Why are Vietnamese pop songs awful

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Status: 01/19/2018 12:51 p.m.
In 1981 Kim Wilde released her song "Camodia" - the subject was the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

In 1981 Kim Wilde released her song "Cambodia" - much earlier than planned. This year the debut album and the singles "Kids In America" ​​and "Checkered Love" are selling incredibly well. That's why Kim Wilde's record company is putting a lot of pressure on: They really want new music by Kim Wilde, and the fans are also impatient. Kim Wilde's brother Ricky and her father Martin, the songwriting team for their first hits, get to work writing "Cambodia" to please fans and record company.

Lyrics alludes to the bombing of Cambodia

"Cambodia" is different from the other hits by Kim Wilde, which is already evident from the cool synth sound. The song is set at the time of the Vietnam War and tells the story of a woman whose husband is stationed as an Air Force pilot in Thailand. He never returns from a flight to Cambodia. With this story, Ricky and Martin Wilde allude to the bombing of Cambodia - a serious topic for a pop song. Martin Wilde doesn't want the lyrics to be understood as a lesson in politics: "When we were writing the song, I imagined an American pilot being shot down by a rocket. I tried to show what most people think about Vietnam and them thought terrible tragedies there. "

"Cambodia": pre-release in autumn

Kim Wilde thinks the song is so good that she doesn't want to wait until the second album is finished. So "Cambodia" will be released as a single in autumn 1981. However, with one decisive change. "The text was originally written in the first person. But then I asked myself: Can I really identify with this woman? And so the text was changed so that I sing about this woman and not from her point of view," said Wilde.

Boa Constrictor in the music video

Kim Wilde made a music video for the song, as was customary at the time. The director exaggerates a little with his Vietnam imagination: a boa constrictor and a tarantula are supposed to spice up the clip. "Making the video was really scary," remembers Kim Wilde. "I was lying on the floor and this big, long, fat boa constrictor was snaking over me ... and then this giant spider! Disgusting! Never again! I would never do that again!"

"Cambodia" became Kim Wilde's third top ten hit at the end of 1981. She still plays the song at her concerts. "It's a song that leaves some questions unanswered. You don't know what really happened to the pilot in Cambodia. Of course you have a clue - but the riddle won't be solved in the end!"

The story was a hit

The most famous songs of the last 50 years have become an indispensable part of music history. At NDR 1 Niedersachsen you can hear the story behind the songs. more

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | 01/21/2018 | 12:20 p.m.