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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Weekend Diversion: Random remembrances


Most of these Weekend Diversion posts have been about songs that are new to me, ones I find through often indirect means—because it’s played on a TV commercial, I see the artist perform or be interviewed on TV, or many because I saw their video on our free-to-air music video channel. But sometimes I unexpectedly run across some random song I once knew very well. This week there are four songs I was unexpectedly reminded over the past week or so.

First up, and the song I was reminded of just tonight: The late 1980 release by American Donnie Iris, a song that hit Number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Number 6 in Canada the following year. That song, “Ah! Leah!” was extremely catchy, so much so that I bought the album it came from, Back on the Streets, which reached 57 on the Billboard album chart in 1981. I actually liked most of the album, but that one song is the only thing on the album I still remember.

I was reminded of this song because someone on Facebook mentioned a metal band with a name similar to the song name.

Next, 1984’s “Meeting in the Ladies Room” (below) by all-female American pop/R&B group Klymaxx. The song only reached Number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it did much better on R&B and Dance Music charts, where it was a Top Ten hit. I remember the song mostly from it being played in the gay dance clubs I was going to at the time (I never bought the single), and also from the fairly bizarre video, which annoyed me from the very first shot: “Ladie’s Room”? SERIOUSLY?!! And what the heck was with that shirtless guy sitting on an office chair gyrating? Sure, I sort of fancied him at the time, but that bit was just weird. The video also features actress Vivica A. Fox.

I was reminded of this song recently because someone shared the video in a comment on one of my friends’ Facebook posts.



In 1983, Scottish band Big Country released what would turn out to be their only Top 40 hit in the USA, “In A Big Country”. The song reached Number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also Number 34 in New Zealand, Number 17 in the UK, Number 7 in Australia, and Number 3 in Canada. A friend I’d known since Junior High played the song for me, as he often did in the early 1980s (including groups like Erasure, New Order, and others I really liked). I liked the song, but I never bought the single or the album, though I eventually bought the song on a compilation CD.

I was reminded of this because I saw someone use the phrase “in a big country” in a totally unrelated context.



Finally, a direct reminder: Canadian rock band The Kings and their 1980 song “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide”, which was on their debut album, The Kings Are Here. The album, which I bought, went Gold in Canada. The single reached number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.

I was reminded of this song because a Canadian-born friend shares their music on Facebook from time to time. I once responded by sharing one of my favourite song lyrics, from “Switchin’ to Glide”: “Nothing matters but the weekend/from a Tuesday point of view”.



None of these songs were huge hits in the USA, and I orginally heard them indirectly. But because they weren’t huge hits, they didn’t get a lot of repeated airplay over the years, and so, I forgot about them.

It’s nice to unexpectedly run accross some random song I once knew very well and liked, but seldom remember nowadays. It happens all the time, actually, but this was the first time I took real notice of it. I like that, too, for entirely different reasons.

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