In an age when Beatles Rock Band is old hat, It’s hard to remember a time when video game “product placements” or celebrity connections were a rarity, and kind of a big deal: Atari slapping Pele’s name on a new soccer cartridge, Mattel Electronics securing permission to emblazon every new sports video game with the name and logo of that sport’s professional league, or the one that started it all, a 1976 arcade, game awfully similar to Night Driver, called Datsun 280 ZZZAP!.
[Via] Hirudov gaming
And then there was Journey. Around 1983, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger radio hit than Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). That synth line, the one that leads the whole song off, was practically made to be turned into video game music. Journey inspired two video games – a fantastic Midway arcade game, and the quirky but enjoyable Journey Escape for the Atari 2600.
[Via] MY SATURDAY M0RNINGS
Read: Celebrate Atari Day With Journey Escape And MTV!
But what if another band had been in the right place at the right time to cash in on the video craze?
That’s the idea behind another project perhaps best described as “quirky but enjoyable” – a soundtrack for ELO: The Video Game that was never, in fact, made.
The free downloadable “ELO: The Video Game” album from online label Pterodactyl Squad re-imagines several of the band’s singles, and a few lesser-known tunes, as chiptunes – as they would sound as music for intros, level-up animations, and even boss battles.
It’s a little disconcerting seeing the ELO spaceship – a fixture of the band’s album covers since 1977 – spewing missiles at everything within sight on the artwork for this release, but it’s a fun (and fast) listen.
Now someone just needs to create a game to go with the music.
When Annie was released in 1982, it was a big deal. This was a big budget film based on the hit Broadway musical and long running comic. My sisters were both big fans of Annie. Not only did they see the film, but followed along with the production, a lot of which was in New Jersey. The film might not have been the hit that Hollywood hoped, but memories of its release and hype would float around my family home for decades. One piece of ephemera that my sisters must have missed was anything related to the Absolutely Annie Clothing from Sears. Someone was nice enough to post it on Reddit today.
This was a clothing line based on the fashions of the Annie character in the film. The rest of the clothing is simple Annie-themed. They also had Annie dolls, sheets and bedding.
This seems like a missed opportunity. Perhaps if they had gone with the other fashions choices from the film, orphan-chic could have become a trend.
Above you see an ad for the Absolutely Annie clothing line. It is so optimistic. It states right at the top that, “Annie opens to rave reviews.” Than goes to explain a little bit about the film and its star. So you better be ready for the Absolutely Annie collection coming in June.
Now if the film had already opened to rave reviews and it opened in June. How is the Absolutely Annie collection, which is also premiering in June, not yet available? I am guessing they are just assuming Annie is going to be a hit and open to rave reviews.
Neither of those things were true. It opened to mixed reviews from critics and made just $57 million dollars on a $50 million dollar budget. It was a top 10 film for 1982, but nowhere near what was expected.
Still, I enjoyed the film a lot and I imagine if I was a little curly-headed redhead, I would have leaned hard into this release. That would have been my moment to shine.
Interested in more Annie? Watch this great behind the scenes feature.
Here is some exciting news that will certainly get your day started right. Netflix has just unleashed Voltron 84 on their streaming service. 12 classic handpicked episodes from some of those responsible for the hit Voltron: Legendary Defender by Dreamworks.
Furthermore, each of these episodes is introduced by one of those creative forces. As well as explaining why the choice of that particular episode, why it stayed with them through the years. In addition to how Voltron 84 helped them usher the property to a brand new generation of fans, a mere 32 years later.
Of course you might be interested in just what episodes have been picked for the Voltron 84 ‘special’:
- Joaquim Dos Santos (Executive Producer)
“The Stolen Lion”
- Lauren Montgomery (Co-Executive Producer)
“The Sleeping Princess”
- Tim Hedrick (Story Editor)
“Doom Boycotts the Space Olympics”
- Mitch Iverson (Writer)
“Space Explorers Captured”
- Josh Keaton (voice of Shiro)
“Escape to Another Planet“
- Steve Ahn (Director)
“The Missing Key”
- Christine Bian (Design Supervisor)
“The Right Arm of Voltron”
- Kimberly Brooks (voice of Allura)
“The Lion Has New Claws”
- Benjamin Kaltenecker (Line Producer)
“Secret of the White Lion”
- Jeff Adams (Supervising Picture Editor)
“The Witch Gets A Facelift”
- Chris Palmer (Director)
“Give me Your Princess”
- Josh Hamilton (Story Editor)
“The Treasure of Planet Tyrus”
I think that you fans of Voltron will agree that is a nice selction of episodes. In addition if you would like to read a bit more about why Voltron 84 came about – you can in fact read this interview over on io9.
Now that you know of Voltron 84, watch the intro to the original series!
[Via] Skully the Hypno Skull
But I would settle for being Retroist’s girl…forever! Actually, I’m already committed to someone else, but Paula Abdul would not mind being Retroist’s “forever girl.”
In 1985 they broadcast a very memorable celebration for Disneyland’s 30th Anniversary. I cannot recall where I got a VHS copy of this special, but at some point in the 1980s it started getting heavy play in my VCR. The special has a lot of great moments, but my favorite is when the Pointer Sisters sing Neutron Dance.
It is a great 80’s moment filled with high energy and Neutron Dance is the perfect song to capture that energy. Two things make it even more special. First is the addition of the floats and characters from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade. Second is what looks to be a chorus line of TRON dancers!
Okay, so I am not sure if they are really supposed to be TRON dancers. But it would be so perfect. You know Disney had a lot of TRON costumes lying around and using TRON in the Neutron dance is just too perfect. It is just the perfect amount of inspired wordplay-based laziness that I would hope for from an 80’s television special.
Read The Pointer Sisters: “Neutron Dance” from Beverly Hills Cop
Are you curious about what the Neutron Dance is all about? According to Allee Willis who wrote the song,
Neutron Dance” was written in hopes of being placed on the soundtrack of the film Streets of Fire. “We were told that there was a scene on a bus that was leaving town after there had been this nuclear holocaust, and that a ’50s doo-wop black group was going to be at the back of the bus that the lead couple was escaping on. Danny Sembello and I just met that day. I was very disinterested in songwriting at that point, and I’m writing with this kid who’s never had a record before, and I just wanted to get him in and out.
He was a phenomenal keyboard player, and I just said: ‘Play the most common sounding old-fashioned ’50s black music bass line that you can think of.’ And he just started doing the rhythm for “Neutron Dance”. And I’m someone who could write a melody to a spoon falling on the table. So I literally sang that melody down. First time down, he just kind of followed and went to the right places. And then I said, Let’s just write this quick lyric. We’re taking a half an hour on the lyric, and this thing’s gonna get done.
The song would be featured in Beverly Hill Cop and would chart. Eventually topping out at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad for 30 minutes of work.
Watch the Pointer Sisters sing Neutron Dance at Disneyland