Ready for the World – Oh Sheila

First Hit #1: October 12, 1985

Ready for the World really wishes they were Prince. The instrumentation, the lyrics, the vocal style, everything is trying to replicate Prince’s style, a bit of synth heavy dance with sexy lyrics. The band isn’t quite as paranoid and strange as Prince can be, but you can tell what they’re trying to do, and you can immediately tell that they’re trying to the same rough thing that Prince does on a regular basis.

That’s fine to an extent, who doesn’t like Prince? Especially in 1985, it’s a valid approach to take. Besides which, it’s not like pop music has ever been entirely original to begin with. But there’s a risk when you do a song that is influenced heavily by a contemporary artist. You might get a hit in the process, but at the end of the day, everyone is going to say “why am I listening to cut-rate Prince when real Prince is right there?” and then you fade into obscurity, and even your big hit is confused for a song by the man you’re trying to replicate. This may explain why Ready for the World did not play the Superbowl a few years ago, while Prince did.

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One Response to Ready for the World – Oh Sheila

  1. RBerman says:

    I knew it would happen eventually in 80s music. I just didn’t think it would be this soon that there would be a Number One single pop here that would make me say, “What song is that?” After watching the video, I recognized it. Wouldn’t have pegged it as a Number One, though. I fully expect a lot more of these moments as lamentable late-80s dance music takes the fore.

    The music is very Prince, but the restrained performance, matching suits, and synchronized step-dancing tell more of a Jackson Five story. The hook would sound better if it weren’t the basis of both the chorus and verse. The best part is the funky string popping on the headless Steinberger bass guitar, itself an 80s trope.

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