12
Nov 08

The Freaky Trigger Actual 38th Top Track Of All-Time As Chosen By You The Readers: BALTIMORA – Tarzan Boy

FT///2 comments • 1,105 views

Pop culture songs are tricky. Just look at that current Scouting For Girls song about James Bond. I am not cynical enough to say that Scouting For Girls have picked a release date just because Quantum Of Solace just came out. But some commentators might. Just as some people may note a match up between the release of Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy a few months after Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan mopefest was released. But this would again be a case of coincidence – as the jolly Eurodisco of Tarzan resembles in no way the dull Christopher Lambert starrer. To me Baltimora’s song was a much better match to the playful Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan season shown during the 1985 summer holidays. Us indoorsy kids not playing out in that balmy summer were not big time record buyers – so our Cheeta love alone could not be why punters in their droves snapped up this pop culture special – without it being a novelty single.

One of the things I always appreciated about Baltimora’s lyrics in Tarzan Boy is how little it really refers to Edgar Rice Burrough’s most lucrative creation. Tarzan Boy is not about Tarzan after all, rather Baltimora uses Tarzan as a simile for their own make believe jungle life. And by jungle life they just mean some mild arson and monkey business. The rest of it is a slow burn hi-energy chant-a-long, a slightly overgrown Club Tropicana. Yes there is merit in the “Night to night – gimme the other” repetition in the chorus, but the real secret to the song is the – and I quote from a random lyrics site:

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

I count that as forty four oh’s which – whilst a good night in on the divan – is not as many as I count the song offering in its Tarzan break. Not that Baltimora do an even vaguely convincing Tarzan yelp. Instead it some sort of anodyne yodel, Conway Twitty lite. Not that smuggling what is essentially a yodelling song into the top five in 1985 is not without its merits. Its just a bit sneaky. Like the bad guys in Tarzan.

It was that summer I discovered Maureen O’Sullivan in Tarzan And His Mate. Even after they changed her costume to a one piece she was the first black and white woman I ever loved. And that was without the original pre-code nude swimming scene. Oh oh oh indeed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNGXdw2_6DM&feature=related

There would have been no way I could have linked to a nude video if I had written about Punka.

Comments

  1. 1
    Tom on 12 Nov 2008 #

    Sauce! And speaking of which:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogUiwROZvr8

    Best use of Tarzan Boy outside the original.

  2. 2
    mike on 12 Nov 2008 #

    “Tarzan Boy” also formed the logical conclusion to the mid-1980s Italo-disco “woh-oh” meme, as instigated by the likes of “Self Control” (“Woh-oh-woh, woh-oh-woh”), “No Tengo Dinero” (“Woh-oh!”) and “Vamos A La Playa” (“Oh-oh-oh-oh!”)

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