Thirty singles that defined 1982
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Inspired by the July 3 birthdays of Erasure’s/Yaz’s Vince Clarke, Laura Branigan, Heatwave’s Johnny Wilder Jr., Elle King, Fontella Bass, Johnny Lee, Betty Buckley and The Seekers’ Judith Durham, and the July 2 birthdays of The Temptations’ Paul Williams, Vince Staples, Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay, Monie Love, Saweetie, Burna Boy and Michelle Branch.
Early in the career of the group Dead or Alive, UK music magazine Melody Maker described their lead singer Pete Burns as “a cross between Bette Midler and Jim Morrison.” Sure.
At the time Burns was sharing a home and a bed with his wife Lynne and his lover Steve. His marriage with Lynne dissolved in 2006, the year he announced his engagement to a man named Michael.
Today Burns celebrates his 57th birthday. Tunes du Jour kicks off its weekly dance party with Dead or Alive’s “Brand New Lover,” with lead vocals by the man Melody Maker called a “transvestite sex symbol.” Sure.
The B-52’s 1980 single “Private Idaho” made Pitchfork’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs from Punk to Present,” present being 2006. In his capsule review, Nitsuh Abebe wrote “Those who dismiss the B-52’s as silly or kitschy should live in fear of the frenzied last half-minute, which sounds like it’s out to track those people down, lock them up in cages, and make them go-go dance until they cry for mercy.”
Every Friday, Tunes du Jour tries to make you dance to welcome in the weekend. This week’s dance playlist kicks off with The B-52’s’ “Private Idaho,” featuring the vocals of Fred Schneider, who turns 65 today. (By the way, the B-52’s first performed in Idaho in 2011.)
They came to dance. They came to celebrate. They came to enjoy life. They came to love.
They went to a place where they would feel comfortable. They went to a place where they would feel safe and supported. They went to a place where they could be themselves. They went to a place where they could be as gay as they truly are and wanted to be. They went to a place where they could escape the shitty world outside, with shitty jobs and shitty people with shitty views of those who are different than they are.
It was a Saturday night, and they needed to dance.
Children didn’t stop going to school, African Americans didn’t stop going to church, and we won’t stop going to clubs.
We will mourn. We will cry. We will persevere. We will win.
It’s Friday, and we need to dance. Don’t think you can stop us. Our Pulse is strong.