Men Without Hats, "The Safety Dance" video

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What is there to say? It's beyond words.

The Android Cat (Dan Perry), Saturday, 28 October 2006 16:16 (sixteen years ago) link

dancing dwarf
cross-eyed blonde ren faire chick
all so bad

kyle (akmonday), Saturday, 28 October 2006 16:17 (sixteen years ago) link

all so bad great

Better.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 28 October 2006 16:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh Christ. This is classic. Sorry I didn't think to look that one up on You Tube myself.

An evening of fun in the metropolis of your dream (Bimble...), Saturday, 28 October 2006 16:19 (sixteen years ago) link

that video put such a huge imprint on my pscyhe it's unbelievable...MTV used to show it all the time. I was really young though and I remember years later hearing them referred to as a synth-pop band and I was like, "no, I'm sure they're like a pastoral folky rock band", just because the imagery from that video dominated my head.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Saturday, 28 October 2006 17:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Song is pretty great, but video is crap.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 28 October 2006 17:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Damn dial-up connection! I've seen TSD video enough that I didn't feel the need to revisit, but there's also videos on YouTube for I Like, Where Do The Boys Go, and some live footage!? Haven't yet discovered whether there's a video for Moonbeam as well...how nice that would be! Presently waiting for Pop Goes The World to download, since I only saw that one a few times way back when.

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:22 (sixteen years ago) link

I saw them live in Portland when I was in high school. There weren't that many people in the audience, so singer dude blamed the fact that the Scorpions were playing at the Memorial Coliseum. OH CANADAPAWS

Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:24 (sixteen years ago) link

easily in my top ten songs of all time

latebloomer: Winner of the Congressional Medal of....UGLY (latebloomer), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I remember when they showed this on Top Of The Pops at the time. Everyone at my school loved it. Who couldn't?

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Infact thats just made me go looking for that Falco video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey9ie1L4Z1g

Which is defintely in my top 10 songs of all time.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:48 (sixteen years ago) link

It stills amazes me that I have an original vinyl copy of this song. I had never seen the video until now.

R_S (RSLaRue), Saturday, 28 October 2006 21:59 (sixteen years ago) link

the video is memorably goofy, but the version of the song is not the LP version which has the best part.. the sparse "S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y Safe-safe-safe-safe DANZ-danz-danz-danz" and the singing of that first verse to just the bass synth line.. made the whole difference in the song..

but that would ruin the ren-faire in the video, so they used the boring single version

"Pop Goes The World" is a much better song.

gwynywdd dwnyt fyrwr byychydd gww (donut), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Yay, Moonbeam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOU3QGbiRS4

(Apparently filmed right after Pop Goes The World so the band could get maximum mileage out of their rented costumes. Ok, finally seeing the video didn't blow my mind, but if PGTW is > Safety Dance, Moonbeam is very possibly > either.)

Aren't there different versions of the lp, some with the long, some with the short version of Safety Dance?

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:35 (sixteen years ago) link

US version of rhythm of youth has the long version.. which is the same as the 12" version.

gwynywdd dwnyt fyrwr byychydd gww (donut), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:38 (sixteen years ago) link

single version of 'safety dance' has a more layered synth sound, much more majestic and powerful

12" / US album version has louder drums, more stripped down trancey sections, and the chanted spelling

someone seriously needs to re-release this on CD, and it needs to be the original Statik track listing with the first version of the album & the 'folk of the 80's' ep & 'safety' 12" version as bonus tracks. someone, please hear me.

milton parker (Jon L), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:43 (sixteen years ago) link

this one:

http://www.discogs.com/release/338843

milton parker (Jon L), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:43 (sixteen years ago) link

and if they wanted to be nice, throw on 'freeways' and the 'i got the message' 12" version

milton parker (Jon L), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Wow, I guess they made a habit of multiple similarly themed videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFpcWOTABac

[I Like, which I'd never seen before, contains some familiar faces...]

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Dan Selzer is right - it's the deep impression on the psyche that this video made. Somewhere along the way I found it impossible to think of the song without the video.

