We’ve talked before about songs we loved in our younger days that just don’t quite hold up to an older ear’s scrutiny. Unfortunately (or not, if you still love it), today we have another example to showcase. While Modern English’s 1982 single “I Melt With You” has become a retroactive classic, even making an appearance in a *gag* Burger King commercial, the band was hard-pressed to follow it up. The group even eventually threw up their hands and re-recorded the song years later in one of the more brazen cash grabs I can remember.
Modern English tried their hand at pure power pop in 1986 with a fine song called “Ink & Paper” that owed more than a little to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run.” Before that, however, the band was still in its goth-tinged era when they recorded their third album, Ricochet Days. Lead-off single “Hands Across the Sea” (download) got a snazzy looking video that MTV glommed onto, thanks to the earlier heavy-rotation success of “I Melt With You.” I remember seeing this video in a commercial promoting the channel more than seeing the actual video itself, though.
As for the song, I loved it at the time, but listening now I can’t help but think it’s a great chorus in search of a decent verse. Maybe because the chorus is so catchy, the weird slowdown of the verses sounds even more prominent.Â Or perhaps I’ve just become old and bitter.Â In any case, “Hands Across The Sea” didn’t do much for Modern English and the group felt even more pressure to score a hit – the result was 1986’s nearly goth-free Stop/Start, featuring the aforementioned “Ink & Paper.”
So, what songs can you remember loving back in the day that you can’t get through these days?
“Hands Across The Sea” peaked at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1984.
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