Rock The Casbah

It's time to degenerate the faithful...

It’s time to degenerate the faithful…

It’s a brand new year, and a brand new Monday feature for your listening pleasure!  Welcome to the very first installment of what I’ve decided to call DJ Scratchy’s Dusty Vinyl Archive!  Yeah, it’s a mouthful that isn’t any better than whatever dreck I initially called it last week… but I’m sure over time it’ll sound more normal and maybe even get some cute little nickname that’ll roll off the tongue better.  Naturally, I also created a new logo for the series… and for the first time ever, attempted to draw Scratchy myself rather than steal borrow art from someone who thankfully doesn’t read my blog.  It’s not easy to draw a character with a style that is very much unlike your own, but I tried and that’s all you can ask for, right?

dusty vinyl

Of course, with such a massive, fictional archive as Scratchy must have in her imaginary vault, she needed to recruit the Sponkies to help sort through all those old platters just as they virtually assisted her during last year’s cover song countdown.

But enough about the phony backstory that’ll accompany this new feature… you want to hear some lost music, don’t you?  And that’s what Mondays will be about from now on… songs that don’t seem to be as well remembered today, songs that completely fell off the face of the earth, and even songs that are just as weird and bizarre as my blog.  And obviously from that description, the song I teased you with in the opening is not going to be the one that gets chucked up on the turntable today…

OK, they've got the weird part covered...

OK, they’ve got the weird and bizarre part covered…

The Escape Club emerged from the UK in the late 80’s to rock American radio with a catchy little tune about the Wild Wild West.  Many amateur 80’s music jeniuses like to slap the one-hit-wonder label on Escape Club because of how popular this song was (It hit #1) even though they’d go on to have another Top 10 hit in the early 90’s… and that’s not to mention their follow-up song to Wild Wild West that reached #28 in 1988 despite being almost completely forgotten about today.  While the band subtly voiced their thoughts on the political climate of the late Reagan Administration in “West,” there was no sugarcoating things when it came time to record that follow-up “Shake For The Sheik”…

While my thoughts about political songs are about on a par with what I think about political blog posts… great music and lyrics can transcend all that, and I absolutely love “Sheik!”  I’d have completely forgotten this song existed myself had the “Fat cats, big ass rats” line not remained in my head all these years.  Like most late 80’s music that didn’t create a huge splash on the charts, though, it very quickly got relegated to the dumpster of lost classics…

OMG!  Rick Astley!  Is that you?

OMG! Rick Astley! Is that you?

Here’s some trivia for you courtesy of Escape Club’s wiki page… they are apparently the only British band to ever have a #1 song in the US, but never chart in their home country!  I’m not sure what the English were listening to in the late 80’s, but it obviously wasn’t The Escape Club…

I guess they had different prerogatives...

I guess they had different prerogatives…

Join me, Scratchy and the Sponks for another oldie moldy classic next Monday that you can shake to…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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26 Responses to Rock The Casbah

  1. Holly says:

    Why not rename the blog Evil Squirrel’s Earworm Repository and be done with it? 😀

  2. Piglove says:

    Love these Monday episodes of your store – hilarious way to start my Monday. We thought about you last night here at the Hotel Thompson. Have you heard of the new show called Super Store that is coming on television? We immediately thought of you and how robbed you were not being on this show. Snorts. XOXO – Bacon

  3. Trisha says:

    I don’t remember this one at all, but I guess that’s not surprising since 1988 was the year that I didn’t listen to anything except Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. What can I say? It was my senior year of high school and I was drunk most of the time. But, ewwww – now I’m having a Debbie Gibson flashback, so I guess there was some pop in there too.

    I love the new logo! DJ Scratchy and the Sponks are adorable and it’s nice to see Scratchy’s eyes. It makes her more relatable. Although, now I’m trying to imagine what it’s like to move records around with hooves! 🙂

    • Oh, I’ll bet I have some Debbie Gibson somewhere along the line! But to keep you from taking up drinking again, I’ll bet I can dredge up some lost hair band hits as well… in fact, I can think of a few I need to add to the list right now!

      I do hope those hooves don’t break any of those irreplaceable lost records! I’ve kinda felt like I’ve had hooves for hands the last few days with how chilly it’s getting… the number of typos I’ve had to go back and fix due to can’t-feel-my-fingers-itis is driving me up the wall!

      • Trisha says:

        No worries on my taking up drinking again! I bought one of those fancy winter ales to try on New Year’s Eve. I took two sips and dumped it. Beer, whether you call it beer or something fancier-sounding, is just gross! And just a whiff of anything stronger makes me shudder. The strongest thing I’ll be drinking while enjoying The Nest’s trip down musical lane will be coffee or herbal tea.

  4. draliman says:

    I can back up their Wiki claim, as I’m British, was listening to music in the 80s and have never heard of this band. And I can’t say I missed much either 🙂 Although playing a guitar on the back of an ICBM is pretty cool.

    Love the logo!

    • I hear stories of US acts having to go overseas (either to Japan or the UK) to have success, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a British band needed to come to America to get noticed. Maybe that’s because I was surprised to even find out they were from Britain… they seem a lot more like an American band to me.

      The video is almost as cool as the song is! I hope that rocket wasn’t set to explode anywhere…

  5. The Cutter says:

    In their defense, EVERYONE listened to Bobby back in the day.

  6. gentlestitches says:

    OMG! The Sponks look amazing. You have even captured their sparkles! Sooooo Kawaii!

  7. Merbear74 says:

    Nothing like the sound of vintage vinyl!

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Hey you talked about a song that I actually knew! I’m about as far removed from pop music as a woman can be, but the Wild Wild West song I remember. Go figure.

  9. It’s Friday (I’m a little slow – no comments please) but looking forward to Mondays again! Love the idea of “vinyl”. My radio station does vinyl Tuesdays complete with scratches, skips and pops! You’re never too old for nostalgia! 😉

    • Some songs these days insert the vinyl noises right into the song, which is cheating nostalgia. Heck, I’m surprised there are radio stations left that would still have turntables to play a record on! Or that the DJ’s would even know how to work them!

  10. Holy crap I pressed play on that video link and wanted to escape. But you made me laugh.

  11. We were listening to Culture Club, Belinda Carlisle, Wham!, Kylie & Jason, Rick Astley, Duran Duran, Mr Bowie, Maddona, Cher, Cliff Richard, and many, many more…

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