Mar 222013
 

humanleague2-1

As I may have mentioned a few times over the years, I HATED THE 1980s!

I hated ’80s style and culture in general, but as a music-obsessed person, I especially hated “’80s” music, which I typify as synth-pop featuring Yahmaha DX7s and strained vocals. I hated hair gel and guys with dyed hair. I hated asymmetric hairdos and shirt collars. I hated shirts with shoulder pads and epaulets. I hated puffy socks and women wearing jeans with high-riding waistbands. I even hated Madonna, although stripped of her iconic ’80s style she was my idea of a Hot Woman. Thankfully Madonna provided some opportunities to confirm that suspicion.

I hated what the ’80s did to Michael Jackson. I hated the bright colors. I never aspired to androgyny. I even hated much of the “cool” underground music of the ’80s: hardcore, shitcore, REM, that goth stuff like Bauhaus coming out of England… I even hated bands that were making music fairly similar to my own band’s aspirations because I was jealous of their relative success.

I think I hated myself as much as anything. I grew up in the 1970s, feeling pretty much out of place but certain that I would develop into a well-rounded hipster in my early ’80s college years only to be unleashed in a world where I fit in even less. Damn you, 1980s!

Today, my wiser, kinder, gentler self occasionally hears Human League‘s “Don’t You Want Me Baby” on the radio and thinks to himself, “At least I always liked that song. There must have been another 24 hit songs in the ’80s that I liked, right?”

Well, were there? I am calling on you, my trusted Townspeople, to help me recall whether I liked 25 hit songs from the 1980s. The rules for submission follow…after the jump!

My wiser, kinder, gentler self has been pondering this question for a good half dozen years or so. Thinking about it again today I can only recall the following characteristically ’80s songs that I like AND, more importantly, liked then.

  1. Human League, “Don’t You Want Me”
  2. Spandau Ballet, “True”
  3. John Waite, “Missing You” (Yeah, I know he was slightly established as part of The Babys, but they weren’t major artists in the 1970s. Who would have spotted John Waite walking down a street before his 1984 solo hit?)
  4. Madonna, “Like a Virgin” (Does a way better job with the riff from Prince’s “1999” than the Purple One himself.)
  5. New Order, “Temptation”
  6. INXS, “???” (the song with a soaring sax riff that sets up each chorus)

That leaves at least 19 songs for you to help me recall and assess in my wiser, kinder, gentler effort to show that I actually had some connection to that era’s popular music culture.

A few exclusions to my reassessment of ’80s music should be taken into consideration:

  • Songs with an ’80s tinge by previously established ’70s artists like Bruce SpringsteenHall & Oates, and Van Halen don’t count. Same goes for synth-colored hits by artists from my New Wave high school roots, such as Talking HeadsBlondie, The Cars, Tom Petty, and the like.
  • Hit songs from the 1980s that don’t really sound like ’80s songs, such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners‘ “Come On Eileen,” don’t count. (And yes, I was already cool enough to have purchased the band’s first, cool album before they broke bigtime, but I don’t count early Dexy’s under the “previously established” exclusion rule.)
  • Songs I hated in their time but now practically love, such as Eddy Grant‘s “Electric Avenue,” don’t count.
  • Songs that I now realize I didn’t know upon their original release and only learned about in the early ’90s, after a remix version appeared on European MTV with a funny Sid and Marty Kroft-style video (eg, the 1990 remix of The Cure‘s “Close to Me”) don’t count.
  • Songs that I liked for the opening 2 minutes in the 1980s but that eventually bored me by going on way too long, such as the 3 Prince classics I almost fully like—”Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” and “When Doves Cry”—don’t count.
  • Unmemorable (to me) songs by bands that even I could tell were good compared with their contemporaries, such as ABC and Yaz, don’t count.

I will only consider ’80s-style songs that I knew and, possibly, actually liked when they were popular. For purposes of this exercise I am also excluding the couple of Sugarhouse Gang rap songs from the early ’80s that I liked. They were so early in the decade and I was so deep in my brief “This Is Radio Clash” acceptance of the new genre that my critical faculties were essentially disabled. The 5 or 6 songs I like from that scene are still fun to hear on my Sugarhill Gang’s Greatest Hits collection.

Please help me fill out a list of 25 hit songs from the 1980s that I actually liked. Thank you.

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  216 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Help Mr. Moderator Identify His List of Actual Hits From the 1980s That He Liked, Even During Those Days When He Was “Too Cool for School””

  1. Sgt. Peppermint Petty

    Something About You – Level 42
    Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung
    Ah! Leah! – Donnie Iris
    Pink House – John Cougar Mellencamp
    Easy Lover – Phillip Bailey
    Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider
    Save a Prayer – Duran Duran
    Your Love – The Outfield
    Do You Believe in Love – Huey Lewis & The News
    Sausalito Summernight – Diesel
    Our House – Madness
    And We Danced – The Hooters
    Send Me an Angel – Real Life
    (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew
    Talk in Your Sleep – The Romantics

  2. BigSteve

    I was going to suggest Missing You if you hadn’t already mentioned it. Great record.

    How about No One Is to Blame by Howard Jones? As with Missing You, I actually bought the 7″ single of that one.

  3. misterioso

    I would say, on the contrary, that “Don’t You Want Me” is a piece of crap and dashed one’s hopes for anything cool to from (pardon the expression) “new wave” to achieve Top 40 success. Next stop, Duran Duransville and the dominance of MTV. Pleh!

  4. BigSteve

    Are hits on the funkier end of the spectrum allowed? If so I suggest

    Cameo, Word Up
    Herbie Hancock, Rockit
    Grace Jones, Pull Up to the Bumper
    Jermaine Jackson, Let’s Get Serious

    • Yes, they are allowed but usually not appreciated by this listener. My post-1981 problems extend to the funkier end of the spectrum. Once black music started sounding more like Chic (a band I actually didn’t mind) it quickly got “icy” on the bottom end.

  5. BigSteve

    Sade, Sweetest Taboo
    Dream Academy, Life in a Northern Town

  6. BigSteve

    Wang Chung tonight?

  7. misterioso

    Frankie Say What a Crappy Decade

  8. pudman13

    How about Flock Of Seagulls “I Ran” or Gary Numan’s “Cars?” Those, to me, are the best examples of truly wretched genres.

  9. Ship of Fools — World Party
    Manic Monday — The Bangles
    Our Lips Are Sealed — Go Gos
    Rock Lobster — B-52s
    Lips Like Sugar — Echo & The Bunnymen
    Come Back & Stay — Paul Young
    It’s My Life — Talk Talk
    Tainted Love — Soft Cell

    The 80s influence is incredibly heavy on so many bands right now — wait ’til you hear The Strokes new one — Julian has gone batshit for the 80s!

