Malls Are Gone But Tiffany Isn't
July 7, 2019 10:43 PM   Subscribe

I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany) 2019
posted by The Whelk (55 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really like Tommy James and the Shondells. I think they’re totally underrated, and I think Tiffany did well to pluck this song from their catalog.
posted by chrchr at 10:49 PM on July 7, 2019 [12 favorites]


I was six years old when Tiffany put this out the first time and I feel pretty confident saying it was one of my favorite songs. I have lately been thinking about my now-unabashed love for pop music (I'm going to see Carly Rae Jepsen at the end of the month and I am SO STOKED) and how I denied myself that for a long time. But then I remembered that the first music I loved—Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper... and Tiffany—was all very much pop music. My cousins and I used to put that stuff on the record player and dance around and those are beloved memories.

Of course now, there is other louder, noisier, scarier music that I really love. But when I finally realized that I didn't need to reject what I loved first in order to love something new, I became a much happier person. With a very confused Spotify algorithm.

Thanks for posting this. This Means Things to me.
posted by Maaik at 11:10 PM on July 7, 2019 [26 favorites]


Oh, and the original video just for comparison's sake.
posted by Maaik at 11:12 PM on July 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


I miss the awesome little growl she does in the original when she gets to “...into the night...” But I do love this and I’m happy to discover that Tiffany still sounds really good.

I was 11 or 12 when her original cover came out and this was my very favorite for months on end. I still love it. Tiffany and her contemporary pop teen Debbie Gibson must have launched the sale of a million jean jackets. At least.
posted by mochapickle at 11:47 PM on July 7, 2019 [10 favorites]


And the Original Original mentioned above.
posted by benoliver999 at 11:48 PM on July 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


I lived with her in the same house in 1993, which was one of her lowest periods, and mine too. Oh God, the stories...
posted by growabrain at 12:16 AM on July 8, 2019 [52 favorites]


I was staying at the conference centre hotel in Bakersfield a few weeks ago and Salt and Pepa, Tiffany, NKOTB and a couple of others were playing NEXT DOOR. I was sorely tempted. The thought of hearing 'Push It' live, and this song was very tempting, but we only found out about an hour before they started playing and we had to be up early for the test we were doing.

So I bailed on the idea. Like a fucking boring middle aged curmudgeon. I'm so ashamed of myself.
posted by Brockles at 12:38 AM on July 8, 2019 [31 favorites]


Oh God, the stories...

You can talk. I think we're alone now.
posted by pracowity at 12:58 AM on July 8, 2019 [84 favorites]


Salt N Pepa still have it - caught them a couple of years ago, consummate pros. You missed out!
posted by jordantwodelta at 1:58 AM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


I love that this is somehow more 80's than the original.

She sounds and looks great.
posted by bongo_x at 3:11 AM on July 8, 2019 [4 favorites]


I would unironically wear one of those T-shirts.
posted by pharm at 3:15 AM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


And then there's the creepy documentary: I Think We're Alone Now.
posted by dobbs at 4:00 AM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


One of the YouTube commentators nails it in that saying a relieved "I think we're alone now" back in the 80s meant that the parents had finally gone out; now it means the teenagers have.

Since this often appears on those lists of songs that people don't realise are covers - a link to the Tommy James and the Shondells original.
posted by rongorongo at 4:25 AM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


a link to the Tommy James and the Shondells original.

Good use of crickets.
posted by pracowity at 4:45 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see her film a version of this in a series of dead malls.
posted by dmd at 4:50 AM on July 8, 2019 [25 favorites]


I think my favorite thing Tiffany did is when she and Front Line Assembly covered U2's "New Year's Day".

But I guess I have this thing about female pop singers pairing up with EBM groups, because I also am a fan of Sarah McLachlan on Manufacture's "As The End Draws Near." (TIL this had a video, and it is extremely 80s and incongruous.)
posted by Foosnark at 5:14 AM on July 8, 2019 [7 favorites]


but I guess I have this thing about female pop singers pairing up with EBM groups, because I also am a fan of Sarah McLachlan

... and Delerium ...
posted by jkaczor at 5:24 AM on July 8, 2019 [9 favorites]


One of my favorite bits of music trivia involves this song: Tiffany had a number-one Billboard hit in 1987, until it was overtaken by a song by Billy Idol. What did these two consecutive number ones have in common?

