On this very day, 62 years ago, one of the world’s greatest American icons was born in a little hamlet known as Baltimore, Maryland. That man is David Michael Hasselhoff, the star of such television masterpieces as Knight Rider, Baywatch and Baywatch Nights and incredible films like Baywatch the Movie: Forbidden Paradise, Anaconda 3: Offspring and, of course, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, which is basically the only Marvel film that has ever mattered to real comic book fans. But his acting career is only a side show to what has really built the Hoff into a true entertainment icon – his music.
Since the debut of 1985’s “Night Rocker,” Hasselhoff has been injecting his thick, hairy machismo one inch at a time into the moist, quivering ears of women and European men everywhere. In fact, “Night Rocker” debuted at No. 1 in Austria, beginning a love affair that had Hasselhoff’s 2011 album “A Real Good Feeling” debuting at No. 3. Norm MacDonald might have taught us that Germany loves David Hasselhoff, but it’s Austria that worships him. The singer/actor/showman has had just one No. 1 album in Germany compared to three in Austria, where he has also had five Top 5 albums to just that one in Germany. But this isn’t about which country loves Hasselhoff more. It’s about how much we all love him, and especially how much we need his voice in our hearts.
Unfortunately, Hasselhoff’s 2012 effort “This Time Around” was a critical and commercial failure, and I’m told that failing in both regards is considered “terrible” in the music industry. It would be a shame if that lack of success somehow convinced the Hoff that he shouldn’t keep trying to make the greatest album that humanity has ever heard. He inspired world peace once, damn it, and I refuse to believe that he can’t actually achieve that dream before his time on this Earth expires. I’m not saying he’s going to die, mind you, as much as he’ll be taken to another planet that will appreciate him more. We can stop that from happening, and that begins with celebrating the greatest songs and music videos of his career with this greatest hits collection that I’ve put together.
“Hooked on a Feeling”
Few cover songs are ever better than the original, but Blue Swede may eventually have to come to terms with the fact that Hasselhoff’s 1997 version of “Hooked on a Feeling” is far superior. In fact, I’m disappointed that the upcoming Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy features the 1974 version and not the Hoff’s cover, because if a version of this song was going to be shared throughout this universe and beyond, it’s going to be Hasselhoff’s. At least it’s leading off “Burnsy’s Best of the Hoff: 29 Years of Chest Hair and Multiple Orgasms,” before we get into the real classics.
“Crazy for You”
The lead single off of the 1990 album of the same name, “Crazy for You” is an upbeat anthem that has a man on a motorcycle proclaiming his love for that unnamed lady for all the world to hear. Can you imagine being one of the lucky people who drove by while Hasselhoff was filming this music video? I bet they still talk about it to this day.
“Is Everybody Happy”
Plenty of musicians have trademark dances, from Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalk” to LMFAO’s “Whatever’s Easiest Because We Don’t Know How to Actually Dance.” Hasselhoff has his own move that involves minimal arm movement in front of the body, sometimes with fists clenched, and slow, rhythmic hip thrusting. Back in the day, when he made this video for “Is Everybody Happy,” the move was unparalleled, especially with the totally rad two-belt combination.
What makes Hasselhoff such an incredible artist is the fact that he not only knows how to fire up a crowd, but nobody looks over a shoulder and winks like he does. Throw in some footage of the Hoff being a ladies’ man and a man of the people in general, and “Stay” is the greatest concert footage video of all-time.
“Je T’aime Means I Love You”
“Stay with me, please say, ‘Oui.'” I’m not even going to look up how many Grammys this song won, because I know the answer is “All of them.” Meanwhile, how many pop stars of any generation write songs that aren’t only powerful in lyrics, but also educational? Hasselhoff is teaching us basic French, and how to walk up to a girl you just met and tell her you love her.
“Wings of Tenderness”
I assume that 1990’s “Wings of Tenderness” was the most popular wedding song that year, because it’s the most beautiful love song I’ve ever heard. “We’ll build a castle out of honesty,” he croons as we all take a trip into the garden of love. Hasselhoff may have been married twice, but it’s only because he simply has too much love to give.