Let’s start this off by Snopesing what I believe to be apocryphal – just about every overview about Alphaville I read says something to the effect that “Forever Young” was the prom theme at high schools nationwide in the 80s. In fact, “Forever Young’s” review on AllMusic.com says, “‘Forever Young,’ a stark, epic song that would become essential for every post-1984 high school graduation…” blah blah, etc., etc.
I’m calling bullshit on this urban myth.
No one in the 80s had Alphaville’s “Forever Young” as their prom theme. Rod Stewart’s, maybe, but not Alphaville. Can anyone prove to me their high school prom theme was Alphaville’s “Forever Young?” I’ll need supporting documentation. Maybe it’s the Midwest in me, but no one knew who the hell Alphaville were in 1984, besides the super-hip artfags and new wavers that were populating schools nationwide in groups of four or five. I think a lot of music critics have a slightly skewed retroactive memory as it relates to “Forever Young’s” impact. Maybe you West Coasters had some big Alphaville movement happening at the time. I’d love to be proven wrong here, so scan those prom programs!
Moving on, “Forever Young” was Forever Young’s second single, following the middling chart non-success of “Big In Japan”. Both songs are now synthpop classics, but I always had a special place in my heart for the album’s closer and third single, “Jet Set”(provided for you here in its superior, beefier single mix), a ridiculously over the top spectacle matched only by its even campier video. With its drag queens, hyperactive choreography and questionable dance moves, the video seemed to take its visual cues from one of my all-time favorite piece of poop movies, The Apple:
Alas, “Jet Set” did nada and Alphaville moved on to album #2, “Afternoons In Utopia” and its lead-off single, “Dance With Me”. A zippy little number, “Dance With Me” did okay on the Dance Charts but didn’t crossover like it should have. Alphaville went on to record well into the Nineties, but didn’t make much more chart noise. But somehow in the time since, they’ve become big ol’ prom stars.
“Jet Set” did not chart.
“Dance With Me” peaked at #22 on the Billboard Dance Club Play Chart in 1986.
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