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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - 2011 Music Moment

When I think back to 2011 during the year of music, I think of several artists who made an impact during that year.  Britney Spears made a comeback with "Hold It Against Me".  Lady Gaga told everyone that they should be happy to be "Born This Way".  And, yes...even Justin Bieber managed to convince people to sneak underneath the "Mistletoe" with him.

But 2011 was a really big year for singer Katy Perry.

Remember how she released the album "Teenage Dream" back in 2010?  Well, nobody knew it at that time, but that album would be considered one of Katy's best efforts, and helped her break at least one record and tie another one.

And honestly, it's a really great record. 

As someone who has found pop music to be quite lackluster over the last two decades, I would have to say that "Teenage Dream" was a rare bright spot in the playlists of cover versions, sampled songs, and songs that basically repeated the same words over and over again.

I'm looking at you Wiz "Black and Yellow" Khalifa.

Back to "Teenage Dream", the album is considered (at least in my opinion) to be a pop masterpiece.  The title track is sultry and sexy, "Firework" is a great self-esteem booster, and "California Gurls" is a song that could still be played at summer gatherings today!  Even weaker songs such as "E.T." could still be considered great compared to some of the stuff that came out around this time.

And of course, there's this song - the topic of today's Sunday Jukebox post.  Looking back on it, I should have posted it on Friday instead, but's still going to work.

ARTIST:  Katy Perry
SONG:  Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
ALBUM:  Teenage Dream
DATE RELEASED:  June 6, 2011

This song was the song that engraved Katy Perry's name into the history books for pop music forever.

You see, all of the songs that I had mentioned previously in this blog post all reached the top of the charts between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011.  This was the fifth single release from "Teenage Dream" to reach the top spot on the Billboard Charts.  This tied a record that was first achieved by Michael Jackson all the way back in the 1980s!

But in her own right, Katy Perry broke a record and set the stage for women everywhere to challenge her, as she became the first female to have five singles from the same album reach #1.  Nobody else had done it before, and as of 2016, nobody has come close to breaking the record.  Not Adele.  Not Meghan Trainor.  Not even Madonna!

The song itself is definitely a great one, even though critics were not as impressed with the lyrical content.  And since I brought that up, I suppose many are wondering where the source of the lyrics came from.  After all, the song talks about skinny-dipping in the park, drinking too many shots, and having a ménage à trois!  Definitely a much more exciting Friday night than stocking pineapples and watermelons at work, or sitting in front of a television watching "The Amazing Race" while eating rippled potato chips and Philadelphia Cream Cheese Dip.

Don't judge me.  You probably did the same thing last Friday night!

Well, according to Miss Katy Perry herself - the song was based on a real life chain of events one night in Santa Barbara, California!

In an interview that she did on MTV back in the summer of 2011, Perry admits that they went to a club called Wildcat where they drank a little bit too much, danced erratically on the dance floor, did a little disrobing at a nearby park, and took the party to the hotel where Katy was staying at!  I can only imagine the poor guests who were on the same floor as Katy's entourage not getting the greatest night's rest!

But everything happened the way that Perry sang that it did...well, minus the ménage à trois, that is.  After all, she was married to comedian Russell Brand at the time.

And can we just talk about the explosion of colour that the music video brought to our eyes?  It may not be the greatest video that Perry has ever done (in my opinion, "California Gurls" and "Firework" were much more creative), but it's got a lot of references to the decade that Katy was born.  I know being a child of the 1980s myself, I can definitely pick out some of the cameos by top notch entertainers back in the day.  Debbie Gibson and Corey Feldman played the parents of Katy's alter ego, Kathy Beth Terry.  And although he doesn't play the saxophone solo in the song, Kenny G does a convincing job...sax synching?  Is that the proper term for it?

Whatever.  I'm going with it.

But it's not just the 1980s that are represented.  Look closely, and you might see Hanson Mmmbopping their way through a scene in the video.  "Glee" star Darren Criss appears at the very beginning of the video as a party guest who informs Kathy Beth Terry about the debauchery that went on that Friday night.  And in an attempt to grasp onto her fifteen minutes of fame, "Friday" singer Rebecca Black appears alongside Katy Perry and they play a rousing game of "Just Dance"!

TRIVIA:  The home where the video is shot belongs to John Schneider - otherwise known as Bo Duke.

And, of course, the video's plot is one that has been recycled from a standard teen film from the 1980s.  A nerdy girl is interested in the hunky football star, but the football jock won't have anything to do with her because she's dressed like one of the nerd extras hanging out at The Max in "Saved By The Bell".  So, Rebecca Black gives her a makeover and she turns into this perfectly preppy princess that almost everyone in acid-wash jeans would want to get with.  It's a little cheesy, but the whole song is meant to be fun anyway, so I can overlook it.

And besides...the video was good enough for it to win the Favourite Music Video Award at the People's Choice Awards in 2012,  And in a nice bit of cross promotion, when the video achieved more than 500,000 likes on YouTube, Perry released a video of an interview that she did with pop culture website "Digital Spy" where she gave the interview in character as Kathy Beth Terry!

It's been nearly five years since she's released this song that earned her a spot in pop music history forever.  What's she done since then?  Well, she divorced her husband in 2012, she released the album "Prism" one year later, and performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2015.

And as of late, there's been a little bit of controversy going on with her surrounding Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez.  It's alleged that Taylor Swift wrote the song "Bad Blood" about her former friendship with Perry, and more recently, there's been talk of Katy's boyfriend, Orlando Bloom, cheating on her with Selena Gomez.  But so far, Katy's kept quiet regarding that one.'s been a couple of years since Katy's released new music.  I think it's time for her to start recording again!

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