Monday, June 20, 2005

Memorable Songs from the 80's

The rules were simple, I went through the list of 80's Top 40 Music from this site and wrote down each song that in my opinion was either good or significantly memorable. But I was disappointed at the list of choices. Very few of the songs that I felt defined the 80's appeared in the hit list. So it appears that my memory of the 80's era was very different from how mainstream music was defined at the time. To tell you the truth, after perusing the past charts, it wasn't that great of an era as I originally. I would say it was even comparable or worse than what we hear on the radio nowadays.

There is a catch, the 'memorable' songs for me were the new wave synth type typified by bands like New Order, Modern English, Soft Cell, The Cure, and many others. From the mainstream hits of that era, we see a few good bands such as Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, but that's it. I guess it's true that we only remember mostly the good stuff, and that paints a prettier picture of the past.

So without further ado, here are my list of memorable 80's songs taken from the Top 40 hits at the time:

1980
Billy Joel - It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
Olivia Newton John - Magic
Captain and Tennille - Do That To Me One More Time
The Vapors - Turning Japanese
Olivia Newton John - Xanadu

1981
Christopher Cross - Best That You Can Do (Arthur's Theme)
Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
Joey Scarbury - Believe It Or Not (Theme from 'The Greatest American Hero')
Kool and the Gang - Celebration
Sheena Easton - For Your Eyes Only
Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
Hall and Oates - Kiss On My List
Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed
Stars On 45 - Stars On 45
Rick James - Super Freak
Mike Post - Hills Street Blues Theme
Blondie - The Tide Is High

1982
The J. Geils Band - Centerfold
Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
Joan Jett - I Love Rock 'n' Roll
Leslie Pearl - If the Love Fits Wear It
Hall and Oates - Maneater
Toni Basil - Mickey
Billy Joel - Pressure
Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Queen - Under Pressure
Go-Go's - Vacation
Go-Go's - We Got the Beat

1983
Nena - 99 Luftballoons
Rita Coolidge - All Time High
Joe Jackson - Breaking Us In Two
Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Spandau Ballet - Gold
Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
Stephen Bishop - It Might Be You
JoBoxers - Just Got Lucky
Peter Schilling - Major Tom
Styx - Mr. Roboto
Madness - Our House
Taco - Puttin' On The Ritz
Hall and Oates - Say It Isn't So
Naked Eyes - Always Something To Remind Me
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Spandau Ballet - True
Billy Joel - Uptown Girl

1984
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
Robin Gibb - Boys Do Fall In Love
New Edition - Cool It Now
Romeo Void - A Girl In Trouble
Go-Go's - Head Over Heels
Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
Billy Joel - The Longest Time
Paul Mcartney - No More Lonely Nights
Hall and Oates - Out Of Touch
Duran Duran - The Reflex
Glenn Frey - Sexy Girl
Cyndi Lauper - She Bop
Rod Stewart - Some Guys Have All the Luck
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Culture Club - The War Song
Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
Duran Duran - Wild Boys

1985
Wham - Careless Whispher
Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)
Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels
Madonna - Material Girl
Stevie Wonder - Part Time Lover
Eddie Murphy - Party All the Time
Huey Lewis and the News - Power of Love
Starship - Sara
Duran Duran - Save A Prayer
Tears For Fears - Shout
Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
A-Ha - Take On Me
Duran Duran - View To A Kill
Starship - We Built This City

1986
Double - The Captain Of Her Heart
Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Timbuk 3 - Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
OMD - If You Leave
Bangles - Manic Monday
Billy Joel - A Matter Of Trust
Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus
Timex Social Club - Rumors
Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian

1987
The Communards - Don't Leave Me This Way
George Michael - Faith
Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place on Earth
George Michael - I Want Your Sex
Wang Chung - Let's Go
Suzanne Vega - Luka
Duran Duran - Notorious
Men Without Hats - Pop Goes The World
Debbie Gibson - Shake Your Love
Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Deserve This?
ABC - When Smokey Sings

1988
Will Toi Power - Baby I Love Your Way
George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You
Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky
George Michael - Kissing A Fool
The Beach Boys - Kokomo
J.J. Fad - Supersonic
Basia - Time and Tide
Tone Loc - Wild Thing

1989
Milli Vanilli - Blame It On The Rain
Sybil - Don't Make Me Over
Bangles - Eternal Flame
Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina
Enya - Orinoco Flow

Next: The upcoming retro renaissance and New Wave Diary.

3 comments:

Cris said...

Very few of the songs that I felt defined the 80's appeared in the hit list. So it appears that my memory of the 80's era was very different from how mainstream music was defined at the time. To tell you the truth, after perusing the past charts, it wasn't that great of an era as I originally. I would say it was even comparable or worst to what we hear on the radio nowadays.

That's because the chart you're looking at is a US hit chart whereas in the Philippines, we were more exposed to British music during the 80's than we were American music. Most of the 80's music that were great hits both in Europe and in Asia that are memorable to us hardly even made it to the US charts. Take Spandau Ballet for example. Did you know that in the US, they are considered a one-hit-wonder (in the song True and only because it was featured in a Molly Ringwald movie) whereas to the rest of the world, the Spandau are one of the greatest bands of the 80s with the most string of #1 hits.

Arnel said...

For me, the music of Rick Astley rules! Together Forever and Never gonna give you up! Both songs went #1 in the US Billboard music during 1987 and 1988! Long live Rick Astley!

William said...

Don't forget The Safety Dance - Men Without Hats FTW!!