Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Waka waka

As you probably realize, I love lists of things. So here's a list.

Video games are huge business these days, but I'm not sure they've ever been as thoroughly mainstream as they were during the fad of ca. 1980-1983. Here are four songs from the early 1980s about video games; all are by prominent artists, and none is by a novelty artist. (Sorry, Buckner & Garcia fans.) Have any big stars done songs about video games recently? Setting aside for the moment the matter of music in video games, which complicates things.

Lou Reed, "Down at the Arcade" (1984)
The Dazz Band, "Joystick" (1983)
Cameo, "Let's Not Talk Slot" (1983)
The Pretenders, "Space Invader" (1980)

The Pretenders song actually is an instrumental, but its inspiration is clear. The track even features sound effects from the game Space Invaders, which was also immortalized by a certain Uncle Vic in the minor novelty hit from 1980, "Space Invaders."

An honorable mention goes to the Who's 1982 album It's Hard, the cover of which features the obscure Atari game Space Duel. It also seems important to mention that in 1983, Journey unveiled its eponymously titled arcade game.

No comments: