Segarini: Thirty Timeless Tracks from the ‘80s…and Why I Love Them.

It is no secret that there is both good and bad music from every decade. Of course defining ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is up to the individual and not a magazine, chart, or critic, but we seem to have forgotten that over the years. There are those who swear by the charts, or financial success, or just plain old popularity, but the truth of the matter is that no one can speak for the individual. It is impossible. So when you read this column, and hear the music, remember that this is just my opinion, and that opinion is based on a very simple criteria that has nothing to do with what I mentioned above….

I write regularly about that which is under the radar, the undeservedly failed songs and artists, and the usual assortment of greatness we are all too familiar with. And as you well know, if you are a serial reader of this blog, my choices are not always popular, or in tune with what the majority, or even the hip elite, tends to favour. That’s because I just go by a feeling I get when I hear something that I personally cannot deny. Sometimes it takes the form of goose bumps on my arms, sometimes, my body starts to move with the music, and sometimes, I get such a vivid picture in my mind’s eye, that I can feel like I am somewhere else, somewhere the music transports me to whether I want to go with it or not. It is not my choice…it is the music.

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Allowing myself to be swept away by music regardless of its genre or connected artist has led me to a great deal of enjoyment over the years, of music I had no idea I would like. I left my door unlocked, my windows open, and trusted that if I let everything in, I would be rewarded (and surprised) far more than if I decried a certain genre or loathed an artist, and turned off my mind (and the rest of me) to any and all music associated with them. I see far too many people, friends and strangers alike, who have made up their minds that they will never like anything based on their pre-determined set of rules, to immediately turn a deaf ear to country, or jazz, or heavy metal, or whatever it is they have decided to cast out unheard. Like people who proudly announce they don’t have a TV and haven’t watched it in years, complaining about how bad it is…even though they haven’t watched it in years and know nothing about the quality of some of the shows they have denied themselves based on an old decision and an ongoing assumption that television is terrible.

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As much as it pains me at times, I still listen to terrestrial radio occasionally and have been rewarded (and mystified) for my vigilance. I still can’t put my finger on the overwhelming amount of Adele love, or figure out what it is people hear in Drake, or Minaj, or Pitbull, but I have been rewarded with a terrific One Direction tune, a couple of tracks from Bruno Mars, and a great single from Fun, and a few other artists and songs that surprised me as only music discovery can.

True, I do find more music that floats my boat through the internet or friends suggestions, but even today, radio can sometimes play something that results in bird-flesh, or better…and that, my friends, is what I’m all about when it comes to music.

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I chose the ‘80s for today’s column because to me, like the ‘50s, it was an incredibly wild transitional decade for music. It was the decade when disco began morphing into ‘dance’, R&B started the transition to slow jams, mainstream rap and hop-hop, and the ‘roll’ was finally removed from ‘rock and roll’, and ‘Rock’ music had fewer purveyors hitting the charts, and mainstream rock was replaced in popularity by its sub-genres, now known as hair bands, heavy metal (and all of its sub genres), Punk, and ‘New Wave’, and ‘Pop’ was taken from The Beatles, and all who had followed in their footsteps, and firmly placed in the care of the ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson, who surely would have been much more accepted (by me, anyway), as the ‘King of Dance Music’, ‘King of Young People’, or ‘King of the Dancing and Singing at the Same Time People’. Country embraced ‘New Country’, leaving Hank Williams to spin in the back seat of his Cadillac, and Patsy Cline to near obscurity until K. D. Lang rescued her name and musical heritage in the mainstream public’s eye, and Jazz, as ignored by the mainstream as always, started to make its move toward ‘smooth jazz’ and a niche market that thrives to this day.

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We’re not going to bring up the Usual Suspects from the ‘80s today. You all know my love for Hall and Oates, Bruce Hornsby, and the other obvious monsters of music that came out of the decade, and we’re not going to delve into the obscure or unknown, regardless of how deserving I think they are. Instead, we are going to focus on 28 tracks (and 2 bonus babies from 1991 (and for good reason) that were all top 5 in at least 1 country, and most of which were number 1 in the U.S or Canada. You have all probably heard every one of these tunes, and therein lies the beauty of individual choices and listening to music from within, judged by your own criteria. I know those who will find great nostalgic warmth for these songs, others who will loathe almost all of them, and even people who will shake their heads at the choices below. To  all of you, I say, try and listen with fresh ears. Not through the fog of nostalgia, not through your disdain for a particular genre, just open your doors and windows and let the music in and see what happens. I’ll look forward to your comments.

