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.

After 7 – “Ready Or Not”

“Ready Or Not” was released as the third single from After 7’s self-titled debut album from 1989. The single was released in 1990 and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Two of After 7’s members are the brothers of op and R&B singer-songwriter-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

I was in the ninth grade and just about 15 years old when this single was released. It’s a song that’s got a rather simple sound and lyrics and that easily relatable to music audiences, whether they enjoy pop or R&B. It’s easy for me to hear why a song like this would have appealed to me as a teenager. And 25 years later, I still like this song quite a bit. In fact, I believe that “Ready Or Not” was the best song that After 7 has ever released.

At the time the single was being promoted, I never saw the music video in regular rotation on MTV. So I watched it right before working on this blog post. Early on, the video was lit in such a way that it was on the darker side. And since it looked darker, it was harder for me to see. As the video progresses, though, the lighting starts becoming brighter. From what I saw, it’s a rather bland video. It features the members of After 7 lip-syncing the song intercut with two couples slow dancing to the song. Honestly, it looks like I didn’t miss out on much by not seeing this video 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.

Electronic – “Getting Away With It”

“Getting Away With It” was released as Electronic’s first single on December 4, 1989. The single peaked at number 38 on the <em>Billboard Hot 100</em> chart. Electronic was a kind of “alternative supergroup” that included Bernard Sumner from New Order and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys provides guest vocals on “Getting Away With It.”

I was in the ninth grade and almost 15 years old when “Getting Away With It” was released. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it, probably due in large part to already liking New Order and Pet Shop Boys. “Getting Away With It” has a musical arrangement that fits right in with those two bands, and the song itself as also rather catchy. Of the songs Electronic has released, “Getting Away With It” is still my favorite.

When watching the music video, it’s obvious that it was produced rather cheaply. In a lot of ways, it looks a lot like what I refer to as “club videos” (i.e. music videos that were made to be shown in dance clubs rather than on MTV and other music video channels). For a “club video” it’s not bad for what it is, but it’s just not a standout  video when compared to other music videos that were being made at the time.

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.

Basia – “Cruising For Bruising”

“Cruising For Bruising” was released as the second single from Basia’s 1989 album, <em>London Warsaw New York</em> album. The single peaked at number 29 on the <em>Billboard Hot 100</em> chart. Basia wrote “Cruising For Bruising” when she perceived an eclipsing of her relationship with Danny White, who was her producer, keyboardist, and romantic partner.

I was in the ninth grade and was just about to turn 15 years old when “Cruising For Bruising” was released. I think what grabbed me with this song was the musical arrangement and Basia’s heartfelt vocal delivery. I hadn’t personally been in a romantic relationship at that point in my life, but I believed that the lyrics were believable for a relationship that was falling apart. 25 years later, I still like this song as much, if not more, than I did in 1990.

I saw the music video for the first time right before working on this blog post, because MTV never aired it at the time. It was probably deemed to be too “adult contemporary” for the hip MTV and was likely aired on sister network VH1 (which I didn’t have access to in 1990 since my local cable company didn’t carry it then). The video features Basia and Danny White as an alienated couple, and I thought the Basia’s expressions and mannerisms felt so realistic. I didn’t find out about her relationship with Danny White until after seeing the video, so now I understand why the video felt so authentic. I also thought the cinematography was pretty good on this video as well.

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

Jude Cole – “Baby It’s Tonight”

“Baby It’s Tonight” was released as a single from Jude Cole’s 1990 album, A View from 3rd Street. The single peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was in the ninth grade and had just turned 15 years old when this single was released. I have to admit that at the time the single was popular, I really wasn’t a fan of the song. I wasn’t sold on Jude Cole until the next single, “Time for Letting Go,” was released. I think part of my problem was just how much airplay my local radio station was giving this song at the time, in addition to the airplay the video was receiving on MTV. But after time had passed and I heard “Baby It’s Tonight” after it fell off the charts, I realized it was a much better song that I had given it credit for. It’s very catchy as long as it’s not being played to death. And Jude’s got a great voice as well, which you can hear when you listen to “Baby It’s Tonight.” And the lyrics are very relatable, so I can see why the song did as well as it did on the pop chart back in 1990.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that the music video is as good as the song. It basically intercuts footage of Jude lip-syncing the song with shots of two or three women who seem to have nothing to do with either Jude or with each other. The video feels rather random, and doesn’t really fit with what the song is talking about in the lyrics.

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.

Giant – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

“I’ll See You In My Dreams” was released as the third single from Giant’s 1989 album, Last of the Runaways. The single was released in 1990 and peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. “I’ll See You In My Dreams” was the band’s biggest hit.

I was in the ninth grade and had just turned 15 when this single was released. I didn’t have much familiarity with the band before hearing this song, but I fell in love with it rather quickly. When the song really gets going, it becomes rather intense, both in its music and in its vocal delivery. Dann Huff’s vocals really work for this song, and you can hear the emotion he puts into it. I also think the theme of the song, which is about remembering someone from your past, resonates with so many people.

The music video for this song was very well done. It starts with an old woman sitting down in front of house, reminiscing on the past. This is intercut with her memories that take place in the house that she sits in front of, as well as with footage of the band performing inside the house. It’s interesting to note that the scenes that take place in the present (the old woman reminiscing and the band performing) are shot in black and white, while the flashback scenes are in color. This is the opposite of what you normally expect, but I think this worked really well for the video. From the costumes and hairstyles that appear in the flashback portions, I assume this takes place either in the later 1940s or the early 1950s. Knowing that the present would have been late 1989/early 1990 and seeing how old the woman in the current time is, I think that guess would be about right.

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.