American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/21/82: Kim Wilde, “Kids in America”

This past Friday marked the two-week point before we escort Ben and (some of) his stuff up to wild, wonderful Terre Haute, IN. I couldn’t help but notice that this weekend’s primary 80s Premiere offering was originally broadcast fourteen days prior to my departure for college (and for good measure, the alternate 80s show came from just about the time I left to go to grad school). The days remaining until this massive change are disappearing fast; we won’t squeeze in every—or maybe even most—one-last-time-before, but whatever does happen will be sufficient.

Sitting at its peak of #25, the second of four weeks there, is one of my all-time faves, the brilliant “Kids in America.” Almost certainly one of the last 45s I bought before I left for Transy. I took it with me to an all-campus party in the basement of my dorm during my first month there; the DJ, a frat guy a couple years ahead of me, didn’t know it but gave it a spin anyway. Maybe Wilde wasn’t a huge hit with the crowd, but I don’t think she cleared the dance floor, either.

But what is the fascination with British songwriters modifying geographic locations in the US with “east?”  Do they have East Anglia on their minds? Eight years before, Peter Callander and Mitch Murray had implored us to think about the poor cops on the East Side of Chicago, and here, Kim’s dad Marty and brother Ricky are all agog about east California, which at least has the decency to exist.

In a nod to Music In The Key Of E‘s Misheard Lyrics category, for decades I’ve been wondering what kind of physical phenomenon “the gravity glory” was. (On the off chance you’re in a similar position, it’s “don’t grab any glory.”)

Kim Wilde, the album, still sounds pretty good; another of its tracks, “Young Heroes,” made one of my mid-90s mix tapes.

Since the two 80s shows caught me at approximately parallel points in my life, I thought it might be cute to name-check whatever song was #25 on 8/19/86. Learning what it was pulled me up short: “That Was Then, This Is Now.” Yes, the Monkees’ comeback was a love song, but I couldn’t help but tie the title to the current moment, perhaps as a reminder of where to keep my focus these days.

One thought on “American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/21/82: Kim Wilde, “Kids in America””

  1. “Chequered Love” (same album) was pretty hot too. You don’t get multiple hooks like that in one song every day. Her remake a few years later of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” didn’t work at all though.

    Liked by 1 person

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