Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aerobic Rock

I don't know how people exercised prior to the '80s.

My mother had a vast collection of Jane Fonda exercise records. I used to stare at them in dismay. Who was this hideous creature?

Personally, the notion of performing strenuous, repetitive physical exercises for an extended period of time sounds like my idea of hell. But somebody must have liked it. It was only a matter of time before '80s record executives realized, "Hey! All those people doing aerobics? They're going to need music ... to do aerobics to!"

How does one define Aerobic Rock? Let me give it a try: Aerobic Rock is music that is more singer-driven than disco or club music, but more uptempo than Yacht Rock. Aerobic Rock is like dance pop for housewives.

The heyday of Aerobic Rock was brief. Dance music swiftly got younger, sexier, smarter, more political. But for that one shining moment, exercise and pop music worked out in the same gym. So strap on your leotards, cinch up your leg warmers, and pull out your Jane Fonda records. It's time ... for Aerobic Rock.


Herr Zrbo said...

I doubt you ever catch 'American Idol', but this week they did an 80s theme (which is a good 10 years before any of the contestants were even born if that scares you at all).

What was remarkable though were the songs selected. I think the producers must have been reading your posts. I was expecting those mainstream 80s songs that still get airplay, like some Michael Jackson, Journey, maybe some Duran Duran.

Instead we got "Islands in the Stream", Genesis's "That's All", Pointer Sisters' "I'm so excited", Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks' "Stop dragging my heart around", Aretha Franklin/George Michael's "Knew you were waiting", and the aerobic rock classic "What a feeling" (I presume this falls into that category?).

All in all, I'm not sure if this song selection made it the greatest or worst episode of American Idol I've ever seen.

Little Earl said...

Missed that episode. I was too busy building a ship in a bottle. Nevertheless, I'm flattered that the producers are following Cosmic American Blog, although they must be able to see into the future, as I have yet to post on the Pointer Sisters, Phil Collins, or George Michael, even though, as sure as the sun rises in the east, you know I will.

Also, what's this term you use, "airplay"? Are you referring to something called the radio? Where do you even listen to it anymore? The only time I've listened to the radio was at my job last year, where my co-worker played KOIT all day long, and they definitely played more '80s songs than Michael Jackson and Journey. I think they served up every song you mentioned other than "Stop Dragging Me Heart Around," which I wouldn't call terribly obscure either. Don't you see Zrbo? '80s songs have become a part of our collective unconscious in a way that '00s songs probably never will. '80s songs can never die.

And yes, I already posted "What A Feeling" when I covered Giorgio Moroder, but the song is so purely the shining epitome of Aerobic Rock, I may just have to post it again.