Friday, February 20, 2009

A semi-random collection of 80s singles

This is a post I've thought about writing several times, and always blew it off. Back in ye olden days when I used a p2p file-sharing service, I downloaded some this & that 80s songs that I put in their own folder (I also have a folder of some random 70s songs that I might write about sometime). Some of these songs I got tired of hearing back then, but now I enjoy hearing them now and then, if they pop up in Winamp's shuffle play. Italics means I would like to have the CD that includes the song, or at least a "greatest hits" compilation that includes it. Bold means I have the record, but not the CD.

Big Country - In a Big Country
This is one I never got tired of hearing. Never did buy it, though. It always reminds me of the student center at ACU.

Blondie - Heart of Glass, The Tide is High
I could see a "Blondie's Greatest Hits" in my collection. Back in the 80s, I thought Debbie Harry was totally hot.

Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
Actually I have a cassette of this one. I wrote about them recently, as you may remember.

Cyndi Lauper - All Through the Night
My sister had her first record. I thought she was pretty cool, too.

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
This song is enough for my collection. Another song that I heard often on the college radio station at ACU.

Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again, Sweet Dreams are Made of This
These records were pretty lame, in my opinion, except for the radio hits.

Gary Numan - Cars
I would like to hear some of his other stuff. I think I would probably like it.

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
I also have that Stealers Wheel (Stuck in the Middle with You) hit in my 70s folder.

Golden Earring - Twilight Zone
I might be interested in their other stuff if someone made a good case for them.

Hooters - All You Zombies, And We Danced, Where Did the Children Go
My sister saw them in concert once and bought me a t-shirt, but it has gone to t-shirt heaven by now, I suppose. I wouldn't mind getting a decent compilation.

J. Geils Band - No Anchovies, Please
I hate anchovies, and this is just an epic story. I never was a huge fan of them, but a greatest hits wouldn't be out of place.

Joe Jackson - Is She Really Going Out with Him
I really would like to find a good compilation of his. He wrote some clever songs, and I think he wasn't more successful because his songs weren't quite as "hooky" as many other songs of the time.

Journey - Don't Stop Believing, Stone in Love
No, this is all the Journey I need. I used to have the cassette of Escape. It's gone now. These songs always remind me of our senior trip.

Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
One song is plenty Kajagoogoo for me. Another one that reminds me of ACU.

Kim Karnes - Betty Davis Eyes
I used to know someone who was a huge Kim Karnes fan, and could go on and on about all her stuff that didn't get played on the radio all the time. So I wouldn't mind getting a compilation just so I could hear for myself. This song always gives me flashbacks of the parking lot outside the band hall in high school.

M - Pop Muzik
This was a song that a whole lot of people thought, and still think, it seems, was Devo. But it wasn't. I'm pretty sure this was their only album.

Madness - Our House
I really liked this song back then, and wouldn't mind getting some of their stuff now. Reminds me of watching Friday Night Videos at ACU.

Men at Work - Down Under
I would still like to get this, or perhaps a compilation, on CD. My favorite of theirs is "Be Good, Johnny," but I was never able to download it.

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
I think this song is enough, unless someone wants to convince me otherwise. The Weird Al parody is good, too (he put the lyrics from the Brady Bunch theme song to the tune of Safety Dance).

Mike & the Mechanics - Silent Running
This is still an awesome song, and in fact may be more awesome now than it was back then.

Mr. Mister - Kyrie, Take These Broken Wings
I could see myself getting something by them for the collection.

Nena - 99 Red Balloons
Yes, I would still like to get this on CD, because my record is kind of scratched up. Bought it second-hand.

Pat Benatar - Shadows of the Night, We Belong
I was never a big Pat Benatar fan, but I really like these two songs. I have one of her other albums which didn't impress me much.

Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up
Still one of my favorite songs, and the video was really cool.

Quarterflash - Harden My Heart
Another song that reminds me of high school, but did they do anything else that's really worth hearing? I don't know. Someone tell me.

Tommy Tutone - 867-5309
For ironic purposes only.

Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Same as above.

One song that I looked for over and over again but was never able to find was "I Ran So Far Away" by A Flock of Seagulls. Lack of it is leaving a gaping hole in my semi-random 80s singles collection. I might have to buy it from Amazon. My sister had the cassette of that album. That was the only catchy song on the whole thing. The rest of it was totally lame.

NOTE: There is no Thomas Dolby or Falco in my collection, and there never will be.

Any thoughts? Comments? Memories triggered?