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Before we continue, a little advice.

If you want to watch the videos, right click on the links and open them in another window, that way you can watch them and close them when they’re done, or just listen to them and continue reading while the tune plays out in the other window. If you do choose to watch (and some of them are worth watching if only for the hair and clothes), watch them in ‘full screen. In the case of a Vevo video, you can either skip the ad after a few seconds (there’s a little window in the lower right hand corner of the video that will countdown and then say ‘Skip Ad’), or just let it play through…they are MUCH shorter than a radio commercial.

Ready?

Let’s go….

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Split Enz – I Got You 1980

Split Enz were a band from New Zealand and were together from 1972 until 1984. During that time they went through at least 15 different members. This track, (written by Finn brother Neil, who joined his brother Tim in the group in 1977) was their biggest chart record hitting number 1 in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. This song was a mish-mash of Beatle-y melodies and harmony, new wave sensibilities, and a pant load of energetic, bouncy grooves. It still makes me smile every time I hear it, which is very rarely, indeed.

Steely Dan – Hey Nineteen 1980

A flock of studio players, brilliant writers and arrangers, and a jazz influenced feel took this song much further in the charts than the band had expected, reaching number 10 in the US, one of only 3 Steely Dan tracks to do so. What’s it about? An older man’s relationship with a much younger girl. “Hey Nineteen, that’s ‘Retha Franklin / She don’t remember the Queen of Soul / It’s hard times befallen the sole survivors / She thinks I’m crazy but I’m just growing old”). The song has always made me drift away with its understated feel and lovely harmonies. How gracious of radio to play it back then.

Jon Anderson and Vangelis – Friends of Mr. Cairo 1981

From Wikipedia: “The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 30s and 40s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era most notably Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Jimmy Stewart. During the track, a screeching of tires and a car horn are heard, presumably as a car makes its getaway. This screeching sound/car horn is identical to that heard in the 1970 feature film ‘Get Carter’ (at 1.1.52-1.1.56), and was probably sampled for use on the track. Joel Cairo (Mr Cairo) is the name of the character played by Peter Lorre in the Maltese Falcon.”  For the few radio stations who played all 12+ minutes of this opus, a 21 gun salute. Even the short edited version was a milestone. One of the best, (and last), of the Theatre of the Mind tracks that radio played. An atmospheric and totally immersive exercise in studio know-how, brilliant writing and arranging, and savvy musicians. It also got rid of the bad taste left by McArthur Park, an earlier, and in my opinion, dismal attempt, to engage the listener in similar fashion. You can include Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell” scenery chewing in that file under, “Overly Histrionic Bombast in Place of Subtlety, Taste, and, Vision.”

Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me 1982

Part new wave, part New Romantic, part island feel, and all wonderfully executed by a real band that pulled it off live as well as on record. Boy George, much more comfortable with his sexuality at the time (unlike the still closeted Elton John) didn’t give a rats ass about anyone else’s discomfort and just had a great time. Still a terrific voice from the era, and a record that cut across a lot of existing barriers, this is a guilty pleasure from beginning to end.

Steve Miller – Abracadabra 1982

I remember Steve when he fronted a blues trio, and I will NEVER forget his first album of note, the incredibly well recorded (by Glyn Johns) ‘Children of the Future’. A finer B-3 sound, you would be hard pressed to find. It has always puzzled me that amongst his most avid fans, this track suffers the kind of derision usually reserved for ‘I’m Henry the Eighth I Am’. Not only is this a great, tightly structured pop/rock song, but the dropped beat in the chorus delights me because every cover band I have ever heard try to play this tune screw it up. Like all the other songs on this list, it is still a great piece of music.

