Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Sex (I'm A...)" by Berlin

Song#:  1365
Date:  03/05/1983
Debut:  79
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Inspired by bands like Kraftwerk and Devo, Berlin's roots began in L.A. in 1978 with John Crawford and Terri Nunn. With the addition of other band members, they issued an indie single titled "A Matter of Time" the following year. However, Nunn had acting aspirations and left the group. A new vocalist, Virginia Macolino, was hired and the band recorded their first album "Information" in 1980. "A Matter of Time" was issued again with Macolino on vocals. Nothing much came from the releases and soon Nunn wanted back into the fold. With a new lineup, Crawford and Nunn recorded the album "Pleasure Victim." Their first single didn't attract attention, but this second one did. The subject matter and lyrics of this song made it somewhat controversial and certain stations refused to play it. Talk about the song quickly reached ears at Geffen Records who picked up the band and gave the album and single a major label release. Despite the controversy over the song and lack of airplay, the single did well reaching #62. It also prompted folks to buy the album which would reach #30 and eventually be certified platinum. Berlin showed that a little sex and controversy does indeed sell.

ReduxReview:  I remember first hearing this in college. My dorm roommate was playing it and I was like..."what the hell?" It just seemed so graphic at the time with the lyrics and all the moaning. I think I was both shocked and titillated. I then read a review in Rolling Stone that gave the album one star. So I shrugged off the LP. That would change with their second single. I then became a big fan. But initially, this one eluded me. I caught up with it later. It was slutty fun. I still think it's a hoot. It's a goofy song that by today's standards would be considered tame.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Prior to starting Berlin, Nunn's acting career almost took off in a big way. She auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in "Star Wars." The auditions seemed to be going well, but in the end George Lucas cast Carrie Fisher. Would Nunn have been a good Leia? You can judge for yourself. Footage of her audition with Harrison Ford can be found on YouTube.


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