The Human Mall





:: Robert Hazard - Escalator Of Life ::

If you lived in Philadelphia during the 1980's, you couldn't escape this song. Every rock radio station in Philly embraced Robert Hazard and played "Escalator of Life" at least twenty times a day during the early eighties, and it still had life into the nineties. Listening to it today, I was reminded that my early teen mornings usually consisted of WMMR radio blasting this song while I dumped copious amounts of Studio Line Gel onto my head in a frustrated attempt to "spike" my cowlick cursed hair. I still love this song today, its got a good new wave Bowie-meets-Numan feel to it. Anyway, I'm not sure many folks outside of the Philly area know of him or the song, so I'm posting it here.

Hazard was pretty well-known for a few years, playing consistently in Philly with backing band, The Heroes, before borrowing some money from relatives and putting out this self-produced/released, untitled, 5-song EP in 1982. Within a year, it sold about 50,000 copies locally. It also contained another local hit, "Change Reaction", as well as a really cool, new wave version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind." RCA signed them, re-released the EP and they even toured for a bit with U2. Their 1984 debut LP, Wings of Thorn, wasn't a flop but it wasn't a hit either. RCA dumped them. As disappointing as that may have seemed at the time, Hazard ended up doing pretty well: Cindi Lauper covered a song that he wrote in 1979, but had only existed on a demo tape and was never released, called, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." You may have heard that song once or a thousand times. So, ironically, Robert Hazard didn't get to perform on his biggest radio hit.


Phil

Note from Tony: I heard this once in the mid 80's on a friend's mixtape, and for about fifteen years I thought it was by The Psychedelic Furs. I sure wasted a lot of time looking for the Furs album it was on.
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Friday, September 30, 2005 9:08:00 AM

Thanks for the post.Great song. Do u happen to have "chain reaction"? it's also one my 80's favorites and a difficult to find one.

Ozzy    



Friday, September 30, 2005 10:22:00 AM

I almost put that one up instead of eof, as yes, its somewhat more obscure. I should have put them both up. Check back here over the weekend and we should have it for ye.    



Friday, September 30, 2005 10:30:00 AM

This was pretty popular in DC back then, too. The radio station WHFS used to play it a lot, and the video was shown frequently at Nightclub 9:30.

Philadelphia's own Stranger to Stranger was also pretty big in DC circa 1984. WHFS played "The Child in Me" often. I saw the band at 9:30 and loved 'em.    



Friday, September 30, 2005 11:15:00 AM

Thanks so much! I have this on vinyl, but no turntable at the moment...    



Friday, September 30, 2005 9:01:00 PM

Excellent, haven't heard this in years. I grew up in Virginia and they played this alot.    



Sunday, October 02, 2005 4:49:00 AM

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my how to play guitar site

It has all guitar related stuff.

Thanks    



Sunday, October 30, 2005 6:37:00 AM

I believe the '84 album wasn't Wings of Thorn, rather Wing of Fire.    



Saturday, January 21, 2006 1:36:00 PM

There are two lines I just can't get. It's been driving me crazy ere these 24 years. Here's what I have:

At the Lock ‘n’ Go supermarket
Muzak music makes me feel so funny
I went and spent all my money
We’re riding on the escalator of life, we’re shopping in the human mall,
We’re dancing on the escalator of life
We’ll be happy to be having it all
We want it all
(Escalator of life)
Up and Down
(Escalator of life)
Round and round

There’s a hundred and eleven choices
Don’t listen to those little voices
_______________________________________
You can have your cake and eat it baby
We’re riding on the escalator of life, we’re shopping in the human mall,
We’re dancing on the escalator of life
We’ll be happy to be having it all
We want it all
(Escalator of life)
Up and Down
(Escalator of life)
Round and round

Hey, Girl!
I’m a personal friend of Gloria Vanderbilt
I’ve got all the gold in the world around my neck
Come ride the Steel Dinosaur
Run wild in the jungle
It’s a Zulu nation
Seduction
Sacrifice
A new sensation
Nothing ever changes

We’re riding on the escalator of life, we’re shopping in the human mall,
We’re dancing on the escalator of life
We’ll be happy to be having it all
We want it all
(Escalator of life)
Up and Down
(Escalator of life)
Round and round