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science 1982

What? TWO songs from Thomas Dolby? Yep. Once again, atmospherics play into these songs strengths, and so does the quirky instrumentation and vocal delivery. When I was at Q107, we played both of these and they fit perfectly because they didn’t emulate any other tracks in the library. One of my favourite things to do was mix in and out of ‘One of Our Submarines’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’. I can’t think of a better way to get fired these days. And who doesn’t remember being half cut and yelling SCIENCE! every now and then just for fun? Thomas Dolby – One of Our Submarines 1982

Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out 1982

Most people remember Joe for ‘Is She Really Goin’ Out with Him?’ and ‘Sunday Papers’ from his first album, ‘Look Sharp’. As fine as those seminal British New Wave songs were, it was the 5th album, 1982’s ‘Night and Day’ that I couldn’t get enough of. This track is yet another example of atmosphere and jazz influenced classical instrumentation elevating a good song to greatness. You can hear Jackson’s poppy roots melodically, but the musicality of the arrangement elevates it to somewhere between Gershwin and Shearing. Refreshing to hear, even now.

Lionel Richie – All Night Long 1983

This record was both a revelation and a shock to me. A revelation because I didn’t think that Richie was capable of this kind of jump-up joy, and a shock because it was Lionel fucking Richie. It took an article in Rolling Stone to get me to even consider listening to the album this was on, and one of the last lessons that solidified my desire to NEVER judge a piece of music on a preconceived notion, or other works by the same artist. That said, I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for ‘Once, Twice, Three Times a lady’. It resides in the Circular File right next to Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You”.

Footnote: The video for this was produced by Michael Nesmith and directed by Bob Rafelson. Look them up if you don’t recall who they are.

Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine 1983

If it weren’t for old friends Al Mair, Tom Williams, and Ralph Alfonso, none of us would have ever heard this wonderful song. Attic Records of Canada were the only record company on Earth to release Katrina and the Waves first album and unleash this perfect pop song into the ether.

When I was out in California in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, I had a mix tape I played in my little Fiat Spyder convertible (with a far too big and powerful sound system in it) every time I decided to take a spin in the Delta and take advantage of the cool breezes off the rivers and enjoy the scenery afforded by the roads on the top of the levees. This track was the first cut on the first side. Shook off the dust and cheered me up Every. Single. Time. Still does.

Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart 1983

The first time I played this song on Q107 I was hooked. It is still as close to a perfect record as has ever been made. What Hall and Oates did for (real) pop music, Yes did for rock; they created a record so fresh that it reinvigorated the genre. Equal parts Rock, Prog, and Groove, Owner of a Lonely Heart was intelligent, full of surprises, and unabashedly unique. It sounded unlike anything out there, and coming from a fairly long in the tooth British Prog band, it stood very little chance of getting airplay except for the fact that everything about the song, performance, and recording were undeniable. You knew it in the first 3 seconds…this record would NOT be ignored. All these years later, and I feel exactly the same way as I did the first time I heard it. Like the other songs on this list (and the rest of my personal favourites) I will never grow tired of hearing it.

The Romantics – Talking in Your Sleep 1983

The realization of the promise of all their previous recordings, this was the track that solidified The Romantics as a true rock and roll force. Equal parts rock and roll, Detroit R&B swagger, and hard edged funk, they came within a heartbeat of becoming outright HUGE. I will always wonder why they didn’t. Great writers, killer players, and at home both on stage and in the studio, The Romantics had it all. Like the Wackers before them, I think a lot of their inability to really break through had more to do with timing than anything else. This is one of the defining records of the ‘80s, and sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released.

Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time 1984

Another question that I can never hope to answer satisfactorily; Why did Madonna explode and not Cyndi? Curse you, mainstream audience, curse you. Cyndi is the better and more soulful singer, writer (this one co-authored with a member of The Hooters) and performer. She’s even a better singer now…and thankfully does not appear to be even as remotely desperate as her more successful contemporary. This one song speaks to me more profoundly than Madonna’s entire catalogue. Seriously, Madge…put down the calculator and write a song as good as this one.

Wham – Careless Whisper 1985

I chose to find and share a live recording of this song for two reasons; to remind you of just how much these two guys were loved, and to showcase their rather prodigious talent. The band is on fire, the vocals are pitch perfect, the self-penned song is a classic, and the sax riff here cuts anything I have ever heard on a Springsteen record. Not that The Big Man was any less of a player, but this melodic intro is just more memorable.

Robbie Nevil – C’est La Vie 1986

This is the biggest record Robbie ever had, but it is also the best song he ever wrote. He also wrote and produced for everyone from the Pointer Sisters, El Debarge, and Earth, Wind and Fire, to Jessica Simpson, Hannah Montana, and the High School Musical franchise. I forgive him for the last three on the strength of this song alone. Damn thing makes me want to dance or pick up a stripper every time I hear it. Play that funky music, white boy. Indeed….

