On my old blog “Music insanity”, back in August 2012, I kicked off a new series counting down my 100 favourite tunes from the 80s and it took me a few years to complete the whole thing. I originally got the idea while I was standing in a big mall clothing store, my wife piling clothing on my arm for her to try on, and “Just like heaven” by The Cure came on over the speakers of the store. A great song to be sure, but I’d have wagered a wad of cash that it wouldn’t have been played in shopping malls when it originally came out in 1987 (at least, not here in Canada). And yet, back in the 90s and 00s, it wouldn’t have been out of place to hear people say that nothing good musically came out of 80s. We’ve actually seen a renewed interest in the last decade or so, of course, the music and movies and video games, though perhaps not the fads and fashion (yet), all culminating in the phenomenon that is Netflix’s “Stranger things”.
I distinctly remember that the 1980s were much maligned in the years that began the following decade for its contribution to music. Sure, they saw the reinvention of pop and R&B as we know it, and brought us the boy band and Madonna, but there was plenty else to appreciate. Like post punk, new wave, second wave ska, dream pop, and indie pop, for instance. It’s no wonder the late 90s gave rise to the resurgence of retro popularity, people were re-discovering (or perhaps, discovering) the music that wasn’t necessarily mainstream in the 80s and it was became mainstream. And it is even more so now.
The original countdown that I did ten years ago was massively popular on my old blog and I had a hell of good time doing it, even though it took a long time. Hence, I’ve decided to revisit said list, count it down again on these pages, and knowing my posting regularity these days, this list will likely take even longer to finish. Of course, my tastes have changed, I’ve discovered new music, and now have the chance to include songs that I forgot about while making the list last time, indeed, to right a few wrongs. There are new tracks and new orders (pardon the pun) and some songs that were on the list that won’t be here now, so those that were with me last time around may be in for some surprises. I still intend to keep to the structure of the posts of that original series, including my favourite lyrics and a ‘where are they now?’ portion, and will add details about where each song might have appeared last time around.
Like I said before, I know that this countdown is ambitious. Often, though, the journey can be more important than the destination and perhaps this journey will bring back as many memories for you as it will for me.
#100 Happy Mondays “Wrote for luck (W.F.L.)” (1988, 1989)
#98 Nena “99 luftballons” (1983, 1984)