New Wave has always been a savory and integral source of audio protein. As a child of the 80s, the synth-lead, bass-droning enormity of some of my New Wave Favs (Bangles’, Walk Like an Egyptian, Animotion’s Obsession, and Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) to name only a few) still offer a wealth of fascinating childhood memories that seem not to go away with sequential spins; for this, I am ecstatically appreciative.
So, leave it to ol’ K-Tel to put together a 1982 comp (featuring none of the above mentioned personal favs), with a cover that’s two-parts Take on Me, and one part opening credits to Saved By the Bell. Overall this comp is a fairly decent representation of New Wave up to 1982. Personally, Squeeze should at least have had Cool for Cats on here, if not their more excitable, Slap and Tickle, but they didn’t ask me to contribute to this compilation… no sir they did not. I’m not entirely sure what I could have offered at the ripe age of three, but personal preferences aside, The Beat by K-Tel is a welcoming trip down (I Want) Candy Cane Lane, even if the sum of its parts comes a bit short of the high water mark.
1993 was an interesting year. I was 14, and back then, New Jack Swing was alive and violently flowing from the radio waves like a raging river of hip hop and dance-pop fusion, but you know, with tight-rolled Z Cavaricci’s and LA Gear footwear.
Shifting away from spoon-fed radio, for me, was a slow burn. We only had two radio stations that played anything other than Western or Country, and the closest record store was something like 40 miles away. A bit too far for me and my trusty BMX, as it turned out.
If I Had No Loot was a recent purchase, a $1 thrift store find actually, and serves as one of those “throwback” records that I’ll frequent when the thoughts of my younger years slowly begin to seep through the thin layer of 2013 reality. Other bands that fit this category include Animotion, Tone-Lōc, Paula Abdul, R.E.M., Prince, Jane’s Addiction, Faith No More and Pet Shop Boys (I was a confused kid).
For all its amazing shortcomings, If I Had No Loot still manages to stand its ground, and is as catchy and enjoyable as when I heard it for the first time screaming from Z-104 (104 FM) out of Madison, WI. People say music is timeless. I say, music is a time casket, emerging from yesteryear like a Pepe jean, Hypercolor shirt wearing zombie.