I tumbled upon the band Cock Robin oddly enough when I was studying abroad in Poitiers, France back in the early 2000’s. I was unfamiliar with the band, but my host mother was completely obsessed with them. I had assumed they were French or at least European, and just sang some lame 80’s music in English. That was not the case, I was really surprised to find out.
Why was Cock Robin so successful in France? The truth of the matter is that the culture of France is something completely different than American culture. While that could seem obvious to you, the reality is even bigger once you experience it. The things they love and relate to will come off as insanely bizarre to everyone else. For example, the 80’s hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, had a rebirth in France in 2003. Why? I have no idea. It was as strange to me as the discovery that Cock Robin was actually an American band whose female vocalist was actually of Italian and Chinese heritage.
So I decided to give this obscure and yet French-ly popular band some good solid American exposure, it is way long overdue. CBS Music really screwed the pooch as far as Cock Robin went. While I cannot say that I personally love their music since I find them pretty generic in the world of 80’s music, they should have received way more promotion and exposure in their home country than they did in Europe.
There was a study done recently that discovered that 80’s music is actually the least diverse and original type of music in the world of modern music. Meaning a lot of bands were interchangeable as far as sounds went. There was a big introduction of synthesizers and the lyrics were all pretty generic for a lot of the pop music. What does this have to do with anything? Well Cock Robin could have easily been slipped into the most popular music of the 80’s in the United States, but they were not. Instead they had a huge following in France and Western Europe, forcing members to leave the band because they did not want to move to an entirely different continent. Really, I can tell you from personal experience, living in France is certainly not for everyone, especially if you have an established family in the United States.
I have a great love of 80’s music on the whole. I find the songs completely singable and lovable with hits popping up on the radio with their familiar drum machines and cheesy lyrics. But that is the great thing about 80’s music. Even if the music is known for its unoriginality, there is something comforting about it that should continue to be shared with the world. And that is why Cock Robin should not fall away into obscurity. American needs to rediscover what they missed out on 30 years ago and find the greatness that is Cock Robin.