    • The Go-Go’s are from the late-’70s New Wave era. Same goes for B-52s and Echo & the Bunnymen. The Bangles are basically the Go-Go’s with more makeup and hair spray. Their music was OK, but I don’t consider it sounding “characteristically ’80s.” You have hit on one characteristically ’80s song I liked in its time: Soft Cell, “Tainted Love. Congrats and thanks! That brings my total up to 7!!!

      • misterioso

        Just to make a game effort at good attitude, I am 100% with Tainted Love but it has to be the long Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go medley. But, c’mon, the Go-Gos didn’t get near putting a record out in the 70s, did they?

        • Their first record is from 1981, which is basically the late-’70s PLUS it is not remotely “characteristically ’80s.” I probably like some early ’80s record by the Stray Cats, for instance, but they don’t count either.

          As for the extended 12-inch version of that Soft Cell song, yes. High five!

          • misterioso

            I take the point that Beauty and the Beat is a continuation of a kind of late 70s rock, but perhaps it is my wish for that which should have been rather than that which was which sees it as an 80s record.

    • misterioso

      Totally on board with World Party, who I love, but it seems me that they fall into that category of songs from the 80s that don’t really sound like the 80s, given Karl Wallinger’s very self-conscious sense of revivalism.

  10. misterioso

    Shoot, why not Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” while we’re at it? I’m only half joking.

  11. cliff sovinsanity

    I’ve got a few…

    Politics of Dancing – The Reflex
    Major Tom (Coming Home) – Peter Schilling
    Der Kommissar – Falco
    Destination Unknown – Missing Persons

    You won’t see me turning these off when they come on the radio. But, then again I’m a masochist.

  12. Just last week, I threw 60 odd songs new wavish songs onto an iPod playlist in about 20 minutes for Friday listening. I could go to bat for a few:
    Leve Lovich “New Toy”
    Nik Kershaw “Wouldn’t It Be Good”
    Depeche Mode “Blasphemous Rumours” or “Enjoy the Silence”
    Tears for Fears “Change” and “Mad World”.

    That dissing of Prince’s 80’s period is kind of discouraging, any thoughts on “When You Were Mine”?

    • “New Toy” falls under the late-’70s New Wave banner. The other ones I don’t care for, but I did like one Tears for Fears song: “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” I think it was called. That song, if it was indeed an ’80s release, does not qualify because it was aping the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour style. It didn’t have an ’80s sound.

      I know that I enjoy Prince’s “When You Were Mine” the rare times I hear it, but I never really knew that song in its time nor is it a song to this day that I can hum if asked.

      Good efforts regardless!

  13. Suburban kid

    Tears for Fears – Shout (although I am not a fan, I can’t deny the catchiness)

    Dead of Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

    Prince – Kiss

    Madonna – Into the Groove

    • Suburban kid

      Dead OR Alive, since this matters.

    • “Kiss” is cool, but I can’t say the song had any effect on me. It was a great gimmick. There is a late-’80s, I believe, Prince song that I liked better, but it may have been for the video. He was dancing around on a kind of “Arabian” set, if memory serves, with two hot women in “genie” pants. During a cool instrumental break he gets down on the floor and starts humping them. I think I liked the music that was playing during that part. Anyone know what song I’m talking about?

      What about that Janet Jackson song in sepia tone, with her looking almost digitally buff and some smoking hot super-model guy rolling around inside a giant hula hoop? Is that an ’80s song or an early ’90s one? I liked that one.

      • Suburban kid

        Janet Jackson’s big album was Control. I like that album. The big single was “What Have You Done for Me Lately”, and also “Nasty”.

        • Yeah, I didn’t care for that stuff. “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” is the song (and video) I had in mind. For some reason the video seems to be scrubbed from YouTube. I see it came out in 1989, just under the gun. It’s practically a characteristically ’90s song, so I shouldn’t count it.

  14. Based on my own ground rules, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to include Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something.” Although I would disqualify most artists who were in a band as successful as the Jackson 5, solo ’80s Jackson seems more like a completely different being. You tell me. That may give me 8 characteristically ’80s hit songs that I liked. Thanks.

    • What about that song MJ wrote for one of Berry Gordy’s children (whose name escapes me). The title also escapes me but it was something like “Somebody’s Watching Me”?

      • Ooh, by Rockwell, or someone like that. Close… I didn’t really like it in its time, but it was catchier than most of those songs. In recent years the song has gotten better to my ears during the period when Young James, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, was using it as his walk-up music.

  15. “Fascist Groove Thing” by Heaven 17 is very good. I don’t know if it qualifies as a hits, but it was ubiquitous in the clubs, including Live music venues, as the 80’s sythpop era began. They have a number of songs that I really like, but this one was the first and the biggest.

  16. Ah, I was just reminded of a band that I consider one of the earliest “’80s 1-hit wonders”: Modern English and “I Melt With You.” That’s one of those songs like some of the Cure songs I’ve come to like that are a step away from late-’70s New Wave. (I did like “Killing an Arab” and “Boys Don’t Cry” in their time, but they’ve got a harder, guitar-based edge that’s more “post-punk” than the later Cure songs, like that one about Monday coming, or whatever Robert Smith is going on about.) I’m going to count “I Melt With You” as a “characteristically ’80s song” I liked in its time. That makes 8!

    I guess The People feel I should exclude the 1 song from Thriller that I like because Michael Jackson was already well established.

  17. ladymisskirroyale

    Moderator, you are killing me. A decade is being boiled down to 12 songs! You are confabulating multiple genres into pastel-colored, big-shouldered, Miami-Vice wannabe, hairsprayed entertainers?!?

    I love the music of the 80’s and whereas HVB has a holy trinity that inspires designer outerwear, my trio of favs includes 80’s bands:
    – The Go-Betweens
    – Camper Van Beethoven
    – Love and Rockets

    Surely, amongst these three bands that I clutch closely to my heart, you can find just one of their songs to include in your Top 12! (I know that something from “Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express could be a contender)

    And may I remind you of my Simon Reynolds Post Punk Mix, which includes several songs which you admitted to liking?

    If those bands are not single-worthy, what about
    – Nena – 99 Luft Ballon:
    – The Specials – Ghost Town or A Message To You Rudy
    – Orange Juice – Rip It Up (Scottish finalist in the World Cup of music several years ago)
    – Scritti Politti – Wood Beez
    – Gun Club – Sex Beat
    – ESG – Keep On Movin
    – Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love
    – Herby Hancock – Rockit
    – Pixies – Where Is My Mind
    – The Church – Under the Milkyway
    – Squeeze – Cool For Cats
    – Hoodoo Gurus – I Want You Back
    – Aztec Camera – Oblivious

    There are gems there, sir! Pure diamonds!

