Men Without Hats – Safety Dance

Safety Dance was one of those one hit wonders that did go quite well in the charts worldwide. Released in 1982, the song is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s New Wave music in clubs when Disco was dying and New Wave was up and coming. If you recall, there was a medieval theme to the music video too. How that fits in to the theme is still a loss to me.

New Wave dancing was different from Disco dancing because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. This could be seen dangerous, especially if pogoers (if that’s a term) bounced into one another – accidentally or otherwise. The bouncers didn’t like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression.

Men without hats was a band from Montreal, Canada. But Safety Dance was actually filmed in England with only the band leader Ivan Doroschuk in the video. Enjoy it below:

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Handheld games of the 80s – Game & Watch

The 80’s were the decade that started the trend in what we enjoy today in handheld games – thanks to Nintendo.

These very simple games took the world by storm. The size and simplicity made these very addictive to all. It was always a challenge to beat the highest score – even if it was only by one point. There were normally ‘Game A’ and ‘Game B’ options on these units, with the latter being a much harder and quick paced game (nearly impossible to master in my opinion).

Although googling the history of these devices reveals a few titles I have never heard of or seen, I think Game and Watch’s first game to stardom was Parachute:

This game was released in 1981, and the aim is to move your rowboat left and right to catch the parachutists that are being dropped from the helicopter. You need to ensure that they are caught, otherwise the shark in the water eats them up. As time gos one, the parachutists become more regular and more of them are released.

Also released in 1981 was Octopus:

The aim of this game was to guide your diver down to the treasure chest and get the gold, and then bring it back into your boat. Sound easy? Oh, I forgot to add that there is Octopus with long tentacles trying to stop you 🙂

Many other titles were released, and Nintendo also then released multi screen games that were still simple but required keeping an eye on the action on both screens whilst playing. The most popular no doubt was Donkey Kong:

No need to explain what you need to do in this game, which came out in 1982.

Also in 1982, Oil Panic came out. Although not as popular as Donkey Kong, it wasn’t a bad game. I had one of these, and kick myself now for not keeping it all those years ago.

The idea behind this game was to catch the leaking oil from the pipes above with your bucket and drop them into your bosse’s oil drum. Missing oil or dropping onto motorists below caused you to lose a life.

If you wish to relive the fun of these games, some online versions can be found here.

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ET – “Phone Home”

E.T. (Extra Terrestrial) was the top grossing film of the 80’s.

The Steven Spielberg film, released in 1982, is the story of Elliot, a lonely boy who befriends a friendly alien, who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the alien return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

E.T. learns to speak English by repeating what Gertie (played by Drew Barrymore in one of her early movies) says in response to her watching Sesame Street .

It enlists Elliott’s help in building a device to “phone home” by using a Speak & Spell toy, hence the infamous line repeated even to this day.

Elliott and E.T. ride a bicycle to the forest on Halloween, where E.T. makes a successful call home. Again, something else synomonous with the film and the 80’s is the picture of them flying in front of the moon.


According to Wikipedia, after his parents’ divorce in 1960, Spielberg filled the void with an imaginary alien companion. Spielberg said that E.T. was “a friend who could be the brother I never had and a father that I didn’t feel I had anymore”. Hence the movie was born.

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