I thought I heard the phone ringing. Was that 1984 calling?

guilty feet.gif

Is this song still well-known enough to transcend the Geezer tag?

(And let’s not even discuss how disconcerting it is that anything from 1984 can qualify for the Geezer tag)


  1. Yeah, I had no inkling it was the name of some particular song, I thought it was just the colorful name for a kind of stage move by musicians. Like “moonwalk” but a little more acrobatic, and probably requires a guitar.

  2. I’m actually from the 80s, but I don’t recognize that song at all.

    (“You’re from the sixties.” “Well, yeah, actually…” “Out! Back to the sixties! Back! There’s no place for you here in the future!”)

  3. Unknown to me.

    But I turned 39 in 1984 and had essentially stopped paying attention to pop music a few years before that, so for me this is not so much a “geezer” candidate as an “after my time; you musician kids get off my lawn” candidate.

  4. Careless Whispers… when Every Step You Take isn’t inappropriate enough for your wedding.

    Nobody ever psys attention to what songs are actually about.

  5. Careless Whispers is useful for weddings dances, because you check if the bride or the groom have rhythm. If they don’t, you conclude they’ve been cheating, and the wedding is annulled.

  6. “Nobody ever psys attention to what songs are actually about.”

    I remember the bemusement of the writers of the “American Woman” song when it got used as the music for an American car commercial.

  7. Careless Whispers was covered by Seether in 2009 and received a lot of airplay, at least around my area. So non-geezers may also be familiar with it.

  8. #2 even looks like George Michael in this leather scruffy look, lots of clues on this one. As far as wedding reception songs go, “The One I Love” by REM is probably the most misunderstood.

  9. Wait wait wait ..! So you’re all recognizing a song called “Careless Whispers” . What does “Electric Slide” have to do with it, then? Do the lyrics to “Careless Whispers” mention doing the Electric Slide? Or was the song generally performed with the guitarist executing an electric slide as part of the show? Which one has lyrics about “guilty feet”?

  10. The song “Careless Whisper” (80’s staple, humorously was used as walk-up music by a member of the Oakland A’s recently) has the line “guilty feet have got no rhythm”. So to test #2’s guilt, the officer is checking his rhythm by asking him to dance, suggesting the electric slide. The particular choice of move isn’t important, but most dance moves folks can name (foxtrot, tango, rumba) don’t really match up with a pop/rock song, and asking for the twist or the hot potato would be right out.

  11. Yeah, just to clarify, it’s Careless Whisper. There’s no plural. Though I prefer a parody called Hairless Sister.

  12. This is a fancied-up verson; those who do the dance in the ‘Western Line Dance’ style also have flourishes, but the basic four-square steps remain the same.

    Now I want to go two-steppin’ . . . but we gave away all our Western clothes and boots. Good memories, tho.

  13. @Brian in STL-

    Yeah, that commercial always flabbergasted me. Not a song I would choose, especially since the ad was promoting the family-fun aspect of the cruise line.

    I also thought it was incredibly ironic when Cadillac licensed a Led Zeppelin song for one of their ads.

  14. I have to confess there are a number of songs I might not have ever heard were it not for their use in commercials, and from this bit of prompting eventually looked up and listened to in full and liked. \

    This was definitely one of those! It was very catchy and fun! And as Blinky suggests, when I learned more about Iggy, the contrast of image was interesting too.

    Another from a commercial was “Mr. Roboto” , which however I got tired of almost immediately. But I still think highly of the rapid-patter song with lions like “It’s been twentythree days since you said goodbye to me, and five weeks since we whatever,”.One that I’m not sure I heard on an ad originally but might have, is the one by James, with the lyric “She only comes when she’s on top.” That might not have been the part used commerically. And New Soul by Yael Naim was in an Apple commerical, and really is quite beautiful. Here is the “Official Video” which is not the Apple commercial. https://youtu.be/hhE7QMXRE1g

    Also, ahem, the Flower Duet from Lakme by Léo Delibes. I thought it had been commissioned for the ad! And how remarkable for a contemporary songwriter to come up with something so beautiful, and in such good imitation of some older style. Ah well. https://youtu.be/8Qx2lMaMsl8

  15. (part 1 awaiting moderation)
    (part 2 –> )

    A classical piece among my own favorites gets used in all sorts of places all the time, so it’s fruitless to get too disturbed, except maybe about the rewriting happens. This is Verdi’s Requiem Mass, generally the big loud splash of the Dies Irae, sometimes the Tuba Mirum.

    One instance I originally snorted at, but then forgave, was an ad for a family minivan. The spot showed the family out at a picnic, but there were gathering clouds, and then a bit of rain. They rushed to get back to the vehicle and pack away the stuff they were carrying. The shocking bass drum strokes fit with the thunder. But they got it all stowed with minimal fuss, because the rear loading door opened on its own with a press of the clicker.

