Addicted To Love: the sound of mid-80s AOR. It’s the kind of song we would hear on Atlantic 252, while driving around North Wales on family holidays. This, Simply Red and late-period Genesis became the accidental soundtrack to the towns of Prestatyn, Rhyl and Llandudno.
I recently met a colleague at work who was born and raised in Mold, just over the border into North Wales from Chester. We’ve been reminiscing about Rhyl, and how it was just the best place for kids in the 1980s. The Rhyl Sun Centre almost felt futuristic, with its car rides descending from the ceiling, and its wave pool that seems par for the course in today’s leisure centres. Alongside its funfair – a scaled-down version of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach – Rhyl even had a monorail along its waterfront. However, the project descended into bankruptcy just a few weeks after its opening in 1980, and abruptly closed.
Robert Palmer’s catchy rock-by-numbers anthem reminds me of those days, of riding around the BMX course on Rhyl’s seafront, or going down the Sun Centre’s tube-slides. My parents owned a static caravan on a site in Gronant, just outside Prestatyn, which we used to go to on weekends between Spring and Autumn.
Those times make up some of my happiest childhood memories. The local arcade had the original Star Wars game in which you sat inside an X-Wing flying across the Death Star, one of the local café’s introduced me to the joy of toasted currant teacakes, and I used to regularly play with a friend and his sister, recreating scenes from our favourite sci-fi show V. Happy days.
The music video for Addicted To Love deserves a mention too; one of the most iconic videos of the original MTV era. Not a great deal happens in the video, it’s essentially a performance piece. Palmer performs the song backed by a band of attractive models who are wearing heavy lipstick and tied-back hair. This look pays homage to the art of Patrick Nagel, the original artist behind Duran Duran’s Rio sleeve. It’s a joy to watch.
Hit: Addicted To Love
Hidden Gem: Hyperactive