Today’s Music Ain’t Got The Same Soul

~ The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. ~  Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen performing on the Tunnel of Love E...
Springsteen performing on the Tunnel of Love Express . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wonder if it fortunate of me to not have lived through the 80’s in their entirety? I was born in 1982, so most of the stuff from before – up through about 1986 or so I don’t directly remember. Thanks to MTV and VH1, though, I have been introduced to so much that my brain couldn’t afford to hang on to at the time. Of course my parents had something to do with it to.

Muddah spent her twenties in the 80’s…so I had plenty of tapes to go back and listen to. Faddah is a bit older, so he had records – mostly from the years before…but unlike many people from his generation, he was able to see past the idea of a decade and just enjoy the music. You see, he sees it the way I see it – a good song is a good song. That simple.

One thing that stands out to me about this decade, and her music, is the fact that you knew what you were listening to. Pop, Rock, Dance, Country, Electro, Rap and R&B all sounded like such. Nowadays you can’t hardly pinpoint where one genre starts and the next ends. Things seemed to be so much simpler. This was a time when the members of U2 appeared to be homeless, as opposed to the arrogant, self-involved douche bag look they got going for them now. (Which doesn’t take away from their talent, of course.)

It’s true that I don’t remember many of the songs that I’m about to list – at least not right when they came out, but I do know them all. If I came across a song I didn’t know I opted to not list it. Listing songs just because they were popular seems a little too easy. (Which is what I essentially did anyway…but) Because I grew up in the mid-west I think there were many well know gems that avoided me somehow. For that I am sorry. Make fun of me for my choice of music if you will…but please don’t just because I’m ignorant to so much that is out there. I will learn it…especially if you help me find it.

What follows are my pics for each year of the 80’s – one video and 19 honorable mentions, each. This was so much tougher than the other post, just saying. Please enjoy.

1980 – Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) ~ Pink Floyd. If you have the opportunity to use this song, and you don’t, it kind of makes you a jerk. That’s about all I need to say about that.

Honorable Mentions: Rock With You ~ Michael Jackson, Crazy Little Thing Called Love ~ Queen, Call Me ~ Blondie, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me ~ Billy Joel, Back in Black ~ AC/DC, Cars ~ Gary Numan, Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne, Dancing With Myself ~ Generation X, Head Games ~ Foreigner, Heart Breaker ~ Pat Benatar, I’m Alright ~ Kenny Loggins, I Wanna Be Sedated ~ The Ramones, Let My Love Open The Door ~ Peter Townsend, The Long Run ~ Eagles, On the Road Again ~ Willy Nelson, Romeo & Juliet ~ Dire Straits, What I Like About You ~ The Romantics, Whip It ~ Devo, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling ~ Hall and Oates.

1981 – Tempted ~ Squeeze. This song was co-written and guest stars Elvis Castello…so it has to be good. Here is an A Capella cover that I found a few years ago…very good.

Honorable Mentions: Betty Davis Eyes ~ Kim Barnes, Tainted Love ~ Soft Cell, In the Air Tonight ~ Phil Collins, I Love a Rainy Night ~ Eddie Rabbit, Keep on Loving You ~ REO Speedwagon, Jessie’s Girl ~ Rick Springfield, Dancing With Myself  ~ Billy Idol, Der Kommissar ~ Falco, Don’t Stop Believing ~ Journey, Don’t You Want Me ~ Human League, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic ~ The Police, Hell’s Bells ~ AC/DC, Jukebox Hero ~ Foreigner, Lonely is the Night ~ Billy Squire, Rock This Town ~ The Stray Cats, Shake It Up ~ The Cars, Super Freak ~ Rick James, Too Much Time on my Hands ~ STYX, Who Can it be Now ~ Men at Work.

1982 – Under Pressure ~ Queen featuring David Bowie. This being my birth year, it was hard for me to choose which song to showcase here. I happen to know a lot of them as I’ve looked it up many times. I think I made the right choice.

Honorable Mentions: Eye of the Tiger ~ Survivor, Down Under ~ Men at Work, I Love Rock and Roll ~ Joan Jett and the Heart breakers, Come on Eileen ~ Dexys Midnight Runners, Abracadabra ~ Steve Miller Band, Hard to Say I’m Sorry ~ Chicago, Jack and Diane ~ John Cougar, Truly ~ Lionel Richie, Rosanna ~ Toto, 867-5309/Jenny ~ Tommy Tutone, Always on My Mind ~ Willie Nelson, Let It Whip ~ The Dazz Band, Open Arms ~ Journey, Heat of the Moment ~ Asia, Bad to the Bone ~ George Thurgood, Rock the Casbah ~ The Clash, The Safety Dance ~ Men Without Hats, Workin’ for a Livin’ ~ Heuy Lewis and the News, You Can’t Hurry Love ~ Phil Collins.

1983 – Thriller ~ Michael Jackson. The videos made from this album forever changed how music videos were made. Instead of watching a bunch of guys playing instruments, chasing after a girl, they now do that with wolf-man makeup on. And they do it for 15 minutes instead of 3 minutes. Isn’t That Awesome!