Can someone help fill in the blanks???
Thanks
Katrrillion@hotmail.com    



Friday, March 24, 2006 11:32:00 PM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    



Friday, March 24, 2006 11:37:00 PM

Here's what the lyrics on the album cover say:

The first line reads:
"They got my Mazda at the E-Z Park it
At the Rock & Roll Supermarket"

The chorus should always read:
"We're dancing on the escalator of life
Won't be happy til we have it all"


Then, your missing line reads,

"There's 111 choices
Don't listen to those little voices
I don't let the guilty feeling shake me
You can have your cake and eat it baby"

Hope that cures 24 years of strife!

Thanks for reading.    



Friday, July 14, 2006 7:31:00 PM

this record was quite popular in southern california also!! i was working at mtv networks a couple of years ago and pulled the video out of the library just to see it again--and it is great! it's a masterpiece of blase new waveitude.    



Monday, October 02, 2006 12:48:00 PM

Hooray for the entry that mentioned Stranger To Stranger! They were a great Philly band that never got recognized in their hometown.    



Monday, October 02, 2006 12:48:00 PM

Hooray for the entry that mentioned Stranger To Stranger! They were a great Philly band that never got recognized in their hometown.    



Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:33:00 AM

I heard this song last night for about the first time in the last 20 years. This song was really big in upstate NY too. I looked up the lyrics this morning as I never knew who recorded it. It's still a great song. The unfortunate thing was that it disappeared on the radio within a month or so after they started playing it. Thanks to all thos who posted so much info. about this song!    



Friday, March 02, 2007 4:36:00 AM

ha..88.5 just played this    



Sunday, July 15, 2007 3:49:00 AM

In the late 70's & early 80's there was a local radio station in Brampton (a suburb of Toronto) called CFNY 102.1 (the Spirit of Radio). Rush wrote a song about it. It's now called "the Edge" and, ironically, it has none at all. Anyway, Escalator of Life was a staple there in the early 80's. One of the classic new wave tracks of the era. It was available on a compilation CD Hardest Hits Collection 4 released in 1993 on SPG out of the UK & Canada.

James, Toronto    



Wednesday, August 15, 2007 1:29:00 AM

There have been claims of possession of Robert Hazard's Girls demo version, but no delivery. Does anyone actually have it here?    



Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:35:00 PM

I LOVE this song - brilliant lyrics and delivery. I introduced my 10 year old niece to the video today. I cannot find a copy of the song anywhere, though. Could you possibly repost it please? It would mean a lot to me!    



Sunday, August 03, 2008 4:20:00 AM

It took me 27 years to found this song goes to Limewire to download this song
Robert Hazard - Escalator Of Life



They got my Mazda at the E-Z Park It
At the rock & roll supermarket
Muzak music make me feel so funny
I went and spent all my money
We're riding on the escalator of life
We're shopping in the human mall
We're dancing on the escalator of life
Won't be happy 'til we have it all
We want it all
Escalator of life - up and down
Escalator of life - round and round
There's 111 choices
Don't listen to those little voices
I don't let the guilty feeling shake me
You can have your cake and eat it baby
We're riding on the escalator of life
We're shopping in the human mall
We're dancing on the escalator of life
Won't be happy 'til we have it all
Hey girl, I'm a personal friend of Gloria Vanderbilt
I got all the gold in the world around my neck
Come ride the steel dinosaur
Run wild in the jungle
Its a Zulu Nation
Seduction, sacrifice, a new sensation
Nothing ever changes
We're riding on the escalator of life
We're shopping in the human mall
We're dancing on the escalator of life
Won't be happy 'til we have it all    



Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:57:00 PM

LOL, for years I thought it was by the Plimsouls!    



Saturday, February 20, 2010 8:16:00 PM

This song received a lot of airplay in the early 80s on KROQ-FM, Pasadena/Los Angeles. It is a classic!    



Monday, September 11, 2017 8:14:00 AM

This song was on the air in the Boston, Massachusetts area
back in the day, as well. Unfortunately, the song didn't stay
on the charts long enough. Video is still appreciated!    



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