The Man, The Machine...Street Hawk!

Knight Rider on a motorcycle is the best way to described the short-lived 1985 television show Street Hawk. Lasting just one season of 13 episodes, most people I've talked to vaguely remember it. For me, it's a very clear picture of sitting in front of the TV and enjoying a great show with my dad. Recently that image came full circle as I've been reliving the show with my two boys. They've really enjoyed watching it, which has furthermore entrenched this show into my mind. Set in the streets of LA, a former motorcycle cop and a government agent team up on a top secret mission to fight crime using a $3 million motorcycle.

Street Hawk starred Rex Smith, a teen idol in the late 70s/early 80s. He plays Jesse Mock, a motorcycle cop whose partner is killed and is also injured while motorcross racing in the pilot episode. After being forced to work in the public relations department, Mock accepts an offer from government agent Norman Tuttle to ride Street Hawk and avenge his partner's death. Actor Joe Regalbuto plays Tuttle, the engineer and designer of the Street Hawk motorcycle. He is also the systems operator and guides Mock during his missions. Beyond Street Hawk, Rex Smith is also a stage actor and singer, who had a top ten single in 1979 titled "You Take My Breathe Away." He also played Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in the 1989 TV movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and has guest starred in several TV shows. You'll recognize Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana from the long running sit-com Murphy Brown. He has also made the TV circuit as a guest actor in the last several years.

The real star of the show was the Street Hawk motorcycle, a converted Honda dirt bike. There were a total of 15 bikes made for the show using different Honda models. Features of this "all-terrain attack motorcycle" included a laser that appeared from a compartment behind the headlight, "hyperthrust" speed up to 300 MPH, machines guns, and a rocket launcher. A vertical lift system also helped launch the bike over obstacles, much like K.I.T.T.'s turbo boost in Knight Rider. Mock's helmet also featured a zoom-in camera and a recording capability that could be played back at the command center.

As previously mentioned, I've recently watched the series and was surprised it held up fairly well over time (No less than Knight Rider or Airwolf.) Some great guest actors appear in the series including Christopher Lloyd, George Clooney, Joanna Kerns, and Dennis Franz. Much to my boys dismay, there were not many toys or collectibles released. Various re-branded figure and bike toys were released in India, Brazil, and the UK. Models were produced based on the bike and also Jessie Mock's car, a yellow and black 1969 Ford Mustang. I was surprised to find that Street Hawk was developed into a video game for ZX Spectrum in 1986. A series of four novels were also written in 1985. Shout Factory has released the complete series on a 4-disc DVD collection which includes the original pilot episode, a never-before-seen pilot featuring different Street Hawk firepower, a brand-new documentary featuring Rex Smith, Joe Regalbuto and Jeannie Wilson, plus photo galleries and an 8-page collector’s book. The discs are also available through Netflix. If you were a fan of the "super vehicle" shows of the 80s, I'd highly recommend adding Street Hawk to your collection!

Many thanks to, and Wikipedia for show/actor info!


The Cars Musical Montage

Happy Birthday Ric Ocasek!

Today is Ric Ocasek's birthday, so I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate
than to put together a musical montage of the Cars!
13 of their highest charting hits in almost nine minutes! Enjoy!

Songs included:
Just What I Needed, My Best Friend's Girl, Good Times Roll, Let's Go, Touch and Go,
Shake It Up, You Might Think, Magic, Drive, Hello Again, Tonight She Comes,
I'm Not the One, & You Are the Girl


This RD80s post sponsored by Logo


LEGO'd Movie Scenes of the 80s

Lego blocks have been around for almost 60 years, enticing creative minds young and old. I recently stumbled across the above image and figured there had to be more great Lego creations based on 80s movies...I was right!
Back to the Future (Alex Eylar)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Alex Eylar
Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (
Ghostbusters (Bill Ward)
Short Circuit (
Blues Brothers (


80s Literal Music Video "Down Under"

Here's another hilarious literal music video, this time to Men At Work's "Down Under" from 1981. Abcdefgranger delivers a funny interpretation of everything happening in the video including a made-you-look monster prank, baguette volleyball, and roadies getting whipped. 


