Leading contender for most unlikely cover song of the '80s? 'Ai No Corrida'
One of my favorite R&B songs of the early '80s is Ai No Corrida by Quincy Jones. You got to love cover songs as Ai No Corrida was originally a song written and performed from a member of England's post-punk music scene. How can this be? Once again, the answer lies with Chaz Jenkel.
For an artist who had zero hits ever on the U.S. charts, this is the third appearance for Chaz Jenkel on Lost and Found with previous features for his songs Questionnaire and Number One (featured on the True Genius soundtrack) . In the late '70s, Jankel was the musical force behind Ian Dury and the Blockheads, a popular and influential post-punk rock band in England. When Jenkel left the Blockheads in 1980, his first solo album was anchored by the single Ai No Corrida.
Ai No Corrida was a minor hit in Europe, but somehow it caught the ear of master producer Quincy Jones, who made it his lead single off The Dude album in 1981. With locals by Dune (aka Charles May) and Patti Austin, Ai No Corrida would reach No. 28 on the U.S. Pop singles chart and would win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocalists. In total, The Dude would win three Grammies and spawn two other Top 40 hits with One Hundred Ways and Spearsy's favorite sad song - Just Once - with James Ingram the featured vocalist on both.
The phrase Ai No Corrida is Spanish for Bullfight Of Love. In the strange video for Ai No Corrida, we have fighting, but more of the domestic human kind. The best explanation of the video is that it is inspired by the 1976 French-Japanese art film In The Realm Of The Senses about two lovers whose love-making escalates to violence. If nothing else, it is a candidate for one of the oddest videos of the '80s.