    • Ladymiss, you’re missing the big point: I’m talking about hits by characteristically ’80s-sounding bands – and I listed a bunch of exclusions, such as previously established artists from the ’70s who adopted an ’80s sound. Maybe the Go-Betweens were relatively successful Down Under, but they were nothing in the US charts. Squeeze is totally from the New Wave. Same goes for the Specials. Tom Tom Club is too closely tied to Talking Heads.

      Of your remaining choices – of the bands among the remaining choices who had hits of any sort – Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” is OK. I’m not looking for “OK.” Aztec Camera may have had a minor hit or two. They did nothing for me. Scritti Politti may have had a club hit that made me want to smash all drum machines. That “99 Luftballon” song is funny to hear for about 10 seconds, but that’s all.

      Help me face the facts of mainstream ’80s music. It was a nightmare for me, especially if I can’t consider Springsteen’s 2 synth-driven songs from that decade, Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” the one song I like from Thriller, Hall & Oates’ pastel-colored cheeseball hits, and Stevie Wonder’s last gasp of hits. Throw me some actual hits and see what sticks.

  18. I’m looking through Billboard’s #1 hits through that decade:

    http://www.liketotally80s.com/billboard-number-one-hits.html

    “Don’t You Want Me” is a shining light of original characteristically ’80s music through the early part of the decade.

    1984 was decent year for relatively good bad music. Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon” were decent, but not quite songs I fully liked. (I would be more of a solo George Michael fan, but those songs may not have come out until the early ’90s…we’ll see.)

    Man, 1985 is a real nightmare year for me. Even Dire Straits, a decent workingman’s pub rock band, put out the execrable “Money for Nothing.”

    U2 had some good songs, but they had already established their sound at the tail end of the New Wave. Echo & the Bunnymen are in the same category for me.

    Ah, I have found #9, the first big George Michael solo song came out in the ’80s after all: 1988’s “Faith”! THAT is a solid characteristically ’80s song. I’m noting that many of the “characteristically ’80s songs” that I did like were essentially Motown-style songs pumped up on drum machines and synths.

    The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” topped the charts in November 1988, the band’s strongest song in 2 decades, but that doesn’t qualify.

    Here’s #10: Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy”! I liked most of that second album, so maybe there’s another single or two that will make this list of 25 songs I liked from that era. “Good Thing” made #1 as well, but I don’t fully like that song.

    That’s my survey of the #1 songs on the Billboard charts from the decade. I’m sure there are 15 songs deeper on the charts from that era that will show the world how open minded I actually was.

  19. ladymisskirroyale

    Deeper on the charts? Billboard? You just told me I was too busy considering the non-hits.

    So what you’re really saying is: What were the songs that played on MTV?

    The Kinks – Come Dancing (too 60’s, 70’s 80’s gasp?)
    Cindy Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun (too much in the Bangles/Go-Go’s mode?)
    Golden Earring – Twilight Zone (not enough of a hit?)
    Men At Work – Down Under
    J Geils – Freeze Frame
    Fabulous Thunderbirds – Tough Enough
    Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen
    Van Halen – Jump
    Stray Cat – Sexy and 17
    Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me

    You know, my dear husband is a very picky eater. He doesn’t like bread. However, for some reason, pizza, hamburger buns and croissants do not come on his hit list. Trying to understand his thought processes as to what is and is not bread has been very interesting, and over time, I have learned to just shrug my shoulders.

    So is this a bread conversation? Want to give us some additional crumbs? Are these songs that we could guess or will you be reminded of them once we mention them?

    • ladymisskirroyale

      Ok, now I’m starting to calm down. I think the issue is that I’m still confused about your inclusion/exclusion rules.

      Your list of songs are apparently to represent the “mainstream,” which I would most easily define as MTV. Otherwise, what was common radio in one market was unheard of in another. I never heard “True” on the radio (and maybe not even on MTV), but that was Arizona; perhaps on the Eastern Seaboard, it would have been a more common song. Instead, we had hair metal and generally middle-of-the-road boy rock. Sade was considered outré and I never heard New Order until I moved to California.

      • trigmogigmo

        I too am having some trouble finding something appropriate. Mr. Mod, your criteria are difficult for me to parse. I don’t think you went into nearly enough detail (I kid, I kid). That said, I flipped thru my library, limiting to the 80’s, looking for good things that might fit the “typical 80’s” you seem to be referencing. What about:

        Berlin “The Metro”
        The Fixx “Red Skies” or “One Thing Leads to Another” or “Are We Ourselves?”
        Depeche Mode “Strangelove” or “People Are People”

  20. sammymaudlin

    Split Enz:

    I Got You
    What’s The Matter With You
    One Step Ahead
    Message To My Girl
    I Hope I Never

  21. ohmstead

    Damn! Why am I always TWT (traveling without wireless) when LMS threads are unfurled? Well, most of what would be my picks for good bad songs of the 80s have already been suggested…but here’s a few additional possibilities that appear to have slipped thru unnoticed so far:

    Always Something there to Remind Me – Naked Eyes
    China – Red Rockers
    Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
    In a Big Country – Big Country
    It’s My Life – Talk Talk
    My Ever Changing Moods – Style Council

    On second thought, Simple Minds probably doesn’t quite qualify…so Kajagoogoo anyone?

  22. Suburban kid

    Totally forgot about one of my 80s guilty pleasures. Any of the Pet Shop Boys’ first few singles:

    West End Girls
    Love Comes Quickly
    Suburbia

  23. Suburban kid

    Seeing as you’ve allowed a couple of ’60s cover versions in Tainted Love and Always Something There to Me Remind Me, what about “Don’t Leave Me this Way” by the Communards.

  24. I’m gonna venture that the big 80’s hits for me are gonna get a volley of spitballs in this diatribe, but I’ll list them anyway for posterity and perspective:

    J&MC-“Just Like Honey”
    De La Soul -“I Know”
    Cocteau Twins – “Pink Orange Red”
    Orange Juice -“Rip It Up”
    New Order – “Age of Consent”
    Felt – “Primitive Painters”
    Japan – “Ghosts”
    Pixies – “Caribou”
    This Mortal Coil -“Song to the Siren”
    Lloyd Cole – “Rattlesnakes”
    A Certain Ratio -“Shack Up”
    Liquid Liquid – “Cavern”
    Eno & Byrne – “The Jezebel Spirit”

    that sort of thing. The reject pile awaits you.

