Archive for the ‘Rick Astley..Debbie Gibson…Johnny Hates Jazz’ Category

“I wish that I could turn back the clock
Bring the wheels of time to a stop
Back to the days when life was so much better “
–Turn Back the Clock, Johnny Hates Jazz

October 9, 2010 Class 95 FM 20th year Anniversary Celebration, Singapore local station held a concert event called ‘80’s Retrolicious’ featuring Johnny Hates Jazz, Debbie Gibson, and Rick Astley at the Forth Canning Park. One thing I learned if a concert of your fave artist will hold in this park you should buy the ticket and you should buy it now! This is the only venue you will get chance to see them up close unlike to indoor venues. We arrived early and the queue was ridiculous! It was the longest line I fall in and I swear I will not go thru the same effort for any artist not even for Lady Gaga or Beyonce. It was a sold out concert for it only happened once in a blue moon where children of the 80’s gathered together and pay homage to the artists who contributed to the music of our glory days.

Everybody was excited and some dressed up in 80’s attire –like wearing their high school uniforms, acid jeans, lose shirt etc… I should have worn my trets (tretorn) or high-cut rubber shoes to blend in. After 45 minutes and 5 A-hole guys butting a queue later we managed to get in and found a spot. The place was jam packed; the DJ announced it’s the most audience in all concert history held in Forth Canning Park. There are contest prior to the main show. Best 80’s king and queen look etc., but I loved watching ‘the remember the times’ where in they will show in the 2 giant screen the events of the year that was from 1980-89. They will review what’s hot and what’s in, in fashion, sports, movies, music, and politics. For example, In 1989 Nintendo released its popular handheld video game player, Game Boy, The Berlin Wall comes down, symbolically ending the Cold War, Batman is the top grossing film, The Simpsons premiere, Oscar Best Picture 1989 was Driving Miss Daisy, and Number 1 Song like a Prayer by Madonna.

 Johnny Hates Jazz


You cannot get through the 80’s without liking a few songs from this band. In April 1987 they saw international success with their first hit single “Shattered Dreams. This band is not that smashing but the subtleness of their music will creep in your auditory system and into your temporal lobe. Their music is the EMO of 80’s coined ‘New Romanticism’. As per Wikipedia, “It was a youth fashion and music movement in the United Kingdom that began in the late 1970s in England and during the early 1980s. Originally often associated with the new wave music scene that had become popular at that time, it has seen several revivals since then, and continues to influence popular culture.”

Turn Back the Clock, was released in January 1988, topping charts worldwide. It entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1, achieving double platinum status. Johnny Hates Jazz is an English New Romantic band, formed in 1986. The group consists of singer-songwriter Clark Datchler (vocals, keyboards and guitar) and production team Calvin Hayes (keyboards, drums) and Mike Nocito (guitar).Their tongue-in-cheek name referenced Nocito’s brother-in-law Johnny, who really hated jazz.

This is one of the band who performed better live than in records. Apart from ‘Turn Back the Clock’ I liked that they played ‘Different Season’. I happened to catch this song in 00’s one of those songs listed in your compilation CD but never bothered paying attention to it because it’s not a hit more so, the artist is erstwhile. Well surprise! Surprise! They played it and it was awesome! – I love watching live performances just when you thought you knew the artist and their songs… They will deliver an old song and will make it sound new, giving you reason to like them all the more…

“This song is about the one that you cared for and actually cared for you back. But it just wasn’t in the cards for you. Oh Godit’s been twenty years and she’s as vivid as yesterday. Sometimes you find yourself reaching back for her but your hand comes back empty. You just thank God she was there at all. She was just there to save your life when you felt you could go no further. And she sent you on when you were healed.” –- Comment from you tube


Debbie Gibson is like the Britney of the 80’s minus the bruhahaha from the paparazzi. This Newyorker singer-songwriter dominates the charts during the juvenescence of every 80’s child. Shoot to fame at the age of 16 and pronounced the youngest artist to write, produce, and perform#1 single on the Billboard hot 100, with her song “Foolish Beat,” at the age of 17. To date, she remains the youngest female to write, record, and perform a #1 single, as entered in the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records. March 1989 released Electric Youth album acquired Debbie with another achievement the album and single “Lost in Your Eyes” simultaneously at #1 and awarded. Songwriter of the Year Award 1989.

So after a few decades, Broadway debuts, and nude pictorial March 2005 issue of Playboy later, She performed live at this retrolicious concert (‘retrodiciluos’ as she jokingly says) at the age of 40 and still looking fabulous in a well toned body.

A hit’s a hit and Debbie has a lot of it but I happened to like this one song from her 1989 album and I guess I’m 2 decades late but I happened to catch the acoustic version on the radio few years back and now liking it too much. The tune first got me then the lyrics and then the voice singing the song with a lot of feelings…

“If you said “Jump!” I´d say “How high?”
If you said “Run!” I´d run and fly
Just for the chance
Just for the moment
Should the moment pass us by?
And if you ask once I´ll tell you twice
I´ll ignore the world’s advice
If we could be together for a while”
— We Could Be Together (campfire mix)

Of course, what is the 80’s without Rick Astley. The distinctive deep voice with synth-pop music, he is known for his 1987 song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”. He dominates the ‘disco’ (80’s term for clubbing) He has likes hits after hits after hits that sounded the same until he was gone. Reason being, “I was just burnt out. I didn’t like the music business and I didn’t like me. There’s an element of falseness about the whole thing. Even things like doing an interview. It’s not as though we just met in the pub and are having a chat – its part of a process. If you do it all day, every day for years, you end up thinking: ‘Who the hell am I?’ I was lucky enough to make some money, enough to let me kick back. It was a great experience and it was nice to have a couple of No.1s but the best thing about it was that the money I made allowed me to have freedom and choice in my life. “ — Rick Astley

Well, I can’t blame him, hearing ‘Together Forever’ over and over will make you wanna bang your head on the wall more so, singing it. This Richard Gere look- alike is now 44 and still possesses that distinctive deep voice. A very charming, funny man I actually enjoyed watching him performed live and was fond of that authentic English accent. The truth is I only like him doing all the ballads; he has a very soulful approach in this genre of music. “Hold Me in your Arms” and “Hopelessly” was one of my favorite song of his and “It would take Strong, Strong Man” even though pop-synth has a great tunes and lyrics. I think everybody in the audience had a kick when he sang a Nat King Cole original, ‘When I fall in Love’ this is like a very old song, older than my parents but he made it sound fresh and made it his own.