Sunday, September 4, 2011

Revenge of the Thirty-Day Song Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 - An 80's Song

Aw yeah, this is where it's at. It seems like contemporary culture is awash with 80's nostalgia (Hot Tub Time Machine, Conan the Barbarian, etc), and as long as that means it's cool to blast songs from Eddie Money, Rick Springfield, and The Outfield, cashing in on the memories of baby-boomers can only be a good thing (though I also dread the inevitable 90's nostalgia wave of the late-2010's and early-20's, during which we'll doubtlessly see the revival of grunge, Married... with Children, and JNCOs). Anyway, here's an 80's gem I discovered during one of my regular Helena trips last year (thank you, Greg Kihn).

The Scorpions – “No One Like You”

One reason why I like 80's music is because of its preponderance to flat-out “go for it.” This is particularly true with the Glam Rock movement (Hair Metal, for those keeping score at home), with wicked-hot licks, shredding guitar solos, and soaring choruses; and no one made better Hair Metal songs than The Scorpions. There were bands that made “better” music, as well as groups that certainly were more “metal,” but, to me, nothing screams “The 80’s!” more than titanic riffs from the likes of “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Big City Nights,” and “Dynamite.”

My favorite, though, is “No One Like You,” a track that reaches the same giddy heights of “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” but shows far greater indulgence to my music cred, because it is slightly more obscure. From the outset, the song kicks open the door with a squeal-y, gnarly-sounding riff that morphs into a dual-guitar harmony, reminding me of the SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron theme song, and being all-the-better for it. Also, as a fan of instrumental start-stops, I like how the guitars drop in and out of the song, providing greater dynamics and sound-variety.

Unfortunately, I don’t think over-the-top metal antics like The Scorpions could work nowadays; there’s too much of a temptation to be ironic, or to position one's self as “better than” the material (minus The Darkness, but every rule has to have an exception). Part of what makes bands like The Scorpions so great is how sincere they are—if he says he’s gonna rock you, you’d better be damn Skippy that he’s gonna rock you, pretensions not included. Still, even without additional entries in the Glam Rock sweepstakes, songs like “No One Like You,” “Holy Diver,” and “Run to the Hills” are still quite rockable to this day. Do yourself a favor: find the nearest drop-top you can, and blast this song while it’s still summer.


  1. Ready or not, 90's nostalgia is here. Nickelodeon is showing reruns of All That, Kenan and Kel, Rocko's Modern Life and Hey Arnold! And MTV is rebooting Beavis and Butthead. I'm just waiting for a Giga Pet app.