Is Not "Cruel Summer" a Goth Song?

by William Carl Ferleman

15 February 2011

A modest, if dark, proposal...

Forget about the cheery presence of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” in The Karate Kid. Is not this a goth song incognito? There is undoubtedly a distinct sense of isolation, alienation and melancholy in it, and the lyrics betray as much. But it’s mainly viewed as a happy, perfunctory, feel-good summertime song. For instance, one is easily tempted to hear “cool” instead of “cruel” in the song’s refrain. This track is begging for a certain band—Marilyn Manson—to cover it.  After all, Manson’s most peculiar cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” essentially put Manson on the radar.  Marilyn Manson has previously covered Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and, of course, Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” with considerable success. Why not cover another esteemed 1980s song?


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