Along Comes a Woman…And Indiana Cetera!

Despite how I feel about Peter Cetera’s attitude toward his former bandmates Chicago (if you don’t remember, Exhibit A is a good place to start), It is hard to not love his music, or Cetera’s contributions to their success as a group.

Feeling otherwise would rock my credibility as a Chicago fan, and we can’t have that!

The Era of Cetera…

By the early 1980s, Peter Cetera was no longer the Peter Cetera of the 1970s. He had slimmed down, cut his hair, and was taking more of a confident stance in his songwriting. He even released his first solo effort in 1981, a self-titled album that was met with commercial failure. I’ll assume it had something to do with critics only seeing him as part of Chicago. And not only were the changes happening with him, times were a-changing for Chicago as well (oh yes they were). The band was paid by CBS/Columbia in 1980 to leave the label after declining sales and that unfortunate Chicago 13 album failed to garner the earlier successes they had. Donnie Dacus was out, Exhibit A was destined to be forgotten (again, easy to click if you need reference), and Bill Champlain was in by 1981.

You know how I feel about him too, and trust me, it has nothing to do with the music. Because the music is awesome.

In 1984, amidst a rejuvenated success, a new contract with Warner Bros. (oooh, another story for you to read by clicking this!), and David Foster’s mad producing skills, Chicago 17 was guaranteed to be huge!

How huge, you ask?

It was their biggest selling album, all the released singles charted in the top 20, and two words: David Foster (Related: This, this, and this! Oh, and THIS!). By this time Chicago was firmly establishing themselves in reinvention (leaving the gritty behind, and moving on to the power of ballads), finding their voice all over again, and proving those critics who believed they were done in the late 1970s so very wrong.

The fourth of the four charting singles from this album (aside from “Stay the Night,” “Hard Habit to Break,” and “You’re the Inspiration”) was a track from side two, the oh-so-fun “Along Comes a Woman,” which sees Cetera not only singing the lead, but also starring in the video as the dashing hero.

And Along Comes Something Different…

“Along Comes A Woman” was a video that saw Chicago in a different (and kinda cool!) light. If this was part of reinvention, then it was a fun way to do it.

I’m wondering if anyone knew the changes that were coming after this single was released…

Anyway, “Along Comes a Woman” was the fourth and final single released from Chicago 17, and dropped on February 4, 1985. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and even spent time on MTV. It was clearly released at a time when music videos were a big deal, and was a huge departure from some of the previous music videos Chicago had done.

We have our dashing hero, “Indiana Cetera” (my labeling, of course), who is on the run from some baddies who want what he has.

But he’s good at hiding himself – and the valuable stuff.

Indiana Jones had boulders, Peter Cetera had mud.

But along comes a woman…

And some cameos by those three crazy guys in the horn section…

I seriously lol’d over James Pankow and Lee Loughnane ganging up on Walt Parazaider.

There’s Mandatory Horns…

Indy Cetera being forced to hand over the goods…

A Casablanca costume change…

Cetera gets the girl…

And loses the girl…

And along comes some guys…

I guess he got arrested?

And despite that turn of events, this was a funny and well-done music video. Different is not always a bad thing, and the acting from the horn section really makes this video funny. Cetera shines, but if you’ve seen James Pankow, Walt Parazaider, and Lee Loughnane perform live, you wouldn’t be shocked by anything you’ll seen here.

And along comes a music video…that you can watch by hitting play!

Uploaded by Hasse Hammarlund

I had heard this song because of the “Greatest Hits” album Only the Beginning, but I hadn’t seen many of Chicago’s music videos aside from “You’re the Inspiration” (which everyone has seen). Of the ones I’ve seen, this one is by far one of my favorites music videos. The acting is a bit silly, but you’re laughing too much to notice how hokey it really is.

At least the group got to have their fun, but reinvention happened not long after, as Peter Cetera exited the group in June 1985, ending the Cetera years. The next era was yet to come, but what great way to end this one.

And along comes an outro…

If you haven’t already noticed, Allison loves Chicago. She writes about it often (did you see all the hyperlinks along the way?). If you like what you see here, whether it is about Chicago or any of the other things she’s written about, you’ll love her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her antics from Retroist and Allison’s Written Words on her blog’s Facebook page, and she’s also on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

And along comes a swift exit…

Mouth and MacNeal…And Their Trippy Music Video

European Howdy Doody puppets. Two people dressed like 1970s Muppets. A guy who looks like the human version of Sweetums from the Muppets. Children. Dancing. Two Muppet references in one paragraph.

I don’t smoke anything, but I’m convinced I had my one millionth contact high from what I just watched.

I was at my boyfriend’s the other night. We were on our laptops while watching TV, just chilling after a nice dinner out.

And then he wanted me to see this You Tube video.

Give him some credit, I’m usually the one digging these esoteric finds up.

What he showed me was the 1972 song/video “How Do You Do,” by Willem “Big Mouth” Duyn and Maggie McNeal (born Sjoukje van’t Spijker). I don’t need any further reason to believe the 1970’s weren’t the ultimate drug fest they prove to be in retrospect. I’ve seen the catalyst.