The answer, of course, is that Billy Idol's song was "Mony Mony," which is also a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:36 AM on July 8, 2019 [41 favorites]


I'm sure Ritchie Cordell went out and bought himself something nice that year.
posted by pracowity at 5:56 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see her film a version of this in a series of dead malls.

Yeah, a little disappointed that this video isn't exactly that.
posted by briank at 6:01 AM on July 8, 2019 [7 favorites]


Yup, I was really expecting the song to be song in dead malls...
posted by CPAGirl at 6:18 AM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


For the folks from the goth thread...
posted by evilDoug at 6:23 AM on July 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


The almost ungoogleable Snuff did a majestic cover of this song, back in the grunge/thrash era.
posted by srednivashtar at 6:23 AM on July 8, 2019 [4 favorites]


Heh - Tiffany would have been my last big pop-star crush - I *swear*, I saw her at a mall somewhere in eastern Ontario in the late 80's. (In reality, it appears that she never played malls in Canada - I must have heard it on the radio).

Endless hours, listening to top-40, painting Warhammer/40k miniatures - no wonder my output was never as good as my friends, I wasn't listening to "grimdark" appropriate music.
posted by jkaczor at 6:51 AM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


This song/album came out when I was 11 and the cassette was on heavy replay rotation in my boom box. A few years later when I'd become an ironic 90s teen and was embarrassed about that I fast forwarded it to the middle, snipped the tape, and my brother and I each took an end and pulled until the cassette was empty. It remains one of the most satisfying things I have ever done (think Ramona Quimby squeezing out the entire tube of toothpaste), but lately I feel a little bad about it. Bubblegum pop is fun and my 90s self was insufferable.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:29 AM on July 8, 2019 [4 favorites]




I'm afraid this song has been completely displaced in my head by the Weird Al version - I Think I'm A Clone Now - and specifically with this Evangelion anime video for it downloaded from Napster in the late nineties.

The problem is that the original lyrics are fairly generic whilst Weird Al's are entirely composed of unforgettably dreadful puns.
posted by automatronic at 7:34 AM on July 8, 2019 [9 favorites]


I really like Tommy James and the Shondells.

Seems like a lot of people suddenly did in the eighties — between this, Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” and Joan Jett’s “Crimson and Clover,” I suspect a lot of my high school classmates and our contemporaries around the world were Tommy James fans without ever having heard of Tommy James.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:38 AM on July 8, 2019 [8 favorites]


This is very cool. I wouldn't be surprised if she did this re-recording so she could own the master and license it. Wheatus did the same thing with "Teenage Dirtbag."
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:49 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, that was fun!

I'd love to hear how it sounds with a slightly less processed vocal track, but that's just my own particular taste. I'll certainly take it the way it is!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is very cool. I wouldn't be surprised if she did this re-recording so she could own the master and license it. Wheatus did the same thing with "Teenage Dirtbag."

Good job on your part spotting that, since a New York Times magazine article (thanks Wiki) says her masters were most likely destroyed in the Universal Music Group fire.
posted by hangashore at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


There's also this homage: let's go the mall, everybody!
posted by anem0ne at 8:42 AM on July 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Thanks Foosnark! I'd heard that cover a few times but never realized it was Tiffany with FLA.
posted by cirhosis at 9:18 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I had a young punk friend in the late 70s who turned me on to many awesome bands. In the record shop I found a single of this song by Lene Lovich. I thought it was awesome, just like everything that Lene did. So I was surprised when my friend said, "Oh I hate that song." That's how found out it was a cover.
So, in the way that music from my youth is always better, Lene has the definitive version in my mind.
I love Tommy James, though.
posted by bitslayer at 9:20 AM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


Like probably thousands of others, I recently went down the rabbit-hole of this song after being reminded of it from The Umbrella Academy (which has a great soundtrack, btw). The thing about the original video is that, however the full the malls may be, in almost every shot she's either literally by herself or surrounded by thousands of screaming fans held at a firm distance (dancing bald guy excepted), and appears both seemingly happy and utterly alone.

Oh, and since no one else has mentioned it yet, it should be noted for the record the title of the tour from which the original video was constructed: "The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87"
posted by chortly at 9:22 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I was 15 and way way way too snobby to like this the first time around.

This version though, love love love.

I probably like her old version too, at this point, the list of things I'm snobby about seems to get fainter and fainter.
posted by Cosine at 9:40 AM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see her film a version of this in a series of dead malls.

