Best Songs of the 80s

07 October 2003

One of our weekend events was a lovely dinner at the Briscoes’ to celebrate both Lisa’s birthday (happy happy) and the arrival of Albert Simon (who is six weeks old and gassy). During the dinner, Aimee Rose and I had a discussion—a disagreement, really—about “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s the best song of the eighties. She just thinks it’s creepy. I was more than a little defensive, and didn’t give Aimee a fair hearing.

I know we just did this six months ago, but let’s do it again: what are your favorite songs from the 1980s? Why? What do you think are the best songs from the 1980s? Are these different from your favorites?

I love so many songs from the eighties that it’s difficult to choose favorites, but these would probably make the list: “Bad” by U2, “Faith” by George Michael (which I first heard while riding in a car with Denise and Tara), “Subculture” by New Order, “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure, and why am I even trying to make a list? I love the music of the eighties (though when I say this, I’m generally excluding 1988 and 1989).

I think the best songs from the eighties are “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics, and “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper.

What about the 1990s? It’s more difficult for me to identify favorite or best songs from the nineties. My musical habits were so different than when I was a teenager. It’s easier for me to identify favorite artists from the decade: Sinead O’Connor, Alanis Morrissette (whose name I can never spell correctly), Fiona Apple, Natalie Merchant, Indigo Girls, Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Yes, they’re all women. No, I don’t know why that’s the case.

So, tell me: what are your favorite songs?

Comments

On 07 October 2003 (09:45 AM),
J.D. said:

Here’s a site where people list their top ten songs from the decade…

On 07 October 2003 (10:21 AM),
jack bog said:

From the ’80s? “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. You can’t not dance to it.

On 07 October 2003 (11:09 AM),
Denise said:

Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears is one of my favorites……

On 07 October 2003 (12:00 PM),
Dave said:

Let’s be real clear about this. “Every Breath You Take” is a delightfully catchy song that for all intents and purposes outlines the thoughts of a man who can’t let go of his former relationship and is apparently stalking his former lover. Aimee’s right. It’s creepy as hell. The only other way to read that song is that the guy is sitting in the dark watching his lover breathe while she sleeps. Even that seems a little creepy. “I’m so obsessed with you that I’m going to sit here in the dark and watch you.” Weird, weird, weird.

And that’s from a guy who’s been there!

On 07 October 2003 (12:18 PM),
Joel said:

Dave, sounds like we need to follow this up with a little of the old foldedspace “virtual purge”. Anytime you want to start, I’ve got Tammy, Dana, and the guys from “Loveline” standing by.

On 07 October 2003 (12:41 PM),
Denise said:

I think ‘Every Breathe You Take’ is about a man involved in a relationship, but is having some doubts about his lover, so he is monitoring her every move. I remember watching an interview with Sting and him describing it as that…he wrote it when his first marriage was breaking down, and he felt confined…. like his wife was always watching and interrogating. Sting went on to comment that he found it funny that many people had mistaken the song to be a real love song. I could be wrong, but that is what I remember.

Dave expanding on his statement of being there would be fun to listen to….

On 07 October 2003 (12:41 PM),
J.D. said:

I don’t understand Joel’s comment at all. Just like I didn’t get the raspberry swirl thing. I’m so old that my bones are beginning to petrify…

Yeah, “Every Breath You Take” is creepy. There’s no denying it. But it’s creepy good. And while we’re on the subject (and to bring up another huge hit from the early eighties), what the hell is “Eye in the Sky” about, anyhow? It almost sounds like it’s the same theme. Except the “cheat you blind” part.

Song lyrics don’t really have to make sense, do they?

On 07 October 2003 (12:53 PM),
Denise said:

Ok – although I did dip my toes into pop music and new wave, I was by far the big-hair band fan…so some of my favorites from the 80’s were:

TNT – AC/DC
Photograph – Def Leppard
What’s it Gonna Be – Ratt
Dee – Randy Rhodes (Ozzy Osbourne) that may not be in the 80’s – I didn’t check
Welcome to the Jungle – Guns & Roses

So there you go – some motley selections for you all. I figured I might be the only one to bring any of those bands up as ‘greatest songs of the 80’s’…they don’t really deserve a title like that, but if you liked big-hair bands, those are some good tunes.

Now I’m going to put my black ‘Bark at the Moon’ t-shirt back in the drawer and get back to work!

On 07 October 2003 (01:15 PM),
Dave said:

Oh, Denise. Let’s just say that it was a reeeaaallllly unhealthy period of my life and leave it at that. I’m not sure that a public forum is really the best place for displaying my past follies.

As for a list of some favorites (in no particular order and note that these are not necessarily what I would consider the most influential songs)-
Modern Day Delilah- Van Stephenson
Eye in the Sky- Alan Parsons Project
Don’t Pay the Ferryman- Chris DeBurgh
Black Celebration- Depeche Mode
Chains of Love- Erasure
Everlasting Love- Howard Jones
Rock You Like A Hurricane- The Scorpions
Fascination- Human League
West End Girls- Pet Shop Boys
Down Under- Men at Work
Blue Monday- New Order
Girlfriend in a Coma- The Smiths
You Shook Me All Night Long- AC/DC

On 07 October 2003 (01:21 PM),
Denise said:

Oh – must add, anything by The Cure – they were one of my favorite bands in high school as well.

On 07 October 2003 (01:38 PM),
J.D. said:

Oh, come on, Dave. “Modern Day Delilah” by Van Stephenson influenced a generation of musicians to follow. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH. I slay me.

On 07 October 2003 (02:01 PM),
dowingba said:

“White Wedding” – Billy Idol.

On 07 October 2003 (02:38 PM),
tammy said:

Too funny Joel! And yeh Dave why not take it to the forum? One hundred and some odd comments later you would know exactly what happpened back when and how to never let it happen again.

On 07 October 2003 (06:23 PM),
psionicpoet said:

I must admit to having rather cheesy taste when it comes to the 80’s. I love Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls and Tears for Fears best of most 80’s bands.

Consequentially, my favorite songs are “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “I Ran (So Far Away)”, and “Mad World.”

Side note: I like the site. Always interesting to read what fellow Oregon bloggers are up to.

On 07 October 2003 (09:48 PM),
Dana said:

How about Once in a Lifetime (1980)? Or Graceland (1985)

(Of course, this, this, this, this, and this aren’t from the 80s, but they’re still good…)

On 07 October 2003 (10:05 PM),
Dana said:

I’m still going to hold on to In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel as my favorite, I think…

On 08 October 2003 (09:49 PM),
Scott said:

How Soon is Now? – The Smiths
To Turn You On – Roxy Music
Never Let Me Down – Depeche Mode
Tom Sawyer – Rush
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
DE LA SOUL’s “3 Feet High & Rising”

These came off the top of my head.

On 19 November 2003 (03:28 PM),
Josette said:

“Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
“Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
“(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by Cutting Crew
“With Or Without You” by U2
“Every Breath You Take” by the Police

On 05 February 2004 (09:07 AM),
Rebecca said:

every breath you take is a political song about the government everyone – Thanks!

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