This RD80s post sponsored by


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

No better way to celebrate than with Ireland's native sons, U2!!
"I Will Follow" was their first single ever to chart. It peaked at #20 on the US rock chart and also charted in Australia and New Zealand. Their next single "Fire" in 1981 would be the first to chart in their home country.

Also check out this Celtic version of "With or Without You" 


The 80s Arcade: Out Run

High Action Road Racing Adventure!

Out Run is one of my all-time favorite racing games. In the arcade and at home, I lived and breathed this driving game for years. This arcade classic released in 1986 by Sega, featured great graphics for the time, an interactive steering wheel, and a killer music soundtrack (that you could choose!) Critically acclaimed and achieving firsts for its gaming genre helped Out Run win the Golden Joystick Award for 1987's Game of the Year. The sit-down cabinet version was so revered, a fan turned it into an actual vehicle. Arcade and home version sequels were also released through the turn of the century, keeping Out Run at our fingertips for 25 years now. Invite your girl and climb aboard your favorite red Ferrari (sorry Magnum P.I.) for a drive back into the 80s!

Out Run had good reason for winning the Game of the Year award. It accomplished some firsts for arcade games, like being able to choose the background music via radio stations on the Ferrari's dash. The game play and graphics were likened to the 16-bit graphics of the 1985 motorcycle racing game Hang On. Although there were other drivers in game, the race was against the clock. Making it to the end of the racing stage with time left, meant you could choose one of two new stages. Courses varied from the beach to the desert to the English countryside on your way to the finish line.

Sega added a steering wheel with forced feedback, a stick shift, and gas/brake pedals on the upright cabinet model to create a great driving experience. Apparently, the only thing that was forgotten was seatbelts in the Ferrari, as the driver and passenger could get thrown from the vehicle during accidents.The sit-down cabinet models were even more interactive with turning and vibrating cooresponding to game play on the screen.

After selling 20,000 arcade units in its first year, Out Run was ported to home computers and the Sega Master System. Computer versions sold 250,000 copies by Christmas 1987! The SMS version was dubbed the closest to the arcade version, which I can verify having owned it. Some computer versions did not include the car flip crash, while others did not include some of the soundtrack songs and actually came with an audio cassette! After the overwhelming popularity, the first sequel was released in 1989 titled Turbo Out Run. It differed from the original with a single path to the end of the game. The object was to reach the finish line before your opponent, who drove a Porsche 959. It also featured a turbo button for added speed. Other sequels followed with Outrunners for the arcade in 1993 and Out Run Europa, Battle Out Run, and Out Run 2019 for home consoles from 1989-93.

Outrun 2 brought the franchise into the new century with a fresh updated arcade version of the original Outrun. Eight total Ferraris were included in the game, plus the traditional stage-choosing game play. Added music tracks, plus unlockable original tracks, also added nostalgic flair to the game. If that wasn't enough, how about 3-D graphics and a side-by-side sit down cabinet that looked like a Ferrari? As great as Outrun 2 was, the unofficial 2010 version developed by Garnet Hertz was totally crazy...and driveable!! Using augmented reality cameras, he de-simulated an original Outrun game to make it identify actual roads within the game itself.

The fact that the driveable game exist is a testament to the impact of Out Run on arcade game history and definitely worthy of an entry into the RD80s arcade!

Thanks as always to and Wikipedia.


80s Timeworn Twelves: "In a Big Country"

Big Country "In a Big Country" (1983)

Although known primarily for this single in the US, Big Country had a strings of singles chart in the UK from 1983-93. Several songs actually charted higher than "In a Big Country," but mostly they are known for this Scottish rock anthem.

The 12 inch single was only available in the UK. If you were lucky enough to snag one, you got a great remix. Side A included the "pure mix" that added over 2 minutes to the album version. Side B was the album version and an previously unreleased track called "All of Us"

Thanks to Discogs.Com and Wikipedia for art and record info


Ultimate 80s Animals & Creatures Playlist

Cats, Dogs, Birds, Monkeys, and More!

