Flight Of The Concorde

Pictured above:  NOT Menudo.

Pictured above: NOT Menudo.

Ah, the late 80’s.  Everything was so colorful and rad.  Looking at the picture above, you’d swear it was inspired by a scene from “Full House” or “Saved By The Bell”.  But no, what flashback fridayyou’re looking at is probably the most forgotten popular music group in the history of rock and roll…

I was blessed to have satellite radio in the car I drove to and from Texas on my trip this week, which is good since the drive was 12 hours one way, and rural Arkansas (yes, that’s redundant) is not known for its quality of radio stations.  So instead of listening to Preacher Jimmy Bob tell me about how I’m going to hell, I was able to listen to 12 hour blocks of 80’s music on Sirius XM’s Channel 8.  Believe me, I heard pretty much every song associated with the decade at some point on the way there or back, as well as a few surprises…

Alas, they did not play Mr. Lekakis' classy hit single...

Alas, they did not play Mr. Lekakis’ classy hit single…

The 80’s on 8 has a feature at around quarter till the hour where they play a “Lost Hit of the 80’s”.  Oftentimes, the song really is one that you hardly hear anymore, though some of them are not songs I’d really consider to be lost hits (like Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop”, for instance).  Then there are lost hits that make me wonder how in the hell we can have such short memories of the songs of the era that were popular.  And it was maybe 50 miles into Arkansas on an early Tuesday morning that Sirius XM played this as their lost hit of the hour…

Before I start ranting about how much this pissed me off, here are the facts.  “Crush On You” was the first single by a group called The Jets to become a hit, and it wasn’t some minor success… it made it all the way to #3 on the charts.  That’s a position a lot of better known 80’s songs never touched…

And also a nice day for a song that peaked at #36...

And also a nice day for a song that peaked at #36…

The Jets didn’t just release that one song and fade away like an old Polaroid picture.  They had six Top 40 hits in all spanning just three years from 1986-1988, five of which landed in the Top 10!!!  They were staples of Nickelodeon’s video show “Nick Rocks” at the time, and were even popular enough to get to perform the National Anthem at Game 7 of the 1987 World Series!  That’s a gig even fellow Minnesotan Prince couldn’t pull off..

Prince was too busy singing at The World Series of Love.

Prince was too busy singing at The World Series of Love.

Yet by the 1990’s, not even 5 years after these modern day Osmonds set the pop music scene on fire, they were quickly stashed into the repressed memory file in our brains so that we could get all angsty with Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.  Along with the eye-stinging fashion and the fun loving wholesome attitudes the band projected in its videos, their music also did a major disappearing act.  To this day, The Jets and their five Top 10 hits have been reduced to spinning in the Lost Hit bargain bin.  How did this travesty happen!?!?

laker socks

It’s a conspiracy against people who wear colored socks!!!

Well, first of all, The Jets were like an 80’s version of The Osmonds, only without the variety show every celebrity who lived through the 70’s used to have.  The eight original members of the band were literally not even half of the Wolfgramm family, which comprised of 15 biological children.  Not surprisingly, they were also Mormon.  Oh, and they were of Tongan descent.  Yep, the 80’s were a weird place and time.

Native Tongans doing the happy dance for my new character Wiki.

Native Tongans doing the happy dance for my new character Wiki.

The Jets did themselves no favors on the fame endurance scale when they decided they’d rather do other stuff than just spit out Top 10 hit after Top 10 hit.  One by one, the older Wolfgramms left the band, and the remaining members replaced them with even younger siblings and made the huge mistake of converting over to a gospel group.  Elvis Presley got away with performing gospel songs because he was Elvis Fucking Presley, and he knew no matter what crap he barfed out and put on a record, he’d still be adorning velvet art on street corners long after he faked his death.  The Jets were not in Elvis territory.  America took Janet Jackson’s advice, and asked what had The Jets done for them lately, and quickly flushed them down the toilet with the rest of the late 80’s pop movement…

Mommy!  Why is the toilet full of hair?

Mommy! Why is the toilet full of hair?

You see, as I alluded to in last week’s Flashback Friday when mentioning Debbie Gibson, it seems like most pop acts from the late 80’s got shipped off to Siberia, particularly the divas.  Tiffany, Jody Watley, Expose, Karyn White and Martika are all on sprawled out on the skid row of memory lane along with D-D-D-Debbie and The Jets, and they’d likely have been joined by Paula Abdul had she not had a resurgence in popularity a decade ago after her success as an American Idol judge.  Why?  Disco, which came a decade earlier, became so reviled by the music loving population that they literally blew the entire genre up.  Yet disco survives to this day on most retro and variety radio formats.  What was it about the 80’s pop sensations that left them out in the cold?  I don’t have a good answer for this…

Apparently, the future isn't Electric Youth....

Apparently, the future isn’t Electric Youth….

So despite the fact that they recorded Grammy nominated songs, released several Top 3 Billboard hits, and even recorded the song that was the slow dance at every late 80’s prom (and if that song doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, you need to turn in your card to the human race), do The Jets get any love for the joy they brought to us in the 80’s?  Heck no.  Arnold from Green Acres probably still has a bigger fan club than The Jets do.  But for being such a memorable part of my 80’s experience, and giving us music that still never fails to make me happy during the rare times I get to hear it, today The Nest would like to salute the Mighty Mormon Power Singers!  We did then, and we still do now have a crush on you, and thanks for keeping it real unlike this generation’s class of “pop” singers…

No, I wouldn't want to wear a nudie suit and sneakers and shake my booty for you... why would you even ask?

No, I wouldn’t want to wear a nudie suit and sneakers and shake my booty for you in front of millions of people… why would you even ask?

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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11 Responses to Flight Of The Concorde

  1. C.K. Hope says:

    If it weren’t for you and your 80s flashbacks many things from my childhood would be lost in that well of …er, old age 😉 I didn’t have a clue who the Jets were until I listened to the video lol THEN I remembered, you couldn’t turn on the radio back then without one of their songs playing!

  2. merbear74 says:

    I loved the Jets and that song…wow…why? Didn’t they sing “Over all him” or “All over you.” Or something like that? Damn am I old.

    • Yep, that’s the middle link I provided in the last paragraph… “You Got It All”, which was their other #3 hit. They just did great songs without ever causing any controversy, I guess they were just too wholesome for our current tastes in entertainment…

      • merbear74 says:

        Yeah. I remember hearing that song for the first time in a hotel room on a family trip to Niagara falls. I thought, wow, what a nice, decent song. No tits or ass in sight…

  3. draliman says:

    I hate to be the voice of dissent, but I listened to the first 38 seconds of that song and had to make it stop. Sorry 😦 I guess I have no taste.
    80s-wise, I was more Duran Duran/a-ha/Bangles/Bananarama I guess.

    Love your flashback posts (he said quickly, terrified of being banned from The Nest) 🙂

    • Now now now… I don’t require everyone to agree with me! The worst I might do is put a severed possum head on your pillow…. 😉

      To each their own, I say, and there is nothing at all wrong with the version of 80’s music you mentioned. There isn’t much from the decade I don’t like. But those acts you listed also still get the airplay today, so no Flashback Friday for them!

  4. I forgot about them too. They were great and from Tonga, one of the places I would love to visit one day.

  5. pishnguyen says:

    Ah 80s music … it should all live on. What fun and fantastic songs. As always, a great Flashback Friday.

  6. dogfordavid says:

    ahhh the 80’s… I miss that era and the music and shows that came with it

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