Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Let's Go All the Way" by Sly Fox. Sly Fox released the album Let’s Go All the Way in December of 1985 and the title track would end up being a top 10 hit the following year. The single would reach #3 on the UK chart and peak at #7 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also reached the Top 20 in at least six other countries. I have always considered it quite infectious and one of my favorite songs of that year. I always assumed the song was about having sex until I saw the music video.
The music video for "Let's Go All the Way" features some images that can be interpreted to be anti-war (and you have to remember this was in the height of the Cold War and threat of a nuclear holocaust). The video features quick edits and transitions between three different threads. The first features Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper and Michael Camacho dancing while performing the song which is flipped between regular and negative film exposure (which turns out to be a pretty cool effect). The second thread leans into the anti-war interpretation as it features an interracial pair of young boys playing together, but also picking toy weapons of war out of a shopping cart and smashing them with hammers and there is also even what appears to be an atomic bomb blast in reverse. The third thread consists of depression-era black & white clips from slapstick comedies and footage of factory workers. How all of these bits of footage go together is beyond me, but that was not uncommon in '80s music videos. In one last bit of possible symbolism, the video ends with the two children walking up to a large globe, picking the world up and carrying it. Here is the music video for “Let's Go All the Way” by Sly Fox…
Now you can understand some of the confusion about the song's true meaning whether it was was something sexual or something political. I had the pleasure of an interview with Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper of Sly Fox who not only performed the song, but also wrote it and here is what he had to say about the song's meaning:
For me, the song simply meant that whatever your goal, dream or vision, you should go all the way to get it. In other words, don’t let anything stop you from achieving, especially yourself.
No matter what the song is about, I just really like the way it sounds and I can't help bopping my head along with the beat. It has to be considered one of the great one-hit wonders of its time.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!