New Wave for the New Week will be a regular Monday feature, where I will dig up some long-forgotten new wave video clip to help get your week started out on a good note. Suggestions/requests are welcomed - leave them in the comments, and I'll see what I can do.
The clip I've chosen for the first post of this series is a bit of a rarity. The only place I have ever seen the Plastics' video clip for Top Secret Man was on the old and fondly remembered SCTV; indeed, the clip you see here is cut from that show (hence the very un-PC opening bit). The video and song are from 1979, the very height of the New-Wave era.
The Plastics' two Japanese albums, 1979's Welcome Plastics and 1980's Origato Plastico are leaps and bounds better than the watered down American release Plastics (also known as Welcome Back), where the key songs from the original LPs were actually rerecorded to better suit "American musical palettes." While this may have resulted in slicker production, the quirkiness and angular DIY feel of the original recordings was lost, along with much of their personality. All three are worth picking up if you can find them, though. They have all been issued on CD, but have gone out of print and now fetch a pretty penny on Amazon.com.
The clip used the original Japanese version of the song. It is obviously dated, using early video techniques, but that is a large part of its charm. You'll hear echoes of The B-52s, Devo and Suburban Lawns here, so if you like that sound, this will be right up your alley. The darn thing just makes me smile, which is why I picked it.
So, without further delay, here is your New Wave for the New Week: Top Secret Man by The Plastics: