ItÁ¢€â„¢s quite possible that this song is the Á¢€Å“Sliding DoorsÁ¢€ moment that put me on the musical path that I would ultimately follow.
This is strange, when you consider that Á¢€Å“Your ImaginationÁ¢€ is the fourth, overlooked single from the bandÁ¢€â„¢s 1981 mega-hit Private Eyes album Á¢€” and the only single of the 13 singles the band released in a four-year span that didnÁ¢€â„¢t crack the Top Ten Á¢€” but the video for the song featured something that I had never seen or heard before: an extended version of the song. This mix itself is nothing special Á¢€” it has your typical instrumental build-up and a mix-out point for the DJ Á¢€” but that hardly mattered. The mix opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. You mean there are people who take a finished song and then screw around with it? ThatÁ¢€â„¢s awesome!
I proceeded to spend the rest of my high school years as that kid who took his records, which by then consisted mostly of 12Á¢€ singles rather than albums, and made his own versions of the songs by hitting Á¢€ËœpauseÁ¢€â„¢ on the tape deck at just the right time. ItÁ¢€â„¢s a miracle that I ever managed to kiss a girl before college.
Á¢€Å“Your ImaginationÁ¢€ is a pretty slinky tune compared to the straight-up pop of Á¢€Å“Did It in a MinuteÁ¢€ and Á¢€Å“Private Eyes.Á¢€ ItÁ¢€â„¢s as if the band had finished recording Á¢€Å“I CanÁ¢€â„¢t Go for That (No Can Do),Á¢€ and decided to take it a step further, both in terms of the white boy soul (Shhhhh! DonÁ¢€â„¢t tell Daryl Hall I said that. He thinks itÁ¢€â„¢s a racist term) and the new wave keyboards. In retrospect, I can see why it didnÁ¢€â„¢t do as well as the bandÁ¢€â„¢s other singles; itÁ¢€â„¢s just not as accessible, with that unconventional back-and-forth vocal in the chorus (though it features some of John OatesÁ¢€â„¢ finest work, if you axe me), and you just know that the lite rock stations found the rhythm to be too Á¢€Å“jarring.Á¢€ A hilarious notion, given that some of those stations now play Á¢€Å“Sweet Child OÁ¢€â„¢ Mine.Á¢€
Hall and Oates would go on to use 12Á¢€ mixes of their tracks for several other videos, including Á¢€Å“Family Man,Á¢€ Á¢€Å“Say It IsnÁ¢€â„¢t So,Á¢€ Á¢€Å“Adult Education,Á¢€ Á¢€Å“Method of Modern Love,Á¢€ and particularly Á¢€Å“Out of Touch,Á¢€ where the band had moved far enough up the remix chain to have their songs mixed by WLWÁ¢€â„¢s all-time favorite, Arthur Baker. (His dub mix of Á¢€Å“Out of TouchÁ¢€ is pure batshit crazy genius.) By that time, I was officially down the remix rabbit hole Á¢€” ask anyone who knew me back then, theyÁ¢€â„¢ll tell you, and some of them will use rather strong language Á¢€” and I stayed there until approximately 1995, when I woke up one day and realized that the scene had left me behind. (Insert Abraham SimpsonÁ¢€â„¢s Á¢€Å“I used to be Á¢€Ëœwith it,Á¢€â„¢ but then they changed what Á¢€ËœitÁ¢€â„¢ wasÁ¢€ speech here.) Still, it was a pretty good run while it lasted, and I discovered tons of bands that I otherwise would never have heard. Only now do I realize that I have Daryl Hall and John Oates to thank for this. Go figure.
Here’s the video that started it all, for better and for worse.
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