Thursday, June 9, 2011

Laid Back - "White Horse"

White Horse (U.S. Edit) [1983 Remaster] - Good Vibes - The Very Best of Laid Back

(Debuted February 25, 1984, Peaked #26, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

Laid Back (or Laidback, as they're also called) was a Danish group led by John Guldberg and Tim Stahl. "White Horse" was their biggest single in the U.S., reaching the pop Top 40, Top 5 on the R&B chart and #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club chart (the one that was once called "Disco"). That's fitting, since it comes across as disco with synthesizers where the orchestra used to be.

There's a little confusion with the lyrics, though. Since "horse" is a slang term for heroin, the lines "if you want to ride, don't ride the white horse" came across as a warning to stay away from smack (but not necessarily saying it might be wise to also avoid other pharmaceuticals; this wasn't a "Just Say No" song by any means). To many, that was something that made it a uniquely 80s tune. Ironically, the sly drug reference may not have been a factor in the song's limited pop success. The use of the word "bitch" -- which is edited out of the video below --  near the end was more of a concern to radio programmers.

Laid Back recorded a few followup LPs and singles, but never made it back to the U.S. pop charts despite success in several European countires. They're still together today, recording and doing some sporadic live dates.

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