El Debarge – Someone 1986

…and speaking of Debarge, this incredibly talented kid had also built himself a solid career at one time. This was the track that did it for me, but ‘Who’s Johnny?’ wasn’t bad either. Add to this his work with Tone Loc, Quincy Jones and others and you have a formidable talent. My other favourite song of his is coming up later in the list, a recording of a Marvin Gaye penned song he made with my favourite group from the ‘90s.

Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name 1986

Say what you will about Jon Bon Jovi, but the album this track is from, ‘Slippery When Wet’, is one of the best rock albums ever. I still reach over and turn the volume up when I hear this song. Just seems like the right thing to do. Like another great live band, Huey Lewis and the News, Bon Jovi gets a lot of heat these days. People are just so damn fickle….

The Jets – All Over Him 1986

These kids are all brothers and sisters, with another bunch of siblings waiting in the wings. I was sure they were going to be the new Jackson family, but it was not to be. This is one of those songs that managed to peek above the pack, even though it was part of radio’s first forays into finding a catchy, likeable sound for the tween crowd to embrace. I took my daughter to see them live, (check yesterday’s column for a picture), and they were incredible. Played their own instruments and sang their own songs. The sister who sang lead on this…was 13 years old at the time they recorded it. Undeniable. For the uptempo side of the Jets coin, check out ‘I’ve Got a Crush on You’ on You Tube.

Steve Winwood – Higher Love 1986

Loved this song so much, I opened my afternoon drive show at Q when I went back to work there briefly in the mid ‘80s every day until they asked me to stop. Infectious, totally body moving, and Winwood’s voice sounds like maple syrup on a sheet of fine sandpaper. Listening to it while I type this out. Oh yeah….

Belinda Carlyle – Heaven is a Place on Earth 1987

The Go Go’s? Nah…I’m a Bangles fan, but this Belinda Carlyle solo effort has one of the hookiest chorus’s ever. Where all of today’s female singers tend to sound the same, (hello, Auto-Tune…fuck off) ‘80s female warblers tended to have their own voices.  Anyone who calls themselves a songwriter would be wise to listen to every track here…there is more good advice in these songs, than any tutorial or pundit could possibly teach you. This is music that speaks for itself.

Terence Trent D’Arby – Wishing Well 1987

I went to see this guy with a model friend of mine, Maria Hoyt, a long legged leg model, which made perfect sense considering, her beautiful legs. I was rewarded with a tight band, a soaring voice, and a riveting performance. Like many industry types, I thought this guy was going to be around for a long time. It was not to be. That does not diminish the music the man made one iota. He’s still out there performing, and if you have the chance, go see him. This isn’t the only good song in his catalogue.

Aerosmith – Dude Looks Like a Lady

Like ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’, this track is undeniable from the opening chords to the carefully cluttered fade out. I once played it 3 times in a row at Q and nobody batted an eyelash. This is rock and roll in the guise of a joyful noise. There are not that many rock songs with the melodic sensibilities of this song, that can still manage to kick so much ass. It is another song that demands to be turned up. Written by Tyler, Perry, and go-to song doctor Desmond Child, and according to several sources, inspired by Motley Crue’s Vince Neil after a night of drinking with Tyler, this is in my top ten rock list. Keep on mind ‘Free as a Bird’ is my favourite ‘Beatle’ record.

Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract 1988

Relax. Even Ms. Abdul admits she is not a singer, but be that as it may, the album this puppy is on spawned a record amount of hits at the time and stands as the precursor of today’s tightly formatted pop stations. Let’s see; cute singer…yep, can she dance…yep, a phalanx of songwriters…yep, producers…yep, studio musicians/programmers/more producers…yep, okay, let’s do this thing! I just wish they did it this well now.

Bobby Brown – Rock Wit’cha 1988

Find both the original and remix versions of the album this is from, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, and spend some time just listening to the whole thing. By the whole thing I mean the songs, the performances, and the production. This is a formidable collection of music, and this song is a jewel. For all his faults, Bobby Brown delivered the goods, and they track as well now as they did then. This is some smooth, yet funky, soul, and worthy of your attention.

Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know It’s True 1989

Not that a Grammy is worth anything, but if the Academy wasn’t so damn hypocritical, they would be taking Grammys back left and right these days. There were over a dozen singers on this album and lord knows how many on this track, but Milli Vanilli became popular and sold records because of their little dance, Euro-trash good looks, and entertaining live shows.  They, and this song, got a lousy, after-the-fact reputation, but guess what? This is a fine, well-crafted little pop song regardless of who sang it. I feel sorry for these guys, especially the one who took his own life because some asshats took this music, and themselves, too seriously.  I guess you showed them, Grammy Guys.

Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting for You 1989

Heartfelt, subtle, beautifully sung and understated. Want to know for sure how great this record is? Play it back to back with ‘All By Myself’. Richard’s Rumer VS Eric’s Ethel Merman. Nuance gets me every time when it comes to a ballad. Incidentally, Mr. Marx was one of the background singers on Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ when he was a teenager. Cool, huh?

Michael Damian – Rock On 1989

Yes, I know, David Essex wrote this song and it was in ‘Stardust’ a little known cult film that finished the story started in ‘That’ll Be the Day’. Great films and a great song, but soap opera star Michael Damian had the chart topping hit with the song thanks to a killer arrangement and a rockier feel. Such a cool song.

Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love 1989

The biggest reason XTC and Oasis leave me cold. The two guys that make up Tears for Fears just plain do it better. Of all their glorious tracks, this is the one that hooked me and never let go. The other hits are swell, yes, but this one really nails their mandate. A lovely song that still stands up even on an acoustic guitar. Jeff Lynne, eat your heart out…except for ‘Free as a Bird’…which I love.

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Bonus Tracks!

Before female singers started singing about being whores and loving sex and stuff on the radio stations your little sister listens to, there weren’t many records that scored with the mainstream that were explicit about sex. There had to be innuendo, and double entendre in order for the songs to be acceptable. This record bent the rules a bit and led the way for the rest of the bitches…er…hoes…er…female singers.  Not really, I’m just fuckin’ with ya. Seriously, I just love this record, was pissed off it wasn’t recorded until the ‘90s, and thought well, it DOES fit in as an ‘80s sounding track after the ‘80s removed its shoulder pads and went home, and yes, it DID break new ground for ‘free expression’ and did it cleverly. And I also think this is one sexy woman and love the video. Divinyls – I Touch Myself  1991

And finally, the previously name-checked El Debarge recorded this great Marvin Gaye song with my favourite musicians on Earth and had a hit with it. Uncanny. And he got to sing with Fourplay! Envy, envy, envy, envy, envy, envy, envy.  Fourplay and El Debarge – After the Dance 1991

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

11 Responses to “Segarini: Thirty Timeless Tracks from the ‘80s…and Why I Love Them.”

  1. Johnny Van Veld Says:

    Great ARTICLE…..

  2. You nailed it, Bib. When put in context, ALL of these songs stand up and show that the ’80s weren’t the disposable decade that Rolling Stone would have us believe. I challenge ANY artist now to write a bass line as incessant as the one in “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson. It never lets up…only Yes’ “Round About” from the ’70s can beat it. You should also check out Tears For Fears’ 2004 comeback album ‘Everybody Loves a Happy Ending’ where they took “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” as a starting point and went from there. I’ve been a huge fan since their first UK single in 1981 (!!!), but this album is better than everything else they’ve released – and yet still sounds like the 1980s. I recommend the title track, “Closest Thing To Heaven”, “Secret World” and “Call Me Mellow.

  3. Max Brand Says:

    Great article Bob. Although I wasn’t into the new stuff at the time but it pretty much was quite a amazing era which is why we miss so much of our music that had special meaning and I simply hope it’ll come back.

  4. A fantastic and well researched list Bob…I would listen to and enjoy every one of these tracks…however if you asked me if I did back when they came out I would have said “hell no!” just to look cool…but I loved them all back in the 80’s too…just keep it on the down low.

  5. Split Enz? Top Ten? Sumbitch. They reached cult band status in Seattle but I don’t remember them ever really charting. I give you maybe 50% on this list, Bob, but of course this is me. I hated the canned sounds of the eighties— the drum machines and the dominance of keyboards and, yes, the hairstyles. I am the guy who will need to hear Wham without knowing who they are to even give them a chance. I am the guy who needs to take a shower after hearing Milli Vanilli on VH1. Then again, I am the guy who doesn’t talk about Joe Jackson or Bon Jovi out loud but actually enjoys it when the muzak pumps their music through Safeway’s speakers. To me, as in every decade except the fifties and sixties, the real gold is not even bubbling under but buried deep. Shit! Now Culture Club is looping in my head. The suicide note they find next to my body will mention this column, blaming you for my self-inflicted death. Death by Culture Club. What a shitty way to go.

