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Worst Music Video Ever of the Week: Spirit in the Sky

April 20, 2010

I remember the first time I heard this. I was in a teen dance club called Shakers in Vancouver, and three girls with very crimped hair were admiring my acid-washed jacket and Wayfarers. My cousin Umar and I were doing our best to be cool, and one of us was succeeding, and it was the other guy.

And then this song came on. Actually, it was the video, projected overhead on a big screen. And I recognized the dancers from The Cult’s Rain video, which meant that the next day, I bought the LP Laughing At The Pieces, by Dr. and the Medics. I did not invent that name.

I don’t remember the rest of the album, but I sure liked this song. It’s an improvement on the Norman Greenbaum original, and captures, I think, that buzzing British droney sound of the mid-1980s, a sound that never quite caught on over here. Maybe there was a shortage of Aqua Net that year.

Dr. and the Medics were some kind of novelty act, along the lines of Zodiac Mindwarp but without the backseat education. This will probably be the only song of theirs you will ever hear.

Anyway, if you ignore the silliness of the video and the bizarre costuming, this is a nice little confection, a fun song that will never fail to get people smiling at your next dance party.

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