From John Cougar to White Lion...from Eddie Rabbit to Echo and the Bunnymen...from Samantha Fox to RATT, there are many artists and songs from the 80s that feature animal and creature names. (Even one of my favorites, Flock of Seagulls!) This might have been the easiest playlist I've put together so far. I could easily come up with a compilation of about 50 songs, but for the sake of time I'll limit this playlist to 19. Let's go wild and howl at the moon at the Ultimate 80s Animals and Creatures Playlist!

Def Leppard "Animal" (1987)
Couldn't think of a better song to kick off this playlist! "Animal" was released on the album Hysteria in 1987, but it took about two and half years of development to record it just right. It paid off as it became the band first top ten hit in their native UK and was the first of ten consecutive singles to reach the Billboard Top 40 in the US.

Stray Cats "Stray Cat Strut" (1982)
Thanks to a boost from MTV, these rockabilly felines reached #3 on the US Billboard charts. It would be the band's highest charting single and help their album Built For Speed achieve platinum level sales.

The Cure "Lovecats"(1983)
In 1983, The Cure released the album Japanese Whispers which compiled three previously released singles and their B sides. "The Lovecats" became the first single to reach the top ten in the band's native UK.

Survivor "Eye of the Tiger" (1982)
The #1 song of 1982, according to Billboard, almost didn't make it into the Rocky III film. Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" was initially used in the rough cut of the movie, but producers were unable to obtain the rights to use it. At the request of Sylvester Stallone, the song was written for the movie based on a line by Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) urging Rocky to "get back the eye of the tiger."

Poison "Look What the Cat Dragged In" (1986)
The title track from Poison's debut album wasn't formally released as a single, but is still a prime example of the glam metal sound. The multi-platinum selling album was recorded in just 12 days in March of 1986.

White Lion "Wait" (1987)
The first single by White Lion took nearly a year to chart after its released in June 1987. It was well worth the "wait" as they roared all the way to #8 in 1988.

George Clinton "Atomic Dog" (1982)
"Atomic Dog" reached #1 on the US R&B chart in 1982, despite not appearing at all on the mainstream chart. Its "bark" has transcended beyond charts over the past 30 years. The track has been sampled by at least 40 hip-hop, rap, & R&B acts, most notably on Snoop Dogg's debut single "Who Am I (What's My Name)."

Duran Duran "Hungry Like The Wolf" (1982)
What big synthesizers you have! Heavy airplay on MTV helped "Hungry Like The Wolf" become Duran Duran's first single to chart in the US. With an Indiana Jones-like music video and lyrics inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, its easy to see why the single was a top 5 hit in six different countries

Adam and the Ants "Dog Eat Dog" (1980)
The first track on the Kings of the Wild Frontier album sets the tone for the drum beat sound of the group. "Dog Eat Dog" peaked at #4 in the UK and was also a top 15 hit on the US Billboard Rock chart.

Peter Gabriel "Shock the Monkey" (1982)
Gabriel shocked the US charts in 1982 with his first top 40 hit. Although its music video featured capuchin monkeys, Gabriel claim the song is not about a literal monkey but a metaphor for a jealous feeling.

George Michael "Monkey" (1988)
"Monkey" was the four consecutive #1 single released from his album Faith. He joined the likes of Michael Jackson (Five #1s from Bad) and Whitney Houston (Four #1s from Whitney) as the only music artists to accomplish that feat.

Beastie Boys "Brass Monkey" (1987)
Released on their debut album Licensed To Ill, it peaked at #48 on US Billboard chart in 1987. As with the aforementioned monkey songs, this one does not refer to the animal either but a cocktail drink.

Prince "When Doves Cry" (1984)
Prince was flying high after releasing this first single from Purple Rain. It became a #1 hit in the US for five weeks and a top 20 hit in eleven other countries.

Prince "Batdance" (1989)
Prince scored his forth #1 single in 1989 by incorporating audio from the Batman movie into his "Batdance."  The song is split into two different parts with an dance beat in the first half of the song followed by funky groove in the second half. (Perhaps a tribute to the split personality of Bruce Wayne and Batman.)