  6. this is my entire childhood in a musical chart. these are all the songs my mom would sit me in front of the tv and make me watch. she loved them and i grew to love them too. great list!

  7. Phil Hanbidge Says:

    I’m Just sayin’ … Dude, PLEASE!

    Bob, it’s your column – you explained your perspective up front – and you can discuss any songs of your choice, bien sur.
    But just in passing, here are a few random (actually alphabetical) items that you deemed unworthy of inclusion. Some are timeless and some are very much of their time. Any choices you may wish to reconsider and reflect upon?

    * a-ha/Take On Me
    * Animotion/Obsession
    * B-52s/Love Shack
    * Bananarama/Cruel Summer
    * Band-Aid/Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    * Bangles/Eternal Flame
    * Berlin/Sex (I’m a …)
    * Big Country/In a Big Country
    * Blondie/Rapture
    * Laura Branigan/Gloria *
    * Irene Cara/Fame
    * Tracy Chapman/Fast Car
    * Clash/Rock the Casbah * Should I Stay or Should I Go?
    * Phil Collins/In the Air Tonight
    * Crosby, Stills & Nash/Southern Cross
    * The Cure/Friday I’m in Love * Just Like Heaven * Lovecats
    * Charlie Daniels Band/The Devil Went Down to Georgia
    * Def Leppard/Photograph
    * Depeche Mode/Personal Jesus
    * Devo/Whip It
    * Dexys Midnight Runners/Come on Eileen
    * Dire Straits/Sultans of Swing
    * Dream Academy/Life in a Northern Town
    * Duran Duran/Hungry Like the Wolf *
    * Eagles/Hotel California
    * Eurythmics/Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) *
    * Harold Faltermeyer/Axel F
    * Fine Young Cannibals/Good Thing * She Drives Me Crazy
    * Flock of Seagulls/I Ran (So Far Away)
    * Foreigner/I Want To Know What Love Is
    * Frankie Goes to Hollywood/Relax *
    * Peter Gabriel/In Your Eyes * Sledgehammer
    * Marvin Gaye/Sexual Healing
    * Gloria Gaynor/I Will Survive
    * Go-Go’s/We Got the Beat
    * Golden Earring/Twilight Zone
    * Grateful Dead/Touch of Grey *
    * Jan Hammer/Miami Vice Theme
    * Corey Hart/Sunglasses at Night
    * Murray Head/One Night in Bangkok
    * Heart/Alone
    * Don Henley/Boys of Summer
    * Honeydrippers/Sea of Love
    * Bruce Hornsby & the Range/The Way It Is
    * Human League/Don’t You Want Me *
    * Icicle Works/Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)
    * Billy Idol/White Wedding
    * Michael Jackson/Beat It * Billie Jean
    * Joan Jett & the Blackhearts/I Love Rock-n-Roll
    * Billy Joel/It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
    * Elton John/Candle in the Wind *
    * Kajagoogoo/Too Shy
    * Nik Kershaw/Wouldn’t It Be Good
    * Knack/My Sharona
    * Kool & the Gang/Celebration
    * Cyndi Lauper/Girls Just Want to Have Fun * True Colors
    * John Lennon/(Just Like) Starting Over
    * Living Colour/Cult of Personality
    * Kenny Loggins/Footloose *
    * Madonna/La Isla Bonita
    * Manhattan Transfer/The Boy from New York City
    * Bobby McFerrin/Don’t Worry, Be Happy
    * Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes/(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life
    * John Cougar Mellencamp/Pink Houses
    * Men At Work/Down Under
    * Men Without Hats/Safety Dance
    * Midnight Oil/Beds Are Burning
    * Moody Blues/The Voice
    * Naked Eyes/Always Something There to Remind Me
    * Nena/99 Luftballons
    * Juice Newton/Angel of the Morning
    * Olivia Newton-John/Physical
    * Stevie Nicks and Don Henley/Leather and Lace
    * Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
    * Gary Numan/Cars *
    P * Robert Palmer/Addicted To Love
    * Ray Parker, Jr./Ghostbusters
    * Pet Shop Boys/West End Girls
    * Tom Petty/Free Fallin’ * Refugee
    * Pink Floyd/Another Brick In The Wall, Part II
    * Police/Every Breath You Take
    * Pretenders/Brass in Pocket (I’m Special) *
