Monday, February 8, 2010

3 Artists, 3 Decades, 1 Song

It is not often one can show a song off quite like this. Puttin' On The Ritz was written by Irving Berlin in 1929, but managed to have three very memorable versions, two for film, and one for pop culture. In 1946, Fred Astaire appeared in the film Blue Skies opposite crooner Bing Crosby. While no one could move quite like Astaire, his singing voice was serviceable, but coupled with his moving and his style, he was still tough to top. Like he was wont to do, Astaire took the song and made the scene truly memorable.

28 years later, you could catch Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in the hilarious Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein. In it young Dr. Frankenstein, played by Wilder, introduces his monster, played by Boyle, to the world at large with a delightful song and dance.

Some 8 years later, Taco scored #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the song, using a synth-pop style that could be heard on the radio throughout the world. It also played in the clubs, becoming a dance favorite.

There you have it, one song done by three different artists in three separate decades, stylistically remarkably similar, yet far from the same in intent. One was a classic movie song and dance number from the 40s, another the classic spoof of that genre in the 70s, and the other a dance hit in the 80s complete with synthesizers that took the clubs by storm. 36 years apart, all three artists made the song stand out.



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