Exploring the top 100 One Hit Wonders: The Buggles – The Age of Plastic

19 Nov

In a soon to be more cleverly titled new segment, I shall be exploring the world of the One Hit Wonder, more to the point, actually listening to the full albums by the artists that just couldn’t seem to find fame a second time.  To aid me in my quest, I shall be using VH1’s top 100 One Hit Wonders list, their Top 100 One Hit Wonders of the 80s list and any suggestions from you, the reader (:commentincentive:  ).  To start things off, it was suggested I listen to The Age of Plastic by The Buggles, they’re good for kicking off any long-running item…oh MTV, why have you let those crazy guys down.  Anyways.  On to the review!

Apparenty this is what we'll all look like in the Age of Plastic.

The Buggles are famous for one reason, and one reason only, and that is “Video Killed the Radio Star.”  They’re certainly entitled to the fame it is a spectacular song.  So spectacular, that in 1979 when the song became a hit, the Buggles decided to shape an album around the track, and thus, The Plastic Age.  Infused with all of the wonder of the synthesizer, buried vocals, and Gary Numan, what we have here is a not-quite-fleshed-out concept album about life in the “plastic age”.  It gave me some incredible Kraftwerk vibes, but I’m not sure if that was more of a thematic thing, or a musical thing.  Individual standout tracks go to “The Plastic Age”, “I Love You (Miss Robot)”, and “Johnny On The Monorail”.  That last one is important because it feels to me that with that track, a concept album really was truly beginning, but it’s the closer!  After that, I was just left with a feeling of emptiness after what was a good 45 minutes of overly synthy melodies that really ended up going nowhere.  Now, AMG gives this album a 4.5, and I’m not one to argue with AMG too often, but when there’s two tracks on an album about “Kid Dynamos” and “Astroboys” you have to begin to wonder if someone isn’t taking an attempted concept too far.  Especially when one of those two songs sounds eerily like the Flash Gordon theme by Queen. *shudder*

Overall: 3/5
With a more developed, and fleshed out concept, it would probably be remembered as fondly as The Pleasure Principle.

3 Responses to “Exploring the top 100 One Hit Wonders: The Buggles – The Age of Plastic”

  1. SLCPunk 19/11/2009 at 07:11 #

    I was going to suggest a clever title, but now all I can think of are The Wonders (Oneders) from “That Thing You Do!” who were, in the their universe, one-hit wonders. And I’ve got that song stuck in my head, too. This is a rambling comment, isn’t it?

    An artist that could be considered a one-hit wonder: Orgy. Their cover of Blue Monday is all they’re really known for.

  2. bono212 19/11/2009 at 08:18 #

    Oh God, “That Thing You Do!” what an AWFUL movie, and I seem to be the only one who thinks so!

    That is just…I have my limits. Unless I’m drunk. Remind me next time I’m drunk.

  3. SLCPunk 19/11/2009 at 22:52 #

    It IS an awful movie. Song is damn catchy, though.

    I was half-kidding with the Orgy suggestion.

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