Kenny G "Songbird" (1987)
Kenny G's highest charting single was "Songbird" released in 1987. It reached #4 on US Billboard Hot 100 and has since soothed savage beasts the world over. Parodied many times since its release, Kenny G even poked fun at himself during an Audi commercial in 2011.

Culture Club "Karma Chameleon" (1983)
There was no hiding this hit for Culture Club, as the single peaked at #1 in 16 different countries. The track really pushed their popularity to new heights and by 1986, they were on top of the world...appearing and performing on The A-Team.

Whitesnake "Here I Go Again" (1982/1987)
Originally from the album Saints and Sinners, a remixed version of the original single slithered its way to #1 in 1987. Its success can largely be contributed to the music video, which received heavy airplay on MTV thanks to Tawny Kitaen's automobile acrobatics in lingerie.

Was Not Was "Walk The Dinosaur" (1987)
Two years after its release in the UK, this prehistoric track was finally made popular in the US. It's success, like many others, was heavily influenced by the heavy rotation on MTV and the feature film The Dream Team. The song has also been featured in the Flintstones movie and covered by George Clinton for the Super Mario Brothers movie.

Neneh Cherry "Buffalo Stance" (1988)
You want me to stand like a what? Technically, as other songs in this list, "Buffalo Stance" is not referring to an actual animal or the city in New York. Neneh Cherry is referring to a group of fashionistas formed by Ray Petri of which she was a member. Regardless of what everyone thought it meant, it was a hit to the tune of #3 on the US Billboard chart and remains Cherry's most successful single.


Joshua Tree 25th Anniversary

Joshua Tree 25th Anniversary

25 years ago today on March 9 1987, The Joshua Tree was released. It remains one of only 105 albums to be certified Diamond by the RIAA, selling over 10 million albums in the US. The Joshua Tree is also one of the top-selling albums worldwide with over 25 million total copies sold. Critics definitely agree that it is among the greatest rock albums of all time with Rolling Stone, Spin, Time, and Entertainment Weekly all placing it on their best lists. It transformed the Irish band U2 from "heroes to superstars" according to Rolling Stone. Had lead singer Bono not had such an "incredibly bad year" in 1986, the album most certainly would have been much different.

Bono, the sole credited lyricist for the album, penned the words as he struggled with events in his life. He lost his personal assistant in a motorcycle accident. His marriage was struggling as he tried to balance his fame with his home responsibilities. His unsettling views of the United States and its foreign policy also came to the forefront. The imagery of the desert communicated the overall feeling of himself and the band, as a barren isolated place but also as a blank canvas according to bassist Adam Clayton. Working titles for the album were "Desert Songs" and "The Two Americas", but after traveling with photographer Anton Corbjin in the Mojave desert, encounters with Joshua trees prompted Bono to suggest the final album title. He liked the mystique of how Joshua trees were reportedly named by the Mormons who likened them to the Biblical character Joshua praying to God.


80s Toons: "The Pac-Man/Rubik the Amazing Cube Hour"

In September of 1982, the most popular arcade game at the time got its own animated television series. The first episode of Pac-Man was so anticipated, that ABC incorporated twice the normal amount of commercials to accommodate sponsors. The first season yielded 26 episodes from 1982-83. Pac-Man was teamed with two other shows during the first season, Richie Rich and the Little Rascals. After a full year of the trifecta TV show, Richie Rich and the Little Rascals would get their own hour together in the fall of 1983 and Pac-Man would team up with show based on a hot 80s commodity, the Rubik's cube. The 3-D puzzle that was named for its inventor Erno Rubik, was mass produced beginning in 1980. The popular toy, that's now sold over 350 million units, was transformed into the animated show Rubik, the Amazing Cube. These two new partnered shows would produce firsts for the animation industry.

The two shows became one of the most popular hours of television for kids everywhere, despite the newly created stories that were otherwise not associated with either the game or the toy. Pac-Man, the first animated show developed from a video game, revolved around the title character and his family in the town of Pac-land. Each episode usually involved the main antagonists in the video game, the Ghost Monsters. Their boss Mezmaron, a newly created character for the show, was determined to find the source for Pac-Man's power pellets and take for himself. After building a sinister plan, Pac-Man would use his power pellets to send the ghost monsters "packing" and chomp his way to victory. After joining up with Rubik, the Amazing Cube for the second season, new characters were introduced like his nephew P.J. and Super-Pac (not to be confused with Steven Colbert's political action committee.) The popularity of Pac-Man from 82-83 spawned the CBS network to try and mimic the game-to-television success by creating Saturday Supercade. Bally Midway helped the show come full circle and created Pac-Land, an arcade game in 1984 based on the cartoon story and characters.


Misheard 80s Lyrics: "Urchin"

Misheard 80s Lyrics: "Urchin"

I'll be the first to admit that I'm easily amused by many things. When I stumbled onto this video, I laughed so hard that I cried. Maybe you will too or wonder why you just wasted four minutes of your life. Even if you don't like it, you get to at least listen to a classic 80s track. Many thanks to wreznor for posting this one on Youtube.


80s Music Remade: "In The Air Tonight"

"In the Air Tonight"

Although many associate "In the Air Tonight" with Miami Vice, the song was actually released almost 4 years before appearing the pilot episode. In fact, it was the first single released by Phil Collins as a solo artist in 1981. It was a top ten hit in over 10 countries and would launch his award winning solo career.

Since then, many music artists have remade the classic song in many different genres...


1998 - DMX
Rapper DMX released "I Can Feel It" on his debut album Its Dark and Hell Is Hot which peaked at #1 in 1998. It was never released as a single, but the album didn't need it to be as it's been certified platinum four times. (Warning: explicit lyrics)

2001 - Gregorian
The group Gregorian covered "In the Air Tonight" on their album Masters of Chant Chapter II in 2001. Gregorian covers many classic songs on their albums with the style of Gregorian chant. The echo vocal effects on the original track really make this cover work.

2001 - Lil' Kim
In 2001, Lil' Kim released "In the Air Tonite", a hip hop version which actually featured a sample of Phil Collins. The single actually did quite well, charting the top 40 in eight different countries, peaking at #26 in UK and certified gold in Germany. The CD single also features many remixes.

2006 - Nonpoint
The alternative rock band Nonpoint released a cover version on their album Recoil. It was also featured in the Miami Vice movie remake and released on its soundtrack.

2006 - Naturally 7
The American group Naturally 7 released a R&B version of  "Feel It (In The Air Tonight)" on their 3rd album in 2006. The single and its album Ready II Fly had some success overseas, but failed to chart in the US. The group opened for Michael Buble during his Crazy Love tour.

2009 - Exilia
Exilia covers the single on their My Own Army album which was released in 2009. Based out of Italy, the band's success has primarily been overseas. The heavy metal cover was not released as a single.


80s Timeworn Twelves: "Situation"

Yazoo (Yaz) "Situation" (1982)

"Situation" is one of those songs you've heard multiple times through samples on other songs or on commercials, but might not know who released it. Yazoo (also known as just Yaz in the US) was very popular in dance clubs. The two-member band only released two albums, but with great success in their native UK. They reached the top 3 on the UK mainstream charts three times and the #1 spot on the US Dance charts three times between 1982-83. They also returned to that #1 spot in the US in 1999 with a remixed version of "Situation."
You might recognize the laughing on this track. It was sampled for what VH1 calls the greatest one-hit wonder of all time, the "Macarena." It's also been used in many commercials including the NES classic edition of Gameboy Advance. "Situation" features a synthesizer hook which is the work of band member Vince Clarke (who also was with Depeche Mode) and vocals, including the laughter, provided by Alison Moyet.
The 12 inch single includes an extended version on Side A that is the most widely played version of the song in the US. Side B includes a "dub version" remix. Both tracks on the 12" single add about 2 minutes to the original version released on the Upstairs At Eric's album.