Honorable Mentions: Let’s Dance ~ Davie Bowie, Every Breath you Take ~ The Police, 1999 ~ Prince, All Night Long (All Night) ~ Lionel Richie, (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me ~ Naked Eyes, Burning Down the House ~ Talking Heads, Cuts Like a Knife ~ Bryan Adams, Electric Avenue ~ Eddie Grant, Faithfully ~ Journey, Holy Diver ~ Dio, I Guess That’s Why They Call it The Blues ~ Elton John Feat Stevie Wonder, Our House ~ Madness, Pink Houses ~ John Cougar, Rock of Ages ~ Def Leppard, Say Say Say ~ Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, Sweet Dreams are Made of Theses ~ The Eurythmics, That’s All ~ Genesis, Uptown Girl ~ Billy Joel.

1984 – Footloose – Kenny Loggins. Sorry guys, I can’t help it. I don’t dance, but if there ever was a song that might move me to it, it would be this one. The 80’s and Kenny Loggins and movie soundtracks pretty much all go hand in hand. (This video is a bit of a cheat…but if you like anything about music, you will like it. They only thing I didn’t see was bagpipes…and he’ll probably add that now that I’ve said it.)

Honorable Mentions: I Just Called to Say I Love You ~ Stevie Wonder, Careless Whisper ~ George Michael, Girls Just Want to Have Fun ~ Cyndi Lauper, An Innocent Man ~ Billy Joel, Born in the U.S.A. ~ Bruce Springsteen, Break My Stride ~ Matthew Wilder, Drive ~ The Cars, Easy Lover ~ Philip Bailey with Phil Collins, For Whom the Bell Tolls ~ Metallica, Hello, Lionel Richie, Heaven ~ Bryan Adams, We’re Not Gonna Take It ~ Twisted Sister, Missing You ~ John Waite, Pride (In the Name of Love) ~ U2, Purple Rain ~ Prince, Shout ~ Tears for Fears, Sunglasses at Night ~ Corey Hart, You Spin me Round (Like a Record) ~ Dead or Alive, Runaway ~ Bon Jovi.

1985 – Don’t You Forget About Me ~ Simple Minds. Smooth move Billy Idol. Epic song, from an Epic movie…showcasing what the 80’s were like.

Honorable Mentions: Take On Me ~ A-Ha, I Want to Know What Love Is ~ Foreigner, The Boys of Summer ~ Don Henley, Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore ~ REP Speedwagon, Centerfield ~ John Fogarty, Dancing in the Street ~ David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Everybody Wants To Rule The World ~ Tears for Fears, Glory Days ~ Bruce Springsteen, The Heat is On ~ Glen Fry, Listen Like Thieves ~ INXS, Money for Nothing ~ Dire Straits, One More Night ~ Phil Collins, Party All The Time ~ Eddie Murphy, Part-Time Lover ~ Stevie Wonder, The Power of Love ~ Huey Lewis, Say You, Say Me ~ Lionel Richie, Summer of ’69 ~ Bryan Adams, We Built This City ~ Starship, You’re the Inspiration ~ Chicago.

1986 – In You Eyes ~ Peter Gabriel. Another “cheat” video. I found this a few years ago and decided to use it whenever I could. Goes to show that a good song is a good song.

Honorable Mentions: Rock Me Amadeus ~ Falco, Papa Don’t Preach ~ Madonna, The Final Countdown ~ Europe, Addicted to Love ~ Robert Palmer, Dancing on the Ceiling ~ Lionel Richie, Danger Zone ~ Kenny Loggins, Don’t Stand so Close to Me ’86 ~ The Police, Everybody Have Fun Tonight ~ Wang Chung, Higher Love ~ Steve Winwood, Invisible Touch ~ Genesis, Kiss ~ Prince, Kyrie ~ Mr. Mister, Livin on a Prayer ~ Bon Jovi, Sara ~ Starship, Take Me Home Tonight ~ Eddie Money, Walk This Way ~ Run DMC with Aerosmith, The Way it Is ~ Bruce Hornsby, Word Up! ~ Cameo, You Can Call Me Al ~ Paul Simon.

1987 – Never Gonna Give You Up ~ Rick Astley. Yeah, this isn’t a joke. I actually like this song, and if you listen to this video you might like it too. (Have you noticed that this has become a little self-indulgent yet?)

Honorable Mentions: La Bamba ~ Los Lobos, With or Without You ~ U2, Alone ~ Heart, Back in the High Life Again ~ Steve Winwood, Bad ~ Michael Jackson, Dude (Looks Like a Lady) ~ Aerosmith, Faith ~ George Michael,  Got My Mind Set On You ~ George Harrison, (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight ~ Cutting Crew, (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life ~ Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, It’s the End of the World as we Know it ~ REM, Land of Confusion ~ Genesis, Lean on Me ~ Club Nouveau, Mony Mony, Billy Idol, Need You Tonight ~ INXS, Pour Some Sugar On Me ~ Def Leppard, Wanted Dead or Alive ~ Bon Jovi, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now ~ Starship, Rhythm Is Gonna Get You ~ Gloria Estefan.

