Hey, a song article that isn’t about Chicago, Kenny Loggins, or David Foster! Oh no, we’re digging deeper into the vault of the 1980s, and going into the “wild wild west.”
Put your flags in the air and march them up and down, fine folks!
Like most young dancers in the late 1980s and 1990s, I gained familiarity with then-current dance music through dance classes and recitals. It was the perfect opportunity to gain an earworm, and I can’t tell you how many songs have come crashing back to me as an adult because of a childhood recital. And when you have a steel trap mind like I do, nothing gets out.
Such was the case with a song called “Wild, Wild West,” by a British group called The Escape Club. The song came from their debut album Wild Wild West, released in 1988 and reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of November 12, 1988. The Escape Club had the distinction of being the only British group to have a #1 hit in the United States, without charting in the United Kingdom.
The song was obviously so “of the time,” and came complete with gunshot, laser, and blaster. It was also related (though I debate this) to the theme of my dance recital in 1989, because there it was, complete with Cowgirl costumes and toy guns. Flash forward to that same school in 1997, and the using of this song for the school’s anniversary show, complete with Cowgirl costumes and finger guns. Because by then, toy guns on stage seemed to be a huge no-no.
My long-winded point is, I’m no stranger to this song. I’ve heard it in two dance recitals and countless times on the radio, both in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and during many flashback weekends. I also have one of those compilation albums you order from TV that has this song on it.
You’d think after countless times hearing this, I would have the lyrics fully burned into my mind. And you’re partially right. Because there was always this one problem I had with this song…
Forty-Seven Earworms, Beating Like A Drum…Over and Over in My Head…
Ok, so it wasn’t a problem per se, but I swore to everything that I’d heard some alternative version that couldn’t be played on the radio. Yes, there are radio mixes and album mixes, and even some longer mix that isn’t on the compilation album, but I swore this one alternate universe version existed, where one single word was changed….
The lyric goes: Gimme gimme wild west, gimme gimme safe sex.
Debate over. Every version I’ve heard, every version that seems to exist and has been heard by countless others since 1988 would agree, that’s the lyric.
Not me. Nope.
I’ve sworn that I have heard a version that says:
Gimme gimme wild west, gimme gimme crazy sex.
I’ve been convinced for years that I would eventually find this one alternate version to prove myself. So far…I’ve failed.
Alas, I have not found this version that encourages “crazy sex,” but instead promotes the idea of “safe sex,” which, when you think about it, is a better message.
Gimme Gimme Irrefutable Evidence…
I can’t do it. I’ve Googled it. I’ve listened to every version that is known to exist, and, well…nope. Nothing.
But in the meantime, live it up (live it up) and enjoy the music. This is the long version that generally doesn’t show up on compilation albums.
Uploaded by The Escape Club – Topic
It is a damn good, if not cheesy, dance song. I’ll enjoy it for what it is, even if I’m still convinced there is an alternate version out there that mentions “crazy sex.”