80’s Mania Mondays: There Are Times That Never Ever Come Again

One of the great things about the 80s for me was the show Miami Vice. At its heart, it was another cop show, but one with a certain style. At one point during the show’s run, my friends and I would watch the show before we would go out for the evening. That usually meant that we wouldn’t even step out until almost 11 on a Friday night.

The show’s style was influenced by MTV, which through music videos would prove to have an influence on television shows and commercials. Some of that visual flash even found its way to beer commercials. Two of the ones I remember the best were done by Michelob and featured 80s hits from Genesis and Steve Winwood.

Forgive me for the horrible audio. “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Genesis was the fourth single from their monster album from 1986, Invisible Touch. Five singles were released from the album and all five would peak in the top 4 of the Hot 100; this one made it to #3. Genesis was one of the biggest groups of the decade, racking up fifteen Hot 100 singles in the decade, but Invisible Touch and its singles were the band’s biggest successes. Surely a great deal of the band’s success dovetailed with the success that Phil Collins was having in his solo career. His No Jacket Required album was released the year before and was a huge success as well.

With the way that songs are now used in commercials, I wonder if “selling out” was a concern back then. I seem to remember it being more of one then than it is now, and it certainly was before the release of this song. However, Michelob was a tour sponsor, so it would seem to be natural marketing at work.

A couple years later, Michelob also sponsored Steve Winwood’s tour following the release of his album Roll With It. The brand used his second single from the album, “Don’t You Know What The Night Can Do” in ads. A lot of the same visual style can be seen in this one as well (again the audio is awful).

The single made it to #6 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1988. The 80s were very good to Steve Winwood as well. After years of being the lead in bands like the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith and Traffic, Winwood went solo in 1977. He tasted solo success with his Arc Of A Diver album, with the single “While You See A Chance,” but his greatest success occurred in 1986 with his Back In The High Life album. His lead single from that album, “Higher Love,” hit #1 that year and won Record Of The Year and Best Pop Male Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards. It also featured an uncredited Chaka Khan on background vocals.

Were Genesis and Winwood sellouts? Or was it a mutually beneficial deal for both sides? Now, I don’t know that it matters, since pop music figures in so many advertisements. No matter what you think of that particular debate, these were two memorable songs from the 1980s. Leave your thoughts about the issue and/or the songs in the comments.

28 Replies to “80’s Mania Mondays: There Are Times That Never Ever Come Again”

  1. Loved Phil Collins and Steve Winwood. Hearing Higher Love for the first time was a spiritual moment for me. I never thought popular music used in commercials meant the artist was selling out. Everyone did it. Michael Jackson’s plug for Pepsi, Madonna’s Like a Prayer debuted on a commercial too, I think. It was just a part of the culture and has become more accepted over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By that time, it seemed like everyone was doing it. I remember that Madonna song in a Pepsi commercial, so yes she had done it too. I just remember the cries being much louder in those days, certainly far louder than they are now.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You already know! Even when I was looking up these videos, in the comments, there were still people calling them sellouts, years after the fact!! I believed it was mutually beneficial for both sides.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear ya. Everyone of the people who said that would take the money too. I remember Green Day was bashed just for becoming mainstream, and Punk people still bash them. I don’t necessarily like it, and would hate to see Zeppelin hawking toilet paper or something, but who can blame them for taking the money. Now, one thing I do hate is when bands “retire”, have their “See us now or never see us again” tours, then a year later they’re on tour again. Pisses me off. And The Dead did their “final” concerts last Summer but then promptly renamed themselves Dead & Company and signed up John Mayer, only to tour again. I thought that was nothing more than a money grab at the fans’ expense. Us Dead Heads are uber loyal, and they shafted those of us who paid exorbitant amounts to see them one last time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes those “it’s all over, then it’s not” tours are a money grab. Same as the artists that release on version of their latest music, then turn around and release a deluxe version with extra songs that weren’t on the original album. Just do the one version with all the songs, I say.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Most people should have realized that it was her, as soon as she opened her mouth. I had heard long ago that the record company didn’t want her getting credit on the song. I also remember hearing that she was asked to sing on “Addicted To Love” by Robert Palmer and the record company nixed it.

      I don’t think I’d ever heard Whitney’s version of “Higher Love.” If I did, I forgot how it sounded. Like you though, I would prefer the original-it’s a great song.


  2. It happens all the time. Led Zeppelin allowed Whole Lotta Love to be used in a men’s fragrance commercial, just last year. I loved the whole feel of Miami Vice, the music moved the action along perfectly. And those pastel Florida threads ! โ˜บ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! It was a great show. It had a whole lot of style to sell with what was basically a police procedural with great scenery.

      Today, we hardly bat an eye at the practice, but certainly the cries were a lot louder way back when. As I mentioned in another comment, when I was looking up the videos, there were comments of “sellout!” even all these years later.

      Liked by 1 person

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