#MusicMonday – September 14, 2020

When explanations make no sense, when every answer’s wrong…say what you want to say, and breakout!

There’s always that one song buried deep in the subconscious of your mind, one you heard many years ago, but eventually found itself relegated to some “Lost Decade” block on the radio. You know the song – it’s the kind that makes you say “YES! I remember this song, but I have no clue who sang it!”

For the aforementioned “Lost Decade” block, in the mid 1990s, one of the local radio stations did a “Lost 80s Lunch” block from 1-2 pm everyday. If you still liked some 1980s music, even in 1996 when the 80s weren’t cool and nostalgic yet, this was a great block to recapture some of the stuff you knew about at one time, but had long since forgotten about. Like for instance, I recorded the song “I Wanna Be Rich” off the radio, because I had heard it in an In Living Color rerun – The Fly Girls danced to it – and I REALLY liked that song. Still like it to this day. I have it on my old iPod.

Today’s song is one that I heard on the local Adult Contemporary station in the mid-1990s, but had no idea it wasn’t a 90s song. For some reason, they played it pretty regularly, and not even during those “Lost Decade” blocks. I assumed it was some current single. But, like alot of “lost decade” songs, it eventually found its way out of the playlist and lost to my subconscious.

Until a few months ago when it popped up in a random music playlist on YouTube, while I was on the treadmill. At that moment, memories of a woman singing about breaking out came flooding back, even if the song was, in fact, not some great 90s dance song, but an 80s dance song.

Don’t stop to ask how the mind works, just know that it does. And what it produces is…at times incredibly scary.

“Breakout” is a 1986 single by British “sophisti-pop” group Swing Out sister (named for a 1945 movie, starring Arthur Treacher – the actor, not the fast food fish franchise).

The group, established in 1985 by Andy Connell and Martin Jackson, was later joined by Corinne Drewery, who had worked as a model and fashion designer before taking the reigns of lead vocals for the now-trio. This was the theme of the music video for this song, as Drewery is designing a dress with the help of her bandmates, who later have a successful runway debut.

It is a fun music video, full of everything that makes great 80s and 90s dance song videos, well, great.

“Breakout” reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#66 year ending 1987) and topped the Adult Contemporary Chart at the same time. “Breakout,” which proved to not just be a clever name, was one of the group’s biggest hits and most closely associated singles. It was their biggest hit in the United States, as future singles failed to reach as high as this single did. It still gets play on smooth jazz and Adult Contemporary stations, and randomly on my YouTube channel playlist, strangely enough, mixed with Chicago songs. There are some similar songs on my playlist, but this one definitely stands out.

Like those bracelets!

Swing Out Sister is still together today, albeit a duo (Martin Jackson left the group after their 1989 album Kaleidoscope World), and have released albums during the 90s, 2000s, and as recently as 2017. They’ve toured and worked steadily, but it seems that they found a “breakout” that worked for them, even if they haven’t exactly reached that same level since the 1990s.

But man, did they make a fun song to be remembered for.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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