Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:22 am Post subject: Best if used by... songs
The other day, a radio station here in Minneapolis played "Free Nelson Mandela" by the Special AKA. This was a very popular song to play in my early DJing days--rap-inspired Afrocentrism was on the rise in DC, and it combined a fun, swinging song to a message that people wanted to express. But then Mandela was freed, led negotiations that ended apartheid, became president... and the point of playing the song evaporated.
It got me thinking about other songs that had some kind of "sell by" date about them.
Like: there's something about the inclusion of the line "millenium on your mind, are you runnin' out of time?" that makes Q-Tip's "Breathe and Stop" seem unplayably quaint to me now.
Prince was a smart one to write "party like it's 1999" (and release it in 1982)... Doesn't have the same out-of-date feeling.
One that you're not likely to hear at a party (I hope) but which was inescapable on the radio when it was new, 'Heat of the Moment' by Asia, went like this:
And now you find yourself in '82
The disco hot spots hold no charm for you...
Cheesy lyric that bugged me as a kid. Just funny now. Somehow it struck me as wrong even then to announce the current year in your "thoughtful" stadium-radio-rock anthem. Rare that a song stamps itself explicitly with a sell-by date.
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