Let's take a look at an 80s song and the subsequent covers of that song - we'll call this series of blog posts Cover 2 Cover.
Today's song: Kids in America
This song was Kim Wylde's debut. Kids of America was a huge hit for her in Europe, especially in Finland (for some reason) where it was a #1 hit. All across Europe it peaked at 2 (UK), 3 & 4 on all the charts.
But, for some reason it took a year for the song to make its way across the Atlantic to the US where it had marginal success peaking at around #30. Kim was apparently given a hard time about some of the lyrics, "New York to East California"...there really is no 'East California'. California is about the furthest west you can go in the USA. Who knows if that was the reason, but whatever it was this song didn't perform as well as it did in Europe. And unlike other charting songs of the time this one did not make it into the standard songs played years later on 'classic rock' or '80s hits' radio stations. At least in North America.
Fast forward twenty years. 1995. A new movie is released that makes some major waves - the movie Clueless. Which was essentially about ditsy/valleygirl teens in America, so what better song to go along with the movie than 'Kids in America'? A cover of the song done by The Muffs was the opening track in this movie...and I'm kind of embarrassed to say, this was the first time I recall ever hearing this song. It wasn't until years later that I heard the Kim Wilde original. And I call myself an 80s music lover?
Even with the added boost of the movie it was still very rare to hear Kids in America on the radio.
Even though the song is now almost forty years old (ouch) it is still making the rounds. Every once in a while it gets covered - like by the Donnas.
It is also a song on that video game ROCK BAND.
Personally, I love this song. I have it on high rotation on my internet radio station and I promote it any chance I get. I think it's a classic, simple song that will never get old. The Muff's version rocks too!