    • Some good suggestions, although most of these songs were underground club alternatives to ’80s pop hits, no? Still, worth my consideration.

      I was capable of liking a little Orange Juice, but this song made no impression on me. I never really heard De La Soul until about 10 years ago. I simply never liked the Cocteau Twins with all that digital delay and reverb swirling around.

      I had NO IDEA what “Age of Consent” was by the song title, and then when it started I thought it was the same song as the earlier New Order song I always like but can’t place by song title, “Temptation.” THANK YOU on helping me realize these are 2 different songs and that I like them both! That brings my total up to 12! Who’s saying I was close minded now?

      I didn’t like Lloyd Cole at first. I only grew to like any of his music in the ’90s, as I entered my Proto-Wiser, Kinder, Gentler phase, which it turned out was a fraud.

      I like A Certain Ratio, even “Shack Up,” but I don’t think of that as a song that “regular people” would have been listening to on the radio in the ’80s. The Liquid Liquid song is the one that one of those Sugarhill bands used for the bass riff in their song, right? I’m down with both, but Liquid Liquid was underground and I had to exclude the half dozen Sugarhill hits I liked. I love that Eno & Byrne album, but they are excluded by the “previously established” clause.

  25. ladymisskirroyale

    And for the Hail Mary:
    Robert Palmer: Addicted to Love

  26. Suburban kid

    I’d put this in a fancy block quote if I knew how. These are recent comments on the Youtube video of the one New Order song I would have assumed was mentioned above but hasn’t been – “Blue Monday”:

    HeChr123 5 hours ago
    I´m living in the wrong time… 🙂 Back to the 80`s!
    Reply ·

    flashdanceluver 6 hours ago
    god i wish i was my parents mum born in 1968 and father 1961
    ugh not fair 🙁
    Reply ·

    ForzaHorizon4u 17 hours ago
    I’m 12 and i love this! i wish i was on the 80’s 🙁
    Reply ·

    Plenty of kids today would apparently change places with us so they could have come of age during the 80s. It beggars belief, but there you go.

    • ohmstead

      In retrospect I kind of feel like a lot of a synth-pop music was tapping into the emerging optimism of the mid-80s after the (economically) downer late 70s and early 80s. If memory serves, I think the term “yuppie” was coined in 1983 or 84. So I can sort of see the appeal of the up-beat, bubble-gum, dance pop of the era to kids who are growing up in a post 9-11, Tea Party, non-stop 24-hour-digital-world (not to get all political on y’all). I am currently instructing Daughter of Ohmsted (11) in the 80s canon, which she is enjoying. A great Dad-Daughter bonding experience (something HVB now gets to look forward to!).

  27. cliff sovinsanity

    Some more tubular 80’s awesome we have yet to mention:

    Men At Work – Overkill / Who Can It Be Now
    The Payolas – Eyes Of A Stranger
    Martha and The Muffins – Echo Beach
    The Kings – This Beat Goes On/Switchin To Glide

    • I’d never heard a lick by The Kings! I remember seeing that album in the racks and moving right past it. That song is very good, but it’s totally ’70s New Wave/Power Pop. Thanks to those of you who’ve been talking about it for turning me onto it, but this cannot be added to the count.

      I really disliked Men at Work. I liked The Police enough, but I couldn’t take Men at Work’s “clever,” wink-wink version of The Police’s poppy side. Yuk!

      That Payola’s song is another one I’d never knowingly heard. Man, that thing terrified me on multiple levels!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C_fVnE3xHY

      I tried to like Martha and the Muffins. I used to own their first album, and I think I once found a song that could make it on mix tapes. Maybe it was this one, but the effort always felt a little forced, like I was only including it to impress a girl. Close, but no cigar, although I must say this song sounds a little better after not hearing it for so many years.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRS4NKjUdhI

      Wasn’t Daniel Lanois or his brother in this band?

      • cliff sovinsanity

        Lanois’ sister Jocelyne was around in the latter days of the band. He produced their last album which had moderate success on this side of the border.
        The Kings were huge but for a brief time.

  28. Suburban kid

    “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves

    “A New England” – Kirsty MacColl

    “They Don’t Know” – Tracey Ullman

    • Those are all ’60s pastiche songs, not “characteristically ’80s.” To be clear, I’m not saying I like NOTHING in the ’80s. I’m saying that the music in the popular culture, the music of the popular culture, was the worst popular music I had to live through. In the ’90s forward – and remember, I have only been getting older and one might thing more calcified – I think I could easily list 25 popular songs that I like.

      If necessary, I’ll open the floor up to “characteristically ’80s” songs from that decade by previously established artists. That would allow the 2 songs by The Boss, Van Halen’s “Jump,” and a Peter Gabriel song or two. I don’t want to give up yet, though, on the dream that I’m merely forgetting another baker’s dozen of “1980s born and bred songs.”

  29. sammymaudlin

    How about The Plimsouls’ Zero Hour? That was technically an 80s song but, unlike Split Enz, I can hear that they had a foot in the 70s. Your list – your call though.

  30. Here we go, as I continue to look through the charts from 1987: although I was not cool enough to really know Public Enemy for a few more years beyond their appearance in Spike Lee’s big movie of the time (blanking on the name, although never blanking on Rosie Perez’ boxing dance at the intro), Beastie Boys burst onto the scene with #14, “You’ve Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)”!

  31. I think I liked a song by either Jodi Watley or her former band, Shalomar, if they qualify. I can’t remember what song it was. It’s not the first one that appears on a YouTube search by her name.

    Toni Tony Tone are from the early ’90s, right? See, I liked them. I could easily come up with 25 good pop songs from that decade.

  32. Could “Genius of Love” Tom Tom Club make a dent?

    aloha
    LD

  33. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, Mod — how about “Hold Me Now” by the Thompson Twins? “Doctor, Doctor” by the same band?

  34. 2000 Man

    I like Missing Persons. Walking in LA, Words, Mental Hopscotch – all good stuff! Lone Justice’s Ways to be Wicked was pretty terrific, I think The Divinyls What a Life album is pretty great, and The Motels All 4 One had three great singles, Take the L, Mission of Mercy and Only the Lonely.

    Hey, for every one I love, there’s 100 I hate, but the 60’s and 70’s are the same way.

  35. ladymisskirroyale

    Isn’t this a bit of a storm in a bottle? Don’t most of us agree that Top 40, commercial, mainstream music is less interesting than the Indies, the small labels, the local bands, the live acts that we, at this site, favor and discuss. Sure, some commercial acts in each decade are worth listening to, but to boil down a decade to some Billboard hits really seems to be disrespectful to a whole lot of musicians and the people who love their music.

