My Girl Paula

I wrote a post a few days ago about ’80s fashion. It sure brought back a lot of memories, no? What fun!

I have been trying my best to work on a post about the ’90s but I just can’t seem to complete it. I was an adolescent in the ’90s (okay, old-timers, stop throwing things at me!) and it just brings me back. Too many memories.

So, I’m going to focus on just one aspect of culture from my past, when I was a pre-teen in the late ’80s/ early ’90s. One of my favorite singers was Paula Abdul. She could dance, she could sing, and she was a shortie just like me! Her music brought me so much joy.


Probably her most famous song and music video was Opposites Attract. She dances with animated rapper MC Skat Kat. I can’t watch this video without smiling and dancing:

Then there is this one, Straight Up. Holy crap, this girl could tap! I thought she was the coolest thing on earth.

Here Paula is, “in the funky way,” in the video Vibeology. Such a silly concept and song. Should I have been listening to this as pre-teen? Probably not. My parents had no idea the stuff I was exposed to, but isn’t that usually the case?  However, this song seems tame by today’s standards. ::shrug::

Another great one, but much less dancey, is the romantic song Rush Rush. (yes, it sounds like “Mush mush” — LOL).See if you can recognize Paula’s lover in this video (hint: “Woah, I’m the one!” or “Party on dudes!”)

And then there is my favorite one. Not only is this video hot, hot, hot but the dance choregraphy is amazing. Yes, it is “tastefully hot” compared to today’s music video standards. Here is Cold Hearted Snake:

So, what’s your favorite Paul Abdul song? And if you were not a fan of hers (you weirdo) what was your favorite music from the late ’80s/early ’90s? Please share!

108 thoughts on “My Girl Paula

      1. In the 80s?! Oh woman…I have soooo many. The first one that popped to mind was Prince. Drool. And uhm, Huey Lewis & The News because someone mentioned ’em earlier and they’re on my mind. Uhm Uhm Flock of Seagulls. 😀 And George Michael’s butt in the Faith video. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I like Huey Lewis too: Power of Love,If This Is It, Stuck with You are my favs. I like Prince’s song Kiss, I think due to the movie Pretty Woman. Your comment about George Michael’s butt cracked me up. I hadn’t seen the video before, only heard the song. When I get back home I’ll post “Faith” for everyone’s enjoyment. LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I was never a fan of Ms. Abdul. Admittedly I was a bit of a dance snob at the time (big into ballet), so her particular pop-aesthetic wasn’t for me. Then the 90s hit and grunge burst on the scene, and I totally embraced that trend. I graduated high school in ’91 so the grunge came right as I entered college. Surely you’ve heard of Nirvana (or am I THAT old)? One of my favorites (music starts at the 1:08 mark):

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! Grunge ::eye roll:: 😜 Who hasn’t heard of Nirvana? Let’s see if we can find some common musical tastes because we are striking out here. I like almost all genres, so it can’t be that hard.

      Oh, BTW – were you doing ballet or did you just appreciate it?


      1. I did ballet from age 3-18 and was very serious with it. I had to quit right as I was reaching my peak due to unexplained bone pain (now diagnosed as RA).

        I hated all 80’s pop music, but really liked heavy metal…I don’t suppose you’re a metallica girl?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I like “Enter Sandman.” I admit I have not heard much else of theirs, so I may like it, who knows? Not much big into metal, though.

          You like alt. rock? I can get behind that.

          Wow, you had a long ballet career! That’s so cool! Ugh — fuck that RA, stupid theif!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Violet, I was not familiar with Ratt previously. As with my interest in Suzi Quatro, what seems ‘heavy metal’ when you are around 12 years old tends to be looked at a bit differently when older.

            When I was 13 I thought Kiss was a serious heavy metal and, it took some years for me to ralise they were more of a glam rock band.

