Summer In Stereo #39

The Summer of 1982 is a favorite one of HERC's for many reasons but there are some bittersweet memories, too.  It was the last Summer he'd spend with his Texas Grandparents - it was the last Summer he'd ever spend away from home for that matter.  His memories are a little fuzzy about the Summer's employment - he either built fences or sandblasted rusted structures or helping his Texas Grandma sell the biggest shrimp you've ever seen, straight from Great Grandma Bertha's boat on the Gulf Coast, out of coolers in the trunk of her Delta 88.  What he does remember quite clearly is the first time he heard "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" on the radio.  He was dining with the grandparents at Carroll's Giant Burgers, when it came on the radio sometime in late June, just before July 4th, because they had recently stocked up on fireworks over at Johnny's near the city limits.  The song was one of many favorites that Summer, often heard on Magic 102 out of Houston.  In hindsight, the station must have been playing the song off the album because all research indicates the single wasn't released until late July.

The Gap Band's forte was sculpting a phat and phunky synth bassline, a lockstep pattern on the drum machine and just riding that groove for the whole song.  The first Gap Band song HERC ever heard was on a Pizza Hut jukebox just after New Year's 1981 but before school started up after Christmas Break.  There is little doubt in his mind that "Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)" laid the groundwork for his immediate love for "You Dropped A Bomb On Me".  Unless HERC's BPM sense is a little off, both songs rock about a two beats per second groove.

The last great Gap Band song for HERC came out in the Summer of 1983.  Super duper bass?  Check.  Lockstep groove?  Check.  The only thing different this time around was the lyrics - in the above two songs, a woman does our man wrong.  In "Party Train", he is simply inviting and imploring everyone not to miss said train.  In simplest terms, it's a "Love Train" for the Eighties, a beer commercial waiting to happen. 

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