The Lists #14 by Scott Hoffman
The Worst of the ’80s
“Kyrie Eleison” – Mr. Mister
This bloated, pretentious mess reaches for great inspirational heights and falls far, far short of its goal. “Kyrie Eleison” is Greek for “Lord, have mercy.” Mr. Mister chose the phrase supposedly because they liked the way the words sounded. The title of this song should be “Lord, what were we thinking?”
“A View to a Kill” – Duran Duran
James Bond themes are by nature hit and miss (except, of course, for Monty Norman’s classic jazz riff). When they are good, they are very very good and when they are bad they are horrid. Sort of like Bond’s puns. Perhaps then, D2 shouldn’t be blamed for this disappointing effort. But Bond’s babes, bombs and fashion formula seems to be the inspiration of D2’s own image and ethos…consider, for example, their video for “Hungry Like the Wolf.” You’d think they would’ve put more into this.
“God Bless the U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood
Nativist, jingoist Reagan-era tripe meant to make us feel good about gutting social programs, recklessly building up our already bloated nuclear arsenal, and invading small Caribbean islands for self-aggrandizement and profit. Oh, don’t get me started….
“Goonies ‘R Good Enough” – Cyndi Lauper
Not good enough, really. Lauper made this for Steven Spielberg’s forgettable mid-80s summer flick Goonies. The song is as about as good as the movie. Which isn’t saying much. Not everything Spielberg touches is gold. But we all know that.
“(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” – Cutting Crew
NOTE: This list originally appeared on High Bias
Scott Hoffman (Episode 66, essay) is an independent scholar and native Austinite living and working in his hometown. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University in 2005 and is currently revising his manuscript Haloed by the Nation: Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America. In 2008, he was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy for researching and writing The World, the War and Texas, a public television documentary about Texans during the Second World War. His publications include “How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? St. Maria Goretti in the Post-Counter-Cultural World” in The CRITIC and “Holy Martin: The Overlooked Canonization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “‘Last Night I Prayed to Matthew:’ Matthew Shepard, Homosexuality and Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America,” both in Religion and American Culture. This year he completed compiling an LBGT Resource Guide for the Austin History Center. In his spare time Scott likes to sing like nobody’s listenin’ and dance like nobody’s watchin’, which means he tends to wail and flail his arms a lot…