The Audacity of Rock: Part 14

It's been 20 years. It's cool again, right?

Nothing has the ability to be more lame than referencing pop culture. It really is an art to do it well. Sometimes it can be subtle and delightful, or obvious and awkward. Part 14 of The Audacity of Rock is dedicated to the more obvious and awkward.

"Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money (1986)

The beauty of this song is that Eddie is very pointed with his reference to "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes by making it a simile. He even gets Ronnie Spector of the Ronnettes to sing the reference, creating the bizarre combination of very 60s vocals and very 80s instrumentals.

"1985" by Bowling for Soup (2004)

I didn't think I could hate this song or this band more, and then I watched the music video. Mostly, this song came out during the great 80s nostalgia of the oos, which by 2004 was already getting old (VH1 had already done 2 "I love the 80s" specials). The saddest part is that it's a cover. I have to give it to the original: it's bad, but not nearly as nasally or annoying.

But the big problem with this song though is that it's basically what Billy Joel did, yet only about the 80s and even more painful. I don't even know how that's possible. So congrats BFS. Quite the accomplishment.

Questions to ponder:
1. What's your favorite pop culture allusion?
2. When do you predict the 80s to go out of style for the second time?
3. How old are the members of Bowling for Soup? Shouldn't "acting like 19-year-olds who only know about the 80s from VH1" be on their Murtaugh list?

Click on the label below for more installments of The Audacity of Rock.


  1. Oh, the "Murtaugh List"--you make my life sometimes, ya know that?

    p.s. "1985" was a cover... seriously? yikes.

  2. According to Calvin Harris, 'Ashes to Ashes', and Kristen Stewart's shoulder pads, the 80's aren't going anywhere, unfortunately.

    Pop culture reference? It has to be 'spider sense tickling' doesn't it? CLASSIC.

  3. Hoooly shit I had no idea SR-71 did "1985" first. How informative. The vocals sound exactly the same, though. Doesn't sound like a cover as much as it does a replica.