I was a teenage music video junkie.
Soon only MTV remained. The videos however, did not, replaced by shows like Remote Control and The Real World. This was rather vexing to an addict such as myself. VH1 and MTV2 were introduced in the 80s and 90s, but they weren't quite the same (and neither were the videos). Eventually, they also succumbed to music programming instead of broadcasting just videos. I was thrilled when VH1 Classic arrived less than a decade ago, but it has already changed its format to show fewer videos (and it is currently only available with pricier cable packages in the United States).
Then I discovered YouTube. Looking at postcard-sized videos didn't seem so bad, not when there were so many from which to choose!
The obsessive behavior began almost immediately: spending hours on the computer looking for that one Bauhaus video I used to love so much. Then I branched out, trying to unearth more obscure selections by bands like The Tubes or Tarney Spencer. I would look in earnest for videos that I merely vaguely remembered only to find that no one had uploaded them yet. And there's the rub.
Although it can be rewarding to revel in the knowledge that the object of your obsession is enjoyed by only a select few, it often denotes a lonely existence. And such is the case with Bang Bang, a band I adored at age 13, but one which I have never heard anyone else even mention since the time they actually had a video in heavy rotation on Night Tracks in the mid-80s.
Imagine my utter delight (and rampant squealing) when I finally found a YouTube video of theirs. In fact, I discovered an entire blog post about the band's (only) album and a brief discussion of each song.
The Ripple Effect's assessment of Bang Bang's Life Part II album is fair and accurate, yet surprisingly generous, considering that the band's sound and look are enormously dated after 25 years.
I watched the video for "This Is Love" and it made my entire day. I even commented on the blog post that I still had my "This Is Love" single as well as the Life Part II album. Then I went to listen to it only to discover that it had somehow vanished!
This is a tragedy of gargantuan proportions to an 80s music nerd! Oh sure, I kept my copy of Classix Nouveaux's abysmal self-titled release as a joke, but Bang Bang. . . they were actually good. . .weren't they?
Frantically, I looked for a download link online and discovered yet another blog post about the band, one that was considerably less kind, but which did provide an MP3 to one of album's songs, "World Club." This taste only made my frustration and desire more profound, especially when a download link in the comments proved to be an expired one.
Has my evaluation of Bang Bang been colored by my nostalgic jonesing? Or have they truly stood the test of time (at least sonically)? If I find Life Part II, rest assured dear readers, I will let you know.