    * Prince/When Doves Cry
    * Psychedelic Furs/Pretty in Pink *
    * Quarterflash/Harden My Heart
    * Queen/Another One Bites the Dust * Crazy Little Thing Called Love
    * Quiet Riot/Cum on Feel the Noize *
    * R.E.M./The One I Love
    * Rockwell/Somebody’s Watching Me
    * Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton/Islands in the Stream
    * Romantics/What I Like About You
    * David Lee Roth/Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody
    * Roxette/The Look
    * Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Hooked on Classics
    * Sade/Smooth Operator
    * Bob Seger /Against the Wind * Old Time Rock & Roll
    * Paul Simon/You Can Call Me Al
    * Simple Minds/Don’t You Forget About Me
    * Smithereens/A Girl Like You
    * Soft Cell/Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go
    * Spin Doctors/Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong
    * Rick Springfield/Jessie’s Girl
    * Bruce Springsteen/Dancing in the Dark
    * Billy Squier/The Stroke
    * Starship/We Built This City
    * Rod Stewart/Young Turks
    * Stray Stray Cats/Stray Cat Strut
    * Styx/Mr. Roboto
    * Supertramp/The Logical Song
    * Survivor/Eye of the Tiger *
    * Talking Heads/And She Was * Burning Down the House
    * Tears for Fears/Everybody Wants to Rule the World * Shout
    * Thompson Twins/Hold Me Now
    * ‘Til Tuesday/Voices Carry
    * Timbuk 3/The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
    * Tommy Tutone/867-5309/Jenny
    * Toto/Africa
    * Pete Townshend/Let My Love Open the Door
    * T’Pau/Heart and Soul
    * Traveling Wilburys/Handle with Care
    * Trio/Da Da Da
    * Tina Turner/Private Dancer * What’s Love Got to Do With It
    * Twisted Sister/We’re Not Gonna Take It
    * Bonnie Tyler/Total Eclipse of the Heart *
    * UB40/Red Red Wine
    * Tracey Ullman/They Don’t Know
    * U2/I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For * Where the Streets Have No Name * With or Without You
    * Van Halen/Jump
    * Vangelis/Chariots of Fire
    * Vapors/Turning Japanese
    * Suzanne Vega/Luka
    * Suzanne Vega/Tom’s Diner
    * Village People/Y.M.C.A.
    * Violent Femmes/Blister in the Sun *
    * Wall of Voodoo/Mexican Radio
    * Joe Walsh/Life’s Been Good
    * Wang Chung/Everybody Have Fun Tonight
    * Weather Girls/It’s Raining Men
    * Wham!/Careless Whisper
    * Wham!/Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
    * Whitesnake/Here I Go Again
    * XTC/Dear God *
    * Paul Young/Everytime You Go Away *
    * Frank and Moon Unit Zappa/Valley Girl
    * ZZ Top/Sharp Dressed Man *

  8. Phil Hanbidge Says:

    Y’know what, I hadn’t intended but that ended up being stupidly long.
    Just delete that last comment … it’s enough that I thought of those songs momentarily.

  9. Bob, on the local radio station around here on Saturday and Sunday afternoons we get Cacey Cassems American Top 40.These are original broadcasts.Same week (ie Aug 20) and a different year is presented.Saturday is from the 70’s,Sunday is from the 80’s.What fun it is to listen to these songs and stories about them again.The radios are pumped out in the garage.You remember all these songs when you hear them,a lot you will never hear again.Radio back then on Top 40 had little barriers,Rock,Pop,Soul,Country, etc. were all over these charts.Its a fun 3 hours to listen to,having a few pints and being in a time machine.Cheers

  10. […] week Bob Segarini posted an incredible article about what can only be described as the crème-de-le-crème of hit songs from the 1980s. It was not […]

  11. I really like the Joe Jackson song “Steppin’ Out”. I remember the videos for the 80s a lot more than even the songs. All they did back then was play music videos on TV. Now I don’t see any. What ever happened to them.

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