Am I laughing or crying? Am I ripping or burning? (Bimble...), Saturday, 28 October 2006 22:58 (sixteen years ago) link

I had the complementary experience... I was floored by hearing the club version on the radio, and then I was all bummed when I finally saw the video and there were dwarfs and maidens instead of some weirdo men that didn't have hats!

gwynywdd dwnyt fyrwr byychydd gww (donut), Saturday, 28 October 2006 23:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Ned, is this you doing the safety dance?

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Sunday, 29 October 2006 01:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Well, I could act like an imbecile.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 October 2006 01:20 (sixteen years ago) link

"act like"

Marmot (marmotwolof), Sunday, 29 October 2006 01:21 (sixteen years ago) link

*weeps*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 October 2006 01:23 (sixteen years ago) link

;-)

Marmot (marmotwolof), Sunday, 29 October 2006 01:24 (sixteen years ago) link

This song also represents a real milestone in my development, too. It was the first time I realized there was something outside of the Top 40, because I'd discovered it when it had only hit Billboard's Hot 100. I always remember it that way, as the gateway drug to other pleasures of underground music. In a few years, I would discover college radio.

Am I laughing or crying? Am I ripping or burning? (Bimble...), Sunday, 29 October 2006 02:12 (sixteen years ago) link

This freaked me out as an 11 year old when I saw it on "Friday Night Videos". I could not believe that a Canadian band had a video on that show. That song was not on mainstream radio in Saskatchewan at that time, so it was baffling to me.(my friend had the 12"). The medieval theme of the video tripped me out as well. Thanks for posting that youtube link.

chad (chad), Sunday, 29 October 2006 04:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Bimble, this was a HUGE Top 40 song. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Safety Dance" were both vying for the top spot for awhile I think.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:01 (sixteen years ago) link

I imagined that if the world of The Princess Bride ran music videos then The Safety Dance might be something they might watch all the time and they might compliment the makers of the video and the band for accurately portraying their lifestyle.

Cunga (Cunga), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Surely you mean Willow.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Anyway, that was the year of "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Every Breath You Take," "Red Red Wine," "Let's Dance," "All Night Long (All Night)," "True," and "Karma Chameleon" so it had some competition. At the time I liked it better than any of those songs.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Man. The way Falco exits that carriage in the Amadeus video? That little snap he does? Awesome moves.

Being too young for the Safety Dance fad, did people do the Safety Dance on the dance floor? Ironically?

Devin King (Devin King), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Who dances ironically?

I forgot to mention that was also the year of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," "Come On Eileen," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Maneater," and "Maniac."

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:24 (sixteen years ago) link

Not to mention "She Works Hard for the Money," Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone," and "Down Under."

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:26 (sixteen years ago) link

I assumed irony was a key component to keeping one's distance from the heat of the dance moment, thereby creating a safe, or safety dance.

Devin King (Devin King), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:27 (sixteen years ago) link

And donut is totally right about the "ess ess ess ess a a a a eff eff eff eff" part of the album version, it is great!

xpost Yeah, I don't think I ever understood quite what the safety dance was supposed to be. I think I imagined that it had something to do with safe sex, which I had even less of an idea about. I don't know, what is the safety dance?!

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:30 (sixteen years ago) link

xpost:
Yeah, it was a huge hit, heard it at every single college party I went to back in the day, when it came out. Joel Whitburn says it reached number 3. For some reason I was just listening to the Weird Al parody the other day.

I don't remember too many people on the dance floor actually trying to do the safety dance according to the instructions, if there were any.

Come On Eileen,"
I was gonna mention this one too. Also "What I Like About You," but that might be a year or too off.

The Redd 47 Ronin (Ken L), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Wow, that one was actually three years earlier. But it sure had staying power.

The Redd 47 Ronin (Ken L), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:31 (sixteen years ago) link

I mean, I don't think it means dancing "ironically" because as far as I know no one has ever attempted that and actually had fun dancing, and the point of the Safety Dance - if not illustrative of its technique - seems to be about having fun dancing.

xpost. 1983 was also the year that Quiet Riot revived "Cum on Feel the Noize"

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Surely you mean Willow.

