Song Review: 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.

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