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This is the closing track to John Fogerty’s solo album Centerfield, originally titled Zanz Kant Danz in reference to Saul Zaentz, Fogerty’s former boss at Fantasy Records who famously tried to sue Fogerty for plagiarism of Creedence Clearwater Revival material, to which Zaentz held the rights. The song is about an unnamed street dancer and his sidekick, a pig trained to pick people’s pockets as they watch the dancer do his stuff. The pig, originally named Zanz as a dig at Saul Zaentz, “Can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money – watch him or he’ll rob you blind.” When Zaentz threatened Fogerty with yet another lawsuit, but Fogerty changed the pig’s name to Vanz.
The video for Vanz Kant Danz was the first ever filmed entirely in claymation through the process of stop-motion animation. It was produced at Will Vinton Studio. Unfortunately, unlike other groundbreaking music videos such as a-ha’s Take On Me and Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing, this one failed to garner much public notice.
Another song from the Centerfield album, Mr. Greed, is also thought to be a musical salvo by Fogerty in his long-running feud with Zaentz, which lasted until 2004 when Fantasy Records was bought out by Concord Records, who restored Fogerty’s rights to his CCR material.
Take On Me is a song by Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha, first released in 1984. The original version was produced by Tony Mansfield and remixed by John Ratcliff. A new version was released in 1985 and produced by Alan Tarney for the group’s debut studio album Hunting High and Low (1985). The song combines synthpop with a varied instrumentation that includes acoustic guitars, keyboards, and drums. It is considered to be the band’s signature song.
A-ha released a less slick version of the song in 1984, but redid the tune after it proved to be a commercial flop. And despite releasing a revised rendition in 1985, Waaktaar-Savoy says, “it took, like, four months to reach number one in America. And it felt like years. Every week it would go up a spot, up three spots…. It would pick up, then slow down. [It] was a whole process.”
They teamed up with director Steve Barron, who directed Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, for a short-form piece that mixed live action with rotoscope animation — never before used in a music video. “It was a dream to work with talent like that,” Waaktaar-Savoy says of Barron. “Normally, videos took a week of shooting in a hangar. But for this, we did a whole day that was only to make the comic magazine. Then four months spent doing hand-drawn drawings. It was very thorough stuff.” Illustrator Mike Patterson drew more than 3,000 sketches for the final clip.