There is so much happening in this video, I don’t want to believe it is real.

Crowds…

Screenshot (263)

All ages allowed. No discrimination here!

European Howdy Doody…whom Mouth promptly dumps alcohol into the mouth of…

Screenshot (270)

Mouth and MacNeal feeding some woman lying on stools, as spectators…spectate and sing along.

Screenshot (264)

These people…

Screenshot (267)

And more crowds!!  These lovely people get up and start doing the dance of the Satanic Ritual…I mean, they’re jumping up and down, while cheerfully singing “Na-na-na-na-na-na! This is what I’m living for!”

Screenshot (268)

Didn’t anyone ever tell these kind people that groupthink is a dangerous, dangerous mentality?

giphy (5)

But who cares? This is what they’re living for!

giphy (4)

And the puppet has stolen her soul.

But this is what she’s living for!

If this is what passed as Europe’s highest form of entertainment in the 1970s, I’m beginning to understand the “Trololo” phenomenon/fascination/fetish/horror.

And if you really think I’m going to let you get away without seeing Exhibit Number 1…my boyfriend didn’t let me get away, and you’re not getting off easy.

Torture. This is what I’m living for!

Uploaded by fritz51177…because Fritz can!

This is what he’s living for!

Ok, I’ll stop!

Allison was swept up in the whole “Trololo” fascination of the early 2010s (thanks to Family Guy), and she has listened to it countless times. She even used to listen to it on Tuesday and refer to the day as “Trololo Tuesdays.” She didn’t even know this song (or group) existed until this past weekend. This is what she’s living for…you reading her other stuff over on Allison’s Written Words, following her blog on Facebook, and finding her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

So sing “na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na-na-na!” and revel in the glory of 1970s European Awesomeness. Which is like 1970s Awesomeness, but European!

 

giphy (5)

Living. Catch the enthusiasm!

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto…Toys

One of my favorite hobbies (aside from writing, of course) is making music videos featuring clips from movies or television shows, set to songs we all know and love. I’ve been doing this for about nine years, starting with a Phil Hartman tribute I made in 2007 (it’s not uploaded anywhere). Between 2013 and 2015, I made three separate music videos for the show Stargate SG-1 and submitted them for Creation Entertainment’s music video contest. I won the first two times, and just when I thought three times was the charm, I didn’t win last year. A year later, I’m still surprised.

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

It was hilarious, at least in my opinion.

Last night, I was working on my Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday videos, when one of my great ideas struck me. I hadn’t made a music video in a while, and I had Mr. Roboto by Styx primed as the theme song for the week’s videos, so why not expand upon that and feature clips from all the Robot Toy commercials from 1001 Classic Commercials?

So, um, this happened.

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

The commercials featured in this video are for The Ding-A-Lings, Robot Commander, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and The Zeroids. I think you’ll agree the song timing and some of the visuals really worked well together. If you’ve ever had a moment where everything clicked and reacted with very loud (and very geeky) jubilation…oh, that’s just me.

If you’d like to see some of my editing skills at work, check out my You Tube Channel!

And if you’d like to see ALL of my Stargate SG-1 videos, click play below! There was a moment of excited geeking out in all of these videos. You’ll see why!

Allison loves to experiment with music and video to make creative and quirky music videos. She especially loves making Stargate SG-1 videos, but has also worked with other clips, and even made a 49-second music video as an “experiment.” If you like her work, you can find her at Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and find her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Colonel Jack O’Neill is her favorite music video subject.

And the Only Way to Start Your Set at a David Foster Concert? Heart to Heart!

So, you probably read that article/fawning I wrote about the time Kenny Loggins and David Foster bragged about their songwriting prowess when it came to Loggins’ 1985 single “Forever.” And if you’re like me, you watched the source material video at least twice.

Don’t judge me!

If you haven’t seen this concert, there’s actually a song Loggins sang prior to bringing down the house with that incredible high note, and yes, it’s an equally good song to “Forever.”

Screenshot (86)

Loggins performed his 1982 song “Heart to Heart” as the first part of his set during Hit Man Returns: David Foster and Friends.I won’t bore you with the details of the song itself (I wrote about it last year over on my blog – feel free to take a look at that post), but I will show you Loggins nailing it almost thirty years later…and live!

For the uninitiated/Non-Kenny Loggins fans among us, “Heart to Heart” is from his 1982 album “High Adventure,” where it was cool to look like Indiana Jones crossed with Dennis Miller.

Kenny_Loggins_High_Adventure

(Source)?Hot.

And while the live version isn’t as great as the studio version, I only blame the lack of Michael McDonald backup vocals.

Uploaded by davidfoster

Screenshot (87)

But what it has is plenty of Loggins proving he still has it. He takes the song and totally feels the music. I expect conviction with nothing less than what any great artist can give,

You know what else this clip has? This husband and wife.

giphy

Conviction. Catch the excitement!

And you know who else is feeling it?

Screenshot (90)

Kenny G and his sax. And the guy sitting behind Kenny G…and his sax.

Conviction!

Loggins also sang this song live with another famous face – and the guy behind the backup vocals on the original version – Doobie Brother himself, Michael McDonald!