    Again, the wonderful Simon Reynolds will tell you all you want to know (and more) about the 80’s in his fabulous “Rip It Up.”

    I don’t know if I could find 5, 12, or 25 likable Top 40 hits from the current decade, but I sure can share a lot of other good stuff from the same years.

  36. jeangray

    Here are a few that I haven’t seen listed yet:

    Wall of Voodoo — “Mexican Radio”

    Ebn-Ozn — “AEIOU Sometimes Y”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82vvqDz5dEU

    King — “Love & Pride”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlXtrnh-Ejo

    Matthew Wilder — “Break My Stride”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28KobNbbI2s

  37. Don’t think anyone has mentioned these.

    Lloyd Cole & The Commotions — Perfect Skin

    O.M.D — If You Leave

    The Housemartins — Happy Hour — (this is one of Mrs. funoka’s favorites of the period)

    http://youtu.be/-ehden6aPl0

    The Housemartins seem to walk a line between power pop and the fey vocal style that characterized a lot of the 80s sound and is coming back with Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Chad Valley, and some those bands who have Beach or Surfer in their names.

    BTW — The Motels are a good call!

    • I didn’t know that OMD song in its time. It’s not bad, as how I felt about most of their songs in regard to their contemporaries.

      I don’t recall that Housemartins song either, but that’s very easy to like. It’s like The Smiths if they had a singer who recognized the fact that the band behind him was playing in a specific key at a specific rhythm. I’ll have to revisit that band. All I remember back then is thinking that they “didn’t suck.”

      As I said earlier, I didn’t make any sense of Lloyd Cole until the ’90s, when Andyr turned me onto the album that featured Robert Quine and Matthew Sweet (on bass) on half the songs.

  38. cliff sovinsanity

    Hey, d’ya remember..

    The Call – The Walls Came Down
    The Icicle Works – Whisper To A Scream

  39. I’ll take a whack. Seeing I was with you throughout much of the decade……but we never listened to much “new music”. Both of these from the end of the 80’s

    “So Alive” – Love and Rockets

    “Personal Jesus” – Depeche Mode

    As a wild card – how about “Scarecrow” – John Melloncamp. I know this risks being considered a 70’s holdover but this is a much different sound

    • Ooh, I was hoping you would help me remember a few. “So Alive” makes #15!

      I forgot you were a “Personal Jesus” fan. I could never share your enthusiasm for that song.

      Is “Scarecrow” the one with the video on the porch in the Deep South? If so, I am a HUGE fan of that song, or at least the video.

  40. alexmagic

    It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these threads, and I am reminded of how entertaining it is to see people run headfirst into ModLogic for the first time. I encourage people to stick with this and try to help Mod reach his goal of 25 (aka the elusive 5/6ths Bowie) and not get bogged down by things like pulling a pince nez on The Sugar Hill Gang’s name.

    Already, Mod’s stance of eliminating all New Wave music, including by bands who didn’t truly start until the ’80s, has given me new perspective on the Rock Died In 1983 camp. I think there’s more to learn here.

    Mod – to help you out, the Prince floor humping genie pants video was “Get Off”, which fits squarely into the 1990s and thus is not eligible.

    Gonna throw a few out for rulings to see where it takes us. While some of these may seem like odd choices, I know Mod will give all of these a fair, reasoned chance and trust that I am approaching this, as always, approaching this from a scientific point of view:

    -“Need You Tonight” – INXS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrZZfaDp02o

    -“Is There Something I Should Know?” – Duran Duran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M0hogZyRyU

    -“Sidewalk Talk” – Jellybean (with assistance on the hook from Madonna): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrr9mJ2AVwY

    -“Obsession” – Animotion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIs5StN8J-0 (to provide some important context, this served as the theme to Saturday Night’s Main Event in the ’80s, please also watch it as Animotion and Jake “the Snake” Roberts intended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4N5yHChD14)

    -“Antmusic” – Adam and the Ants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjYCvC7koBg

    -“Goody Two Shoes” – Adam and the Ants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Tj-Xo_eqI

    -“Dance Hall Days” – Wang Chung: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xpJRwIA-Q

    -“Cruel Summer” – Bananarama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGYNvx9lqDQ

    -“Pass the Dutchie” – Musical Youth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFtLONl4cNc

    -“Der Kommissar” – After The Fire (the Falco version was broached above, but this is way to go): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guvo7gUdUnE

    -“Two of Hearts” – Stacey Q: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfBdGT4dn4E

    -“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gKyRmic20

    -“The Reflex” – Duran Duran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5oecKJ6g7c

    -“Lost In Emotion” – Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxkbTG6PeCI

    -“In Your Room” – Bangles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04HSg0YZi9E

    -“Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” – Glass Tiger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx6_-urg5fo

    -“Round and Round” – Ratt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M60rLoCbbo

    -“Roxanne, Roxanne” – UTFO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOTp3-jEMjQ

    -“Sweet Child O Mine” – Guns ‘n Roses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-AYAv0IoWI

    Prince makes things difficult because his videos aren’t available, but “U Got The Look” (with Sheena Easton) would be the one I’d send your way, Mod.

    Some listed above I haven’t seen rulings on that I think could be crucial: Ebn-Ozn — “AEIOU Sometimes Y” & Jodi Watley’s “Looking For A New Love” (from jeangray) and “Glamorous Life” by Shelia E. (from cliff sovinsanity)

    • I was hoping you could help crawl into my mind. Let’s review.

      First of all, yes, “Get Off” is the Prince song I like. I’m sorry it does not fall within the ’80s, even if, had I been able to tune into the post-1993 landscape as acutely as I had the post-1983 landscape, I could probably say, “1990 is basically the ’80s.”

      “I Need You Tonight” is spectacular, but I don’t really like it. INXS is to the ’80s what Boston and Van Halen were to the late-’70s, for me: an excellent band that crafted masterful songs I could compliment as “masterful,” etc without necessarily liking. If push comes to shove and my legacy really needs 1 more song to round out the 5/6 Bowie, this one could make the cut. That other INXS song, “What You Want,” actually makes me feel human emotions when that soaring sax part kicks in before the choruses. See the difference?

      I don’t recall ever liking a Duran Duran song. Let’s see…as I await the commercial before the clip to complete…NO, I’m reminded of something Joe Strummer once sang…

      I don’t recall ever knowingly hearing “Sidewalk Talk.” Too bad, it could have taken the spot that any number of good Tom Tom Club songs couldn’t claim because of that band’s close association with Talking Heads.

      No dice on the Animotion song. It’s relationship to professional wrestling reminds me of yet another thing the ’80s infected. I was a hardcore ’70s professional wrestling fan. The ’80s WWF scene ignored all the science of the sport.

