Tag: 1980s

Deep Cuts: Queen

Deep Cuts: Queen

Music
Here's the first in a series of entries dedicated to exploring songs from my favorite groups that don't get a lot of attention. These represent the ten best songs (in no special order) from an act's catalog that were never released as singles, don't get radio play, and are typically appreciated only by hardcore fans. Up first is Queen, for no other reason than they showed up on my iPod today. "In the Lap of the Gods" (Sheer Heart Attack, 1974) - What makes this song great is the completely over-the-top opening and some of Queen's sweetest vocal harmonies ever. Listen to the super-high part - that's drummer Roger Taylor, a key element of the band's vocal presentation. "Football Fight" (Flash Gordon, 1980) - Although not fully fleshed out, this is still a gem of a tune. It features...
Retrotisement – NFL Deluxe Electronic Football

Retrotisement – NFL Deluxe Electronic Football

Advertising, Retrotisements
Hot on the heels of the wildly popular Mattel Football handheld game, Tudor Games released NFL DELUXE Electronic Football in 1980. Toy companies are certainly no stranger to hyperbole, but I think even by their standards this ad strains the limits of credibility. I have to hand it to any kid who could play this and envision themselves in the Super Bowl. Speaking of which - people, Super Bowl is two words, not one. No one ever writes about the Rosebowl or the Meineke Car Carebowl. Sorry, that's just a major pet peeve of mine. Anyway, I am curious about one thing - if this is the DELUXE version of NFL Electronic Football, what does the regular version look like? A circuit board with the NFL logo on it? Well thanks to Google, now I know. It looks like this. Oh yes, a huge improvement. ...
Retrotisement – Triumph cigarettes

Retrotisement – Triumph cigarettes

Retrotisements
I say any time you can incorporate your company's name with an advertising slogan, that's a stroke of genius. So what exactly is the "UMPH!" in Triumph cigarettes? Carbon monoxide? Formaldehyde? Whatever it is, it's AWESOME! And let's give it up for our ciggy spokespeople, who are totally rocking the earth tones here. Tweed Jacket seems torn between the realizations that his nicotine-stained fingernails now match his pants, and the much cooler fact that he can totally flip people off with his strategically placed cigarette. Meanwhile, Pleated Skirt is poised to satisfy her craving by sinking her teeth right into Tweed Jacket's jugular, thus obtaining for herself some of that sweet, sweet Umph!
Video Game Daze: Coleco Tabletop Pac-Man

Video Game Daze: Coleco Tabletop Pac-Man

Advertising, Games & Toys, Retrotisements
Growing up, I was never very much into arcades. When it came to whiling away the precious days and weeks of my youth, I preferred to play video games at home. And in the early '80s there were plenty of platforms to choose from. One of the most interesting was the series of tabletop arcade games produced by Coleco. Coleco's strategy for miniaturizing video games apparently involved three crucial elements - A satin jacket, oversized navigator-style sunglasses and some jiggly hands. Being only 7 years old in 1982, I lacked the jacket and sunglasses. Therefore I had to wait until my birthday to receive my own tabletop arcade game. I ended up with Pac-Man, the undisputed king of video games in the 1980s (until he was dethroned in a bloodless coup by a seemingly harmless Italian plumber)....
A Loving Tribute to “Slave to the Metal”

A Loving Tribute to “Slave to the Metal”

Music
In the days before CD players, iPods and file sharing services became a part of everyday life (aka The Dark Ages), the mix tape was an essential part of a music lover's life. There were two varieties of mix tapes - homemade (for yourself or some girlfriend/boyfriend whose name you can't even remember anymore) and store-bought. Store-bought mix tapes (known in the industry as "compilations") were superior in two ways - they exposed you to bands you might have never heard before, and they didn't take five hours to put together on your crappy home stereo. During a road trip from New Jersey to Florida in the mid-'80s, I purchased my first mix tape at a Stuckey's in South Carolina. Or maybe it was North Carolina. No, it was South Carolina. Maybe Georgia. Anyway, being a proud metal he...