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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Lost Down Under Week - The Models

All this week, Lost in the ‘80s takes a look at bands who were part of the early-to-mid ‘80s Australian invasion led by groups such as INXS, Midnight Oil, and although they’re from New Zealand, Split Enz (hey, close enough. I keed!).

The Models

The Models had been banging around Australia since the late ‘70s, helping spearhead that country’s new wave movement to minor success. A constantly changing band roster hampered their efforts, but they were ultimately rewarded with a good-sized rock radio hit in America with the first single from their 1985 album “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”, a tune called “Cold Fever”. MTV even picked up the video and gave it a few spins in mainstream timeslots, heavier in the “120 Minutes” rotation.

But it wasn’t until the release of the album’s title track as the second U.S. single that the Models’ buzz paid off. “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” got the deluxe heavy rotation treatment from MTV and radio followed suit somewhat, with even some Top 40 CHR stations adding the song.

Listening to it now, the first thing that hits the ear is the similarity to a huge number one hit three years later…”Wild, Wild West” by the Escape Club. Now, I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but the stomping beat…the horns…let’s just say the Escape Club glossed it up right and were rewarded justly and leave it at that.

As for the Models, they did what any good Lost in the ‘80s one-hit wonder band does after suffering for years and finally scoring a hit…they recorded one more album, then broke up.

Personal memory – this song was a hit my senior year in high school, a year mostly spent with a huge group of friends at our good buddy Jeff’s basement, complete with a jukebox stocked with personally selected 45s. I had my very first advertising job that year, pasting up corrections and type. In those pre-Adobe days, I would create a weekly Top Ten Most Played Songs chart for the jukebox, using Rapidiographs and manual type. Our group of about 20 friends made the Models number one for a good month or so.

The album was finally released on CD in Australia in 1991, but is long since out of print.

Download the Models “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”.

”Cold Fever” reached #29 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
“Out of Mind, Out of Sight” peaked at #22 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #37 on the Hot 100.
posted by John, 11:32 PM