This is the earliest version I could find on youtube:
Great song, right? It appeals to so many for so many reasons. At the time, there was so much strife, women’s rights were still a new idea, segregation was still in effect, Vietnam was going on. Gloria Jones was a black female singer during this time, and sang this popular song, written by Ed Cobb.
20 years later, “Soft Cell” covered the song. This was not the first cover, but it was the cover that really brought the song back into the limelight, being played on MTV and associated with a popular music video. The singer is male, and it speaks to the near desperation of a young man and his desires. The “synthpop” styling revamped the song into something that appealed more easily to the youth of the 80s, and the song set a guinness book of world records for “longest stay on the top 100”.
Redone again, 20 years later, for the move titled,”Not another teen movie” by Marilyn Manson. The song and video now become an attention getting anthem for the “Gothic” subculture and it’s dark “forbidden” calls. The video mocks the “prep” college culture, suggesting that all those people in all black just might be having a more awesome time than the “popular” kids.
All of that said, I love the song. I really like how one song, redone slightly, appeals to different audiences over a period of 40 years. It doesn’t matter when you first heard the song, you can jam to any of the versions. Some songs are good enough to do this, and I always enjoy trying to trace it back over time. I look forward to the next version that will be a real change, in my opinion-the version I hope we’ll see in 2021. 🙂