      I need a ruling on Adam and the Ants (and Bow Wow Wow, if their hit song was also from the 1980s): Do they count, or are they too closely tied to the ’80s? They may count. Both of these songs went down easy back in the day, despite my desire to not like them. Let’s come back to Adam Ant after I hear from the judges.

      TOTALLY forgot about that other Wang Chung song. It’s better than the s/t one, but still not something I ever liked, or even pretended to like for a girl.

      Honestly, I recall the Bananarama video, but I don’t recall ever being able to pay attention to the song. I was too distracted by the cute girls on screen, who somehow managed to sidestep the worst of that decade’s fashions. The song’s decent, but I’m still distracted.

      #17: “Pass the Dutchie”!!! I LOVE this song. I would have thought it was an early ’90s hit.

      More later…

    • OK, I’m back.

      I don’t recall liking any version of “Der Komissar.”

      I don’t recall knowingly hearing that Stacey Q song, but the video’s not bad.

      When it came out, I was BUGGED by the production of “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong,” the other hit from that first Crowded House album. Although I knew there were good songs beneath that Mitchell Froom (?) production sheen, I couldn’t get past it. It wasn’t until Andyr turned me onto Together Alone that I fully embraced Crowded House and went back and bought their previous albums. Now I can dig those songs beyond the production, but then I could not. I still like the last 2 from their initial phase together best. I still like Together Alone way more than anything else they released.

      “The Reflex” is a Duran Duran song. I’m still certain I never liked anything by them. My first girlfriend liked them. Anytime she played that album with the bad ’80s hair salon art on the album cover I should have seen the end coming and been fine with that fact.

      Wiser, kinder, gentler me likes that Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam song, but I don’t recall hearing it when it was popular. (That reminds me, The Cult almost put out a couple of songs I liked enough, but there was always something about them that bugged me a little bit. That something was magnified during a recording session, where each night following our recordings we’d stay with friends in DC and suck on balloons for hours. One of our friends was really into that big Cult album, and he played it incessantly. The parts of that band that I didn’t like were magnified that weekend.)

      I consider The Bangles a cleaned up Go-Go’s. I cannot consider their decent songs in this quest.

      I heartily appreciate the laughs that the Glass Tiger video triggered, but no.

      I never liked any Hair Metal, not Ratt, not G ‘ f’n R. Too bad, that excludes a ton of hits.

      I don’t recall knowingly hearing “Roxanne Roxanne” (this “I don’t recall knowingly hearing” bit may be my Ronald Reagan Iran-Contra catchphrase, sorry), but this is a solid ’80s number.

      This just in from the judges:

      Although Adam and the Ants’ roots date back to the late-’70s, their music and style were ‘characteristically ’80s. The songs alexmagic recommended are open for consideration.

      The judges have spoken: #18 and #19: Adam and the Ants, “Antmusic” and “Goody Two Shoes”! (But I’m not thrilled by the other Adam and the Ants songs suggested.)

      • ladymisskirroyale

        Dearest Mod, I have to pince nez here.

        Antmusic was indeed performed by Adam and the Ants, and was a big hit in the UK. But didn’t crack the Billboard charts. According to modlogic, it should be eliminated (but I’m glad you like it 🙂

        Goody Two Shoes was released by young Adam after he left the Ants. THAT song was an American hit and is therefore eligible for further discussion.

    • ladymisskirroyale

      Dear alexmagic, I am so impressed with your level head during all this stress. And I am amazed that you are able to keep a scientific perspective on all this modlogic (great word by the way).

      This is where I think I give up trying to understand, throw in the towel, and just allow myself to just go with the flow of irrationality. But I digress, and before I leave this topic, I have to point out the following:
      Bow Wow Wow’s wonderful cover of “I Want Candy” is indeed pure 80’s and a hit if you are looking at the UK charts. If you are considering the American charts, it is considered NEW WAVE (or New Romantic in English parlance), and, according to Wikipedia, barely scratched the US Top 50. Those criteria exclude it according to Mod’s criteria.

      • Let’s be clear about something: my definition of “mainstream characteristically ’80s” songs is not limited to the US Billboard charts. The hype for that big Adam and the Ants album was HUGE. That stuff was jammed down our throats, whether it clicked on the US charts or not. “Normal” people knew who he was during that publicity campaign. I can consider that. “Normal” people in the US did not know the Go-Betweens from the Chills.

    • ohmstead

      Wow – a post of utter connoisseurship. Thank you. Personally, was never a big Adam Ant fan…always remember waiting through his vids until something better came on. Now that he has made into the “list” I guess that makes me unimaginative or a bad person or both.

  41. ladymisskirroyale

    The Sugarcubes “Motorcrash” broke the American charts in 198something. The first appearance on these shores of Bjork. Surely that must mean something?!

  42. Hank Fan

    Didn’t quite make it through all of the comments, but how about Prefab Sprout? A couple catchy songs they had were “Faron Young” and “When Love Breaks Down.”

  43. Well I’ve certainly enjoyed the Mod soul baring: here’s my faves:

    The Cult: She Sells Sanctuary
    Def Leppard: Photograph

  44. I know you, Townsman Sethro, and I used to did this song back in the day. Sethro may still have the record:

    “Love Plus One” – Haircut 100 (1982)

  45. machinery

    Big Country?

    I’m out….

  46. machinery

    Ok, how about The Call — When the Walls Came tumbling Down. I always kinda dug that song though it’s the only think I know from the band.

  47. #21: John Cougar Mellencamp, “Paper in Fire”!

    • misterioso

      WTF? A perfectly decent song, but what makes it particularly “80s” in the uniquely inexplicable and largely incomprehensible sense that you and you alone seem to have?

      • Nothing, really. I mean, I could say that Farm Aid was “characteristically ’80s,” but honestly, I’m only including this one for the fact of how much of a laugh I get just thinking of that video. Come on, man, even the wiser, kinder, gentler me has his limits.

  48. jeangray

    oKay — Pretty sure I understand Mr. Mod’s logic here, with the exception of one question: When does ’70’s New Wave end & ’80’s New Wave begin???

    • misterioso

      Care to explain it to me?

    • I’m so glad you asked that question. I do not acknowledge the application of the term “New Wave” to 1980s synth-pop. That’s “synth-pop” or “’80s music” or something else. I think The Cars (and bands like Split Enz, with less commercial results) took New Wave to its limits. It was still guitar-based, ’60s-influenced rock ‘n roll, but with more pronounced eighth notes, choked singing, and synthy squiggles.

