06 April 2012

Retro Video Unit (4/6/12)

Today's selection is inspired by memories of a concert I attended in the spring of 1983 at the old Walter Brown Arena at BU. The headlining band was The English Beat, touring in support of their album from the previous year, Special Beat Service, which turned out to be their last.

At the time they were reasonably popular (helped by this video's frequent play on MTV) but still firmly "alternative," so people like me who were fans of non-mainstream music could still feel comfortable liking them.

By the way, the opening band at that concert was R.E.M. Their debut full-length album Murmur had just been released, and they were on the same label as The English Beat. I feel very lucky to have seen them so early in their career, so let's have a bonus video tonight, shall we? I usually like to go with the official version, but I found a clip of R.E.M.'s first television appearance, on Late Night With David Letterman from October of 1983, making it a dually significant cultural artifact.

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