            On the matter of AC/Dc, there was some controversy here a few years back when a person wanted ‘A Highway to Hell’played at a funeral because it was the deceased persons favourite song.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Highway to Hell at a funeral??? Okay, that is totally inappropriate but I really appreciate that deceased person’s sense of humor! Now, that’s someone I would have liked to know! That is so funny (and wrong).


          3. Does the Devil sell more records that Jesus? Highway to Hell is from the AC/DC album Back in Black which is claimed ot the second highest selling album of all time (behind Thriller by Michael Jackson).

            Perhaps I had better restore some religious balance?

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Suzi’s pretty cute (with her satanic-referenced roads), but not quite heavy enough to represent my tastes back in the day. I liked bands like Ratt…full of 80s heavy metal glamour. You’ve got men wearing long, permed hair, shoulder pads, dangly earrings, and full makeup. I look back and can only laugh:

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Victoria, AC/DC’s founding member Malcolm Young was recently diagnosed with dementia and has left the band. But I gather the band goes on, they managed to cope with the death of the original lead singer Bon Scott in 1980 (he was epitome of hard living rock and roller).

            Liked by 1 person

          3. As a bit of trivia, Suzi Quatro featured on Happy Days in a few episodes as a character called ‘Leather’ (so was wearing a leather jacket) as a love interest for the Fonz.


        2. Yes Violet, Suzi Quatro is a bit like Glam rock.

          You might prefer the original Aussie head bangers. AC/DC, this video is from the mid 1970’s and is filmed in Melbourne, keep an eye out for the famous Melbourne Trams.


          1. Gah, hearing all this makes me realize how “soft”my music taste is! I guess I don’t like metal, at all. My “hardcore” is the band Heart (which I love). LOL. My other “hard” music is Green Day and Eminem. Ha. I’m a big “softie.” 😀


          2. Hahah, well, the intro to Hell’s Bells is awesome. I was never much into heavy metal, but there was some tunes I liked. Research shows that heavy metal music appeals to people who are angry, actually is therapeutic to them, having a calming effect. Quote:

            ““We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Sharman said. “When experiencing anger, extreme-music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger.”

            “The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired,” reads the study.

            “Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt.”


            Liked by 1 person

          3. I don’t feel shame, either. We can look on the bright side. We are wiser and more educated. Had I just remained a cultural Christian, and not gone the distance in study and questioning, I would have most likely never come to learn that it was all hysterical historical fiction.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. You might be shocked to know I don’t think I ever listened to a Nirvana song. I liked that one, I tend to prefer the ballad’s now. My favourite Rolling Stones song was always Angie, a slow reflective piece.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A couple of notes on these videos. “Cold Hearted Snake” is a direct take on an almost identical dance number from Bob Fosse’s movie “All that Jazz”.

    And the Dance number with MC Scat Kat I think was inspired by this dance number from the old Gene Kelly movie where he does a dance duet with Jerry Mouse. This was a really impressive special effect for the time.


  3. I was a religious fanatic in college in the late 80s and 90s so I missed all of this. I was too busy trying to be holy and save people from hell. Ugh.
    Nothin to contribute here I’m afraid. 😕
    Maybe I’ll drop by later and watch these. Work break over 😞


    1. Well, do I feel OLD!! This music I remember because our girls listened to it. But their parents? Nope. If we listen to music, it’s all country, I’m afraid. As in Hank Williams, (Sr.), Charlie Pride, George Jones, etc. or Bluegrass. (You know, all the hurtin’ stuff). 🙂

      Now you can laugh….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I pretty much like any music where people are hurting (what does that say about me??) Not laughing at you because I like country and bluegrass too. I like banjos and harmonicas. I don’t like today’s country though, I like 90s country and some of the older stuff.


      1. Some. The xian music back then was pretty horrible. I resorted to older stuff like Larry Norman and Keith Green. Plus they fit well with my fanaticism. “No compromise.”