"I think Sears is gone now,
The Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick seems a lonely hound..."
posted by zaixfeep at 9:55 AM on July 8, 2019 [11 favorites]


Yes bitslayer! The Lene Lovich version is my favorite.
posted by neustile at 10:20 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I searched for mall appearances but ended up finding television appearances: Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Star Search.
posted by pracowity at 10:44 AM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


(For those searching for tour dates/locations/set lists - here is a site that does seem to go back in time)
posted by jkaczor at 11:14 AM on July 8, 2019


My freshman year of college, Tiffany played my campus and reached out and touched my head when she sang this song and it was a transformative moment in my life. I covered it in my solo act for years (more like the Tommy James version) as a result.

(And my favourite Tommy James song is "Mirage", which is similar but a bit more out there.)
posted by kendrak at 11:17 AM on July 8, 2019 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the post. I've just spent a half hour down a rabbit hole of pop music from my teen years, which pre-dated Tiffany by a decade or two. I'm another fan of Tommy James and the Shondells, Crystal Blue Persuasion, in particular.

Here's another link to the original original. This includes a video of the band, clean-cut guys in sports jackets and turtlenecks—you know, the kind your parents would have approved of, back in the day (if they weren't aware of his music).
posted by she's not there at 12:52 PM on July 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


I think, if you are old enough, you would know Tommy James, they were on the radio a lot. My BIL is from Niles and claimed he played in some early versions of the band, though he was too young to join. Niles is a pretty nice little town, well kept up houses and lots of big trees, just a couple miles north of Pete Buttigieg's South Bend, Indiana. There were plenty of great pop songs in those days, I would love to hear more covers.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:38 PM on July 8, 2019


I'd love to see her film a version of this in a series of dead malls.

Or see a vaporwave mashup of this, along the lines of Vektroid's Nobody Here.
posted by acb at 1:59 PM on July 8, 2019


She brings a singular propulsion to the song that is a definite plus.
posted by Chitownfats at 2:28 PM on July 8, 2019


Faint of Butt: "One of my favorite bits of music trivia involves this song: Tiffany had a number-one Billboard hit in 1987, until it was overtaken by a song by Billy Idol. What did these two consecutive number ones have in common?

The answer, of course, is that Billy Idol's song was "Mony Mony," which is also a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells.
"

Not to mention that Joan Jett's cover of "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells went to #7, her second biggest hit.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:00 PM on July 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


Lordy, I’m old enough to remember this song when it was new from Tommy James and the Shondelles. I don’t remember being all impressed with Tiffany’s original version, except that it was a decent cover of an excellent song. This new one, however, is great.
posted by lhauser at 8:33 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Just heard a cover of this song with a male singer in a Hewlett-Packard commercial.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:46 PM on July 8, 2019


Y'all know, as a homage to the Robin Sparkles connection (see anem0ne's link), Tiffany appeared in a Robin Sparkles video? ("Yo dawg, we ... ")
posted by WCityMike at 12:29 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


I lived with her in the same house in 1993, which was one of her lowest periods, and mine too. Oh God, the stories...

Part of me is going "oh, gossip!", but another part of me is wondering if some #metoo stuff ended up going down....
posted by gtrwolf at 11:34 AM on July 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


Interesting to A/B the recordings and hear how her voice has changed. There's a lot more depth now. I remember thinking she sounded thin/not so great back in the day, and honestly I haven't changed my opinion of the original version.

The 2019 version of her voice, for reasons of age or experience or training or whatever, seems to have a lot more substance to it.

And I, too, am SUPER curious about the "living with Tiffany" disclosure up there.
posted by uberchet at 12:31 PM on July 10, 2019


I have a huuuuge soft spot for late-80s bubblegum dance-pop (Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Taylor Dayne, Bananarama, etc), so of course I had to give this a listen. Tiffany’s voice has matured beautifully, and I love how they updated the production & arrangement, but recreated some elements of the 80s recording (drum machine claps, THAT synth solo) as a tip of the hat.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:17 PM on July 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


Tiffany's new single "Beautiful"


It's ...very mid 90s? I don;t mean that as a bad thing.
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 PM on July 24, 2019


Filmed in the UK by the looks of it: Brighton? London?
posted by pharm at 7:56 AM on July 26, 2019


Brighton. Definitely.
posted by Brockles at 8:58 AM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


« Older 434 Fridays Later ...   |   In Guatemala, Defending Land Can Be Deadly Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments