The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Featured Song/Artist
"The Way That You Love Me"
Paula Abdul
Written by Oliver Leiber
Forever Your Girl (Virgin, 1988)


It ain't the clothes that you wear
It ain't the things that you buy
It ain't the house on the hill
It ain't the plane that you fly
It ain't your black limousine
It ain't your ninety-foot yacht
It ain't the things that you'll get
It ain't the things that you got
It ain't the money or the diamond rings
Honey I ain't impressed with your material things

It's the way that you love me
It's just the way that you love me

It ain't your friends at the top
It ain't their fortune and fame
It ain't your heavy connections
It ain't the Hollywood game
Ain't famous people or the parties they throw
Honey I ain't impressed with all the people you know

It's just the way that you love me (in the heat of the night)
It's just the way that you love me (baby)
It's just the way that you love me (when you're loving me right)
It's just the way that you love me (baby)
It's just the way that you love me (and the things that you do)
It's just the way that you love me (baby)
It's just the way that you love me (makes me crazy for you)
It's just the way that you love me

It ain't the trips to Brazil
It ain't the weekends in Rome
It ain't the French Riviera
You know I'd rather stay home
Ain't the Bahamas and it ain't Monaco
Honey I ain't impressed with all the places you go

The way that you love (it ain't the money)
It's just the way that you love me (or the diamond rings)
The way that you love me (ain't what you buy me baby)
It's just the way that you love me (ain't material things)
The way that you love me (ain't your Maserati)
It's just the way that you love me (your house on the hill)
The way that you love me (it ain't the parties)
It's just the way that you love me (or the trips to Brazil)

It's just the way that you love me
The way that you love me
The way that you love me
It's just the way that you love me

Of Brazilian-Syrian-French Canadian ancestry, Paula Julie Abdul was born on June 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. Growing up in North Hollywood, Paula was performing in theatrical productions by the age of seven. At age ten she was studying tap dance and jazz, and won a scholarship to study with the Bell Lewitzky Company. Attending Cal State-Northridge, she majored in TV and Radio, and was a member (as well as choreographer) of the Laker Girls, the LA Laker's pro basketball team's dance troupe. A&M Records hired her to choreograph the visuals for Janet Jackson's hit videos "Nasty," " When I Think of You," and "What Have You Done For Me Lately." She went on to serve as dance choreographer for videos by the likes of Duran Duran, Debbie Gibson and ZZ Top. In 1988 she was signed by Virgin Records, and her first album, Forever Your Girl, produced six singles -- the title track, topping the singles chart in May, 1989; "Straight Up," which also made it to US #1; "Cold Hearted," which was yet another number one hit; "Opposites Attract," her fourth #1 single; "Knocked Out," which peaked at US #41; and "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" which topped off at US #3 in December, 1989. (It was originally released in November, 1988, but stalled at US #88; the 1989 re-release followed the three consecutive #1 hits mentioned above.)

Paula's debut album, Forever Your Girl, was America's #1 album in October, 1989 and became Virgin's biggest-selling platter to date. After 81 weeks on the charts, it hit #1 yet again in February, 1990. Selling seven million units, Forever Your Girl was the first debut album to feature four #1 singles.

Following the release of her second album, Spellbound, in 1991, Paula and Virgin Records were sued by backup vocalist Yvette Marine, who claimed she had shared lead vocals on some of the record's tracks. Paula won the lawsuit in 1993.

In 1992, Paula married movie star Emilio Estevez, divorcing him two years later.  In 1996 she married Groove Track Productions CEO Brad Beckerman. They were divorced 17 months later.

Paula's many awards included Best Dance, Best Female Video and Best Choreography for "Straight Up" at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards; Billboard's Top Pop Album Artist (Female) in 1989; Sexiest Female Rock Artist in the 1989 Rolling Stone Readers' Picks; and Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock) at the 19th Annual American Music Awards. She earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1991.


 "In A Big Country"
Big Country
Written by Stuart Adamson et al.
The Crossing (Mercury, 1983)


Come up screaming...
Come up screaming...

I never saw you look like this without a reason
Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you
I never took the smile away from anybody's face
And that's a desperate way to look for someone who is still a child

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive
In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

So take that look out of here, it doesn't fit you
Because it's happened doesn't mean you've been discarded
Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted
I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive
In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

After leaving the Scottish New Wave band Skids, guitarist/vocalist Stuart Adamson (b. April 11, 1958, Manchester, England) formed Big Country, recruiting Canadian guitarist Bruce Watson (b. March 11, 1961) and two former members of the group On The Air, drummer Mark Brzezicki (b. June 21, 1957, Slough, Buckinghamshire, England) and bassist Tony Butler (b. February 2, 1957, London, England.) Living in his adopted hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland, Adamson incorporated a "bagpipe" sound to his guitar playing, and a Scottish/Celt folk influence was evident in the band's 1983 debut album, The Crossing. A pair of thundering anthems from this album, "In A Big Country" and "Fields of Fire" became hits, with the former tune reaching the #17 spot on both the UK and US charts. The Crossing stayed on the UK album chart for 80 weeks, peaking at #3.  1984's Steeltown entered the UK album chart at the #1 spot, and the single "East of Eden" reached UK#17. Big Country produced two more albums in the Eighties, The Seer (1986) and Peace In Our Time (1988), both reaching the Top Ten on the UK album charts. But neither made much of an impact in the U.S. Composed of four superior musicians lacking only pretension, Big Country crafted and remained true to a unique rock sound, producing songs that had significant cultural and political resonance.

The Crossing sold over 3 million copies and garnered Big Country a pair of Grammy nominations (Best New Group and Best Single.)

Big Country performed at the Wembley Live Aid concert (1985) as well as the Fourth Annual Prince's Trust Rock Gala (1986) and the Soviet Peace Festival in Estonia (1988). They also had the distinction of performing at the first privately promoted concert in the Soviet Union (1988).

The band continued to make albums and play live dates through the 1990s.  By the end of that decade Big Country had racked up seventeen Top 30 singles and seven Top 30 albums, selling over ten million units.

Before leaving the band in 1989, acclaimed drummer Mark Brzezicki performed (with Tony Butler) on Roger Daltrey's solo album Under A Raging Moon (1985), while Tony played bass on The Pretenders' hit "Back On The Chain Gang."


"Something About You" 
Level 42
Written by Lindup/Gould/Gould/King/Badarou
World Machine (Polydor, 1985)


Now how can it be
That a love carved out of caring
Fashioned by fate, could suffer so hard
From the games played once too often
But making mistakes is a part of life's imperfection
Born of the years
Is it so wrong to be human after all
Drawn into the stream of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams, they can't disguise the truth

That there is something about you, baby, so right
I wouldn't be without you, baby, tonight

If ever love was concealed
No one can say that we didn't feel
A million things and a perfect dream of life
Gone, fragile but free, we remain tender together
If not so in love
And it's not so wrong, we're only human after all
These changing years, they add to your confusion
Oh and you need to hear the time that told the truth

That there is something about you, baby, so right
I wouldn't be without you, baby, tonight

That there is something about you, baby, so right
I wouldn't be without you, baby, tonight

Formed in 1980 and consisting of singer/bassist Mark King (b. October 20, 1958, Cowes, Isle of Wight), singer/ keyboardist Mike Lindup (b.March 17, 1959, London), drummer Phil Gould (b. February 28, 1957, Hong Kong), and his brother, guitarist Roland "Boon" Gould (b. March 4, 1955, Shanklin, Isle of Wight), Level 42 were on the charts in a matter of months with the jazz-funk dance track "Love Meeting Love," which peaked at UK#61. Their debut album, Level 42 (1981), met with critical and commercial success and reached the #20 spot on the album charts, while their next platter, The Pursuit of Accidents (1982) got to UK#17, as the band toured Great Britain and Europe. In 1983 they had their first top ten hit with "The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)" and their third album, Standing In The Light climbed to UK#9. True Colours (1984) and World Machine (1985) followed, along with a double live album. In mid-1986 Level 42 had their greatest hit in the US with "Something About You" (#7), which contributed to World Machine's 72-week stay on the US charts.  That same summer, "Lessons In Love" became a huge hit in Europe, reaching the top of the charts in eight countries. Running In The Family (1987) produced three top ten singles in the UK. In December 1987 the Gould brothers left the band for health reasons and Prefab Sprout's Neil Conti took over on the drums until replaced by Gary Husband who, along with top session guitarist Alan Murphy, performed on the 1988 album Staring At The Sea, which reached UK#2. In 1989 Murphy, who died of AIDS, was replaced by Jakko Jakszyk. Throughout the Eighties this prolific band was well-known for its sell-out live performances and its appealing blend of jazz, funk and pop, and was consistently more popular in Europe than in the United States.

The band took its name from the Douglas Adams bestseller The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, in which "42" is the answer to a question about the meaning of life.

The top ten ballad "It's Over" from the album Running In The Family has the distinction of being one of the first songs released on CD in Great Britain. The album went platinum in one week.

"Something About You" was acknowledged at the 1991 BMI Awards for one million US performances. The World Machine album sold three million copies worldwide.

Level 42 parted company with Polydor Records in 1990 because the band refused to create the more "commercial" sound that Polydor desired. RCA/BMG signed the band the following year.

In October 1994, Level 42 put on its final show at London's Royal Albert Hall.