        I must have heard “Straight Up” somewhere cause when that guy sang it and played it on guitar on American Idol, I recognized it. Paula was one of the judges and they all loved it.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. “The Rock that Doesn’t Roll”, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (Larry Norman)

            Keith Green, there are so many. Most are extremely guilt-inducing. The message is Jesus did all this shit for you and you are just a lazy ass rich American xian, so get off your ass and go save some souls. And he was so fanatical about it himself that you felt like if he could do it so could you cause its the same spirit, except there is no spirit, he was just a more fanatical fanatic than I was (with the personality to match). No, I’m not bitter at all.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Wowie, Zowie — He saved my soul!” LMAO. I thought the song was pretty rockin until that line.

            I’d heard “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” but only the DC Talk version so I had just assumed that it was their song.

            I’m almost positive I sang songs that were covers of Keith Green songs, but I can’t recall which ones at the moment. I YouTube’d Keith Green to find out, but I just couldn’t take it. Why would I want to torture myself with Christian lyrics? Ha.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. I know, right? Because you have oh-so-much time on your hands I demand that you watch all of Postmodern Jukebox’s videos so that you can get caught up on modern music. Only catch is that they do it retro style, which is actually really cool.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I love these other (non-pop) versions of Straight up! I had no idea they even existed before tonight. I do so love getting a good music education. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Yay!

            Me too. I’m open to learning about new music.

            Did you see my comment that I like Metallica’s Enter Sandman? Oh, and I just thought of this…this is kind of how I see Nirvana ::head duck::

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Well, I like “Paradise City” at least. ☺

            I LOVE this version. Wow, can that women sing! Glad you are enjoying PMJ. They are my favorite music group right now.


          1. I hear ya, Charles. I had all of Keith Green’s albums, and I believe he had a significant influence on me “dying to myself”. He had a sincerity about him, but as you mentioned, he could lay on the guilt, and it was all about dying to yourself, your dreams, your desires. In 1999 I trashed all his albums. I would later learn that he did hard drugs and had a “bad trip”, and then became “born again”. How predictable. Not long after that he became obsessed with end times, hence “End Time Ministries”.

            Another thing you might not be aware of was that when he was a teen he was very close to becoming a teen idol rock star and had made several TV appearances, but ended up getting beat out by Donnie Osmond. Green felt like a total failure. The rejection plunged him into depression.

            When I was a Christian, I used to subscribe to his LDM newsletter, and even had several tracks.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I read his biography, “No Compromise” and I think some of his pre-xian story is in there. It sounds familiar. I get some of his details mixed up with Larry Norman. Both seemed to be on the verge of secular stardom. I think Normal almost got the lead in the musical Hair. But my memory is shaky here…

            I remember being home from college one xmas break (I think), and sitting in my basement playing computer games while listening to Keith Green over and over and over. Got me all psyched up for going back to school and saving everybody. Which, of course, failed miserably. Leading to more guilt and confusion.

            SOOOOOO glad to be done with all that! Woo-hoo!!!!! Reality!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Green’s music was way before his time, Christian wise. He was incredibly talented. Green’s music never made me want to “witness” to others. It just made me more self-reflective and unworthy, which is why it was so effective, because you weren’t worth shit unless you had Jesus in you, who was deserving of worthiness. Effective brainwashing, to say the least. He was cult material.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Oh yeah. He had a commune, didn’t he?

            I just remembered… I was also into Rez Band. Also part of a sort of commune.
            “Resurrection Band, also known as Rez Band or REZ, is one of the best-known and respected Christian rock bands in the history of Contemporary Christian music. It was based out of the Jesus People USA Christian community in Chicago, Illinois, and most of its members continue to be part of that community to this day.”

            Liked by 1 person

          5. That is interesting, Charles. I’ve never heard of them until today. Maybe if I hear a few tunes I might recognize them, but I never had any of their albums. Keith Green had guru training before he became a fanatical Christian, plus the influence of Hollywood show business, so the combination gave him the tools to become highly influential.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. No! Surely it was the Holy Spirit!

