Friday, November 25, 2011

80's Guilt #31: Tracey Ullman "They Don't Know" (1983)

Damn, this song is way better than we had remembered... Time for bullet-points:

  • '60s nostalgia was a profitable commodity in 1983, the same year The Kinks unexpectedly scored their highest charting single, and The Beatles appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time in 12 years. "They Don't Know" made sense as an obvious hit, sounding like a perfect combination of Dusty Springfield and The Temptations. As a result, it's currently heard often on Sirius 25, Little Steven's garage-rock channel.
  • Written by Kirsty MacColl who's most famous for singing on The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." If you wanna read a heartbreakingly fucked up Wikipedia entry, head in this direction...
  • Vivid memories of the first time we heard Bart Simpson yell "What the hell?!" on The Tracey Ullman Show and thinking it was the most groundbreaking and hilarious thing that had ever been on TV. We were also confused about whether she was the same Tracey Ullman who sang "They Don't Know."
  • Weak video, but in 1983, most of them were. The single was on a punk label, so it's likely the budget was limited, although for some reason Paul McCartney makes a cameo at the end.
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