Thanks to Discogs.Com and Wikipedia for art and record info


Star Wars Mashups With TV Themes

Star Wars meets 80s television! 

I recently found some great vids that showcase the epic Star Wars films using the original theme songs and openings from various 80s TV shows. Themes include Magnum P.I., A-Team, the Dukes of Hazzard, Chips, Dallas, MacGyver, and Airwolf. I really enjoyed these and give a big RD80s salute to those who created and posted them on YouTube!

Han Solo P.I.
(Posted by TheCBVee)

The Star Team
(Posted by Kalleanka71)

The Dukes of Star Wars 
(Posted by RNK007)

(Posted by Cheekynorman)

Star Wars Dallas
(Posted by Kalleanka71)

(Posted by Kalleanka71)

(Posted by Kalleanka71)
Also check out the Imperial version!


The 80s Arcade: Q*Bert

Before games were rated "M for Mature," we had the thought-bubble profanity of a large-nosed character named Q*Bert. Could we blame him for swearing after getting hit in the head with red bouncing balls and being chased by purple snakes? The real people who would end up cursing where those who hadn't thought up the idea for game, as over 25,000 cabinet games would be sold in its lifetime. Q*Bert would also jump from the arcade screen to the home console screens and even to television screens just a year after it's release in 1982. It's appeal was likened to Pacman and Donkey Kong with it's combination of lively characters and puzzle type game play. Q*Bert would soon find his way on merchandise everywhere like plush dolls, board games, and sticker books. The game would produce a few sequels, but none seemed to climb to the top of the pyramid like the original. 

Q*Bert was a relatively simple game produced by Gottlieb. The title character's quest was to jump atop a pyramid of cubes and change each square that he landed upon to the same color. To make the game interesting, it was possible to jump off the side of the pyramid if you weren't careful. There were also enemies and falling balls that tried to come in contact with Q*Bert which would cause him to lose control over his verbal etiquette and also lose a life. To assist against these antagonists like Ugg and Coily the Sanke, two flying discs were placed on both sides of the pyramid. Q*Bert could jump on these to be escorted back to the top of the pyramid and sometimes persuade Coily to try to follow and jump off the side of the pyramid. Other enemies included Sam and Slick, who would turn the squares back to the original color. But they could easily be stopped with a good stomp to the head.

Q*Bert's arcade success developed into a frenzy over the course of 1982-83. It was quickly ported into home consoles and computers like Atari, Texas Instruments, and Commodore. Parker Brothers would translate the game to a tabletop version and also as a board game. Gottlieb also produced Q*Bert's Quest pinball, which featured flippers in a unique "X" formation. The only arcade sequel titled Q*Bert Qubes was produced by Mylstar Electronics in 1983. It featured new enemies and patterns, instead of the traditional pyramid. The sequel never came close to the success of the original. Developers also tried to release a more difficult version of Q*Bert, but the Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert project was cancelled. Q*Bert 3 was released in 1991 exclusively for the Super Nintendo console system. It drew upon the original arcade game with newly shaped game boards and characters. A 3-D version was also released to Playstation in 1999.

Q*Bert also received his own cartoon as a part of the Saturday Supercade show in 1983, which was a collage of mini shows featuring video game characters. Q*Bert and Donkey Kong were the only two cartoons that lasted the entire two seasons of the show. The show featured our hero Q*Bert and his dealings with bullies in the town of Q*Berg, set in the 1950s era. His girlfriend Q*Tee and brother Q*Bit as well as other friends would help him along the way. Antagonists of the show were the familiar Coily, Ugg, Wrong Way, and Viper, many portrayed by voice-acting legend and Transformers alum Frank Welker. Many tie-ins from game were included in the cartoon including block-hopping scenes, flying discs, and those "swearing" bubbles proclaimed by Q*Bert.

With the down swing in the video market during the 1983 North American video game crash, Q*Bert's popularity would dwindle. But most video game enthusiasts will tell you that it remains as one of the most influential arcade games of all time. In my book, it's one of the top ten games at the 80s arcade.

Thanks as always to and Wikipedia.
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