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Glory of the 80s

Lyrics by Tori Amos

I took a taxi from LA to Venus in 1985
I was electromagnetically sucked back
into a party going on that night
It was the glories of the '80s
with karma drawn up in lines
and two bugle boy models saying "baby
it's a freebee you sure look deprived

I had the story of O in my bucket seat
of my wanna be Mustang
auditioning for reptiles in their
Raquel Welsh campaign
in the glories of the '80s you said
"I'm not afraid to die"
I said I don't find that remotely funny
even on the space cake high

and then when it all seemed clear
just then you go a disappear

silicone party barbies to the left
and Joan of Arcs to the right
no one feeling insecure we were
all gorge and famous in our last lives
in the glories of the '80s you said
"the end is nothing to fear"
I said blow the end now baby
who do I gotta shag to get outta here

and then when it all seemed clear
just then you go a disappear

sure you're out there orbiting around
wish I had you back now

I met a drag king called venus
she had a velvet hologram she said,
"my husband ran off with my shaman
but they love me as I am"
in the glories of the '80s
I may not have to die I'll clone myself
like that blonde chick that sings
Bette Davis Eyes

and then when it all seems clear
just then you go and

sure you're out there orbiting around
wish I had you back now

and then when it all seems clear
just then you go and disappear

I took a taxi from LA to Venus in 1985

Tori Quotes

What inspired the first UK single, "Glory of the 80s"?
Mainly the honesty of the decadence of that decade. There's the line, "and then, just when it all seemed clear you go and disappear." I knew a lot of great people in the '80s but at the time I didn't always understand them. Now, there's such a void in the art world, people with vision have physically passed on. It's also a stab at political correctness -- you can't say this, you can't say that; now everybody has to be called a Spanish American, an African American and I mean, [getting worked up] Oh bloody, fucking hell!!! I understand the abuses that have happened and I absolutely think recompense should be paid, but you don't do it just on a surface level. Everybody thinks that the debt has been paid to the "quote unquote" Indians who had their land taken away from them because we call them Native Americans. It's hard when everything is so eggshell, eggshell, eggshell. I do miss the eighties. It was great, knowing that friends were on one hand dialing a charity and on the other hand doing a line of blow -- but not lying about it, being honest. None of us are this light and dark fantasy. What's dark to you may be light to me and vice versa. [Attitude (UK) - November 1999]

The harpsichord is very much in "Glory of the 80s." She's part of the bed; I cut it live, with the piano. You might not notice it, but she's there. I love that, because "Glory of the 80s" could be the 1780s [laughs]. [All Music - October 1999]

Glory of the Eighties is a great evocation of a particular place and time.
The decadence of the '80s in L.A. brings out a smile. I wasn't into the L.A. [hard] rock scene even though I had big hair and I had thigh-high plastic boots. I think I was more into the gothic witch thing. Pirates. It was that whole dressing-up moment, Adam Ant with tits, but not really -- his were much cuter than mine or my friends'. We used to wake up and go to Retail Slut and pick up a few pieces for the week. There was a balance of thigh-high plastic boots and going to see your shaman. I liked that. It was all happening at the same time. Everything was so much on the outside, pleasing things on the outside, but there was a lot of camaraderie that I really adored. A lot of us were friends, going to see different bands. It wasn't competitive in the way it became in the '90s.

In the '90s... well, you're doing your yoga thing, you're eating the right foods, your friends at PETA aren't giving you too much shit -- and I like my friends at PETA. [In the '80s] people were calling in to the Live Aid charity and doing blow at the same time. And I found that very honest. There was a shadow aspect that people weren't hiding as much. [ - November 1999]

Live Versions

"Glory of the 80s"
October 28, 1999 - London, England
This Morning with Richard and Judy

"Glory of the 80s"
February 28, 2003 - Albany, New York

"Glory of the 80s"
June 6, 2007 - Düsseldorf, Germany

"Glory of the 80s"
October 4, 2009 - Antwerp, Belgium

"Glory of the 80s"
September 18, 2009 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg

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