As I was perusing the interwebs for info about what happened this week in various milestone years, to help aid me in my choice of a Retro Video of the Week, I came across too many nuggets to narrow this week's post to just one video. Instead, I'm posting three: "Only Lonely" by Bon Jovi, "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground, and "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn" by Eazy-E. I will address them in chronological order.
"Only Lonely" by Bon Jovi
Friday is the 30th anniversary of the release of Bon Jovi's sophomore album, 7800º Fahrenheit. I know what you're thinking: "Damn, GMYH, that's pretty fucking hot, but what's the significance?" Oh, that's the melting point of rock. Touché, Bon Jovi. The band has pretty much shunned this album and rarely plays any tracks off of it. I went with the song "Only Lonely," which is the first single from the album and got up to #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. I went with this one over "In and Out of Love" -- arguably a more popular song, since it has been included on their greatest hits album -- because "Only Lonely" has a better video, complete with what appears to be an organized crime syndicate that really doesn't like Bon Jovi.
"The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground
Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the release of Digital Underground's debut album, Sex Packets. According to Wikipedia, Sex Packets "is a concept album about 'G.S.R.A.' (Genetic Suppression Relief Antidotes), a pharmaceutical substance that is produced in the form of a large glowing pill about the size of a quarter, which comes in a condom-sized package and is allegedly developed by the government to provide its intended users such as astronauts with a satisfying sexual experience in situations where the normal attainment of such experiences would be counter-productive to the mission at hand." I had no idea. I guess "in a 69, my humpty nose will tickle your rib" didn't adequately tip me off. Even as a 12-year-old, I assumed "sex packets" just meant condoms, and I thought it was admirable that an artist would advocate safe sex in their album title.
Of course, I am choosing "The Humpty Dance" from Sex Packets. Sung by Shock G's alter ego, Humpty Hump, and it was the group's biggest hit, landing at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, #7 on the Billboard R&B charts, and #1 on the Billboard Rap charts. I always found it hilarious that "Burger King" was bleeped out when the song was played on the radio, since the entire song is about sex. In the video, you can see a young 2Pac in the background. Of course, Shock G produced and was featured on 2Pac's fantastic "I Get Around" a few years later (among his many other producing credits).
"Eazy-er Said Than Dunn" by Eazy-E
Friday marks the 20th anniversary of the death of gangsta rap pioneer Eric Wright, aka Eazy-E, from complications related to AIDS. Before he went solo, Eazy-E was, of course, a member of N.W.A., which basically invented the gangsta rap genre. The entire N.W.A. crew -- obviously, before things became acrimonious between everyone -- appears in Eazy's debut solo video, "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn," a radio-friendly track without any explicit lyrics. What's the point?! I wish "Gimme That Nutt" had a video.