Uploaded by Autobots77

Screenshot (91)

This one is amazing and funny at the same time – they sound and look terrific together on stage, and it’s worth sticking around to watch Michael McDonald forget the words and acknowledge it, while Loggins just laughs.

I’ll admit, this is one of my favorite (or damn close to it) Kenny Loggins song, and no matter who is on backing vocals, it’s a great song. I love the peppiness and meaning of the song, and let’s face it, white people jamming in the audience at a concert make it…even more white.

giphy

Once more, with conviction!

Allison enjoys crafting these pieces with all the conviction of a white couple jamming in the audience at a David Foster concert. If you want to see more of that conviction, you can head on over to her blog, Allison’s Written Words, and you can also follow her blog on Facebook, and give her a tweet @AllisonGeeksOut.

She wrote this with conviction.

Kenny Loggins and David Foster Brag, Then Perform “Forever”

One of my favorite concerts that I haven’t been to (yes, you read that correctly) was David Foster’s Hit Man duo of concerts, filmed for PBS in 2008 and 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, in which people parade in to perform their hits with David Foster, who is credited with helping their songs become just that – hits. Never is the nepotism level higher than a night of watching David Foster and Friends belt it out.

So it happened twice.

And it was AWESOME!

One thing about David Foster that I may have touched on when I wrote about his song Winter Games-several months ago is that this man is responsible for many songs you already know – he’s written for the likes of Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago (it really was the greatest concert I’ve actually been to), Michael Buble (seen him), Josh Groban (too expensive), Peter Cetera, Michael Bolton (mom saw him in concert), and Kenny Loggins.

Screenshot (73)

Kenny Loggins, better known as “Allison’s OTHER Current Music Addiction.” And also what brings me to the topic of this article.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh thank goodness, she has a point!” and you’re right, I do!

For Christmas several years ago, I decided my mom was worthy of some David Foster CDs. My parents?had gotten me hooked on the music he had written (which apparently happened years ago, and without me knowing it), and both parents even got me to sit and watch his two concerts during a PBS pledge drive. As I recall, my dad stopped on the first concert because he saw Boz Scaggs singing, and he wanted to watch. We wound up sitting there for over two hours, getting caught up in the music. And when PBS aired their newest edition of this concert in 2011, I REALLY wanted to buy this for them.

Well, it turns out that as much as I love them, $250 pledged to my local PBS station (WHYY in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE) is more than my parents would ever let me spend on them for anything. So the following year, I hunted Amazon, and lo and behold, I found the $12 CD/DVD combination sets of both concerts.

My mom is a lucky woman, let me tell ya. She got these for Christmas that year. No pledge to PBS needed.

We’ve watched both concerts twice straight through – two-and-a-half solid hours of good music. I think I left the room once the last time we watched, and it was actually during a segment I didn’t need to see more than once. I was on the phone, so I don’t remember which one, so obviously it really wasn’t important.

Now, as the title suggests, this article is about Kenny Loggins. Loggins and Foster collaborated some years and several wives ago (who would of thought these talented men, one of well-written music, the other the king of 1980s soundtrack glory, would be married and divorced multiple times?!) on some pretty good songs. I have quite a few favorites from the Loggins Songbook of Awesome, but one of them is the 1985 song “Forever,” from the album Vox Humana?(which has this great title track I only “discovered” last year). The song was the second to be released from said album, and was yet another notch in the Top 40 belt of Kenny Loggins.

So I’m sure you’ve seen the music video for the song, right?

Uploaded by KennyLogginsVEVO

But oh, there is a STORY behind this song. And wouldn’t you love to hear it from the two men who made it possible?

Screenshot (71)

Start the video, and watch up to the point where Loggins-begins to sing, then pause it and keep reading.

Uploaded by TheLoungeMusik

What show offs, don’t you think? “Yup, we totally wrote this song in a half hour!” Shutup! Stop being so talented and humble about it!

 

Would you want to be in a dinner party where these two are among the attendees? Wouldn’t you want to see the genius that fills that location? Could you handle that much genius in the room?!

Screenshot (77) Screenshot (78)

And when he hits that high note? This is what makes me cry. Stick me in the front row of his concert, and I guarantee tears and screaming.?And I’m just going to say it – Kenny Loggins is HAWT! It’s not how I feel about his Jesus Christ Kenny Loggins Days, but in his Soundtrack King Days and even now – heck, this concert was five years ago – he was/is HAWT!

Screenshot (73)

And if you’d like to see the whole concert, minus the pledge breaks, Warner released both David Foster and Friends concerts as combination DVD/CD sets. I highly recommend them – lots of stuff you like, and you may be surprised at what David Foster was responsible for. This particular clip is from Hit Man Returns: David Foster and Friends.

Hit Man: David Foster and Friends (Amazon Listing)

Hit Man Returns: David Foster and Friends (Amazon Listing)

Allison has this unending love and appreciation for the genius of Kenny Loggins (and David Foster!). If you like what she shared here, come visit her blog, Allison’s Written Words, where you can see similar fangirl musings. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and give her a tweet and follow on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

She’s listening to “Forever” as she writes this. She’s a puddle right now.

Screenshot (77)