      MTV came both too late to the party and then ignored the tail end of actual New Wave. At some point in the early ’90s, I believe, they started repackaging the whiny synth-pop of the post-1983 era that I am still wrestling with enjoying to any degree as “New Wave” – and all the people who missed the boat on being (un)cool a few years earlier hungrily accepted this term being applied to their latent semi-(un)cool tastes! That music was not called “New Wave” in 1984. New Wave was the already lost-cause that I’d clutched onto in my high school years, the “skinny tie” music that the cool kids in the pre-1983 years would make fun of you for liking.

      Philadelphia had a radio station that launched a brief-lived “Rock of the 80’s” format. That’s what they called it. Sure, you could occasionally hear a Romantics song or a Psychedelic Furs song (possibly qualifying as a “characteristically ’80s” band I’ve for some reason overlooked? – I liked them), but heavy on the ’80s music, which they wore as a badge of honor and progress.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZFu6Gl96ns

      That mid-’80s generation had it easy. There were no hard rock bullies with Zeppelin and Aerosmith 8-tracks shoved into their back pockets left to shove heads into lockers and give kids wedgies. If you thought you were tough and rocking and your idea of tough, rocking music was Hair Metal bands wearing makeup and Spandex you were probably less tough and rocking, in reality, than the kids with the asymmetric hairdos (and shirt collars) listening to Duran Duran records. Seriously, I bet the members of Duran Duran (and their fans) could have given Bon Jovi and their fans a run for their money in a street fight.

  49. jeangray

    Oy! Listening to all this ’80’s Musik is a-starting to gives me a tooth ache.

  50. I hope I can find an old Tom Snyder episode that breaks down the differences between New Wave and ’80s Music as succinctly as this episode did Punk Rock and New Wave.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldBOjvBjTUg

  51. alexmagic

    Mod, I haven’t had a chance to parse the results of my exercise in ’80s musical sonar above (though early indications are we should explore your potential undiscovered interest in the “burundi beat” a little more), but it occurs to me that no one has brought up Human League’s other, equally huge hit: “(Keep Feeling)” Fascination” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqqBs6kkzHE

  52. hrrundivbakshi

    If this ain’t on your list, then the heck with you: “Take On Me,” A-Ha.

  53. ohmstead

    Still struggling somewhat to appropriately distinguish between New Wave and 80s synth/pop that at some points seemed to blur together…so need a ruling: given its highly commercial exposure owing to the movie, where does something like the re-release of Pretty in Pink by the Psychedelic Furs fall? Certainly an anthemic song of the period that charted after it was re-released in the US (although I personally preferred Love My Way). Sorry if this has already been suggested and dismissed…didn’t seem to be mentioned yet.

    • I like that song . . . both the “rougher” album version and the slicker soundtrack version. But them I am in the tank their Mirror Moves album — one of these days — I need to do a full critical upgrade.

      • cherguevarra

        Agreement! I like Mirror Moves, but agreeing with me won’t really validate your musical tastes (around here). The thing about the Furs is that no matter what they did, there was always at least some element of experimentation, at least first four albums.

    • Psychedelic Furs were rock solid over their first 2 albums and even the third one, but I consider them as having come out of the same pre-1983, tail-end of the New Wave as U2 and Echo & the Bunnymen. If they counted I could add 2 album’s worth of songs I liked from that period.

  54. jeangray

    Did we ever get a ruling on “Mexican Radio?”

    • Sorry, I abhor that song! It’s one of the songs people I like a lot try to engage me into liking along with them when music from that era comes up that I have to work extremely hard to pretend I have no reaction to. I can’t even pretend that I like it. I have to pretend that I didn’t hear them or wait for the next ’80s songs to nod my head to enthusiastically. For the sake of this discussion I cannot pretend. I love those of you who dig that song, but I do not share your love of it.

    • misterioso

      This is where the puking-face emoticon would come in handy.

  55. ohmstead

    Day Four…desperation takes hold. I had to go on an archeological expedition in the attic to find my vinyls…really a trip back in time. Funny how some of these never made the 2nd generation (compact disc) or 3rd generation (iPod) jumps.

    So being of sound mind and body and in full recognition that I risk forfeiture of my RTH membership, I offer the following final suggestions…I simply have nothing more to give:

    She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby
    Come Back and Stay – Paul Young (found a long play version of this!)
    Every time You Go – Paul Young (pardon the bogart)
    Eyes Without a Face – Billy Idol
    Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat
    Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
    Send me an Angel – Real Life

    I await judgement and the inevitable kick to the curb.

    Nice knowing you all.

    • Sadly I did not like any of those songs, although I “respected” Paul Young’s “Every Time You Go.” I do like my share of Billy Idol songs, but I consider him a product of my high school New Wave tastes. (My favorite Idol song, for the record, is 1990’s “Cradle of Love.”)

  56. misterioso

    I am still trying to work out Mod’s approval of “Pass the Dutchie” and disapproval of Gary Numan’s “Cars.” On the plus side, this exercise has prompted me to revisit the first couple of OMD records (such as Organisation) which I find I still mostly like. So.

  57. jeangray

    Not a fan, but I have been known to enjoy “Heart & Soul” by Huey Lewis & the News, especially those crunching power-chords in the chorus.

  58. jeangray

    How’s about this gemm from Tony Carey (who?):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9f6iugrilk

    • I’d forgotten that song ever existed! It’s not terrible, compared with other songs that came out at that time, but I can’t say I ever liked it. It’s better than Starship’s “Jane” and stuff like that.

    • misterioso

      Wow, I was prepared to say I had no recollection of that until it got to the chorus and a few long dormant brain cells stirred. That deserves some kind of award for condensing all the mediocrity of a certain kind of 80s music into one package.

      • jeangray

        No shit. Turns out this guy used to be the keyboard player in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

        • hrrundivbakshi

          There’s a woman who lives down the street from me who toured with Ritchie Blackmore. She plays the viola da gamba, and played backup for the, you know, medieval swords-and-sorcery lute section of his gigs in the 80s or 90s or something. She says he was a bit of a jerk.

  59. I was telling my wife about this thread yesterday. She threw a dozen characteristically ’80s songs my way, starting with “99 Luftballoons” and another 11 that you guys already covered. Our oldies station was on in the background when a characteristically ’80s song got underway. At first I braced myself, thinking I was going to hate it. Then I identified the song as #23 on this list: Madonna’s “Material Girl”. That was a catchy enough song that I could get by the low, almost “oogah-chaka” backing vocals.

    Later that same station played a Bon Jovi song, the second day in a row I had to hear Bon Jovi on my oldies station. Man, that band was beyond bad. That shit’s not fit for a soda ad jingle.

