Louie Louie – “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury”

“Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury” was released as the lead-off single from Louie Louie’s 1990 album, The State I’m In. The single was released in 1990 and peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A interesting little piece of trivia about Louie Louie: he played Madonna’s boyfriend in the music video for her song, “Borderline.”

I was around 15 years old and in the ninth grade when “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury” was released. I enjoyed the song at the time it came out, because I found it to be really catchy. The song reached its peak of popularity in late spring/early summer of 1990, it had the perfect sound to fit in with that time of year. I hadn’t listened to it in a long time, so I watched the video on YouTube right before writing this up, and I have to say that the song is still catchy but it definitely hasn’t withstood the test of time. There are some choices that were made for the arrangement that date the song now. “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury” isn’t necessarily a bad song, but I don’t like it nearly as much as I did 25 years ago.

Unfortunately, Louie Louie truly earned a title of being a one-hit wonder with this song. He did have a follow-up single titled, “I Wanna Get Back With You,” but it didn’t make any real impression on the Top 40 charts. Back then, I liked “I Wanna Get Back With You” and actually liked it more than I did “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury.” I haven’t heard it in years, so I can’t say if I still like that one as much now as I did 25 years ago.

As I was doing research for this write-up, I discovered that the music video for “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury” was directed by (yes, the same Michael Bay known for directing the Transformers live-action films). Much like the song, the music video also feels dated. Between the clothing styles, dance moves, and background choices, it was obvious to the viewer that it was made in the early 1990s. But I have to give Louie Louie credit for his dancing, even if the moves do look rather dated today.

I am embedding the music video for “Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury” below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Depeche Mode – “Enjoy The Silence”

“Enjoy the Silence” was released as the second single from Depeche Mode’s 1990 album, Violator. The single was released on January 16, 1990, and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Prior to “Enjoy the Silence,” I had heard a couple of singles from the previous album, Music for the Masses, as well as “Personal Jesus,” the lead-off single from Violator. While the 1988 release of “Strangelove” piqued my interest in the band, it wasn’t until the release of “Enjoy the Silence” when I could truly say I had become a fan of the band. I was in the ninth grade and close to turning 15 at the time this single was released, and I think what helped me gravitate toward this were the lyrics. I liked the music as well, but I think it was the lyrics that ultimately grabbed me. I fell in love with “Enjoy the Silence” when I first heard about 25 years ago, and I still love the song today. In fact, I have to say that it’s probably still my favorite Depeche Mode song of all-time. While I enjoy a lot of their material that came out before and after Violator, “Enjoy the Silence” holds a very special place in my heart.

When it comes to the music video, it’s director Anton Corbijn up to his usual artsy stuff. It primarily has footage of lead singer Dave Gahan dressed up as a king, wandering around various isolated locales while carrying a deck chair around. There’s a couple of times when Dave sits down in the deck chair and lip-synchs some of the lyrics, but he’s mostly wandering around. The shots near the end in the snow are actually someone else, because Dave got tired of the cold in Switzerland and left the set. Intercut with this footage are shots of the whole band. When it comes to the footage of Dave Gahan dressed as a king, all I can guess is since these shots are set where he’s in isolated locales, that this is supposed to represent enjoying the silence. The music video may not be anything terribly spectacular, the song itself is strong enough to be able to transcend any impression that the video may leave.

I am embedding the music video for “Enjoy the Silence” below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Taylor Dayne – “I’ll Be Your Shelter”

“I’ll Be Your Shelter” was released as the third single from Taylor Dayne’s 1989 album, Can’t Fight Fate. The single was released on March 20, 1990, and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was in the ninth grade and about to turn 15 years old when this single was released. This song was actually a bit of a departure for Taylor Dayne, since this was much more in the pop/rock vein than her usual dance and ballad singles. I have to admit that right when this single first came out, I wasn’t too sure about it; however, as I heard the song more, it grew on me. I think what held me back from liking this at first was some of the vocal delivery in the song, and it just took some getting used to before I could say I truly liked the song. Lyrically, it was something I could relate to, and there was nothing about it musically that was a turnoff, since I enjoy pop/rock material. From what I’ve read, Diane Warren had originally written this with Tina Turner in mind, and that Taylor Dayne got the song after Tina turned it down. This might explain why Taylor has some of the vocal delivery on some of the lines that she does.

