watch the video, just imagine a rail thin, art-punk, Dr. Dim whirling around the dance floor.  That is if you can stomach it.

Formed in 1980 by guitarist Fred Chichin and singer Catherine Ringer, Les Rita Mitsouko produced music of a wide variety of styles, including punk, synth pop, jazz, and rock.  They did well in France and they even had a couple songs chart on the American Dance Charts, but a mainstream audience never found them.

The band came to an end when Chichin died from cancer in 2007.  Ringer continued to perform under her own name and, in 2011, released the album Ring n' Roll which featured RZA of Wu-Tang Clan. …

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Oh yes, that other would-be hit by The Outfield ... can you name it?

Your Love by The Outfield has become a seminal song of the ‘80s that has been played countless times and became part of a much talked-about Saturday Night Live skit this season when host Josh Hutcherson reenacted the song to humerous results on his November 23rd appearance. While Your Love gets all the headlines, The Outfield had plenty of other irresistible singles including 1989's My Paradise.

Despite its catchy hooks, My Paradise only peaked at No. 72 on the charts and their third album entitled Voices of Babylon continued the trend of each Outfield album selling less than its predecessor. The video is nice fare as The Outfield gives it their all and has some simply gorgeous women parading in and out of their video paradise. 

The English group that sounds incredibly American reformed after a long hiatus to release their comeback album, Replay, in 2011.

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The 'Burning Sensations' you're feeling today aren't a Christmas hangover

With all the Christmas candy and food that was devoured this holiday season, you too might feel like a whale, which is brings us to today's entry of Belly of the Whale by Burning Sensations.

Burning Sensations sounds like a Caribbean band with their Calypso sound, but actually they are a band from Los Angeles that was fronted by Tim McGovern who was formerly in The Motels and Martha Davis' boyfriend. When the couple broke up in 1981, McGovern left the band to start Burning Sensations. The video gives a slight wink to Martha Davis as a look-a-like is shown recreating scenes from the videos of Only The Lonely and Take the L that broke Martha Davis and the Motels on MTV and the national spotlight. There is also a recreation of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean video as well for unknown reasons.

Despite the catchiness of Belly of the Whale, the song did not chart in 1983 and Burning Sensations only recorded one album. However, they did contribute the song Pablo Picasso to the 1984 Repo Man soundtrack. 

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Christmas Day lost and found: Police's 'Canary in a Coalmine'

Merry Christmas! On this special day, we unfortunately do not have a partridge in a pear tree, but we do have a Canary in a Coalmine.

Canary in a Coalmine is a non-single track off of The Police's Zenyatta Mondatta (it's a nonsense word) album from 1980. The video is not your standard MTV-promotional video, but taken from The Police's 1983 video release of Around the World that chronicles The Police's world tour in 80-81 in support of their breakout album. The video follows Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers from camel rides by Egyptian pyramids to the ruins of ancient Greece.

In coming full circle on Stuck in the ‘80s, the use of canaries to detect dangerous levels of methane and carbon monoxide in English mines was a common practice that started at the start of the 20th century. In these days of aggressive PETA activism, it's hard to fathom that canaries continued to be used in Great Britain mines until 1987 when canaries were phased out and electronic detection devices took over.

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'Hey, Kids, I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa's sleigh on its way in from New York City'

Here's wishing everyone in Stuck in the '80s Nation a happy holiday season. Sorry, I don't believe there's a "War on Christmas" so I'm not falling into political correctness traps. I know that we have blog readers and podcast fans in countries all over the globe, all of us observing different traditions and honoring diverse religions and philosophies.

But hopefully our love of the '80s brings us together. And here in Central Florida, where Stuck in the '80s is now located, it's been an interesting 2013. We re-started the podcast with a new co-host (Thank you, Brad in LA). We interviewed the reclusive (and yet super-friendly) Adam Ant. We had an amazing chat with MTV veejay Nina Blackwood. And this last weekend, we recorded our 300th episode of the Stuck in the '80s podcast. Look for it to appear online hopefully this weekend.

Thank you all for continuing to share your '80s memories with me. So, Clark, pour us another glass of eggnog and read today's top 5 list.


5. "Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... an a-----e in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer... " …

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Find out who the real 'Englishman in New York' was in Sting's song

It's Christmas Eve and many parts of the country are experiencing an early and cold winter full of snow ice. While some may curse the cold and snow, it certainly does put you in a winter frame of mind, just like the Sting video for Englishman in New York.

Englishman in New York was the third single of Sting's 1987 album Nothing Like the Sun and peaked at No. 84 on the singles charts in 1988. The video was directed by David Fincher and features a cameo by the inspiration of the song, Quentin Crisp, an eccentric English literary and stage artist, who moved to New York in 1981 when he tired of the conservative atmosphere of London.  Sting and Crisp met in 1985 on the set of the Frankenstein flick The Bride that they both appeared in. Crisp died in 1999.

Sting is still at it releasing his latest album, The Last Ship, in September of 2013. The music is inspired by Sting's Broadway play of the same name, which will debut in 2014 and is based on his childhood set in the shipbuilding town of Wallsend.

