Glory Of The 80's

Album: To Venus And Back (1999)
Charted: 46


  • On this electronic track, Tori Amos takes a trip back to 1985, where there's a party going on with a bunch of self-assured people that are living their best lives. That's the essence of the '80s as Amos remembers it. She was particularly inspired by "the honesty of the decadence of that decade," before political correctness and censorship hold in the '90s.

    She told the UK publication Attitude: "There's the line 'and then, just when it all seemed clear you go and disappear.' I knew a lot of great people in the '80s but at the time I didn't always understand them. Now, there's such a void in the art world, people with vision have physically passed on. It's also a stab at political correctness - you can't say this, you can't say that - now everybody has to be called a Spanish American, an African American and I mean, oh bloody, f--king hell!!! I understand the abuses that have happened and I absolutely think recompense should be paid, but you don't do it just on a surface level. Everybody thinks that the debt has been paid to the 'quote unquote' Indians who had their land taken away from them because we call them Native Americans. It's hard when everything is so eggshell, eggshell, eggshell. I do miss the '80s. It was great, knowing that friends were on one hand dialing a charity and on the other hand doing a line of blow - but not lying about it, being honest. None of us are this light and dark fantasy. What's dark to you may be light to me and vice versa."
  • This is the third single from Amos' fifth solo album, To Venus And Back, a two-disc release containing a studio album of new songs and an album of live tracks compiled from her Plugged '98 tour. Many of the tracks, like this one, take her further into the realm of electronica as opposed to her minimalist piano work on her earlier records.
  • Amos sings of having The Story Of O in the bucket seat of her wannabe Mustang. The Story Of O is a 1954 erotic novel by French author Pauline Réage.
  • She also mentions "auditioning for reptiles in their Raquel Welch campaign." Welch was a popular actress of the '60s and '70s who went on to do commercials for weight loss products. Before her music career took off, Amos landed a few commercial gigs, including an ad for Crystal Light that starred Welch. According to a 1998 Rolling Stone interview, Welch took issue with Amos' overzealous performance and instructed the director to tell her to "tone it down, please."
  • Amos wants to "clone myself like that blonde chick that sings Bette Davis eyes." That would be Kim Carnes, who had a #1 hit with "Bette Davis Eyes" in 1981.
  • She told All Music how the harpsichord played a subtle-yet-important role on the track. "The harpsichord is very much in 'Glory of the 80's.' She's part of the bed, I cut it live, with the piano. You might not notice it, but she's there. I love that, because 'Glory of the 80's' could be the 1780s," she laughed.
  • The music video was directed by French filmmaker Erick Ifergan, who also helmed the clip for "1000 Oceans." Once again, she's trapped inside of a structure, only this one is a futuristic torture chamber. In an interview with Musique Plus, Amos said the concept was the director's idea. He envisioned her as a modern Joan of Arc-type figure with sexual overtones. "So I'm in this torture chamber that is supposed to be quite fashionable, in his mind. And there you have it," she said.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Dave Edmunds

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."