LoveSong – Tim Russell and Hot Girls In Love

Hi, and welcome to another installment of LoveSong, where someone loves a song that many people don’t, and that’s okay!

The lover:

Tim Russell is a writer, DJ, and musician living in Springfield, IL.  He is the co-host of the weekly radio program The Alleged Show, broadcast every Wednesday afternoon on WQNA.  He is the author of two books, The Tea Leaves The Pianist and The Metaphysics of Stupidity, both available for purchase on Amazon.

 

The loved: Loverboy, “Hot Girls In Love” (1983)


 

TIM RUSSELL:

Probably when most people think of the Canadian rock group Loverboy (that is, if they do), they recall the band’s 1981 hit song “Working for the Weekend”. It was used in an episode of 30 Rock and in the movie Zoolander, and it’s a staple of classic rock radio now. Back in the 80s, though, at the height of their popularity Loverboy had a few other successes on the charts both North and South of the border–“Turn Me Loose”, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, “When It’s Over”, and from their 1985 4x platinum album Keep It Up, “Hot Girls in Love”. For reasons I will try to explain here it’s the latter song that comes to my mind when I think of the band, which (admittedly) isn’t often.

For one thing, I happen to love “Hot Girls in Love”. I like a few of their other hits, too (“Working for the Weekend” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, in particular), but it’s “Hot Girls in Love” that stands out for me as an example of everything that was good and enjoyable about the group’s sound.

Musically speaking, for me the song simply rocks. The flanger on the drum roll at the beginning. The 80s-style, hard-hitting quarter notes on the hi-hat and ride cymbal. The organ during the second verse. The vocals that are over the top. The hand claps. The echoes on the vocals during the bridge. And, what a guitar lead! It all makes me very happy. It makes me laugh, and not entirely in an ironic way. Yes, to me it’s also at once very cheesy sounding, especially by the standards I have today that involve appreciating bands like Radiohead and The Flaming Lips. But, I don’t on the rare occasion play a Loverboy song on my radio show or at home for the deep qualities of its lyrics or the complexity or variety in its sound. My enjoyment of the band’s music is a thoroughly silly love, rather. It’s similar to the way we love joking around. It’s light-hearted and fun, and that can be a very good thing.

Lyrically, of course, “Hot Girls in Love” leaves a lot to be desired if one is looking for anything profound or poetic. Moreover, there is the question (in my mind) of the missing apostrophe in the title, where “girls” should probably be “girl’s”. Let’s read the first verse and a chorus, and you’ll see what I mean:

She’s so young at heart
She likes the pleasure of his company
She cuts the inside groove
With her silver spoon

She likes her tapes on 10

And it’s the same as her anatomy

She’s on a rainbow cruise
All the way to my room
She’s turnin’ on the heat

She’s got the magic touch

She’s turnin’ on the heat

And it’s a little too much

She’s turnin’ on the heat
And it’s a hundred above, yeah
Hot girls in love

I’m in love

It goes on like that. Forgetting for a moment (and even maybe at once enjoying the heck out of) the nuttiness of these lyrics, notice that the 3rd person singular (“she” and “her”) perspective on the woman-as-subject changes suddenly in the final moment to 3rd person plural (“girls”). Who, then, are these girls, and where the heck did they come from in the song? Shouldn’t the title and refrain read “girl’s”, abbreviating “girl is”? Obviously, it would make a lot more sense of the lyrics. Regardless, I suspect that it was either the band’s guitarist Paul Dean and/or the song’s producer Bruce Fairbairn (both of whom are the attributed writers) who decided in the final moment, either intentionally or subconsciously, to omit the apostrophe and make it “girls”–plural–so as to make the title hotter and vaguely lesbian. Hence, grammatically speaking, the song has that going for it, too.

So, what’s not to love? Hot girl’s/girls are in it, after all!

SPLOTCHY:

“Hot Girls In Love” is a song I never really knew the lyrics to (I knew the “it’s a hundred above line”, though), and it’s neat and/or weird seeing them printed.

This line struck me in particular:
She likes her tapes on 10

I’m wondering, what does the fact that she has/likes tapes mean about her? I did a little research and saw the album Keep It Up (of which “Hot Girls In Love” was the lead track) was released on November 8, 1983. According to Wikipedia, on March 2, 1983, compact discs and compact disc players were released in North America.

So, she COULD have liked compact discs. But would that be off-putting? The song itself might have even been written prior to the release of the compact disc, of course. However, if CDs had been released and Loverboy was fully aware of them at the time of the composition of this song, I’m thinking they still could have consciously used tapes instead. Perhaps because she likes tapes means she’s not some fuddy-duddy vinyl record lover, but she’s not some geeky audiophile, either. Thoughts?

And it’s the same as her anatomy could be one of the clunkiest lines in rock and roll lyrical history, I think. She’s on a rainbow cruise is refreshingly full of whimsy for such a cock-rock kind of song.

Are these all the lyrics? I am wondering if there are multiple verses that are talking about a different girl per verse, which might explain the whole confusing pluralized “girls”.

TIM RUSSELL:

I don’t think the writing team of Dean/Fairbairn thought very much about the lyrics they were composing. Hence, “tapes on 10”. Rainbow cruise, and the anatomy line are hilarious and so much fun. I love them!

I just included the first verse and chorus in my analysis. There are more verses and choruses (and a bridge), of course. And no, I think there is only one “girl” talked about in the song. He’s in love with her, and she’s in love. Etc.

I do believe that the pluralization to “girls” was either an oversight or intentional to make the song more marketable. Or both!

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Many thanks to Tim for sharing his outpouring of love for Loverboy!

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