1988 – Don’t Worry, Be Happy ~ Bobby McFerrin. I chose this one for obvious reasons (to myself.) As you will see this year is probably the most diversified when it comes to music.

Honorable Mentions: A Groovy Kind of Love ~ Phil Collins, Bad Medicine ~ Bon Jovi, Bring the Noise ~ Public Enemy, Candle in the Wind ~ Elton John, Copperhead Road ~ Steve Earl, Cult of Personality ~ Living Color, Desire ~ U2, Man in the Mirror ~ Michael Jackson, Fast Car ~ Tracy Chapman, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car ~ Billy Ocean, Hot in the City ~ Billy Idol, I Hate Myself for Loving You ~ Joan Jett, Kokomo ~ The Beach Boys, New Sensation ~ INXS, One ~ Metallica, Roll With It ~ Steve Winwood, Simply Irresistible ~ Robert Palmer, Stand ~ REM, Wishing Well ~ Terence Trent D’Arby.

1989 – You Got It ~ Roy Orbison. He was tattooed on The Fonz’s back side! In all seriousness, what better way to pay tribute. This song reached #1 just a few short months after Orbison died from a heart attack. The music lives on. He’s Still Got It.

Honorable Mentions: Like a Prayer ~ Madonna, Another Day in Paradise ~ Phil Collins, The Look ~ Roxette, Love Shack ~ The B-52’s, Beds are Burning ~ Midnight Oil, Blame It On The Rain ~ Milli Vanilli, I’ll Be There For You ~  Bon Jovi, If I Could Turn Back Time ~ Cher, I Want It All ~ Queen, Leave Me Alone ~ Michael Jackson, Miss You Much ~ Janet Jackson, Right Here Waiting ~ Richard Marx, We Didn’t Start The Fire ~ Billy Joel, Wild Thing ~ Ton Loc, The Dance ~ Garth Brooks, Killin Time ~ Clint Black, Personal Jesus ~ Depeche Mode.

roy orbison
Roy Orbison (Photo credit: vituh)

I may be a living legend, but that sure don’t help when I’ve got to change a flat tire. ~ Roy Orbison

24 thoughts on “Today’s Music Ain’t Got The Same Soul

  1. BroJo,
    This was written with a great deal of research, I am sure. I’m surprised U2 didn’t make any of your number ones…
    Le Clown

    1. Thank you Le Clown. I had a college roommate that almost ruined U2 for me. I do think they are super talented and paved the way for many other bands…but they’re not my absolute favorite.

      1. BroJo,
        I get that. There are bands in the 80s that had huge commercial success, but just didn’t do it for me. And I am not referring to The Thompson Twins.
        Le Clown

          1. Hey that was me up there commenting anonymously about the Thompson Twins. I wasn’t trying to hide my unabashed enthusiasm for the band because I was ashamed. It was my phone that was giving me fits.

  2. Nice post, Jon! But those are some pretty harsh words for U2, one of the greatest bands of all time.

    One of the great things about the 80s was the musical innovation–brought on by the electronic synthesizers and video. You’re missing some very important bands like New Order that STILL influence music today. To me, a mark of a good band (even more than many hits) is a lasting legacy on music. U2, New Order, Metallica, Depeche Mode, The Police (just to name some) all had a great influence on the decade and beyond. They were innnovators. Take a listen to some of these bands’ more obscure stuff (meaning what was not played on the radio) and you’ll experience some awesome music! I’ll be happy to share my collection with you!

    But to be honest, though, I didn’t appreciate all this back in the day. I was only a teenager. I didn’t have much access to or interest in most of these bands during the 80s. But looking back at it now–more than 20 years later–the 80s was a great decade in music!

    1. Thanks IG…but I don’t think it’s harsh at all. They are good…but they know it. No crime in that. Thanks for the new leads. And I hate to tell you…but the 80’s where like 30 years ago now. Hard to believe.

      1. Yes, it’s hard to believe that I am that old. Anyway, speaking of U2 looking homeless–you should see them in their Live at Red Rocks concert video. Wow, what an experience that would have been to be there. Stop my my house and I’ll lend you the DVD. Oh, another band you should check out is Oingo Boingo.

        Another great thing about the 80s was that most of the bands could actually play music. They were true musicians unlike many of today’s auto-tuned, lip synced singers. I got to see Boingo on their farewell tour, and they were amazing. Over three hours non-stop of Danny Elfman belting out great tunes!

  3. Never. Gonna. Give you. Up. Who knew shoulder dancing in a trench coat would be cool?
    I lived thru the decade but popular music was banned in our house. Also this tunnel of love show sounds interesting.

    1. Indeed. When I finally learn how to dance I’m going to do so by watching that video over and over again.

      I guess the Tunnel of Love thing is over my head. Sorry.

  4. Dear Jon
    My fab Springsteen song is “pink Cadillac” but I realize its special appeal is mostly to those of us with pink velour leisure suits. Roy Orbison is king! Also I’d love to see you dancing to Footloose. Like Wordsworth’s Daffodills, it would be something to remember on a rainy day!


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