We were liars in love
September 8, 2019 4:48 PM   Subscribe

It seemed like everyone in the 80s owned a copy of The Hooters' 1985 album Nervous Night. With several strong singles and a sort of Americana approach to 80s rock, it was hard to escape for a while. You probably haven't even thought about it in years -- here it is back again! Side A: And We Danced [video], Day By Day [video], All You Zombies [video], Don't Take My Car Out Tonight posted by hippybear (52 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
so good!
posted by easement1 at 4:51 PM on September 8


I bought the seven inch of "And We Danced" a few weeks ago. I was so stoked to find it!
posted by nikaspark at 4:53 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I read the words "All You Zombies" and immediately started hearing the song in my head, even though I haven't listened to the song in I don't know how many years.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:56 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I happened to stumble across "And We Danced" on satellite radio the other day, I'd forgotten what a great whirl of a song it is.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:58 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


And, of course, they had their greatest success working with other people. They're the band for Cyndi Lauper's debut album (and wrote "Time After Time"). One band member worked with Joan Osborne and wrote her biggest hit, "One of Us"...
posted by jdroth at 4:58 PM on September 8 [21 favorites]


I had the poster, had the cassette tape. One of my few purchases from that era that don't embarrass the hell out of me...
posted by notsnot at 5:06 PM on September 8


I went to college at a small place outside Philadelphia, and there was, in late spring, a concert they had, a few local bands, grills with burgers and hot dogs, beer and soda, and a generally good time. (They don't do it anymore, and with all the work that's happened, the place they held it no longer exists.)

When I was a freshman in 1987, I went to my first one, and one thing people talked about was "the time the Hooters played". (That year we had the group "Pretty Poison", who later had a song in a movie that went Top 40, called "Catch Me I'm Falling".)

Anyway, I got to listen to their tape, and later got my own copy on my new stereo with a brand new CD player. I loved their music, and had a lot of fun explaining their name to people.
posted by mephron at 5:07 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


"Official" And We Danced video
posted by grimjeer at 5:21 PM on September 8


"Time After Time"--The Hooters live at the Tower Theater, 1985.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:35 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Literally just a week ago I went on a futile hours-long Spotify quest to figure out what that album with a blue cover that I listened to while driving through Appalachia back in the late 80s was.

Thanks, hippybear!
posted by MrVisible at 5:43 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


My favorite is Karla with a K. I listen to a "best of" of their stuff on Spotify regularly.
posted by cats are weird at 5:51 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


For some reason I was just thinking about these guys recently. I had the cassettes of Nervous Night and One Way Home, went off them with Zig Zag and then forgot about them.

Thanks for this, hippybear.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:01 PM on September 8


The Hooters and The Outfield are my standard placeholder bands for 80s bands of all kinds. I'll just say that it wasn't everybody who had a copy of this, but it was one of the first songs that everybody was forced to know. It was on every hour on MTV, it was played at every school dance, and it was all over the radio. "And We Danced" is the quintessential "white man's overbite" song.

It tells you everything you need to know about the band that the name "The Hooters" was never once used in a double-entendre.
posted by rhizome at 6:33 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


I had the cassette. I can remember the single smartest person I've ever met, listening to "All You Zombies" with me in my old Toyota and absolutely losing it over the stupid ridiculousness of the lyrics, especially the line "yeah, they were the Israelites!"

I haven't listened much in recent years, due to a personal hang-up vis a vis Christianity, but The Hooters could definitely play.
posted by maxwelton at 6:46 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Is there any connection between "All You Zombies" the song, and " '-- All You Zombies--' " the Heinlein short story?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:51 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I just made a Spotify playlist of the Hooters a week or so ago. Their first album, Amore, has versions of "Blood from a Stone," "Hanging on a Heartbeat," and "All You Zombies" that they re-recorded for Nervous Night that are interesting. It also has a version of "Fightin' on the Same Side" that crushes the version they re-recorded on One Way Home.

Their live cover of keyboard and ukulele-powered Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

I wrote lyrics for the little intro they do at the beginning of "And We Danced":
We are The Hooters
We are The Hooters
We are The Hooters
And we'll hoot for you
Their version of "One of Us".

I'm not even a huge fan, but I saw them a couple of times back in the day (including opening for Squeeze) and they were a lot of fun live.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Is there any connection between "All You Zombies" the song, and " '-- All You Zombies--' " the Heinlein short story?

