We Built This City
Our parents grew up with Jefferson Airplane singing about White Rabbits and wanting Somebody to Love, but by the time we were old enough to listen to the radio, we got the watered-down version.
The Airplane became a Starship, and Lord knows what happened to Jefferson.
In the summer of 1985, they released their first (and still biggest) single–– the bizarre, ironic, and wonderfully cheesy “We Built This City”.
Bizarre, because the chorus features the lyrics “Marconi plays the mamba…” Marconi, as we all know, invented the radio. A mamba is a venomous snake native to Africa. We’re not sure exactly how Marconi would ‘play’ a mamba, but there it is. And sure, maybe they meant ‘samba’ or ‘mambo’, but that’s not what they said.
Ironic, because of the above line referencing corporation names. Starship, which itself had changed its ‘corporation name’ twice, was hopefully in on the joke with that one.
And wonderfully cheesy, because… well, it just is. Perhaps no song in history has taken more of a beating than “We Built This City” (Blender and VH1 famously called it the worst song of all time in a 2004 list) but we won’t ever hide our love for it.
“We Built This City” spent 24 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #1 for two weeks in November of 1985… so someone else out there must like it (or did at one point).
Maybe it’s the tune, maybe it’s the lyrics, maybe it’s the DJ break during the bridge… who knows. All we know is…
We ♥ We Built This City.