Thursday, September 18, 2014

The greatest year in pop music: 1984

So says Rolling Stone, and I agree. 

In 1984, whether or not Big Brother was watching, I bet he was listening.

It’s (let’s go) crazy how many cool (it now) songs came out that year. It’s astounding that I knew almost every song on this Rolling Stone list of the 100 best singles of 1984, and even more astounding, that I like far more than half. I doubt I could say the same about most years since—and probably no year since the ‘80s closed up shop.

The boss of
84 was Prince. But there were tons of executive vice presidents.

Here are my favorites from the list—almost half, and hard to narrow down further:

99 Scandal feat. Patty Smyth, “The Warrior”
98 Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”
95 Depeche Mode, “People Are People”
89 Steve Perry, “Oh Sherrie”
85 Bryan Adams, “Run to You”
78 The Cars, “You Might Think”
76 General Public, “Tenderness”
75 Billy Joel, “Uptown Girl”
72 Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take it”
69 Ray Parker Jr., “Ghostbusters”
67 Madonna, “Like a Virgin”
66 Elton John, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”
65 Laura Branigan, “Self Control”
64 Matthew Wilder, “Break My Stride”
63 ZZ Top, “Legs”
62 Animotion, “Obsession”
59 Pat Benatar, “Love Is a Battlefield”
57 Scorpions, “Rock You Like a Hurricane”
50 Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
49 Huey Lewis and the News, “If This Is It (this write-up links to me!)
48 The Go-Go’s, “Head Over Heels”
46 Eurythmics, “Here Comes the Rain Again”
45 Billy Ocean, “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”
40 Duran Duran, “The Reflex”
36 Cyndi Lauper, “She Bop”
34 Night Ranger, “Sister Christian”
27 New Edition, “Cool It Now”
22 Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon”
21 The Cars, “Drive”
18 a-ha, “Take on Me”
15 Nena, “99 Luftballons”
10 Sheila E., “The Glamorous Life”
8 Prince and the Revolution, “Purple Rain”
7 Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer”
4 Prince and the Revolution, “Let’s Go Crazy”
1 Prince and the Revolution, “When Doves Cry”

You know it’s a hella good year when “The Warrior” is #99…though in some cases I have a quibble with the ranking. “Solid” by Ashford & Simpson (#19) higher than “Wrapped Around Your Finger by the Police (#86)—and top 20, no less?

But still, I’d take “Solid” over “Timber” any decade.

From where I jam, most of these songs not only still hold up but also surpass much of what makes the Top 40 today. For starters, not a one is about going clubbing.

Obsession indeed.

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