    Then I realized some of the text was about “It doesn’t have to be the end of the world when you get rained out …” Oh, right! The end of the world! That’s what the Dies Irae is about, too! How fitting!

  16. I’ve got the worst kind of ear worm now; the kind where you only know the six notes that go with the six words you just heard, of a song you suddenly think you love.

  17. Boy I was completely lost with this comic. I was familiar with the electric slide dance but not the lyrics.

    And as far as finding songs one likes in commercials, I liked a song that ran of all places in an Advil commercial by the indie band Family Of The Year. Title was “Chug Jug”. No idea what it means, really, but the song is catchy and the band’s other material is pretty good as well.

    One other was the HP ad that used “Out Of The Picture (Out Of The Frame)” as performed by the Robins.

  18. What I hate is when there appears to be either a snippet of a cover of a song done especially for thed commercial (so there is no “full” version out there anywhere), or there is a short song written specifically for the commercial. In the former case is a commercial that seemed to have a gender-reversed version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, and in the latter is an Ikea commercial thst featured what sounded like some unknown Simon and Garfunkel song with the words, “Hey, ho, let’s all go to Walla Walla, Washington”.

  19. And the re-use of songs from my era (and previous) as commercial jingles pushes me further (and more undeniably) into geezer territory. Like the dentures and trifocals aren’t enough already. I don’t appreciate hearing Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” pushong Swiffer dust cloths or Parachute Club’s “Rise Up” hawking McCain’s Rising-Crust Pizza.
    And don’t get me started on music from the 2000s as “retro” or — may the Lord have mercy — “classic”.

    Sorry…having a “damn pesky kids” moment.

  20. ” I was familiar with the electric slide dance but not the lyrics.”

    The lyrics in question are from a completely different song “Careless Whisper” by George Michael.

  21. ” I still think highly of the rapid-patter song with lions like ‘It’s been twentythree days since you said goodbye to me, and five weeks since we whatever,'”

    One Week, Bare Naked Ladies. Used in car ads, as I recall. No, I don’t remember what KIND of cars.

  22. I have probably heard that saxophone intro a thousand times but had no idea where it came from. Thanks to CIDU for solving a 35-year-old mystery for me!

  23. I think the most inappropriate wedding song is “I Will Always Love You.” It’s a breakup song. CIDU Bill is right, nobody listens to the words.

    And yes, this is geezer stuff. You can tell by all the geezers desperately trying to claim its not because they heard it on the music being played at the supermarket sometime in the last five years.

  24. That started back with Reagan in the ’80s and has been happening ever since. At this point, I wonder if they do it more to get the publicity from Springsteen telling them to stop using it. That always makes news.

  25. Apparently in the early 70s the US Air Force used, without permission and to their annoyance, a mostly wistful song by the Moody Blues, “Dawning is the Day”, as background music for a recruitment ad.

    Rise, let us see you,
    Dawning is the day.
    Miss, misty meadow,
    You will find your way.
    Wake up in the morning, to yourself,
    And leave this crazy life behind you.
    Listen, we’re trying to find you.

    I guess some of the lyrics are appropriate… “Rise, let us see you” and “Listen, we’re trying to find you” is pretty god for a recruitment ad. But “leave this crazy life behind you” sounds a bit life-threatening in a military jet context.

    One rather well-liked and I guess borderline constantly cool song, at least in the UK, was “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, also originally a 70s song, which got a bit of ribbing recently from being used in a Viagra/ erectile dysfunction ad. “Come up and see me, make me smile” is quite a relevant line for the new context, I guess, but I don’t see how “There ain’t no more, you’ve taken everything/From my belief in Mother Earth/Can you ignore my faith in everything/’Cause I know what faith is and what it’s worth” fits, or even the opening lines, which we do hear in the ad:

    You’ve done it all, you’ve broken every code
    And pulled the rebel to the floor
    You spoilt the game, no matter what you say
    For only metal, what a bore!
    Blue eyes, blue eyes
    How come you tell so many lies?

    Though I am not sure what the lyricist was driving at in the first place. LIDU I think.

  26. I find it hard to believe anyone who lived through the 80s wouldn’t recognize “Careless Whisper”.

    Here’s my favorite version:

  27. SingaporeBill says: “I think the most inappropriate wedding song is “I Will Always Love You.”.

    How about “You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille”, played at several wedding receptions in my time. It must be really easy for a band to play and sing!

  28. Andrew Ridgley (second member of Wham!) and I didn’t look it up. So I am not sure if I spelt it right.

    It’s one of those “later” pop things that I know, though my era is more very late 60s into the mid-70s (Moody Blues, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple… actually, not Deep Purple so much, I just liked the line of colour bands that was developing. Al Stewart, Yes, Strawbs, Leonard Cohen, Simon & Garfunkel too).

  29. So, Powers, your argument that Careless Whisper isn’t a geezer reference is that anyone older than about 41 should get the reference?

  30. Berber, I imagine anybody playing “You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille” is doing so with the awareness that it’s not actually a romantic song.

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