Standing in McDonald's yesterday morning, waiting to order, a song came on the sound system that I couldn't immediately identify but oddly knew by heart.
I started singing along and was shocked to discover I knew every single word.
The song was Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control." It was originally released in 1975 and then re-released following the success of Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Apparently the song rose to #3 on the billboard charts that year, but I honestly have no recollection of ever hearing this song, and yet I know every word of it.
I was never an Eric Carmen fan.
I never owned an Eric Carmen album.
It probably hasn't been played on the radio since 1990.
Isn't that strange... knowing stuff so completing that you didn't know you knew?
A similar thing happened to me a couple years ago when I discovered that I also knew Richard Marx's "Should've Known Better" on a drive with Elysha to New York. Had you asked me if I knew the song before it came on the radio, I would've said no, but there it was, trapped in my brain.
Every damn word.
Realizing that I knew the song caused me to watch the video, of course, which turned out to be interesting, too.
The video opens on a beach with a woman listening to the radio. We hear a radio disc jockey and Eric Carmen listening to the end of "Hungry Eyes" and talking about the song as the scene shifts from the beach to the actual radio station. The DJ plays "Make Me Lose Control." Carmen and the DJ shake hands, and Carmen leaves.
Then the scene shifts again. Now Carmen is now driving in a car in the 1950's, recreating a famous scene from American Graffiti when Richard Dreyfuss sees a beautiful woman in a T-Bird who mouths the words, "I love you" but they never meet.
This is odd because Carmen is singing about how much he loves Jennifer, the girl presumably sitting beside him in the car. In order to mitigate this problem, the director puts three people in the car. Carmen (who oddly isn't driving) alongside a woman and a man. Perhaps we're supposed to believe the mystery woman in the T-Bird is Jennifer, but he never meets this woman but sings about Jennifer as if they've been in love for a long time.
It makes no damn sense.
Carmen is also wearing the same clothing in the 1950's version of himself as he's wearing in the 1980's.
Also makes no damn sense.
Now for the serious question:
Near the end of the video, we oddly flashback to the radio station for a moment, where the DJ is now throwing darts at the photo of a man on a wall.
Who is this person? Why is he throwing darts at his face? What the hell is going on here? Please tell me.
The video then shifts back to the 1950's before once again returning to the radio station, where the DJ closes the song with classic DJ speak, and we then return to the beach, where we hear the final bars of the song as the girl picks up her radio and heads off into the sun.
That is a lot for a music video. That's meta before meta was a thing.
Listening to a song being performed by its musician in the 1980's who then introduces his next song so he can go back to the 1950's to pretend to be someone else from a movie in the 1970's about the 1950's before returning to the radio station in the 1980's (absent the musician now) and finally the beach.
Someone thought all of that would make for an excellent music video.