-- Euai Kapaui (tracerhan...), October 29th, 2006.

OTM! willow so needed to be amusical

latebloomer: Winner of the Congressional Medal of....UGLY (latebloomer), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:42 (sixteen years ago) link

If you bought the cassette, you had both the extended version AND the single version of this song.

The Android Cat (Dan Perry), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:42 (sixteen years ago) link

While we're walking down memory lane, all these hits would be lingering on a year later, when they would coexist with the various singles and popular album tracks off the megahit album that struck the next summer and would dominate for the following year, Purple Rain.

The Redd 47 Ronin (Ken L), Sunday, 29 October 2006 05:45 (sixteen years ago) link

I finally looked at the video. Wow, I half-expected the Wicker Man to appear on a hilltop at the end.

But again, I don't remember seeing any of those actual dance moves.

The Redd 47 Ronin (Ken L), Sunday, 29 October 2006 06:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Bimble, this was a HUGE Top 40 song.

Oh I'm well aware of that! ;) It's just that at the time I first heard it hadn't made it there yet.

Am I laughing or crying? Am I ripping or burning? (Bimble...), Sunday, 29 October 2006 08:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Upon watching the video again, though it occurs to me maybe the reason it was so successful is it didn't make any attempt to mirror the fashion of the time.

Am I laughing or crying? Am I ripping or burning? (Bimble...), Sunday, 29 October 2006 08:37 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't believe there was really an actual dance move called The Safety Dance, though. Nor do I recall anyone using that term in conversation in any context, unless they were referring to the song. I think the common myth is it must have been a response to the kind of dancing folks did in the punk days, slam dancing, violent dancing. But the singer, Stefan Doroschuk says:

"Safety Dance is about non-conforming, about how you don't have to blindly follow the crowd, that you "leave your friends behind" and strike out on your own, even if no one else agrees with you."

link is here:

http://matadorlounge.com/features/mwh.shtml

Am I laughing or crying? Am I ripping or burning? (Bimble...), Sunday, 29 October 2006 08:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Re the song, I loved the 12" version, and have never understood why that keyboard riff, which surely made the song, was left off the 7". I also remember Alphaville completely cashing in on the song with Big in Japan.

Jez (Jez), Monday, 30 October 2006 09:42 (sixteen years ago) link

This being the song with Margaret Trudeau's backing vocal, right? (Role taken by the blonde one in the video..)

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 30 October 2006 10:34 (sixteen years ago) link

holy shit, that is brilliant. the last few frames - the b/w missile stills etc - totally make it for me. thank you, ned!

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Monday, 30 October 2006 12:31 (sixteen years ago) link

There's a piece in this month's Mojo (One Hit Wonders), the one with the Who on the front.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 30 October 2006 14:33 (sixteen years ago) link

In high school, we used to request this song at school dances and then get a large number of people to do the ren-faire arm-swing-and-knee-kick move from the video. Good times.

The Android Cat (Dan Perry), Monday, 30 October 2006 14:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Short Youtube Futurama clip of Eighties guy's tribute to the Safety Dance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hKyqiuP1IE&mode=related&search=

Neil Stewart (Neil Stewart), Monday, 30 October 2006 14:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Is the "Where Do The Boys Go" video there?
I remember that one mostly for the appearance of M. Bonhomme, Quebec's winter carnival mascot. (Looks a bit like that marshmallow-guy from "Ghostbusters".)

M. Agony Von Bontee (M. Agony Von Bontee), Monday, 30 October 2006 18:34 (sixteen years ago) link

EVERYBODY LOOK AT YOUR HANDS

An evening of fun in the metropolis of your dream (Bimble...), Monday, 30 October 2006 23:02 (sixteen years ago) link

The awesomist thing about this song is the way he says embuhseal.

Rodney... (R. J. Greene), Tuesday, 31 October 2006 05:43 (sixteen years ago) link

sixteen years pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SEafqmwWdQ

MaresNest, Friday, 18 November 2022 19:31 (two weeks ago) link


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