These two songs come from the same night, the always-entertaining WXYC 80s Dance at the Cat's Cradle. Feather boas, legwarmers, and glitter abounded, but here's two songs that I'll remember from back then:
Modern English — I'll Melt With You
Despite it being over twenty years old, I hadn't heard this until the night itself. Modern English were originally a punk band known as The Lepers, but exposure to Joy Division led to their first album under their new name (1981's Mesh & Lace) becoming a downbeat post-punk gloom piece. Happily for all concerned, they had all bought themselves a big ice-cream by the time 1982 came around, so After The Snow wasn't quite so goth. They still couldn't find any success in the UK, but I'll Melt With You became a huge hit on American radio, even ending up as part of the soundtrack to Valley Girl. The single stalled just outside the American Top 40, but the infectious hooks and glorious "mmm mmm mmm" finale meant that it stayed inside the hearts and minds of young Americans everywhere. So, hurrah for America for loving a song which we didn't! That doesn't entirely let you off the hook for Clay Aiken, but it's a start.
(the version linked above is the 7" remix, which is what I think they actually played at the Cradle, whereas I only have the album version at the moment. The only difference seems to be louder synths on the single)
Lazyboy — Underwear Goes Inside The Pants
Strictly speaking, I didn't hear this at the dance, as it's a new song. But! I did hear it on the night itself, when Laura and I were heading out to Wal-Mart at 3am to buy white trainers. What? Anyway, this song came on the radio, and we sat in the parking lot cracking up as it got funnier and funnier. A withering spoken-word attack on the Western World as it is in 2004. Remember the great Obesity Epidemic of 2004, my friends…