21 Jump Street

This awesome show was an American crime show in the 80s (ran from April 1987 to April 1991 for 5 seasons) and was a crime show with a difference.

It was about a group of young cops whose youthful appearances enabled them to work undercover in both high schools and colleges to catch criminal youths. The show’s plots covered social issues that were current int he 80s, typically including alcoholism, hate crimes, drug abuse, gay rights, AIDS, child abuse, and sexual promiscuity. They were quite diverse on the topics covered each episode, and looking back on it now, I think some of the episodes (if new today) could have problems being aired in certain areas of the world.

The plot or storyline of each episode was often solved by the end of the hour long show, which would wrap up the ‘theme’ of that particualr episode and the message it was trying to convey (ie Drugs are bad, the results of teenage alocholism etc). Additionally, or rather intentionally, when the show originally aired in the 80s, some episodes were followed immediately by public service announcements featuring cast members.

Some other famous (or to be famous) people that appeared in the series included Dom DeLuise, Bridget Fonda, Brad Pitt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shannon Tweed.

Jump Street is probably more known these days for Johhny Depp’s role in the series, but he was a little known actor in those days. Depp played officer Tom Hansen for the first 4 series. Some trivia about his character – Jeff Yagher was originally cast as Tom Hanson in the pilot, but was replaced after the original pilot episode was filmed. If you recall, Depp was in the pilot when it aired on TV, and that is because Yagher’s scenes were reshot with Johnny Depp in them.

The main characters (and who played them were as follows:

Johnny Depp as Officer Tom Hanson
Holly Robinson as Officer Judith “Judy” Hoffs
Peter DeLuise as Officer Douglas “Doug” Penhall
Dustin Nguyen as Officer Harry Truman Ioki
Steven Williams as Captain Adam Fuller
Frederic Forrest as Captain Richard Jenko

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80s songs about horses

There were a lot of different themes in the 80s – whether they be fashion, movies or in music. And in music, horses were a popular thing to sing about. Here are three that I can remember and still like.

Wild Horses – Gino Vanelli
This catchy tune was released in 1987, and reached #55 in the US top 100 but #7 in Canada (where Gino was born). The song earnt Vanelli the Juno Award for Recording Engineer of the Year (which he incidentally shared with his brother that year).

The clip is in black and white and features a sexy female playing the harmonica. And no, I have no idea what her name is – in fact I don’t know the names of the other band members either (can someone help me?).

I know I said the tune is catchy, but when you look at the lyrics ……. well I’ll let you make up your own mind. Weird.

As the sun goes down on the Arizona plain
And the wind whistles by like a runaway train
Hey hey hey it’s a beautiful thing
Well it’s me and you and a flatbed truck
My heart kicking over like a whitetail buck
Hey hey hey in the middle of spring

You can cut me deep
You can cut me down
You can cut me loose
Don’t you know it’s okay
You can kick and scream
You can slap my face
You can set my wheels on a high speed chase
Hey no matter what you do

Wild horses could not drag me away from you
Wild horses could not drag me away from you

As the sky falls down from the midnight blue
Spittin’ like bullets on a hot tin roof
Hey hey hey it’s a beautiful sound
Well it’s me and you in a flatbed truck
In a foot of mud just my luck
Hey hey hey a hundred miles out of town

You can call me a fool
You can call me blind
You can call it quits
Can’t hear a word you say
Cause if I had you once
I’m gonna have you twice
I’m gonna follow my heart instead of good advice
Hey no matter what you do

Wild horses could not drag me away from you
Wild horses could not drag me away from you

Watch the video clip on YouTube.

Wild Horses – Nik Kershaw
Not one of Nik’s more popular songs (he had far better), but this one was released in 1984 on ‘The Riddle’. The Riddle reached UK #8, U.S #113, AUS #39.

Laid Back – White Horse
I love this song. Laidback were a Danish band, and released this song in 1983. White Horse was a dance track with a repetitive, memorable bassline and ambiguous, drug and/or sex-themed lyrics (“white horse” being slang for heroin) that became popular in US clubs. It spent three weeks at number one on Billboard’s National Disco Action charts. White Horse ’89 was released in (have a guess) 1989 by Laidback’s label but it did not have the success of the original.

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Level 42 – Running In The Family

Level 42 were a pop band of the 80’s and have quite an interesting history. Arguebly their most successful single (and album of the same name) was ‘running in the family’. The Album was released in 1986, with the single in 1987.That album reached number 1 in many countries.

The main face of Level 42 was Mark King, and in the early years (around 1979-1980) both he and Phil Gould (no longer in the band) became involved in Robin Scott’s pop project M — Gould contributed to the US number one single ‘Pop Muzik’.

Keeping up the momentum of this success, the band played at the Prince’s Trust concert in July 1987, with Eric Clapton standing in on lead guitar for a performance of Running in the Family.

With touring and personal health problems taking their toll on most ofthe band members, the band ended splitting up around 1994, but later in the decade played the odd private show after Mark King had gone solo (and brought in some members/former members in for his performances).

The band ended up reforming in 2001, and this year is their 30th anniversary year with multiple gigs lined up in the UK to be played.

Here is their best song:

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Rick Astley Comeback – again

Rick Astley – probably most famous for ‘never gonna give you up’ back in 1987, is set to release a new single called ‘lights out’ on June 7 in the UK.

He is reported to not be expecting the song to take him to the levels of fame he reached in the eighties, and early reviews of the song would suggest that this will be the case unfortunately.

Here is a link to the song (audio only)

He made history in the UK by becoming the first male artist to reach the pop top 10 with his first eight singles. Never gonna give you up was #1 for 5 weeks, an extraordinary effort for a new, 21 year old singer.

The 44-year-old has sold approximately 40 million records worldwide.

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