Today in The Music of New Coke, Depeche Mode’s “People Are People” from Some Great Reward.  Even though “People Are People” was released in July of 1984, it didn’t reach the mainstream charts in the US until May of 1985.

This is the song that inspired me to create The Music of New Coke review.  Back in April when I first read it was the 25th anniversary of the release of New Coke, I instantly heard “People Are People” playing in my head, remembering going to summer recreation — it might have been called “Summer Playground — and talking about both soda and Depeche Mode.  (Fine, being that it was the South Hills of Pittsburgh we talked about “pop” and not “soda.”  But I’ve worked half my life to stop saying “pop” and I’m not about to backslide now.)

The New Coke story also reminded me about a contest that was held at summer rec for who could wear a t-shirt from the furthest place away from our little camp.  My younger sister wore a shirt my parents had just brought back from Singapore, but she lost out to a kid with a shirt from New Zealand.  I knew this was wrong and argued adamantly with the counselors — i.e. the high schoolers who were put in charge of us — but they insisted they were right.  My sister was incredibly disappointed and I was rather pissed that such morons were running the show.

So to the Upper St. Clair Classes of 1985-1987 (just to make sure I cover all the possible perpetrators of this crime); Wellington, New Zealand is 8669 miles from Pittsburgh, and Singapore is 9953 miles from Pittsburgh.  You owe my sister an apology and a New Coke.

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