Contagious – like a disease

Now, where were we.  Side A, 1979-1982:

  1. Wired for Sound – Cliff Richard
  2. YMCA – The Village People
  3. I Was Made for Lovin’ You – KISS
  4. Believe it or Not – Joey Scarbury
  5. WKRP in Cincinnati theme

Unfortunately the next two tracks leave a little to be desired.

Shaddap Your Face – Joe Dolce (1981): I can actually remember the song and the video for this song. In fact the chorus has burned a place in my memory and whenever someone is rambling on about some rubbish I don’t want to hear a small voice in my head says… “ah, shaddap your face.”  Because I could only remember the chorus I had assumed, before I looked the song up again on youtube, that the verses must have been incredibly hilarious. Let me assure you that they ain’t. This song is drivel, but it went to number one in fifteen countries.

From the artist’s website:

[Joe] wrote, produced and performed, SHADDAP YOU FACE, which continues to hold the five times platinum record for the most successful song in Australian music history for 29 years straight! Over 60 cover versions with translations into 10 languages. including Papua New Guinea pidgin and the Australian aboriginal Indjibundji dialect.

This fascinates me. How do you do a jokey accent mocking Italian English in Indjibundji (or any langauge other than English)?

It’s a real throwback to the 1950s fad for faux-Italian novelty songs, but unlike those songs which somehow manage to be cool, this one is degrading garbage (degrading garbage that is so memorable I will be able to sing the chorus on my death bed even after I forget my own name).

Two things made me like faux-Italian novelty songs.  One was the movie Big Night.  I have a great deal of love for this movie and don’t really understand why it isn’t better known.  Leaving everything else aside, it has great music, including this by George’s famous aunt.

The other thing that made me love this stuff was a particular restaurant experience.  Cathy and I were sitting in a restaurant in Florence (any story that starts this way sounds pretentious, but it happens to be true) and the waiters were all roaming around humming along to the music playing on the restaurant stereo which was this:

A song about love that uses the words drool and pizza pie.  Somehow the delivery is so smooth that you don’t seem to notice.

This my favourite though,

My favourite because of what happens at 1’05, and everything afterwards including the great sax solo at 1’55” and the live sound of a party in action in the background.

Of course none of these songs are remotely from the 1980s, but I needed something in this post of musical interest, because both of the songs I remember from the 1980-1982 period are so irritating.

Hands Up – Ottawan (1982): A “great” album cover. Aside from the neat mime interpretation of the song title, this chick’s fantastic hair do is only pushed into the shade by the garish sun of the dude’s top.

I can enjoy about one cycle of this song now, but once we get back to the verse again after the first chorus I’m feeling bored. I suppose that this is why both of these songs lodged in my brain: they are very, very catchy, and repetitive. I probably heard this song half a dozen times in 1982, and very little after that (it was number one in New Zealand for eight weeks in 1982). The fact that I can sing the chorus without any effort 27 years later is sort of scary (considering all of the things I have forgotten). I seem to remember that Crazy Frog was number one for what seemed like 100 weeks a few years back, and that the main group buying the single were kids under the age of ten. Kids under ten like a gimmick I guess.

Being one of the dudes in the gold, sequinned vests with the tight white pants would be awesome; being the dude in the pastel blue top standing on the side?  Not so much.

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3 thoughts on “Contagious – like a disease

  1. I now feel so old.
    I remember every one of these songs.
    In the original version.

    You relaise of course that I’ll have to have my revenge on you for MAKING ME REMEMBER Shaddap Ya Face. I’ll be humming the bloody thing all week.

    In revenge here’s another version of Amore:

    If you swim in the sea,
    and an eel bites your knee
    that’s a moray

    When you swim on the reef
    There’s this thing with big teeth
    That’s a moray

    When you reach in the sand
    And something grabs your hand
    that’s a moray

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