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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

R-590429-1200264124“Into The Groove” by Madonna has an interesting history.

If you were living in the United States in the 1980s, do you remember ever purchasing a 7″ 45 RPM single of “Into The Groove?” Do you remember even SEEING a 7″ 45 RPM single for “Into The Groove?” How about in your local jukebox… no?

There’s a very good reason why you don’t remember a 7″ single for “Into The Groove”… it’s because there wasn’t a 7″ single for “Into The Groove!”

Here’s what happened:

March 29th, 1985 — “Desperately Seeking Susan” starring Madonna is released to movie theaters. “Into The Groove” is used in the movie. A music video made solely of clips from the movie is created.

April 10th, 1985 — Madonna releases the single, “Angel.” The B-side of the 7″ in the United States contains a dance mix edit of “Angel.” HOWEVER, the 12″ released to clubs, select record stores, and some radio stations has “Into The Groove” on the flip-side of “Angel.”

First club DJs and then radio programmers begin flipping “Angel” over and playing “Into The Groove,” and their audiences go WILD.

July 13th, 1985 — Madonna performs “Into The Groove” as part of her set during the Live Aid concert for famine relief.

July 23rd, 1985 — “Into The Groove” gets a proper 7″ single release worldwide… EXCEPT in the United States. Why? Because the record label was afraid of releasing another single so quickly on the heels of “Angel.”

Despite this, radio stations in and outside of the U.S. race to add it to their playlists.

Because “Into The Groove” never graces the A-side of a single in the United States, it never appears on any Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Autumn 1985 — Madonna’s LP “Like A Virgin” is re-released with the addition of “Into The Groove,” but again the United States misses out on this re-packaging.

November 18th, 1987 — Madonna releases a remix LP of some of her hits titled “You Can Dance” (a title taken from the opening lines of “Into The Groove:” “…And you can dance / if you want to…”). “Into The Groove” receives a spectacular 8 and 1/2 minute remix.


By the end of the 1980s, “Into The Groove” is honored by Billboard Magazine as the Dance Single of The Decade.

September 18th, 2009 — “Into The Groove” finally appears on an album in the United States in its original hit form (the version on “The Immaculate Collection” is a remix and edit) for the first time, on the compilation titled “Celebration.”

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You can hear the original hit version of Madonna’s “Into The Groove” nearly any Friday or Saturday night as we play PartyMixes on BlackLight Radio!

Posted by Gene
Posted under Artist Update, Memories, Reviews
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My wife Cindy & I (Gene) saw “Hot Tub Time Machine” for the first time tonight. For those unfamiliar, it’s a movie from 2010 about three high school buds who go to a ski resort from their school days in an attempt to recapture some of the magic of their “glory years” and end up back in 1986… through the hot tub on the deck of their room.

I had high expectations for the humor and low expectations for the story. The results were almost reversed for me.

First, the soundtrack. The movie opens with Autograph’s “Turn Up The Radio.” Excellent choice. Then I noticed, this appeared to be a re-recording. It was OK, but I would have preferred the original. (I assume that would have cost a lot more money.)

The movie makes excellent use of the hits of the 80s without being TOO obvious in their choices: Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” is used in a couple of places to hilarious effect; I don’t know that I had ever seen anyone air-drumming toss and catch their drum stick before. We catch clips of Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait,” INXS’s “What You Need,” Scritti Politti’s “Perfect Way,” and numerous other 80s classics throughout in a way that helps set the mood rather than distract (or worse, mock).

Did somebody say guest appearances? Holy cow, every time we turned around it felt like we were seeing somebody from the 80s: Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover (McFly!!!), and the band Poison all take their turns in front of the camera. None of them are working too hard at being “cameos,” which I think is a good thing. I was glad to see all of them.

The story was more thoughtful than I expected. So your life hasn’t turned out like you planned… if you have a chance to go back and do it again, do you change it and risk the consequences, or try to walk in exactly the same footsteps? Maybe more importantly: what happened to those high school friendships we SWORE we would never break?

The humor has some serious laugh-out-loud moments, but I wouldn’t call this a laugh-fest. The gaps between belly laughs sometime seem to stretch out quite far, but it’s not as much because of failed jokes as it is the more serious aspects of the underlying story. There’s an element of “Groundhog Day” to this movie, a need to figure out what went right & what went wrong, and work your way through your past.

It wasn’t a perfect representation of the 80s, and the “villain” in the movie has more in common with 80s movie villains than anybody I ever went to school with. Still, considering how overboard they could have gone, I thought the movie handled the decade with fairly gentle hands.

There are breasts in a couple of places, one vomit scene, and one scene of fairly unbelievable brief “gore,” but none of these things kept me from enjoying the movie… and I’m not one for gross-out humor or gore, so unless you just have zero tolerance, you should be OK.

I’ve described this movie as good, and it was. What it wasn’t, was great. It felt like there was tremendously unused potential in the environment, that the characters could have been further fleshed out, that there were bigger and longer jokes to be made… it just didn’t seem to reach the potential of the scenario.

I’d also like to think that my generation is a LITTLE more mature than the guys in this movie. True, we all knew guys like this in school… but even the guy I know who reminds me most of the “loose cannon” in the movie has matured and settled down a bit from his “wild-child” days. One problem facing this group is that they not only need to move on, they need to grow up.

As a child of the 80s, this is near-required viewing. It’s funny, it’s nostalgic, and maybe it says something about how we turned out as adults. Arguably, it is out generation’s “Back To The Future.” However, it is not the classic “Back To The Future” is. It’s worth viewing, but I would catch it on Redbox, PPV, or Netflix.

I’d also wait to purchase it until you’ve seen it; you may end up agreeing that “hot Tub Time Machine” was a good idea, under-utilized.

Posted by Gene
Posted under Reviews
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