Tuesday, 7 July 2009

1983: Wham Rap - Wham!

And so the decade of beige goes on - forget all that crap about it being all neon and gaudy. But at least in the summmer, sunshine made the brown a more palatable yellow. Ten London DJs are choosing tracks which holler summer to them. Here we are at 1983, which is surprisingly colourful in my memory. This is probably because it was Best Ever Year in Music. Says me and someone else...

Here's Talia, who DJs at the legendary Popstarz.

In 1983, I was one. Given I am writing about songs from the 80s, this may disgust as many people as it does when I now think that people who are heading to university this summer were born in 1991. In any case it means whatever song I chose from 1983 probably wasn't one I spent that literal summer bopping my head to. Growing up in Blackpool with my non-music listening grandparents meant it took the advent of the Spice Girls before I started my quest of shouting about amazing pop music.

The sensible choice 'du jour' would be to choose Billie Jean but probably everything that's every going to be said about that song has (apart from perhaps - isn't it better when you listen to the S Club Don't Stop Movin' mash up? No??). Can I ignore Indeep's Last Night A DJ Saved My Life whose words cheesily adore my bedroom wall, and which criminally only reached #13 in the charts? What about Bowie's Let's Dance - another artist I didn't really know or understand until moving to London and beginning my Friday night DJ rituals at Popstarz. In fact will I even be allowed to continue playing there if I ignore the 1983 power autumn of indie featuring This Charming Man, Love Cats and Blue Monday?

My choice therefore represents not my 1983 but my 1999 when at sixth form, my best friend Joanne and I 'discovered' the mighty Wham Rap. Much like when we fell in love with Evita and proceeded to buy everything Madonna had ever touched, George Michael's Ladies & Gentlemen album in our Christmas stockings set us off on a George & Wham discovery path that has lasted throughout our friendship. The seafront clubs might have been filled with the likes of Club Tropicana and Freedom, which we might have adored, but it was Wham Rap that soundtracked us learning to drive, sitting in our common room annoying the rest of the girls' who would rather be listening to Puff Daddy.

Forgive my ignorance, but I have to admit that I didn't and probably still don't really understand the bleak landscape of 1983 in terms of jobs and politics was like, but thinking about it I'm fascinated by the idea of George Michael shouting 'DO YOU WANT TO WORK? NO!' and dancing about to such a unequivocally happy sounding funky bassline. A strange and brave choice of debut single in any case.

It might have been 16 years too late for the message the song actually wanted to give but "Do you enjoy what you do if not just stop" was a brilliant motto for us about to head off into the big wide world to have dancing about in our heads."

Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do) - Wham! (zShare)

Here's the, quite frankly, brilliant video. How Georgeous Michael ever got away with being STRAIGHT for so long is anyone's guess seeing as this first vid camps it up from the off.



Talia not only DJs at Popstarz and likes BOTH of Holly Valance's albums. She edits the music section of Lonodonist.com and also produces her own fabulosa blog, Karinski.net.

Previous 80s summer posts
1980: Jump to the Beat - Stacy Lattisaw

1981: Japanese Boy - Aneka
1982: Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop) - Q-Feel

2 comments:

Paul said...

ooo good choice. i still randomly quote lyrics from it at strangers when i'm drunk...

Talia said...

Wow the album version is MUCH better than the video one!

(I only like Holly's 2nd album :) it's brilliant )