The funny thing about music in 1985: they would make an extended mix of anything. Even funnier, people would dance to it.
Take this weekâ€™s subject, the UK band Vitamin Z â€“ pronounced Veetamin Zed by their fellow countrymen â€“ who made their biggest splash with a slick, overproduced slice of mid-tempo ear candy called â€œBurning Flame.â€ Singer Geoff Barradale (now the manager of the Arctic Monkeys, thank you very much) does a mean Curt Smith impression â€“ which might explain why the band opened for Tears for Fears at one point â€“ and the song boasts a catchy, if wimpy, chorus. â€œHow you teased when I first made loveâ€? Even Morrissey blushed at that line. The song had its charms, but a catchy beat that makes you want to shake your groove thing isnâ€™t one of them.
And yet, this song was a big hit on the dance charts. The Dead Milkmen werenâ€™t kidding: we really will dance to anything.
This is not to denigrate the extended version any; given what they had to work with, the mix works rather well with the breakdowns and echoed vocals and what have you. Still, itâ€™s not a dance track. Was there anyone circling the dance floor in 1985, saying to themselves, â€œThis music is fine, but Iâ€™m not going out there until I hear â€˜Burning Flameâ€™â€? There must have been, if the songâ€™s chart success is to be believed, but who were those people? For some reason, I keep picturing stock brokers with ponytails. Whatever the case, they were white, thatâ€™s for sure.
In fact, letâ€™s have some fun with this. I officially declare â€œBurning Flameâ€ to be one of the whitest songs ever recorded. Letâ€™s hear your suggestions for other songs that share this dubious distinction. Bonus points if there is an extended dance mix of the song as well.
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