Friday, February 15, 2013

In the '80s, even Phil Collins knew what sexy sounded like

There was this particular sound to certain "pop rock" hits in the '80s that I think of as smoky. Below are the three songs that, to my mind, exemplify it best.

"Father Figure" by George Michael

"Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi

"In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins


All three have a long intro that creates a really sultry atmosphere. I love this kind of song. The grainy B&W videos support the mood, but without them I still think the songs sound smoky. Is there some other unifying feature, musically, that is giving me this synaesthetic frisson?


  1. take my breath away? berlin
    this city never sleeps? eurythmics
    don't you want me? human league

    I know there are more... blanking

  2. it's a sin- pet shop boys
    computer blue- prince
    you belong to the city- miami vice soundtrack
    love will tear us apart- joy division

    1. Miami Vice practically invented this sound!

    2. I really like Joy Division, but I never found anything by them in the least sexy--mainly because Ian Curtis's doldrummy lyrics usually conjure up a picture of him hanging, and the picture keeps obtruding on my revery--but on youtube somebody synchronized "Incubation" with a scene from a Lucio Fulci film, a bunch of beautiful people dancing. It works. That's definitely the least detumescing Joy Division I've heard.

  3. Y'all are disgusting. I mean that in earnest. I am being absolutely honest.

  4. Apologizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzeeeeeeeeeeeeee