Overanalyzing 80s pop music

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Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:49 pm

Felt like rambling about one of my favorite songs, "Desert Moon" by Dennis Deyoung. Not because it's necessarily a musical masterpiece but it has a lot of emotional connections for me, and looking back on it made me philosophical.

Starting with just the song,

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/denn ... _moon.html

It is a great song about reconnecting with a person from your past that slipped away. The lyrics tell a story of a man at a train station presumably returning to his hometown (the "Desert Moon" of the title), perhaps for a holiday, and is addressed incidentally by a woman asking if it's the right train for his town. They simultaneously realize that they know each other, in fact they were high school sweethearts. She just happened to be returning there too, and they have met again as if by fate. They take the train together and reminisce in a dining car as the train leaves. It's implied that they may fall in love again, and the chorus layers in general nostalgia and lost innocence themes.

Then we get to the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cFOLFtw2Ic

It turns the whole story on its head and deconstructs it mercilessly. He comes to his hometown, arrives by himself, is greeted by friends/family. Something's distracting him, and at his first opportunity he asks after his old girlfriend and finds that she no longer lives there and moved to Chicago. So the story told by the lyrics? It's a fantasy he made up in his head. My own speculation follows -- when it came up that he was returning to Desert Moon, he regretted having lost contact with his old girlfriend, and daydreamed about randomly running into her again on the train home. It fits with how perfectly out of the blue it was, and how even the minute details were suffused with deeper symbolism: "The waiter poured our memories in a tiny cup". He built up his daydream into the perfect, most romantic moment he could imagine.

The whole time at the departing station he probably looked around for her, even though there was no reason to imagine she'd turn up. Finally he got on the train and headed home. Now starting to obsess, he decided maybe she still lived in Desert Moon and he'd look her up.

Back to what's actually in the video, after hearing the news, he's totally listless. He practically sleepwalks through being reunited with his family and oldest friends, not even being able to completely enjoy getting his classic Mustang from the old days going again. All he can think about now is finding her. He has a pretty good time with his buddies, but in the morning he's on a mission. So he gives his beloved car to his... friend? brother?... it isn't clear...and takes another train to Chicago (from an iconic station) to try and find her there.

A couple of thoughts come to mind--the song connects with me so much because I've had that fantasy before, of randomly meeting someone that used to be important to me, that parts of a lost past of unfinished stories can suddenly start again.

The second, and perhaps sadder thought: such a fantasy is now all but impossible. Not because you can't find old friends, but because it's too easy. In 2009 I got on Facebook and managed to reconnect with just about everyone from my past that I gave a damn about. It felt good but obviously didn't have the romantic sheen of random fate. Technology has rendered obsolete that entire genre of story except as a period piece--today's youths will rarely lose contact entirely with their childhood friends and loved ones, and almost never quite feel firsthand the emotions that inspired this song.
Last edited by gnome on Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:31 pm

My analysis of Hungry Like the Wolf.

Duran Duran is quite peckish. Rather like a wolf.

I am terrible at this.
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:44 pm

Just remember.

You can't spell "overanalyze" without A N A L. :BigGrin3:
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:55 pm

Nyarlathotep wrote:My analysis of Hungry Like the Wolf.

Duran Duran is quite peckish. Rather like a wolf.

I am terrible at this.


I dunno, is there more to be said? :D
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Doctor X » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:05 pm

"Take Me Home" is the ravings of a patient in a mental hospital.

No
"There's a fire that's been burning right outside my door."

"They don't think that I listen, but I know who they are."

Whereas the Worst Song Ever Made that Does Not Involve a Michael Jackson Paul McCartney Duet--"Sussudio"--is merely the sound a hi-hat makes as you slightly open it and then close it when striking it. Collins eventually gave up and agreed to saying it is a girl's name.


"Every Breath You Take" is, indeed, about a stalker.

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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Grammatron » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:12 pm

You just reminded me Doctor X (Rivers etc.) about how 80's music has these creepy lyrics and everyone was cool with them. Like "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles.

Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling
Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand?
Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming?
Is this burning an eternal flame?

I believe it's meant to be, darling
I watch when you are sleeping, you belong with me
Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming?
Or is this burning (burning) an eternal flame?


No good times there.
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Nyarlathotep » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:07 am

There is a countdown. There will be no more countdowns after this one. Not even a short one. It's the Final Countdown
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Nyarlathotep » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:10 am

Also, it turns out that young women really prefer to spend their time doing enjoyable things

The get annoyed when their parents suggest otherwise.
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:12 am

Overanalyzing 80s pop music ... because the 1970s stuff doesn't really lend itself to overanalysis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFOnZAzjeoU
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Nyarlathotep » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:19 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Overanalyzing 80s pop music ... because the 1970s stuff doesn't really lend itself to overanalysis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFOnZAzjeoU


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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:46 am

Doctor X wrote:"Take Me Home" is the ravings of a patient in a mental hospital.

No [button=Seriously]"There's a fire that's been burning right outside my door."

"They don't think that I listen, but I know who they are."


I can see that element... interesting.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:50 am

Grammatron wrote:You just reminded me Doctor X (Rivers etc.) about how 80's music has these creepy lyrics and everyone was cool with them. Like "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles.

Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling
Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand?
Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming?
Is this burning an eternal flame?

I believe it's meant to be, darling
I watch when you are sleeping, you belong with me
Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming?
Or is this burning (burning) an eternal flame?


No good times there.


A good example. Or, how about George Harrison's "Set on You"...

And this time I know it's for real
The feelings that I feel
I know if I put my mind to it
I know that I really can do it


Nary a word about whether the target of his affection is interested. That's merely an obstacle to overcome. A "friendzone" anthem :)
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Doctor X » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:05 am

Then there is sort of stalker anthem: Blondie: "One or Another"

It is okay since it is a girl who sings it. Though Deborah says it refers to someone who stalked her.

In reference to Nyarl's example regarding nubile females desiring diversion, "She-Bop" refers to masturbation.

I was then going to pontificate on the more pretentious song writers, but I do not think Gabriel, and Sting's music--"Every Breath You Take" notwithstanding--get misunderstood. With Gabriel, people just do not want to bother to figure it all had to do with a really bad mushroom trip he took with his wife so he saw visions on his front lawn. Rush, sure, but no one listens to their music for Geddy Lee's singing or the lyrics . . . or anything.

I think most know that "Born in the USA" was popularly misunderstood.

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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:58 pm

On a related topic, found this gem... someone on Tumblr decided to overanalyze "Back to the Future"--but it gets better. They're not overanalyzing the movie--they're going over in exquisite detail how weird the book is compared to the movie.

The writer is hilarious, so it's good stuff.

http://btothef.tumblr.com/tagged/bttf/chrono
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Bruce » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:24 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Just remember.

You can't spell "overanalyze" without A N A L. :BigGrin3:


And remember, ANAL originates from ANALYTICAL, not from ANUS.
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Bruce » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:30 pm

Every 80s pop song must have a saxophone solo, especially when it's completely out of place.

Well, how about that. The internet already did all the work for me:

http://www.goretro.com/2013/04/saxy-songs-of-80s.html
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Bruce » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:25 am

One of Lady Gaga's last hits was my favorite. I couldn't figure out why until I saw the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeWBS0JBNzQ

She was intentionally trying to make an 80s style pop song, and what would an 80s style pop song be without a saxophone solo? And hey, what luck! Saxophone legend Clarence Clemons, who was the life blood of many Bruce Springsteen hits was still alive.

Once the sax solo starts, wow, it's so full of soul. Every time I hear the song, I want to fast forward through the slutty girl stuff and get right to the sax riff. Tragically, Clarence died shortly after this video was made in 2011. :cry:
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:32 am

Not a bad performance to go out on...
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby Bruce » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:36 am

gnome wrote:Not a bad performance to go out on...


I know, right? It was great to see him back in action.

Just seems a little sad that it was in a GaGa video.

On the other hand, she just made him look that much better by comparison. :D
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Re: Overanalyzing 80s pop music

Postby gnome » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:27 am

Bruce wrote:Every 80s pop song must have a saxophone solo, especially when it's completely out of place.

Well, how about that. The internet already did all the work for me:

http://www.goretro.com/2013/04/saxy-songs-of-80s.html


Oh yeah... that's the structure.

Verse, verse, hook, verse, bridge, sax solo, hook, fade...
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2


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