“Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)” by the Flirts, from the album 10 Cents a Dance
Fourth week of September, 1982
If the rock gods were ever to bring their dire contempt for new wave and early-80s pop music to litigation, this Flirts song would undoubtedly be Exhibit A.
“Surely, the prosecution can grant that new wave is catchy and entertaining”.
“Catchy, yes. Entertaining? Would the court please read back the lyrics from Exhibit A?”
Upon hearing the lyrics, the court would then groan collectively knowing there was no way in hell this vile song could be eradicated from their memory. The dynamic trio of Angela, Holly, and Rebecca were hot in that new wave-big haired sort of way but still, entertaining is a stretch.
It’s unavoidable that every musical movement is bound to have a few hangers-on that get fat off the reputation of the style. While some early observers associated New Wave as a division of Punk, musicians who were dabbling in experimentation and lyric complexity, this song is evidence that New Wave is not much more than a musical genre that inspired people to dance by jumping up and down with their hands pinned at their sides. It is also most probably the second gayest musical genre of all-time. While the trio of Flirts female vocalists put all they had behind producer Bobby Orlando’s music, there is very little denying that this is one of the weakest and most mind-numbing songs to ever get heavy rotation on MTV. It is interesting to note that in “Jukebox”, thought to be a popular response to Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”, the words “don’t” and “wanna” combine to account for 16% of the song’s total lyrics. The only song that comes to mind that could match this has to be Falco’s “Amadeus” in which the words “Amadeus” and “rock” account for 28% of the song’s total lyrics. This song is also notable for being part of the Valley Girl soundtrack and the compilations New Wave Dance Hits and Gay Classics Vol. 4: Outrageous. Ultimately, the musicians themselves are prophetic in their lyrics because frankly, they’re right, I don’t wanna hear this damned song no more either.