"Turn It Up" by Michael Davidson.
I listened to this song maybe a thousand times back in the summer of 1987, lying around my friend Kelli’s house, dressing Barbies, playing with cigarette lighters, drinking Classic Coke, watching MTV. The cassette tape of the Who’s That Girl Soundtrack was always in the boombox. (We fast-forwarded “The Look of Love” most of the time. Ugh.)
But until now I had never seen the “Turn It Up” video…and OMG I’m so happy that I have now. What passion! To paraphrase another 1987 hit, “I wanna dance with somebody (wearing a mock turtleneck).”
The most melodious phrase: catalpa blooms.
Chicago, Illinois. June 2014.
The apex of Juice Newton’s comedic art arrived with the video to “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard On Me.”
This video plays out like an episode of one of those forgotten sitcoms like “Too Close for Comfort” or “Three’s a Crowd.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me this video was shot on an ABC stage set, the look is so 1982.
"Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard On Me" is the best. The image of Juice Newton in her cast is what etched itself onto my mind as a child, and still pops up first when I think of her.
I think she is Huey Lewis’ equal in mugging at the camera. I can think of no higher compliment to pay.
For Juice’s hit love ballad “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known)” they played it fairly straight: a romantic day in New York. If you saw this video on mute you would think it was one of those stock background pieces they play at karaoke.
However, a bit of the goofball still shines through. I enjoy the “you spilled my coffee? I don’t have any use for you now” bit at the beginning, and the part where they appear to be spitting off a bridge.
More importantly: don’t we need a Juice Newton biopic, so that John C. Reilly can play Otha Young?
How does one choose their favorite Juice Newton video?
In case you don’t remember, back in the ’80s Juice Newton was a bit like a female Huey Lewis — a hitmaker with a goofy video persona.
Consider “Queen of Hearts.” I like this one because it looks like they made it at Silver Dollar City in Branson. Everything Juice and Otha wear in this video is something you could find in the costume trunk at those places where your family dresses up like the Old West and gets a sepia photo taken.
Crap. Now I want some salt water taffy…
Summer household hints from Marlys!