21 May 2012
1987: Star Trekkin' Across The Universe - On The Starship Enterprise Under Captain Kirk...
Look-In, 18 July, 1987: Lt Uhura - "There's Klingons on the starboard bow, scrape 'em off, Jim!"
Ah, the glories of pop chart music in 1987! One of my favourite years ever. No, I'm not thinking about H..H...H..House Nation, Pump Up The Volume or even the mighty It's A Sin, although I loved all three. Nope, this post is dedicated to Star Trekkin' by The Firm. Yep, there are definitely Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow...
This brilliant novelty song made Number 1 in the UK pop charts and was simply a great larf. Sorry, I mean laugh.
It was the work of The Firm - Grahame Lister, John O'Connor and Rory Kehoe, who had brought us the sublime Arthur Daley ('E's Alright) in 1982. The group turned their attention spacewards in '87 and the result was a whole lot of fun.
Starship Captain James T Kirk: "We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, we come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, men!"
No record producers were interested in the song, so The Firm released it themselves on O'Connor's Bark Records label. Ya cannae change the laws of physics, and the song shot into the stratosphere, spending two weeks at No 1 in the UK and selling over a million copies worldwide.
Dr "Bones" McCoy - "It's worse than that he's dead, Jim, dead, Jim, dead, Jim, it's worse than that he's dead, Jim, dead, Jim, dead."
A lovely summer and a great novelty song contributes to making 1987 (which would later send a terrible gale across part of England and a stock market crash which caused reverberations worldwide) now seem such a sweet memory...
Incidentally, Star Trek itself was going great guns at this time. The film series (which had begun so dismally in my humble opinion) had matured into a thrilling blend of must-watch adventures and droll humour, mixed with a few topical messages. My favourite, The Voyage Home, released in 1986, featured a strong environmental theme. Just as exciting for Trekkies, in America in 1987, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (so English-seeming with his cups of tea and played by English actor Patrick Stewart although the character was apparently - and I thought very puzzlingly - French!) was setting out on his first adventures with the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series.
The Firm really "cleaned up" with Star Trekkin'... And by the miracle of YouTube take a perilous voyage back to 1987 below - BRIDGE TO ENGINE ROOM, WARP FACTOR NINE! ("I cannae give it any more, Captain! She'll blow!")