The music video is basically Taylor Dayne lip-syncing the song the whole time. At first, she seems to be in a room of some kind, and then she later comes out onto some kind of makeshift stage and performs in front of a group of men. I’ve never entirely understood what was going on in this video, and this may have also been a factor as to why I didn’t like “I’ll Be Your Shelter’ right away as well.

I am embedding the music video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

The B-52’s – “Deadbeat Club”

“Deadbeat Club” was released as the fifth and final single from The B-52’s 1989 album, Cosmic Thing. The single was released in 1990 and peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about the band’s early days in Athens, Georgia when they’d hang around cafes and drink coffee. From what’s been said, their parents had nicknamed them “Deadbeats” because of it.

I was in the ninth grade and about 15 years old at the time this single was released. I have to admit that the song didn’t really do that much for me back then. In a lot of ways, I think I couldn’t quite relate to the lyrics. But “Deadbeat Club” is a song that grew on me as I got older, and I think that’s in large part to being able to better understand the words and feelings that go into a nostalgic song such as this one. I like this song so much more now than I did 25 years ago.

The music video for “Deadbeat Club” was shot in black and white, and the clothing, hairstyles, and atmosphere of it seems to be trying to capture the late 1960s/early 1970s. There’s definitely a “mod” look and feel to the whole thing, and I think it adds to the whole nostalgia factor that the song’s lyrics have. I am embedding the music video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Partners In Kryme – “Turtle Power”

“Turtle Power” was released as a single from the soundtrack for the 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The single was released on April 13, 1990, and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was 15 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. It’s a rap song about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While I wasn’t a fan of the property at the time, the song itself was just so catchy that it became a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately for Partners In Kryme, they became a one-hit wonder of the 1990s with this song. I have to admit that 25 years later, the music on this track is still rather catchy. The lyrics are on the corny side, but the music’s still cool. Sadly, the lyrics erroneously say that Raphael is the leader of the group, which isn’t true; Leonardo leads them. Oh well.

The music video incorporates footage from the movie, the artist lip-syncing the song, and scenes with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles interacting with Partners In Kryme. Yeah, let’s just say that this music video didn’t age very well. You look at it and you can tell that it’s from the early 1990s.

I am embedding the music video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

Richard Marx – “Children of the Night”

“Children of the Night” was released as the fifth and final single from Richard Marx’s 1989 album, Repeat Offender. The single was released in the spring of 1990 and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Children of the Night” was written in support of the suburban Los Angeles-based organization of the same name.

I was 15 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. I already considered myself a fan of Richard’s music at this point, so it wasn’t surprising that I liked this song. I think the fact that it also touched on a social topic (youth and teen runaways) also helped me gravitate toward it. While I may not have been a teen runaway myself or personally known anyone who had run away, I think the fact that the song talked about the situation of fellow teenagers had a strong appeal. I may be an adult now, but I still like this song just as much as I did 25 years ago. It always disappointed me that this song didn’t perform better, but I think what hurt it was the fact that the label held off on releasing it as the final single.

The music video for “Children of the Night” was shot in black and white, and it depicts various situations that youth and teen runaways go through. The only time Richard himself makes an appearance is right at the end of the video; but even then, he’s in silhouette. I appreciate the fact that the video placed the focus on the subject of the song without trying to force images of Richard lip-syncing the song. By focusing on the runaway aspect, it strengthened the message of both the song and its accompanying music video.

I am embedding the music video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Phil Collins – “Do You Remember?”

“Do You Remember?” was released as a single from Phil Collins’ 1989 album, … But Seriously. The single was released in the United States on April 26, 1990, and it peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was 15 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. I’d already liked the previous two singles I’d heard from this album, so it was no surprise that I fell in love with this one as well. The lyrics are very relatable, and the musical arrangement really underscores the emotion that Phil puts into his performance. “Do You Remember?” still ranks up there as one of my favorite songs of all-time by Phil Collins.

The music video is primarily a flashback that Phil has as he’s performing in the studio, which appears to be set in either the late 1950s or early 1960s. The flashback features two children, and it’s a story of first love and first heartbreak. As a teenager, I could totally relate with what the kids in the video were going through, and I’ve always thought it was a really sweet story. Admittedly, the setup to get into the flashback is a little odd, but the flashback portion is so enjoyable that it’s easy to overlook the strange setup. I have to admit that the story of this video tugs at my heartstrings now just as much as it did 25 years ago.

I am embedding the music video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.