Buckner & Garcia

Pac-Man Fever

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Hard to believe since irony has come along and eclipsed dumb fun, but in 1982 more people were actually laughing with Buckner & Garcia than laughing at them. Their ode to the classic video game Pac-Man broke into the Top Ten and everyone had “Pac-Man Fever” for a while, although most didn’t stick around to “Do the Donkey Kong” as their second single suggested. Here, both singles appear alongside songs dedicated to six other arcade classics including Asteroids, Defender, and Centipede. Video game hints and instructions are almost always added to the lyrics, like the sage advice for beating “Evil Otto” found in “Goin' Berzerk” (“I’m sure he’s crazy he’s too as he’s bouncin’ cross the floor/There’s no way to destroy him, let him bounce right out the door”). The music is generally bouncy, squeaky-clean pop that’s dated as they come, but “Froggy’s Lament” is a true curve ball as it tells the tale of Frogger with a narrative style somewhere between “Convoy” and Red Sovine. This is the nerd zenith when it comes to early-'80s camp, and whether or not you find it awesome or awful entirely depends on how many quarters you fed to these machines back in the day.

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