one of my first memories is watching ‘the kids from fame’. i don’t think i really understood that the ‘kids’ (most of whom looked well into their 20s, as per hollywood convention) were just training to be stars. i thought they just liked to leap about in legwarmers and leotards, like me.
photographic evidence exists of me in my little grey marl fame sweatshirt with matching burgundy skirt, circa 1982. the aerobic craze carried through to the mid 80s, with fame the movie, flashdance and a teenage sarah jessica parker in girls just wanna have fun. any colour pastel with grey marl and you were good to go. to date, these remain my favourite colour combinations.
the arrival of tv-am in the uk in 1983 meant that bored housewives no longer needed to warm up for the day unaided. lizzy, in her curly slightly unbalanced glory would encourage you to shake it, not sit in front of jeremy kyle sneering at those less fortunate. in the 80s, those less fortunate could dance their way to a better life, in any case.
bucks fizz – making your mind up
yes, despite the drugs and sex scandals of the 60s and 70s, a dance routine in which long skirts were pulled off to reveal – gasp – shorter skirts, was the controversy of the 1981 eurovision song contest. and cheryl baker is living proof that the phenonenom of carving an entire career from the simple act of wearing a particular outfit on one occasion was not created by the parasitical liz hurley.
bardo – one step further
like bucks fizz, but a boy-girl duo who wore even shorter skirts. don’t worry, i mean the girl…although if gaydars had been invented in 1982 then they would have been on red alert for the other half of this cheesy pop act.
cyndi lauper – girls just wanna have fun
pop punk cyndi looked a bit too out of shape to be the poster girl and soundtrack provider to one of the 80s most prominent legwarmer movies. like most of the hen night casualties who now kill this on karoake down their local yates.
deniece williams – let’s hear it for the boy
footloose was the ultimate good over evil movie. what? a town where dancing is banned. did they know it was 1984? well, seeing as the town in question was in utah, probably not.
michael sembello – she’s a maniac
memories of flashdance have now been replaced by two skinny men with taches in jogging gear…and a very memorable ad campaign for a directory enquiry service of all things.
irene cara – fame/flashdance
its not clear whether irene had a career outside the realm of soundtracks to high energy dance movies. i don’t think she did. what a strange way to get pigeonholed.
kids from fame – hi fidelity
the kids had several successful albums and i was so tempted to post the schmaltzy ‘starmaker’. that’ll be in ‘songs you turn down on your ipod’ the sequel, i suppose…
maria vidal – body rock
grabbed the crown from irene cara – who must have been v pissed off – with this big 1985 hit. never seen the movie, much the same as no one has ever seen vision quest but has ‘crazy for you’.
pointer sisters – jump
everyone must have been forced to jump around to this during school PE lessons at some point. you could tell our PE tarts loved the 80s, they still looked like extras from fame well into the 90s.
toni basil – mickey
35 year old cheerleader toni had a huge hit with this when i was little. what is it with america and cheerleaders anyway? uk girls are more likely to hold their boyfriends fags while he has a kickabout with his mates…and thats about as far as it goes.
whitney houston – how will i know
whitney apparently hates this video, and finds it embarrassing to watch herself prances about in pastel jumpers and headbands. yes, i can see why that would be infinitely more cringeworthy than all of those clips from ‘being bobby brown’ doing the rounds on youtube…