I am not really that into the 80s. I was born in them (1986) and remember a few choice items, phrases, fads and facts from them but things remain pretty blurry. I figured since I like to make lists anyway I would start with something some people usually have an opinion on. If you love the 80s or hate them take a look at my list and tell me what you think… Not being the biggest fan of disco or dance music I think I picked tunes you can appreciate. I linked the videos and gave a reason for picking each one but… do you agree?
What would you have left off or included instead? What songs did you like the best? Which felt the most 80s? Feel free to debate/discuss in the comments and I will be sure to get more list posts up very soon!
Now, onto the songs!
1. You’ll Accomp’ny Me (Bob Seger) 1980
This is right at the beginning of the decade but isn’t that where you are supposed to start? This song is a classic even with the gospel choir. It’s not that I don’t like choirs I just feel a little dirty listening to them in pop music. I only say this is pop music because it was Seger’s only #1 album (it knocked out Pink Floyd’s The Wall according to Wikipedia!) That seems like quite a change and *TADA* we are full on in the 80s my friends!
2. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go (Soft Cell) 1981
You might like the remake Marilyn Manson did better but I prefer the original paired with a classic Motown song originally recorded by The Supremes in 1964. It is soft and sweet and drips with longing. This may have been a precursor to those darned Emo kids but not liking it for that reason would be so lame! 1981 and already with electronic elements but there is still a lot of emotion and an oldies feel to this song for me. Maybe this particular video is helping that sentiment solidify in my spine… ooh I just got the chills.
3. Tempted (Squeeze) 1981
For some reason I really like this song. I didn’t know who recorded it until recently and it has actually been covered quite a few times. It has been used commercially which is slightly irritating but just proves this song’s re-playability and memorability. The chorus is what you are probably going to remember but I like the whole song. Glenn Tilbrook (singer) considers this one of his favorite songs. He told Songfacts: “It was our first song. It was when we grew up, really, as a band. When we finished it I couldn’t quite believe it was us.”
4. Electric Avenue (Eddy Grant) 1982
I absolutely love this song. I love any movie that uses this song. Yes, this song alone perhaps, is exempt from my no commercializing awesome tunes category… ok at least in Pineapple Express and Jackass 3D (Unless we are talking The White Stripes ala the opener of Napoleon Dynamite!) This song is labeled as Electro and Reggae fusion on Wikipedia and I find that combination makes me very happy, go figure, I’m a hippie geek :D
5. Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House) 1986
This is a sweet and daydreamy song. I remember it fondly from when I was young. It would always play on the radio and it was released during my birth year. It is very 80s, maybe the most 80s thing I have on here!
Another good song from my birth year was Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love:
6. The Tide is High (Cover) (Blondie) 1980
Here is a live version of the song from the Solid Gold 1981 Countdown:
This song was originally written in 1967 by Holt and was preformed by his band The Paragons. It gained popularity after Blondie covered it and it became a #1 hit in the US and UK for the female fronted band. The album was titled Autoamerican and was their 5th studio album which marked a departure for the American new wave band. I love the original version and have included a link to that as well. I enjoy the heck out of Debbie Harry. Oh, and if you’ve never seen Rock & Rule, you should!
The original song by the Paragons:
7. Little Girls (Oingo Boingo) 1981
Ever watch a Tim Burton movie as a young child? Well, if you were like me you loved the films Burton collaborated with Danny Elfman on: Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice & The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is a little bit different than any of those… yeah, kind of self explanatory.
8. Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Great White) 1989
Don’t know what it is about this one. It really sticks in your head and the piano is very catchy and the tempo and intensity progresses throughout the song. Simple lyrics but ones that hit the point well and are easy to understand and sing along to.
So, did any of those win you over or do you still hate the 80s? Perhaps you loved the decade and now you think it is crap based on what I picked. Let me know how you feel in the comments and feel free to suggest additional songs for me to add, topics for me to cover in another list or just tell me why you loved or loathed the Reagan years!