Another day, another B-band, another rad Woman in Music from the ’80s for August’s theme, and today’s Song of the Day. I heard Berlin on XM’s First Wave today, some current live performances, with Terri Nunn talking about each song before they played. It was interesting hearing her take on songs that she’s written now, and even more so to hear her reflections on songs from the past.
Pleasure Victim was my first Berlin album. I bought it at the Record Trading Center in Orange. They were unique, at the time, offering both new and used vinyl. I loved it there. So did my Mom, who thankfully took me with her. Often. I bought this the same day I bought Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – more on that one later.
I played both albums obsessively and fell in love with both bands and singers. I was fascinated by their songs, the emotion in them, the passion, and the notions of gender and sexuality they both conveyed. I learned the term “bi”, and subsequently bisexuality, from Berlin’s song “Sex (I’m I)”. I was exposed to a woman taking agency in sex (at least lyrically speaking), and developed a fascination/fantasy about costumes and costume parties (“Masquerade”), and European train travel (“Metro”) and the lovers you might meet on the train.
I was fascinated by Terri Nunn, too. Her voice. Her look. That hair (I plotted out ways to turn my dark hair partially to platinum more times than I can say). She was mysterious, powerful, sexy, had vocal range and attitude, and so much style. Even before I saw her perform live she exuded confidence, the kind I longed to have.
In the mid-early-aughts I got the chance to meet Terri Nunn. It was a meet-and-greet at an ’80s show, and I had enough time to say hello, tell her how much I’d loved/love her music, and ask her who her dream duet would be with. She said Stevie Nicks.
I want to hear that duet.
“Metro” by Berlin
from the album, Pleasure Victim (1982)
Song of the Day
“I remember a feeling coming over me.
The soldier turned,
then looked away.
I remember hating you for loving me.
Riding on the Metro.”
“The Metro,” also published as “Metro,” is a 1981 song written by John Crawford for the band, Berlin.
The song was first released as a non-album single, “The Metro” b/w “Tell Me Why”, on the MAO Music label in 1981. It reappeared, slightly remixed, on Berlin’s breakthrough album Pleasure Victim, released on the independent label Enigma in 1982 and re-released on Geffen in 1983.
In May 1983, “The Metro” was re-released as the third single from the album, and the second to appear on the Geffen label. It was produced and engineered (as was most of the album) by the band’s then-drummer and drum programmer, Daniel Van Patten. (from Wikipedia)
“Metro” was my immediate favorite track. Once I saw the music video on MTV, I loved it even more. I would dance around in my bedroom to it, and later, when I was old enough to go out dancing (first at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Cloud Nine, and later at underground clubs in Hollywood), I would dance to it on smoky dance floors, with my friends, or boys I’d think could maybe be like the soldier on the Metro (or maybe the lover she’d end up hating for loving her).
More often than not I did nothing to make any of those scenarios come true, but they definitely played in my imagination while I moved to the music.
Tonight, as I play it, I find myself dancing around my kitchen (between cooking stirfry vegetables and writing this Song of the Day).
And a part of me still wonders what my hair would look like in platinum, with just the tips dark brown/black.