Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'80's Flashback: Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman's latest variety series, "State on the Union," on Showtime, is yet another gratifying display of the actress' chameleon charms, as she satirizes countless characters "across the U.S.," from average working Americans to genius parodies of Ariana Huffington, Barney Frank and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Not that she's ever been off my radar. My iTunes playlist includes a category called "The Best Songs Ever Recorded," which features Ullman's only U.S. hit, 1984's top 10 "They Don't Know" (which, on my own chart, finished the year at No. 3, behind Sheena Easton's "Strut" and Madonna's "Borderline"). I've been listening to the song as if were the latest Lady Gaga hit, loving it all over again.

After sharing the videoclip with Ayhan—who remembers it as a hit in Turkey—I managed to find my original vinyl album for "You Broke My Heart in 17 Places," which I knew intimately, even though, at the time, I had no real idea of who the hell Ullman was. Ah, the memories. Oh, the '80s.