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I remember watching 'Solid Gold' on television in the 1980s and getting excited about the artists that would perform "live" each night. Of course, the artists' performances were usually 'lip-synced' to a playback of their current hit... but who cared when you were able to see your favorite singers outside of a glossy and sometimes over-produced music video! This show is so firmly locked into it's decade that it serves as the ultimate show in surveying what eighties music had to offer. I only wish the production company would see the value in releasing a series of DVDs showcasing the "best" performances of each year... that would make a collection of 9 - 10 DVDs (show aired 1980-1988). We have currently been in a 'totally' 80s retro period for the last several years, so it makes perfect sense to release a collection of the best performances!!! Everyone I've ever talked to, that remembers this 'awesome' show, has said they would LOVE to see this come back from the dead on DVD. A Tip For The Current Copyright Holder Of This Show: Release This Show On DVD... 'Like Yesterday!' : )
I remember watching this every Saturday afternoon at 5 when I was a
teen and enjoyed the top ten countdown of songs as well as the dancing.
I didn't care too much for the different hosts though that took turns
holding the show's reigns during it's run.
Rick Dees was by far the worst host. I got tired of his comic jabs about being the singer of 'Disco Duck'. I didn't care much for Marilyn McCoo either though she could be pretty decent sometimes. I just didn't care for her singing. I remember when she sang Billy Ocean's 'Loverboy' and changed the lyrics from, "I want to be your lover boy" to "I want you to be my lover boy".
Dionne Warwick was alright as host for awhile, but she kind of made things mellow, especially when one episode was entirely dedicated to Frank Sinatra and his long list of songs. She even kissed up to Frank too during an interview with him. After he said there was something further he wanted to say, she said, "You can do anything you want."
The one co-host I enjoyed was Arsenio Hall and his comedy sketches and it's too bad he was never made the main host of the program. He carried the potential and it isn't surprising he got his own talk show later on.
The list of pop star guests were endless, but it was obvious to see they didn't really perform their songs. They lip-synced. I noticed when the Nu Shooz band performed their hit, "I Can't Wait" the musicians were clearly pretending to play their instruments.
There was also a noticeable degree of favoritism towards some singers, like in the Solid Gold special where they had a top 50 countdown of the best songs from movies. 'Flashdance - What A Feeling' was at #1, but the show didn't give the song a grand finale to the countdown. They merely showed the song playing to a video of World War I planes flying in the air. The grand finale had been reserved for the #2 song in the countdown: Stevie Wonder's 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' from The Woman In Red (1984). Easy to see that Solid Gold wasn't pleased with the song being at #2 and treated it like it was #1 instead.
Regardless of the highs and lows, this show was an iconic piece of the 80s era featuring the fashion styles and hit performers of the day. It truly is a deep rooted piece of nostalgia for that decade.
I have a lot of SOLID GOLD videos and I watch one about every week, and I have to say, those dancers, especially the ladies, were the sexiest rump-shakers the 80's ever offered. I loved the artists on the show as well, but no one could deny that they didn't appreciate those sexy dancers! Week after week I would tune in just to see those talented dancers in shiny 80's Lycra and leg warmers do their thing. I have been a fan since it first aired back in early 1980 and stopped watching around 1988. It just wasn't the same.My favorite hosts were Dionne Warwick, Glen Campbell,Andy Gibb,and Rex Harrison (love that feathered hairdo!!!)
Now being shown on reruns, Dionne Warwick and Marilyn McCoo bring back countless hours spent in the early eighties in front of the tube. Funny episode when Dionne was drunk and Bill Cosby was the guest and he called her on it. Get out your leg warmers.
Well, this show was probably the campiest thing on TV in the early 80's. My dancer and nightclub entertainer friends used to always reference this show whenever they saw someone over-doing it on the dance floor. Yes, the dancing on this show was over the top and a bit pretentious and yes the singers were always lip syncing so they didn't mess up their hair or makeup. Yes, Andy Gibb was usually high on cocaine, Dionne Warwick slurred her speech and Marilyn McCoo was just too nice and perky but if you want to see some really horrendous 80's clothes and hair then by all means tune in. However, I would keep a syringe filled with some insulin nearby. Probably one of the few TV shows of the 80's that was just too 1980's even when it was currently being filmed. Harmless bit of fluff that wasn't taken seriously by any REAL dancer I knew but I'm sure they ate it up in the Midwest.
Can the genius of Brad Lachman be denied? Here's a guy who started his show biz career as a tour guide at Universal Studio, worked his way up the ladder through sheer tenacity, and at a fairly young age comes up with the concept for Solid Gold. Some might snicker and claim that a rags to riches story can't apply to a "poor" kid from Encino, but this guy was not brought up with a silver spoon...at least not in his mouth. Those who knew him at Birmingham High School figured he might be destined for something out of the ordinary, but if you're talking entertainment, something along the lines of wrestling announcer would have been a more logical guess. Go figure.
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