  1. Blondie was OK, but I was always more into Pat Benatar, and I never really got into Journey that much. I was something of a fan of The Fixx, though, especially "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Are We Ourselves?" I never cared much for Wang Chung, but Duran Duran had some good songs. And I really got into Talking Heads for a while.

    But who could forget April Wine's "Just Between You and Me"? Man, I loved that song when it came out! That was such a typical 1980's love ballad. Sappy sentiment, fuzzy guitar, and even French words in the lyrics! What's not to like?

  2. "Just Between..." would be a good one to have. But I never could stand The Fixx. I had a friend who thought they were the greatest thing ever, and I listened to his album several times, trying to figure out what he saw in them. If I heard "One Thing..." come on the radio today, I'd change the channel.

    Talking Heads is a whole other story. They transcend the 80s.

  3. No Thomas Dolby? Ah c'mon. He's fun. And Journey? Hey, if you can have only one Journey LP (and I think that's quite enough), it should be Infinity. They went downhill from there, IMHO, though the tracks you mention are OK.

    I generally don't keep music categorized in my head by decade.

    Not a big fan of The Fixx or Falco, but I can enjoy either.

    Don't know if my placement is correct, but I'll toss out Aldo Nova's Fantasy, and I Ran, by A Flock of Seagulls. And then, just for fun, Timbuk 3 -- Future's So Bright. Which, for some reason, leads inexorably to Wall of Voodoo.

    Trivia: Quarterflash was previously known as Seafood Mama. And, since Seafood Mama was a Portland band, that leads me to Johnny and the Distractions, who should have made it bigger.

    And, triggering memories, Pat Benetar makes me think of Joan Jett. I saw Joan open for the Boomtown Rats, and I think that was the last rock concert I went to in Portland.

  4. Wow...the list did bring back some memories. I really liked The Fixx in the 80's, saw them in concert, and own their "Best of" CD, but I rarely listen to it anymore. "Deeper And Deeper is about the only song I still think rocks. Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down The Line" is on my ipod along with "Baker Street". And Falco- c'mon-"Zur Heiss Fur Mich in Diese Stadt" is kick-ass! I do have the Blondie Best of because I too, thought she was hot, but again, I don't feel the urge to listen to it much. Journey had only one really cool song in my opinion:"Wheel in the Sky." Do you remember Echo and the Bunnymen's "Killing Moon?" Still great. Ultravox's "One Fine Day", XTC's "Senses Working Overtime", also fine 80's songs. Wasn't the "Silent Running" group the members of Genesis minus Phil Collins? The Flock of Seagulls song is called "I Ran", simply, and is quintessential 80's. I also liked the Pschedelic Furs a lot in those days, and saw them in concert, too. I listened to my Cd of "Mirror Moves" not too long ago, and it held up well. I thought McCain should have used "Broken Wings" to be his campaign song. It couldn't have done him much more harm! Another slightly embarassing group that had a great album was "Frankie Goes to Hollywood". Their "out and proud" image aside, the "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" album was produced by Trevor Horn of Buggles and Yes fame, (90120 is a GREAT 80s masterpiece!) and his amazing production values were at an all time high on this one. Not every song on the album is a complete score, but the ones that were are just wild. I also liked The Cars' "Heartbeat City" and the Genesis album that bears the bands name , it had "Mama", "That's All", "home by the sea", "Illegal Alien", "Just a Job to Do", so many great songs. And my personal favorite, "Money For Nothing", the album "Brothers in Arms". As you said about Talking Heads, Dire Straights and Genesis transcend the 80's, but they were such giants of the day I couldn't help but think of them and their influence.

  5. Note to all: this was meant only to be a whimsical collection of singles, not a definitive collection.

  6. I have albums of quite a few of those.
    Blondie, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Eurythmics, Gerry Rafferty's City to City, Golden Earring, J. Geils Band, Journey, Kim Karnes, Men at Work, Nena, a lot of Pat Benatar, who did a great concert with Martina McBride. Quarterflash did a few good songs on both their albums. You might check your local library for stuff.

  7. Well, you can't get much more whimsical than Timbuk3 ... [python voice]or can you?[/python voice]

    And given what I infer is the size of your collection, yeah, I'd expect your definitive list to be significantly longer.

    But whimsy is good.

    Speaking of Aldo Nova, what other rock/pop artists mention themselves in their songs?

  8. As far as Timbuk 3, I never downloaded anything by them because I have their CDs, so they aren't in this list.