            “Broken promises, broken by me and not by You.”
            “Jesus break me, snap my stubborn heart in two.”
            Listen to this song and then join me in a hearty “Fuck you, Christianity!”

            Liked by 2 people

          7. Sorry, I’m not going to listen because I have a feeling it would be upsetting to me. But I will definitely join you in the “Fuck you, Christianity!” part.

            Reminds me of Audio Adrenaline:
            *”Though I am wounded and unworthy
            Though I am selfish and untrue
            You are holy
            You’re the healer
            You forgave me
            And made me new
            And made me new

            Make me
            Take me
            Break me
            I am pierced

            Oh this love how can it be
            That my God would die for me
            For my sins his wounds did bleed.”*

            Liked by 1 person

          8. I didn’t start listen to Christian music until the mid to late ’90s. I was exposed to Amy Grant through pop music. Some of the earlier stuff I was exposed to was 4Him, Michael W. Smith, Rich Mullins, and Point of Grace. Then I started hearing a lot of Steven Curtis Chapman and Phillips, Craig, and Dean. My favorite bands were DC Talk and Jars of Clay. I also liked the Newsboys. My favorite female artists were Rebecca St. James, Nicole Nordeman, and Jaci Velasquez. I LOVED Ginny Owens. But my very favorite of all was Sara Groves. I still listen to her music, actually. This is one of the songs I started listening to a lot right before I deconverted:


          9. I find that I can still enjoy listening to some Christian music if it is in a style I like. I still like listening to Amy Grant’s El Shaddai and Darlene Zschech’s Shout to Lord.

            Interesting both of these artists had to suffer the judgment of the christian community when they encountered marital difficulties.

            Perhaps my favourite is

            Currently this video has no negative votes, if anyone wants to be a sourpuss they can be the first one.

            By the way this was one of the songs sung in the Cathedral when I was ordained a priest, it moved me greatly at the time.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. I’ll admit, I had major issues with “Shout to the Lord.” I’m a very emotional person (and I have bipolar disorder) so any Christian song that tried to illicit a feeling of desperation or total surrender to god put me in a really bad state emotionally.


  4. I missed out on the 90’s music during the 90’s. Like Charles, I was an evangelical Christian, although I wasn’t busy trying to save others from hell. I was too busy trying to save myself from hell. 😀

    I lost a big chunk of my adult life to bullshit beliefs, but one of the joys I’ve experienced since I deconverted was making up for lost time, especially in the secular music department. I’ll have a mini-concert tonight. Thanks for the Abdul tunes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find that I am drawn to the music of my teenage years which was pretty much all secular as Christian popular music was not on the radar screen of our church that was all traditional hymns, which we studiously avoided outside of church times.

      There is some psychological comfort in immersing oneself in music from your formative years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I agree! I’m going to do another post here on some more (secular) music I enjoyed during my secular years. I didn’t really get into Christian music until the mid to late ’90s. About what time do you think Christian music became more rock/pop in order to be “relevant” to the greater culture (“the world”)? I’m guessing it’s probably somewhere in the ’90s, right?


  5. This time of year I think back with nostalgia to Christmas past and to the carols of my youth like Silent Night. Perhaps my favourite rendition is by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that is so gorgeous! Wow.

      This’ll be my first Christmas celebrating as a non-believer. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about hearing music about baby Jesus and angels this Christmas.


      1. It will also be my first Christmas as a non believer. Many non religious folk can enjoy Christmas so why can’t we? I intend to try and embrace it, I will enjoy the Christmas carols by seeing them as just like songs about Father Christmas, so there won’t be any ‘ba humbug’ from me.

        I realised I can be moved by the music without getting caught up in the religious side of it. Another one I really like is:


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About Quixie

Hi! Check out my mind palace. Click on my blog. I'm not normally this demanding...But really, you must go there in order to learn "about me."