The Singer: Born in Trinidad but raised in England, Billy Ocean began his recording career in the mid-'70s and found worldwide success in the early '80s with hits like "Suddenly" and the smash "Caribbean Queen."
The Song: Written for the long-forgotten film The Jewel of the Nile, "When the Going Gets Tough" is a little more forceful than many of Ocean's slow jams. But as we celebrate the end of a largely rotten 2008 and learn to make peace with the economic bullshit of the past few months, let Ocean's song be an anthem to carry you into 2009. Also, is there a better come-on than "Can I touch you / And do the things that lovers do"?
The Video: The song stands on its own, but the video is a little piece of 1980s heaven. Interspersed with scenes from The Jewel of the Nile, the clip is mostly a mimed concert performance, but with three very special guests: Nile stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito as white-tuxedoed back-up singers. Check out their Temptations-like dance steps.
Hipster Cachet: Um, Danny DeVito + Billy Ocean = Awesome. Enough said.