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.
By now, you and your significant other have either already made love because of the previous song, or you’re still making love because of how effective it was in catalyzing your testes. Don’t let it stop, lovers, because “Gypsy Girl” is another song about how Hasselhoff is ready to bed all sorts of random women he’s never met. It’s a shame he never recorded an album of children’s music, because Hasselhoff must have been responsible for millions of them being conceived.
“Song of the Night”
“Song of the Night”? More like “Song of the Century”! It has the German beat, you guys, and it inspired crowds of people to sing along at his concerts back in the late 80s and early 90s. Also, is he wearing suspenders with his Z. Cavaricci-like pants in this video? What a style icon.
“Do the Limbo Dance”
Break out the pina colada mix and make mine extra dirty, because we’re about to go from romance to island party in the blink of an eye. Fun fact that is absolutely true: When Hasselhoff recorded this song and shared it with the people of Jamaica, they wrote Bob Marley out of their cultural history books.
Every greatest hits album needs a powerful live performance and/or cover song to really showcase how versatile the artist is. Most people would expect the live version of “Looking for Freedom,” but I chose The Proclaimers’ hit song, “500 Miles” because it’s one of my favorite songs (seriously, it’s the jam) and what Hasselhoff did with it at this live performance is incredible. He completely owned it and made his song.
“It’s a Real Good Feeling”
This 2011 masterpiece reminded us that more than two decades later, Hasselhoff still had his dance perfected. Even at the age of 59, Hasselhoff’s hip thrusting could make a woman’s knees give out. The singer also shows how in touch with the times he is in this song, as he’s using autotuning on the backing vocals. His next album could feature dubstep for all we know.
“Jump In My Car”
I hope you’re not too worn out from all of the excitement and love-making, because we’re going to close out strong with a one-two punch the likes of no greatest hits album you’ve ever heard. First up, “Jump in My Car,” which is a tribute to the bros out there who just won’t take no for an answer. Wear those girls down, fellas, because one out of three will eventually say, “Okay, I give up, you can drive me home.” Just make sure it’s not a girl who was apparently set to walk 84 miles, because if that’s the case, give her the boot!
“Looking for Freedom”
Finally, it’s the song that reunited Germany, ended the Cold War and convinced the vampire aliens of Zeeborbulax-12 to not enslave the human race. Play it proud and play it loud, so loud that Hasselhoff will hear it wherever he is and take it as a sign to bring peace to this world once again.