September 9, 2023
Music HistoryRecommended Music

40 years later, Frank Zappa’s only top 40 hit gets a video

In the spring of 1982, a weird song started showing up on the radio. It involved a mostly spoken-word performance by a ditzy-sounding girl speaking a strange Southern California dialect known as “Valspeak.” It was the birth of the Valley Girl in wider pop culture, spreading from The Galleria Mall in Sherman Oaks to the rest of the planet.

Appearing on the album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (featuring the greatest bit of minimalist album art ever)…

…the song–starting daughter Moon Unit Zappa–reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Valley Girl became a meme copied by people everywhere. Strangely, though, even though MTV was a big deal at the time, the song never had a music video. That’s been fixed.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37016 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

8 thoughts on “40 years later, Frank Zappa’s only top 40 hit gets a video

  • Zappa was a total genius and not one person even gets close to him.
    Been a total fan since Freak out was first released..

  • Yes truly a talent when music came from the heads and minds instead of a computer, frank was ahead of his time like all greats

  • Quality scenes , cool as 😎💪🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿👊

  • Wow, this was an awesome visit to the past. Also for a great minimalist art cover, “Trio and Error” by Trio.

  • Frank was such an incredible musician and writer, I still wish to this day I was his illegitimate son!

  • Bobby Brown (Goes Down) was actually Singles Charts
    Nr1 in Sweden
    Nr1 in Norway
    nr2 in Austria
    nr4 in West Germany
    nr5 in Switzerland…

    USA people forget there is more to the world than USA… 😉


  • Bobby Brown (Goes Down) was actually Single Charts Nr1 in Sweden and Norway, nr2 in Austria, nr4 in West Germany and Switzerland nr 5 or 6.


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