Nadia Elkharadly: My 80s top 6

That’s right, I’m jumping on the Bandwagon.  Bob and Cam’s lists of their songs from the 80s had me nostalgic for my childhood.  Frankly, I’m jealous of their more mature perspectives. They actually understood the music, what it was about and even got to see some of these acts live.  I’ve always said I was born at the wrong time, and I never feel it more when I look at when the music I love was made.  If I had been old enough to at least grasp what music was in the 80s, I would have been old enough to be seeing and feeling it live and in person in the 90s.  I was born in 1980, so for the most part the music of the 80s is a fuzzy background to other memories that I have growing up.  I was just a kid when this music was around, but for as long as I can remember, music was a part of my childhood.

My mom had an intense love affair with Much Music, and considering she had four kids under the age of seven, we were not only pulling on her apron strings, but sitting with her in front of the TV, getting our first musical education.  She loved it all; pop, rock, R&B, Canadian, American, European – and thanks to MuchMusic (and I’m sure somehow one Mr. Robert Segarini) that music came into our homes, and into our hearts and minds.  As a result, I give my mother credit for turning me onto music in the first place.  She showed me the beauty of music and the power of the music video – that incredible visual manifestation of a song.  As a result, my first association with music comes part in parcel with that visual – music videos truly were my first taste of music.    And considering this Saturday is my lovely mother’s birthday, this column is doing double duty as my 80s favourites list, and a motherly birthday shout out.  So happy birthday mom, my first musical influence; here are the songs that I remember you raising me with.

Genesis – Land of Confusion: This song and video exemplifies the concept of a kid enjoying something while not having a clue of what it’s really all about.  This over the top video was a favourite when I was a kid.  The Claymation and funny faces of Phil Collins and company, as well as Ronald Regan and a number of other political and pop culture figurers were enough to provide endless entertainment to my young mind.

Crowded House – Don’t Dream it’s over: The gentle melody and lovely vocals provided by Neil Finn were completely appealing to me as a child.  .  Every time I hear this song I just remember being a little kid, sitting on the couch being lulled into a happy, sleepy state by this sweet yet melancholy song.

Madonna – La Isla Bonita: As a little girl I absolutely adored this video.  It was completely mesmerising to me, even though I barely understood the story the video was trying to tell.  All I knew was that I liked sexy dancing Madonna much more than the Madonna that seemed to be praying all the time.  That gorgeous, swirling red dress, her sultry Spanish dancing and those smoldering looks she gave the camera – it was unforgettable.  I wanted to be her when I grew up, I wanted to dress like her, dance like her, and I wanted to be in that video more than anything in the world.

Bon Jovi – Livin on a Prayer: There were several Bon Jovi songs that I remember hearing as a kid, but this one stands out the most to me.  My brothers used to imitate that “oh ee, oh oo” sound ad nauseum, and as kids we loved watching Jon Bon Jovi running around the stage like a maniac, shaking his impossibly thick lion’s mane hair and singing his heart out.  We didn’t know what it meant to be livin’ on a prayer, but we were singing our hearts out right with him.

INXS – I need you tonight: The sexy sultry shaking of Michael Hutchence hips went completely unnoticed by my brothers and me as we watched this video.  The mostly black and white film, the odd infusion of colour here and there, and that random white mouse is what had us hooked.  Oh, we also really liked the music itself – it’s a pretty killer tune.  Years later whenever I hear this song I get nostalgic.  It was a family favourite.

Michael Jackson – Thriller: When I was a kid this video TERRIFIED me.  Those dancing zombies were the stuff my nightmares were made of, and I couldn’t stand to watch it.  My brothers knew this, and loved to mess with me.  I would run out of the room when the scariest parts came on, and I’d yell back at them to ask if those parts were over yet.  A chorus of tiny voiced “Yes”’s followed, so I’d come back to the TV room…only to run out crying and scared shitless.  Despite all that I loved the song, so even when I hid from the scary monsters on the screen, I made sure that I could still hear every word and note.

So there you have it, my child like perspective on the music of the 80s.  Happy birthday Mom!  Thanks for helping to make me the music lover I am today.

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

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Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

2 Responses to “Nadia Elkharadly: My 80s top 6”

  1. Wayne Cullen Says:

    Nice selections for a kid! I love Crowded House. Those are still my fave Bon Jovi and Madonna selections. Genesis and MJ were obviously quite spectacular vids, even if not my favourite songs of their’s. Good job.

  2. nice read nadia , so simple and yet very deep, please write more and enjoy your reader

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