Signs point to no.
Eric Bazilian told the Chicago Tribune in 1985 that he didn't know the meaning of the song despite having written it. "People ask us what it's about ... the weird thing is we didn't consciously put [the heavy stuff] there. [Rob] Hyman later told Songfacts that the biblical images, including Moses and Noah, were not part of any agenda, though some radio stations refused to play it. "I love songs like that, you just listen and every time you hear it you kind of wonder what's going on."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:59 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I was/am a huge fan, got to see them locally in Philly a few times. Part of their schtick when they first started out was for each member to dress in all one color, and each member wore a different color, usually a suit. Kind of Miami Vice-ish in look. Very 80s. Their colors were blue, black, yellow, white, and red/pink. They did abandon the color thing when they became more popular.
posted by the webmistress at 7:06 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I have never heard any of these, ever, but in my defense my local station was mainly KROQ and this would have probably would have been a bit too much Americana sounding for the new wave hipsters that ran that place even though Dexy's Midnight Runners was in regular rotation forever.
posted by loquacious at 7:33 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Didn't own the album, but I absolutely remember them.

And holy crap, I just had a look at the albums released in 1985 and it is reading like both a "yes I loved that album" and an "ohmigod I totally forgot about them" walk through my adolescence, all in that one year, with even some "holy crap, THAT'S when that album came out going on for things I discovered later (Tom Waits' Rain Dogs, Sting's Dream Of The Blue Turtles and Dream Academy's album with "Life In A Northern Town" all in this same year).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:14 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Another sort-of-Hooters song: "Never Enough", Patty Smyth's first hit after leaving Scandal, was written by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian for their pre-Hooters band, Baby Grand, and they played on the album; you can absolutely hear it in the song.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:20 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


my local station was mainly KROQ and this would have probably would have been a bit too much Americana sounding for the new wave hipsters

Hooters were Top 40 and this would have been they heyday of Rick Carroll's KROQ, who also did the playlists for KQAK in San Francisco and in all cases was concerned with more obscure sounds ("Rock of the 80s"). If you didn't have/watch MTV or mix with the normies, you could have easily missed it.

I haven't drawn all the lines, but I'm pretty sure you can draw a line from The Hooters back to late 70s Power Pop, which shed its edge and vitality as a result of popularity and the advent of synthesizers. New Wave fans would know that synths didn't have to mean mainstream, but it also brought a lot of piano-oriented songwriters into the picture, which did calm down the sound along with the bigger name producers that popularity brought in as well.
posted by rhizome at 8:27 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


It's really the whole mandolin and melodica (the supposed "hooter") vibe that gave the band something special at the time. Blending that with 80s synths and guitars felt, to me, like they were drawing a direct line between more organic folk music and the stuff on the radio in the 80s and I loved it.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I ask sincerely: when is there not a day when one doesn't think of Philly's finest, Local Heroes of Live Aid, The Band With The Giggliest Name and Saviours of the Most Underutilized Instrument? The Hooters?

Answering hypophorically, I sure don't, 'cause they were burnt into my skull by so many radio stations, when I was 15 years old. If you look closely at this fMRI, you can almost see the neural pathways These Hooters had tunneled back then, even now.

Yet I never owned a copy of the album. Because I can hear their songs any time I like. SO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT AMERICA'S BRAND NEW MORNING!
posted by not_on_display at 9:29 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


If you look closely at this fMRI, you can almost see the neural pathways These Hooters had tunneled back then, even now.


And thus is the nefarious and ironically named mind control brain pathway burning of All You Zobies going to be activated and the uprising shall begin!
posted by hippybear at 9:31 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Miles Davis playing The Hooter's, Time After Time (Live)

(It is around the 2:33 mark that you start to recognize it.)
posted by AugustWest at 10:29 PM on September 8


It's always interesting to see how different the music scenes were across the pond because I've never heard of those guys.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:07 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Haven't thought about this band in years. I remember being pretty sick of their songs back then because they were so horribly overplayed but it's nice to hear them now.
posted by octothorpe at 4:02 AM on September 9


Philly’s local band in the 80’s. A friend of mine was an intern at a radio station there (free tickets and event access!). At one point when telethons to feed people were a thing I was asked to handle phone line pledges, and the drummer from the Hooters showed up - it was late too. Like 2 or 3 am. Seemed like a nice guy, but was by far the biggest name in the room, so I had no talk time with him.

For me, the local Philly radio stations did support the band and we were very familiar with early live versions of much of their music. When they re-recorded them for the first national release there was much different - way more produced and the slow entrance to “Zombies” was a new thing. The older live version, for me, was much livelier and likable, but the new eventually grew on me.
posted by kabong the wiser at 4:16 AM on September 9


Philly’s local band in the 80’s.

As compared to Beru Revue, Philly's local band for eternity.

