I know it's only superstition, baby but I won't look back...
I have vivid memories of "Electric Avenue", as it played a big part in our family vacation in June of that year. It was our first vacation without my mother (my parents had separated earlier that year) and my dad packed up our turd-colored 1978 Malibu and hauled me (age 9) my sister Michelle (age 16) and my oldest sister Eileen (age 19 and home from Knox College for the summer) from Indianapolis to Panama City, Florida. It was an excruciating 12-hour drive in the scorching heat with just a tiny bit of wheezy air-conditioning flowing through the vents. The trip definitely took its toll on my father, who had to deal with my incessant whines of "How much longer?" along with the constant din of my sisters bickering over which radio stations to listen to. But the biggest thing I remember about being trapped in the sticky, sweltering backseat was "Electric Avenue," which was on the radio about three times an hour. Halfway through our epic sojourn to the sea, "Electric Avenue" went from a track that I kind of dug to "Oh my Gawd, not this song again! Come on you guys! Change the station!" Despite my dad's failing memory, to this day he still brings up our drive to Panama City and that damn song.
Over the years, however, my feelings have softened towards "Electric Avenue". It comes on my Pandora station quite a bit and I almost never hit "skip" when I hear the opening notes. But my favorite Eddy Grant song is one that I didn't discover for another twenty-five years: a breezy little ditty called "I Don't Wanna Dance," which was evidently a smash hit in the UK but barely registered on this side of the pond. I first encountered it on an old "Top of the Pops" episode, one of many that John has downloaded for me over the years. (TotP episodes from the 1970s and 80s are like crack for me; it's where I've discovered some truly bizarre/amazing British songs that I'd never have known about otherwise. It's also where I was first introduced to the magic of "Egyptian Reggae" and the dancing camel. Seriously: Jonathan Richman + Pan's People + DANCING CAMEL is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed).
So without further ado, here is my latest pick for the "Rescued From Obscurity" series. It's a great song that deserves some recognition. The video is simple, low-budget and fun, and Eddy Grant's truly wicked dreadlocks are a sight to behold. Seriously, those dreads need to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (or at least encased in glass on the wall of a Hard Rock Cafe).