I remember hearing this song before seeing the video; it intrigued me.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a student exchange program in high school. I spent about a month in England. I was a bit older in years than my exchange partner and as an only child who’d never spent time in such close quarters with other young people (other than my two stints at summer camp, which were abysmal failures at socializing me), we didn’t get on so well.
Thinking back, I am sure she and her parents went to great effort to make me feel welcomed and a part of the family. There was a bed in her room for me, but it was by the window, which was kept open a bit; I was freezing and soon got a cold. I asked to sleep in the downstairs family room, which was much warmer, had a television, and gave me quiet access to the house telephone for my calls home once in a while (with the many hour time difference, I was ringing back to Jersey at what was like 11pm England time). My exchange partner I think took it to mean I didn’t like her, which wasn’t the case. We simply didn’t have a lot to chat about. Regarding activities and interests, I had more in common with her older brother and parents, I’m afraid.
Nonetheless, I had a marvelous time. I spent as much money as possible on music — so much so that I could barely carry my luggage. I don’t know if there were no weight restrictions then, but somehow it all made it back home with no broken vinyl. I’ve kept it with me, all these years: one basement flood when I lived in Pennsylvania ruined many of my covers; I have a goal to buy plastic sleeves, put on a paper mask, and get out there one day to separate and alphabetize them again.
Anyway, in those hours I had to myself with the family room television, watching all those wonderful Top of the Pops episodes and whatnot, I was treated to the Citroën commercial that’s featured in the ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ video. From then on, I was hooked and had to have the 12” single and the album.
I can’t say what it was precisely. Ms. Jones is a personage, for sure! There is so much going on in the ‘Rhythm’ video, it would likely take me years to pull it all apart. Nonetheless, it remains a favorite.
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