Poolside with Jane Wiedlin's "Rush Hour"

The verdict's still out on whether or not Jane Wiedlin abandoned the Go-Gos to fuel her own raging ego, or if she was simply maligned by the rest of the band for writing all of their good songs. Needless to say, she got the raw end of the deal in the end -- breaking out in 1985 with her first failed solo record, and then not arriving to the Top Forty until 1988's Fur, only to be eclipsed by rival Belinda Carlisle's chart dominance throughout the '80s. It's hard to fault Carlisle though, as she was the complete package -- the looks, the sultry voice, the elegant mystique-pop of "Circle in the Sand." Still, looking back, it's hard not to root for Wiedlin as the underdog. Especially considering she might have the best song of the two. After her first single, the much underrated "Inside a Dream" tanked, she co-wrote "Rush Hour" with Peter Rafelson, he of Madonna's brilliant "Open Your Heart" (a Poolside HOF moment). In the vid you'll see the petit and pixie-ish Wiedlin cavorting with dolphins, swimming poolside, swaying a guitar twice her size with a grin that's either cunningly evil (suffering in faux-happiness as a second fiddle) or perfectly innocent (oblivious to her career's downward spiral). By 1988 this strain of bubbly, chiming, sunshine pop was beginning to wane on the charts. So to call "Rush Hour" a Top Ten fluke is apt, as it likely only appeared there for a week or two before bowing out to her nemesis. Back to back with "I Get Weak," in the summer of '88, I likely preferred Carlisle's pomp and balladry to Wiedlin's chirpy mall-beat. But back then, I doubt I even made the connection between the two and just enjoyed their interchangeable ephemeral gloss with equal aplomb. That said. I'd kill for a copy of this 45.

1 comment:

patrick said...

this song is delightful