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Let's add some spice to this boring roller drama.
December 15, 2010 11:53 PM   Subscribe

Please enjoy a bit of the (somewhat negative) oeuvre of The Misfits, chief rivals of Jem & The Holograms. Were their songs truly better? You be the judge.

Misfits leader Pizzazz was voiced (while singing) by Ellen Bernfeld, who recorded a stupendous dance version of "Memory" under the nom de disco Menage.

Abracadabra | Congratulations | Designing Woman | Free And Easy | Gimme A Gimmick | Gimme Gimme Gimme | I Am A Giant | I Like Your Style | I Love A Scandal | I'm Gonna Hunt You Down | It Takes A Lot To Survive | Jack, Take A Hike | Let's Blow This Town | Listen Up | Lovesick | Makin' Mischief | Outta My Way | Queen Of Rock And Roll | Star Spangled Fantasy | Surprise Surprise | Takin' It All | There Ain't Nobody Better | Top Of The Charts | Trapped | Universal Appeal | Welcome To The Jungle | We're Misfits In Hawaii | We're Off And Runnin' | Who Is She Anyway? | Winning Is Everything | You Can't Catch Me | You Gotta Be Fast | You Oughta See The View

Previously (sort of)
posted by mintcake! (30 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, they're no Josie And The Pussycats. And they were clearly miming.
posted by Decani at 12:13 AM on December 16, 2010


Whoa. Xeni Jardin was a Stinger?
posted by katillathehun at 1:11 AM on December 16, 2010


There are two versions of the "I Am A Giant" video - one where the lead singer deliberately stomps on a very expensive toy with an evil smile, and another where she's more of a mindless monster and the destruction of the $100 plastic Barbie car Jem Rockin' Roadster is omitted.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:17 AM on December 16, 2010


Oh, snap. Without clicking through, I was shocked to see so many songs by The Misfits I'd never heard of. Talk about yer generation gap.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:25 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Granted, I don't remember watching the show, and I only understand this from the lyrics of the opening theme, but the Misfits were the heroes of the show, right? Jem was a cartoon-land Typhoid Mary, spreading outrageous (community standards, people!) and contagious (health risk!) songs. The Misfits, on the other hand, were the cartoon-land health board or CDC. Their songs were better (more healthy), and they were going to get her (quarantine).

Jem claimed "no one else is the same," but Mary Mallon was pretty unique, too.
posted by explosion at 4:39 AM on December 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had a roommate in college who introduced herself by telling me how the Misfits were her favorite band and she was really into them and listened almost exclusively to their music. I was really weirded out, because as much as I love the 80s, getting that excited about the antagonists from Jem seemed on par with listening only to Muppet Babies albums.

A little later I figured out that she was talking about the actual human Misfits with Danzig and the skull shirts &c., and it made slightly more sense.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:46 AM on December 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Decani: "Well, they're no Josie And The Pussycats. And they were clearly miming."

A Josie remix
posted by MrLint at 5:10 AM on December 16, 2010


Ah, Jem ... pioneers in introducing American audiences to shojo. Bless 'em.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:14 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


They're no River Bottom Nightmare Band.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:15 AM on December 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Help me out here--which one is Danzig?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:15 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


He didn't join the line-up until a bit later.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:17 AM on December 16, 2010


Truly Outrageous post!
posted by TheCoug at 5:43 AM on December 16, 2010


They're no River Bottom Nightmare Band.

Hooligans, is what they are.
posted by MrVisible at 6:17 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Truly Outrageous post!

Truly truly truly outrageous.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:20 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


What was I, like 5 when this show came out and even then I remember thinking "Man, the Misfits' songs are way more fun then Blandly Mcblondsinging." And now I have confirmation of that thought.
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 AM on December 16, 2010


Jetta is a pathological liar from England who plays a mean saxophone. She loves being mean and gave the Misfits that mean streak that they were missing.

Roxy is the toughest member of the Misfits. She grew up in a rough neighborhood and didn't learn how to read until she joined the Misfits.