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Today's TV fans ... they don't know about Tracey Ullman

This month celebrates the 24th anniversary of the first full episode of The Simpsons that aired on Dec. 17, 1989. The answer to the trivia question of the origins of The Simpsons is today's Lost and Found entry - Tracey Ullman.

Before The Tracey Ullman Show, Ullman was a popular British telly actress and her 1984 hit They Don't Know was a world-wide hit and made it to No. 8 in the US. The song was first recorded by Kirsty MacColl (Fairytale of New York) in 1979 and in a show of blessing, sang backup on Ullman's version including belting out the "Bay-ay-be-ee" in the middle of the song. The video showcases Ullman's sense of humor, finishing with a surprise cameo by one of England's most famous heart throbs, Paul McCartney, who repayed Ullman for her appearance in his movie Give My Regards To Broadstreet.


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Never Found in the '80s: Wire

The opening thumps of the buzzing bass notes in the song Ahead never fail to give me the urge to get skanking on the dance floor.  But age and bad knees bring me back down to earth.  Oh, but what I would give for it to be a Tuesday night in the late '80s and to be at First Avenue when this song was played.

The band Wire comes out of the late '70s UK punk scene, but you'd be hard pressed to call them punk.  They could be punk, but they could also be arty farty, guttural and angry, or they could turn out songs of instantly infectious pop.  And they've been at it since 1976.

The song Ahead is from their 1987 release The Ideal Copy and it is possibly the single coolest song ever recorded.  Well, that's what I think.


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Who knew that Mike + The Mechanics were such storytellers?

In 1986, Mike + the Mechanics were a hit and their video for All I Need Is A Miracle was a popular play with the story of their fictional band manager losing the band's money and the feel-good ending. Before you can stay Caddyshack 2, we present its sequel entitled Taken In.

Taken In is a fine melancholic hit that only made it to No. 32 on the singles chart and features Paul Young (no, not that Paul Young) on vocals instead of Paul Carrack. In the video, veteran English actor Roy Kennear reprises his role as Roy the absent-minded band manager and his latest screw up is double booking Mike + the Mechanics lodging while on tour. Hijinks ensue when the band discovers they are staying in the same lake house as Richard Belzer (in a career low) and his swarm of rugrats. Taken In is a morose song about bad luck and bad decisions and all that is ruined when the video is turned into an unfunny comedy with awkward and unnecessary dialogue cluttered throughout the video. …

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Watch trailer: 'About Last Night' remake set for Valentine's Day release

About Last Night is getting a remake, and I'm okay with that. Let me be clear: I consider the 1986 version of About Last Night, starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, to be god-like in the rom-com genre. I probably saw it three times in the theater, bought it on VHS and now own it on DVD.

But this remake looks okay. First of all, we have an African-American cast starring Kevin Hart. It's now set in Los Angeles instead of Chicago. Modern-day tools of dating like texting and Facebook are in the plot. And it's directed by Steve Pink, who had the '80s touch with Hot Tub Time Machine.

And, as you can tell from the trailer, it even includes a few lines from the original flick. Maybe Hollywood is learning a little from past remake mistakes. Look for it on Feb. 14, 2014.


5. "Oh, that's great, Dan. I tell you I'm a thief and you call me a liar."

4. "Pull this leg and it plays jingle bells."

3. "You don't know what love is. You've gotten everything you have always wanted and now you're feeling sorry for yourself because there's something you want and you can't have it. But you had it! I gave you love. But you asked me to leave and I left." …

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Totally classic song (and totally dud of a video) by the underrated .38 Special

.38 Special is never mentioned along with bands like Journey and Styx as one of the great bands of the ‘80s, but their output was just as consistently good as any other hit-making group of the decade. While you can always hear Caught Up in You and many other .38 Special songs on the radio, they never play You Keep Runnin' Away. While that is inexcusable, thank goodness the video for the song stays lost.

Featured on the Special Forces album, You Keep Runnin' Away reached No. 38 on the singles chart in 1982 and was the follow-up single to Caught Up in You. The song was also co-written by Jim Peterik, keyboardist for Survivor. …

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'Naked Gun' remake to star Ed Helms as Lt. Frank Drebin (and Enrico Pallazzo)

A Naked Gun remake? Oh Hollywood. It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.

Variety reports that Ed Helms (Hangover, We're The Millers) will take over Leslie Nielsen's character of Lt. Frank Drebin in a remake of the 1988 film to be written by Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant, the same team that brought us Night at the Museum and Reno 911. They also wrote a remake of Baywatch.

Nielsen died in 2010, but castmembers Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy and O.J. Simpson are available for cameos. Well, Presley and Kennedy anyway. Free Nordberg!


5. "It's true what they say: Cops and women don't mix. It's like eating a spoonful of Drano; sure, it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside."

4. "I've finally found someone I can love - a good, clean love... without utensils."

3. "Jane, since I've met you, I've noticed things that I never knew were there before... birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stoplights." …

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