  60. jeangray

    Oh, so close to 25. Here are a couple more:

    Swing Out Sister — “Breakout”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqcNXXCIs3w

    Benny Madrones — “Into the Night”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aWhn0Hc8ps

    • jeangray

      Woah. Went a little dyslexic on that dude’s name. It’s Mardones & man is that video extra-creepy or what?

    • You’re good at getting into the so-called ModLogic, jeangray. I don’t recall ever hearing that Swing Out Sister song, but that’s very easy for me to like. Had I heard it in the day we would have #24 nailed down. The other song…no way, but nearly batting .500 with my mind is a fantastic average.

    • misterioso

      jg, is “Into the Night” from the 80s? I think of that song–to the extent that I think about it–as being late 70s. But I haven’t checked on this. It strikes me as a less reprehensible version of something that Journey would have done a few years later, somehow.

      • jeangray

        Research shows that it hit #11 on the Billboard Top 40 in Sept. of ’80. It was re-released in ’89 (not sure why) & hit #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Weird.

        If’n it hasn’t been done already, perhaps we need to do a LMS on songs that have been hits more than once on the Billboard charts.

  61. Just 2 slots left to fill! A Townsman actually called me the other night to question whether the characteristically ’80s works of ’80s Genesis and solo Peter Gabriel may actually qualify in the way basketball, football, and soccer rules sometimes allow players to step out of bounds and then re-enter play as a still-eligible participant. We need to look further into these rules to see if they apply to Genesis and Gabriel, but if they do and if these artists were able to re-enter the decade as fresh, valid participants, then we will have no problem settling this mission. Anyone who is comfortable with these sports’ rules and how they might be applied to this situation are welcome to clarify. I’m bad at interpreting rules of even my second through fourth favorite sports. Thanks.

  62. alexmagic

    Short on time, Mod, but let’s see where these get us:

    Eurythmics – “Sweet Dreams”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ9zycElysU (arguably the biggest MTV-era band that hasn’t come up at all)

    Donna Summer and Musical Youth – “Unconditional Love”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVMnRN2TdVw (I’d be remiss if we didn’t explore your love of Musical Youth further)

    Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs (a true ’80s titan)

    Yello – “Oh Yeah”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLb9jPuDS9Y

    And let’s re-explore the early Madonna angle a little more, since she’s made the list twice and we’ve established that “Sidewalk Talk” would have made the cut had you known it then. From her huge first album, pretty big hits that you may have forgotten:

    Borderline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHDbv7ZPCE0
    Lucky Star: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThHz9wlBeLU
    Burning Up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pufec0Hps00

    • How did we leave Eurythmics off the board all this time? Maybe folks know how much I can’t stand Annie Lennox and figured they weren’t worth suggesting? Here’s the deal: I had so much respect for “Sweet Dreams” that all the early indicators of my not liking Annie Lennox were put aside. #24 has been identified: Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams”.

      Eurythmics had another faux-Stax or -Motown song, didn’t they, a year or two later that I may have liked. I can’t recall what song I’m thinking of though. I’ll look into it when I get time.

      I don’t recall that Musical Youth/Donna Summer jam, but that’s a good one. As you may know, I can’t stand Summer almost as much as I can’t stand Lennox.

      “Safety Dance” is one of those songs that make me want to drive off a cliff in California. No way!

      Yello is one of those bands I wasn’t sure if I’d ever heard or not. I don’t recall ever knowingly hearing this song. It wouldn’t have done it for me back then, although wiser, kinder, gentler me can appreciate its craft.

      I can’t and couldn’t stand “Borderline” and “Lucky Star,” no matter how badly I wanted to bang the artist. That speaks volumes to my musical integrity, doesn’t it?

      I don’t recall ever knowingly hearing “Burning Up.” Despite the song’s Sam Ash Sound I could have enjoyed that song more than most songs by popular artists at that time. It climbs to the appropriate chord sequences at the appropriate moments. Decent video, too. I would gather it’s the Beatles for Sale to her Rubber Soul-quality videos that would follow shortly thereafter.

      • alexmagic

        Yeah, “Burning Up” was the ringer I was throwing in there just to be sure you were listening. It wasn’t as big a hit as the others, but it is the best of them.

        Yello is one of those bands I wasn’t sure if I’d ever heard or not. I don’t recall ever knowingly hearing this song. It wouldn’t have done it for me back then, although wiser, kinder, gentler me can appreciate its craft.

        So does this mean you’ve never seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mod? If so, this is another piece of information that helps put not only your ’80s Hits stance into perspective, but also adds another layer to the Rock Died In 1983 cult. (I’m not judging in either case, merely reporting what I find as a Rock Anthropologist.)

        • Only in the last 2 years have I seen a couple of 10-minute bits from that movie. After first seeing Matthew Broderick in that movie where he and some girl rig up their computers to set off nuclear bombs or something, I couldn’t stand that guy so much that I refused to ever watch his other ’80s hits. I had to force myself to watch that movie Election, from the 2000s, I believe, just because I knew he would be in it. It wasn’t only Rock that died in 1983. I headed off to a cultural bunker in an undisclosed location with the likes of andyr, chickenfrank, and sethro.

      • misterioso

        Just to give you an idea of how much this has been eating at me, I woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago and thought, Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams,” that’s a great song, why has nobody suggested it? Then went back to sleep and forgot about. I’m not big on much else they/she/he did but that song still holds up.

  63. Is “Church of the Poison Mind” from the ’80s, the song EPG and I once agreed was better than anything by Style Council? That may do it.

    Yes, now that I’m back from lunch, I see this qualifies. #25: Culture Club, “Church of the Poison Mind”! It is accomplished.

    Previously…http://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/does-even-one-style-council

  64. jeangray

    Can you write out the whole list please? Thanx! 🙂

  65. […] Last Man Standing: Help Mr. Moderator Identify His List of Actual Hits From the 1980s That He Liked,… (210) […]

  66. […] Last Man Standing: Help Mr. Moderator Identify His List of Actual Hits From the 1980s That He Liked,… (211) […]

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  68. Take It Back – Pookah Makes 3
    Hop Skip Jump – The Quick
    Rhythm Of The Jungle- The Quick
    Broken Land – Adventures
    Skin Deep – Stranglers
    I.O.U. – Freez
    Love An Adventure – Pseudo Echo
    21st Century Boy – Sigue Sigue Sputnik
    Underneath The Radar – Underworld
    Oh Yeah – Yello
    Let’s Go All The Way – Sly Fox
    Jack To the Sound Of The Underground – Hithouse
    Beat Dis – Bomb The Bass

    Bomb The Bass

  69. Venetians – So Much For Love
    V Spy V Spy – Don’t Tear I Down

 
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