Song #47: “I Melt With You” — Modern English (1982)
I briefly considered not including “I Melt with You” — it was too obvious, too overplayed. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it never once broke into the Top 40 in spite of being released on the charts several times, in spite of being in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV, in spite of appearing in numerous movies (and FAR too many commercials). How was this possible? It’s a catchy pub tune about love and endless possibility, with some of the sexiest pick up lines ever written.
Of course, this is what makes a truly great pop song, one that interfaces so completely with the culture and your own personal experiences you forget when you first heard it, how often you’ve listened to it or the number of times you and a circle of drunk friends swayed arm-over-shoulder humming the quiet interlude right before the drums kick off the big finale. Its success isn’t measured in a few weeks on the charts so as much as it is always welcome when it is played. (It was certainly a steady customer on the soundtrack of my years in college.)
On another personal note, the night I saw Modern English at the Metron was the only time I’ve ever been thrown out of a bar — and I do mean thrown. It was precipitated by an unruly crowd and a misunderstanding with a door, but ended with me getting whisked out of the club by three bouncers so fast my date said “it was like you evaporated.”
Hey, at least I got to hear them play “I Melt With You” before I got tossed.