The Hooters' "Satellite" was underrated.
posted by delfin at 4:38 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure side two of that record was like the dark side of the moon in that it never saw the sun. I'm not certain I've listened to it.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 5:27 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Man in the Street is an early single that can cause uncontrollable skanking happy feet.
posted by whuppy at 5:29 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


This was one of the first cassette tapes I received as a birthday gift. I was growing up in rural Nova Scotia. Had no idea that the band had this kind of reach, thought it was just a rando pick from a friend at the time, and man did we play the shit out of it.
posted by elkevelvet at 6:51 AM on September 9


My first live concert experience was the Hooters opening up for Bryan Adams. I distinctly remember that the Hooters were better.
posted by Eikonaut at 10:40 AM on September 9


MartinWisse: "It's always interesting to see how different the music scenes were across the pond because I've never heard of those guys."

Apparently neither had Bob Geldoff when he found out that they were going to open Live Aid.
posted by octothorpe at 10:52 AM on September 9


I'd never heard of them, and while ms scruss (USA) didn't know the band name, she was singing along to And We Danced within seconds of me playing it.
posted by scruss at 12:58 PM on September 9


Ha! These guys played at my college in, I think it was 1986 or 7. I missed the show because I was up at the Providence Civic Center watching the Grateful Dead. But I always liked them. Looking back and listening to the cuts here, I'm sorry I missed that show.
posted by sundrop at 7:24 PM on September 9


Nervous Night is on all my best playlists including the car playlist. I can still belt out Hooters songs - especially while sitting in traffic.
posted by bendy at 8:37 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: the song "Nervous Night" didn't appear on the original Nervous Night album. It was added later as a bonus track.

Another sort-of-Hooters song: "Never Enough" , Patty Smyth's first hit after leaving Scandal, was written by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian for their pre-Hooters band, Baby Grand, and they played on the album; you can absolutely hear it in the song.

Patty Smyth also sings backup on "Where Do the Children Go."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 PM on September 9




I had not thought about this band since the 1980s, but thanks to this post I've had "And we danced" stuck in my head for the last few days. Argh!
posted by mogget at 10:19 PM on September 9


The Stone Balloon, Newark DE, January 1985
My roommates knew Andy King, so I should have talked my way back stage. But I didn't have the nerve.

Other local favorites: Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, George Thorogood, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
posted by MichelleinMD at 5:11 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Summer 1993, the Hooters and the Smithereens made for a really fun double bill at a local radio station's birthday bash.
posted by emelenjr at 5:58 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]




Robert Hazard! I had no idea he was a regional act, this song was ubiquitous in the early eighties on central PA radio.
posted by octothorpe at 4:27 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


And to bring the Cyndi Lauper side plot full-circle, Robert Hazard wrote "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
posted by rhizome at 4:48 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Okay, if it's safe to bring in other Philly links, I mentioned the magnificent Beru Revue earlier. They nearly got the opening gig at Live Aid that the Hooters ended up with. They were an absolute staple of local rock radio in the 1980s (Pierre Robert of WMMR, who deserves his own post, was one of their devoted followers), and in case anyone's wondering, they can still freakin' go.
posted by delfin at 2:16 PM on September 11


Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

Aw man, I had forgotten about them. "I'm Not Your Man" was a song for a college friend's huge breakup that ended up with her having to transfer because not a single person on campus who knew about what happened was on her side (even in the late 80s, claiming an open relationship lets you sleep with someone else needs to have the other person knowing you're in an open relation), so it's always been a song that reminds me of how badly someone can fuck up something.
posted by mephron at 3:40 PM on September 11


Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

I've always loved their cover of Jules Shear's "If We Never Meet Again." Actually, both versions are pretty great.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:07 AM on September 12


Never confuse your liars in love with your lawyers in love.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:35 AM on September 12


I will always have a soft spot for Tommy Conwell and Co. not just because they've successfully run the local treadmill for so long, but because they came to my high school back in the day for a show in December that coincided with a massive snowstorm. IIRC, thirteen people braved the storm to show up.

Conwell said "screw it, we're not taking your money, kids" and gave back what we'd paid them to perform, and just did a show that night for anyone who made it in.
posted by delfin at 7:56 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I had totally forgotten, until viewing it again, just how odd I found the very opening shot in the All You Zombies video - a man dressed in a shabby suit and a bowler hat, walking through some barren noplace, comes to a stream. He crouches down, removes his hat to reveal a bald head, and scoops up a couple handfuls of water to wet the back of his head before moving on.

I saw that when I was fifteen and for some reason I found that image to be completely strange (I think my biggest question was "why the back of his head instead of his face?"). And then I totally forgot about it until today when I saw that video again and realized "yeah, that still just feels odd."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 AM on September 13


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