Awesome.
posted by sourwookie at 6:35 AM on December 16, 2010


Though unspoken on the show, my sister and I knew Jem's REAL rivals were Barbie and the Rockers.
posted by mreleganza at 6:36 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, the evil rival band full of toughs and meanies has a SAXOPHONIST in thier line-up. That;s how dangerously 80s this show was.
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, the evil rival band full of toughs and meanies has a SAXOPHONIST in thier line-up

Obligatory.
posted by jquinby at 6:50 AM on December 16, 2010


Pony request: "Flagged as Truly Outrageous!"
posted by pointystick at 7:02 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought it was kinda bullshit that Slash took 'Welcome To The Jungle' with him when he left the band.
posted by orme at 7:06 AM on December 16, 2010


I cannot help but think of this now when I come across Jem related materials:

Outrage

Apparantly, Tech Rat is a Time Lord.
posted by sandraregina at 7:10 AM on December 16, 2010


Synergy, send me reinforcements!
posted by infinitewindow at 7:37 AM on December 16, 2010


I spent way too much time trying to replicate the makeup looks from this show. One thing I noticed, though, was that the Misfit with the blue hair (I forget her name) was only reluctantly evil. I think she was constantly being bullied into doing bad things by the others. Also, Jem ran an orphanage in her free time for some reason.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:06 AM on December 16, 2010


It's easy to laugh at people who take the Misfits so seriously, but the band and its fans are actually pretty disturbing. Of course they're only fictional "characters", but some writer -- some dark, twisted writer out in the LA music and television scene -- actually had to come up with their lyrics.

Can you imagine what that would take? To come up with words as disturbing as the lyrics to "I Love a Scandal"? I wonder if the writer was simply giving vent to his/her most vile emotions, or if they simply were hired to come up with the most fucked-up shit they could. If the latter is the case, I imagine it must have taken a huge toll on them; they're probably little more than a withered husk of a soul now.

If the former, though, that's even more terrifying. I'm kind of frightened by the thought that there are people that depraved out there. People who "love a scandal; a juicy juicy scandal."
posted by Greg Nog at 9:17 AM on December 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Jem was an incredibly boring character. My sister and I used to watch this show, and we were in agreement that if it weren't for the Misfits, there'd be nothing interesting at all about the show. This is why all the great perpetual enemies (e.g. Tom and Jerry) both had fairly equal amounts of things that made you sympathize with them and things that made them unlikeable.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:18 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a huge crush on Stormer, the blue-haired Misfit who I thought actually had some character in this show of one-dimensional personalities. She enjoyed the occasional mischief, but tried to shy away from the more-malicious Misfit shenanigans. I recall her timid objections and basically being overruled by the other band mates, and eventually she went along with whatever cockamamy plans the Misfits or their manager came up with to the best of her ability.

I think I really connected with the character of Stormer because it felt oddly similar to my awkward childhood years of trying to fit in while realizing my own self-worth and potential.
Admittedly, I still don't think I've accomplished that last part.

Contrast that with Jem and her friends, who seemed to have everything going for them and easy solutions to their first-world problems, it doesn't come as a surprise to me that I loathed their successes and excesses and secretly wished for that one episode the Misfits would actually win.
posted by CancerMan at 10:46 AM on December 16, 2010


Back when I was on soulseek, the best thing I found was a collection of all the Jem and Misfits songs (found while searching for those other Misfits). I love throwing them into the middle of mixes and seeing who lights up and who winces.
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on December 16, 2010


I tried to watch Jem when was a kid, but I always felt weird about it. I think the makeup and clothing styles freaked me out a little.

That being said, I totally want to cover "I Am a Giant" in the style of Iron & Wine/Bonnie Prince Billie. Speaking of, has there even a MeFi Music Challenge in which "fictional" musicians are covered? That would be pretty sweet.
posted by jnrussell at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2010


The Misfits, chief rivals of Jem & The Holograms.

Before I opened the link this phrase had me very confused.
posted by Splunge at 4:16 PM on December 16, 2010


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