First Hit #1: June 25, 1988
I expected something called Foolish Beat to be some mindless dance music, but instead it’s a pop ballad by someone who is clearly very young. Debbie Gibson was about 17 when the song was recorded, but she sounds even younger. It’s the sound of a high school talent show – a raw voice that does have something there, but doesn’t have the training and maturity of a much more developed performer. This youth both enhances and detracts from the theme of a song, since it’s someone saying they’ll never love anyone again when clearly they have no idea what they’re talking about. On one hand, it’s the kind of dramatic hyperbole that a high school girl would pull out after a breakup – it’s a new experience, and they probably would think they could never love again, because the novelty pushes the emotions to extremes. On the other hand, older folks might say “Debbie you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about” and dismiss her entirely. But she didn’t exist for those folks, this is a teen girl making music for other teen girls, and the heightened emotions fit with the audience.