Nine Things We Should Blame It On

Blame It on the Bellboy

I just got back from vacation and am fighting jet lag, so this pop culture quickie should be self-explanatory.

  1. The boogie. In 1978, when the Jackson 5 were simply "The Jacksons" and Michael was just a year away from Off the Wall, the brothers released an album called Destiny. Its hits: "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "Blame It on the Boogie", originally co-written by a guy named Mick Jackson, no relation.
  2. The bellboy. So sayeth the title of this 1992 comedy flop, one of only two big-screen vehicles for Bosom Buddies star Bronson Pinchot. (The other was 1989's Second Sight, which also bombed.)
  3. Rio. Michael Caine plays newcomer Demi Moore's father in this lame, leering sex romp, which served as the low water mark of the otherwise stellar cinema year of 1984.
  4. The bossa nova. Eydie Gorme's top ten hit from 1963 was an early success for the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who also gave us the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", The Drifters' "On Broadway", and Lionel Richie's "Running With the Night".
  5. The rain. Treacly songwriter Dianne Warren penned this chart-topper for everyone's favorite lip-synchers Milli Vanilli in 1989.
  6. My A.D.D., baby. It seems as though the realm of pop music is where most blameworthy things are designated, and this repeated lyric from Awolnation's "Sail", which you heard just about everywhere in 2011 and 2012, is incorrectly believed by many to be the song's actual title.
  7. The alcohol. The actual title of this 2008 Jamie Foxx/T-Pain single is just plain "Blame It", but the lads make it clear that the "it" in question is, in fact, hooch. I never even heard of the song before I started researching this list, but apparently it held the #1 position on the R&B charts for 14 solid weeks; only Mary J. Blige's 2005 hit "Be Without You" has bested it. That's another song I never heard of before now, and it all makes me feel very white.
  8. The nights on Broadway. Technically, the Bee Gees were blaming it all on the nights on Broadway. But close enough. "Nights on Broadway" opened the Gibbs' 1975 album Main Course, which also included "Jive Talkin'". The disco-influenced tracks would prime the former folkies for Saturday Night Fever superstardom.
  9. Vanity. Sorry folks, this is one of those lists of 9 that peters out after 8. I searched high and low, but I couldn't find anything not obscure for this ninth slot. Elvis Costello's "Blame It on Cain"? Allstar Weekend's "Blame It on September"? Modest Mouse's "Blame It on the Tetons"? Yeah, none of those do anything for me either. So I'll close with this 2010 autobiography by '80s singer/actress Denise Matthews, a.k.a. Vanity - Prince protege, "Nasty Girl" singer, and Action Jackson costar - who is now an evangelist!