Something from the analog archives…

Just a short post for today, to try to get back into the swing of things… it’s been far too long since I’ve written anything for Don’t Forget This Song.

For the past couple of months I’ve been working to digitize the analog portions of my music collection that I’ve decided are worth saving: rare and out-of-print albums, my early 1990s high-school demo recordings, and some music I’d like to have in my collection… but not badly enough that I’m willing to buy it (yet again) in MP3 format. Among the material in the latter category is a tape-cassette copy of Pop Goes The World, a 1987 release by the Canadian group Men Without Hats.

If you’re familiar with Men Without Hats, chances are it’s because of their biggest hit: Safety Dance, which topped the charts in 1983. The song is a staple of both one-hit-wonder countdowns and the 1980s radio format. The Pop Goes The World album produced one hit – the title track cracked the top 20 in several countries – but didn’t come close to duplicating the group’s earlier success. I’ll be honest – I simply can’t remember how I heard about this album or why I decided to buy it. At the time I was far more interested in harder-edged, guitar-centric rock than the synth-based pop of Men Without Hats. Still, Pop Goes The World became a personal favorite for a short time in the late 80s.

The album is definitely a product of its era – drum machines, keyboards, and synthesized orchestration dominate its sonic palette. It’s also a solid collection of heartfelt, catchy pop tunes that are guaranteed to roll around in your head for days. Pop Goes The World is worth a listen, even if 1980s synth-pop isn’t your thing.

Here’s a sample – Moonbeam, the second single from the album. Though I don’t consider it one of the best tracks on Pop Goes The World, the video is a real trip. Enjoy!

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