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Showing posts from September, 2009

Retro Vibe Ad of the Day - Cadbury Dairy Milk

There is no no doubt that many of the creative people behind many of the ads we see and hear on TV and radio today are Retro kids from the 70s and 80s. You don't have to go too far for proof.

Today's example, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate TV ad featuring the electro funk classic, "Don't Stop The Rock" from Freestyle. I think it's a good ad since it resonates with me because of the music and it's goofy enough that you'll be talking about it but it took me a few views to finally remember what product the ad was actually about. Not so good as far as advertising goes.

Still - how many of you forgot about this song until you saw it on the Cadbury ad? Retro lives!!



Retro Video of the Day - Tenderness

One of the good things that came out of the break up of Ska wonderkids "The English Beat" in 1983 was the formation of "General Public" by two of the former members. Although originally made up of former members of The Clash, The Specials and Dexy's Midnight Runners, in the end it was only Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger that endured.
Their biggest hit was Tenderness off their first album from 1984, "All The Rage". It managed to reach #11 in Canada and #27 in the U.S. Although they managed a few more hits over the years, including songs on some well known 80s movies like Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, they never matched the same success. Dave still tours as the English Beat and plays General Public tracks but ol' Roger called it quits for good.








Useless Retro Link of the Day - Instant Bueller

Have you ever had one of those moments while working in your cubicle or studying for an upcoming test when a friend or co-worker asks you something so stupid that all you can do is simply stare almost stupdified that they even thought of asking you such a messed up question? Ever wished there was a perfect sound bite for just such a moment?


Well - wish no more. Click the pic below of the clueless teacher (played by the ever awesome Ben Stein) for the link to the perfect soundtrack to this stunned moment.

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

I've only been writing this blog a couple of months and I can't believe how my memorial posts I've had to write for some rather iconic 80s type figures. The latest to the list is Patrick Swayze who sadly lost his battle with pancreatic cancer the other day. Hell of a way to go. You have to admire the fact that he kept right on working right to the end and had a current show on A&E that was doing fairly well.
Whether you liked him or not, his body of work was pretty large and he was an accomplished dancer and released some music as well. He's mainly known by many for his roles in Ghost and Dirty Dancing (which let's face it, wasn't dirty at all in retrospect.......I've seen worse during Sunday mass, but I digress) along with some of his earlier work on The Outsiders, Red Dawn and Young Blood which helped earned him a membership in good standing of the Brat Pack back in the 80s.
As a tribute, here are some examples of Patrick doing what he does which you ma…

Retro Video of the Day - Just an Illusion

In keeping with the whole Beatles buzz this week due to the release of their remastered CDs and video game, today's video is from a group whose name was inspired by John Lennon's Imagine. Imagination was a British trio from the early 80s that delivered some pretty cool R&B mostly while dressed in really retro gladiator style outfits. I'm not kidding.

Their songs charted in 28 countries and they produced three platinum records, nine gold and a dozen silver ones all in the span of three years. Not bad considering many people in North America never even heard of them. "Just an Illusion" was their highest ranked U.S. single at 27 even though it reached #2 in a few countries including the U.K.






Retro Ad of the Day - Diet Pepsi

Some of the most innovative ads of the 80s and 90s were a result of the cola wars that waged between industry giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi. This bitter rivalry started in the late 1800's (talk about retro!) and continues to this very day.

Soft drink origins date back when herbal cola syrup mixtures were sold in pharmacies as cure-alls and brain tonics. Colas back then actually contained coca extract from the kola nut that is better known today as cocaine. Needless to say people liked to get their cola fix but found the stuff too hard to drink straight so pharmacists began mixing it with water at first and eventually soda water which many people found be a very pleasant tasting beverage. Fast forward 100 years, the cocaine is no longer an ingredient, but we're still sucking the stuff back like it actually does a body good. Hardly.

So here's a small tribute to some of the Pepsi ads from back in the day. Why Pepsi instead of Coke? It gave me an excuse to post an ad with a young …

Happy Retro Labour Day

When you think of labour day, you assume it was the brainchild of some tree huggin' Canadian or similar minded forward thinking country but in fact the Labour movement was born in the good ol' U.S.A. The idea of unions and worker's rights was bred in the land known (and often hated by some ass backward countries) for it's capitalists.

Samuel Gompers, an American, is the one to thank for the eight hour work days and worker's compensation. He organized the American Federation of Labour and was their president for many years and helped make the American work force one of the highest paid in the world.


Ironically, another American named Sam, Sam Walton created an outlet for merchandise that is mainly made in non-unionized countries with low standards of living and deplorable work conditions with no benefits, whichhas led to some North American suppliers close theirfactories here and ship jobs off-shore. Go figure.


Something to think about as you chow down on chicken and …

Retro Video of the Day - Sweet Dreams / Pop Muzik

In keeping with the MTV theme from the posting the other day here's two examples of videos that kind of show how quick some artists realized what a powerful media videos could be in giving their music a whole new dimension and got pretty serious about producing a quality video to go along with the song.

Eurythmics came on the scene with "Sweet Dreams" in the early 80s and as if Annie Lennox's incredible voice wasn't enough, you also got the cool visual imagery to accent the song and really solidify the mood and feeling it produced whenever you heard it afterwards. The images of the video made you think how it all connected to the song and it stayed with you. (Having said that - what's with the cow in the video?)




By contrast, Pop Music by "M" (pronouned "Ehmm" - yeah, I'm kidding) was so hokey that it almost seems like a parody produced in someone's basement. Everything from the cheap set to the seizure like dance routines make this …

I Want My MTV - To Start Playing Music Videos Again

There was a time when having your song played on the radio in a regular rotation was the most critical aspect of music promotion. Getting on the air in major markets was paramount to success. It was all about the quality of the music and vocals, there was substance, there was talent, you didn't have to be pretty or ruggedly handsome to have a hit record. Then it all went hell. Well, not at first.




In 1981, Music Television went on the air in the U.S. and single handedly changed the way music was marketed and promoted virtually overnight. MTV was the brainchild of Warner Communications and American Express, who funded Warners' cable business but wanted a commercial outlet to reach the teen and young adult markets who traditionally have high disposable income.

When Warner and Amex gave the go ahead for the channel, the timing couldn't have been worse. In the late 70s, record companies were hurting and looking to cut costs and one of the first things on the chopping block were m…