“The Lost Boys: Hard-To-Find ’80s Albums” gives you exactly what the title implies: a rare or out-of-print album from the ’80s in its entirety. Some will be from CD, but most will have been lovingly transferred from pristine vinyl culled directly from the Analog Kid’s vast collection. Whatever album I choose, it will be one that you can’t easily find a physical copy for sale on Amazon or in your local record store (if you even have one anymore). Death…by stereo!
You might think of Toni Basil as a one-hit wonder, but the singer/actress/dancer has actually had an incredibly diverse career. Back in 1964, Toni provided choreography for the legendary T.A.M.I. show concert (and appeared in the film, of course, along with a very young Teri Garr). She also had roles in Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, and even appeared in a 1978 episode of Laverne & Shirley. She was also an original member of The Lockers, the groundbreaking street dance group that often opened for Frank Sinatra. Remember the “Swan Lake” routine from Saturday Night Live back in 1978? Toni choreographed that classic skit, along with multiple tours for David Bowie, Bettle Midler, and Tina Turner.
Basil also directed and choreographed a certain video that anyone who had MTV in the early ’80s will remember vividly:
And, of course, she also sang a little song called “Mickey.” “Mickey” was the big hit from Toni’s debut album Word Of Mouth, and the in-constant-rotation video helped push the song all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 11, 1982. “Mickey” was written by the legendary songwriting team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, but it wasn’t composed especially for Toni. The song first appeared in 1979 on the album Smash And Grab from U.K. power-pop band Racey, but it wasn’t called “Mickey”– its original title was “Kitty,” and this version didn’t feature the distinctive “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey” intro. That was all Toni, and she somehow managed to turn an obscure album cut into a worldwide #1 single.
“Mickey” certainly wasn’t the only memorable song on Word Of Mouth. Toni was dating Gerald Casale at the time Word Of Mouth was recorded, and that led to guest appearances (and songs) from Devo on the album. Toni also covered tracks from David Essex and Nick Gilder on the record, and Basil co-wrote the early MTV staple “Shoppin’ A To Z” ( a minor hit in 1983). Bananas! Chilli! Dog food!
Word Of Mouth has never been officially released on CD, so I put together the copy below from various compilation CDs and vinyl rips. It’s one of my favorite ’80s new wave records, although I am still having trouble with the realization that Toni Basil was 37 when she released “Mickey.” That means she is currently 71 years old, and yet she still continues to choreograph major tours and special events. Toni, you do indeed blow my mind…
Toni Basil: Word Of Mouth
Chrysalis Records, 1982
*Vinyl rips courtesy of the Analog Kid
1. “Mickey” (Chapman/Chinn)
2. “Rock On” (Essex)*
3. “Shoppin’ A To Z” (Basil/Willis/Roberts)*
4. “You Gotta Problem” (Mothersbaugh)
5. “Be Stiff” (Casale/Lewis)
6. “Nobody” (Delph)
7. “Little Red Book” (Bacharach/David)
8. “Space Girls” (Casale)
9. “Thief On The Loose” (Basil/Mathieson)
10. “Time After Time” (Gilder/McCulloch)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Racey: “Kitty” (Chinn/Chapman)
From the album Smash And Grab
RAK Records, 1979
David Essex: “Rock On” (Essex)
From the album Rock On
Columbia Records, 1973
Nick Gilder: “Time After Time” (Gilder/McCulloch)
From the album Frequency
Chrysalis Records, 1979
Toni Basil: “Mickey” [Special Club Mix] (Chinn/Chapman)
Toni Basil: “Mickey” [Spanish Version] (Chinn/Chapman)
From the U.S. 12″ single Mickey
Chrysalis Records, 1982
Toni Basil: “Hanging Around” (Conway)
B-side of the U.K. 7″ Mickey
Radialchoice Records, 1981
And,…..she choreographed the trippy psychedelic dance number and was the dance partner to Davy Jones in the Monkees movie, “Head”. In my opinion, the best part of the movie. A classic really!
WOW THANK YOU I WAS CONTEMPLATING RIPPING THIS MYSELF