Sunday, March 05, 2006

Obscure Songs From The 80s

Unlike most people my age, I hate the 80s. Too much reverb, tacky synths, cheesy robotic weirdness. Being a guitar and harmonica player, I prefer the old, old blues of the 30s through to the 50s. Music that is a soul wailing, not a plastic pop contrivance.

That being said, like any decade, the 80s had plenty of damn good songs. It's easy to look at the charts now and feel that the quality has dropped, but chances are that when we listen again in the decades to come, we'll find a treasure trove of standouts amongst the garbage.

Why am I writing about all this?

In the last few weeks I've had strong musically nostalgic urges, so I've used that energy to track down a couple of fistfuls of tunes that tickled my nether regions back then, when they were very easily tickled.

  1. Captain Sensible: Wot
    A one hit wonder, it's hard to believe this guy is actually in The Damned.
  2. Belle Stars: Iko, Iko
    This one's on the Rain Man soundtrack, but back then it was all about the hats.
  3. Monte Video and the Cassettes: Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
    The 80s truly was the decade of the one hit wonder. This one made it to number one in New Zealand alone.
  4. Queen: Princes Of The Universe
    Even with the over-the-top guitar, Queen made me believe there could be only one.
  5. Oingo Boingo: Weird Science
    Proof that making your own robot woman is a recipe for Trouble.
  6. Thomas Dolby: She Blinded Me With Science
    See? You can go blind if you do it too often.
  7. Cyndi Lauper: What A Thrill
    The flipside of The Goonies single, this still rocks hard.
  8. The Style Council: (When You) Call Me
    I can't help getting all misty eyed when I hear this, even though I don't know why.
  9. Glenn Fry: The Heat Is On
    One of the most misheard lyrics in the universe, from when they knew how to do Axel F properly.
  10. Taco: Puttin' On The Ritz
    Excellent for tap dancing, I used to listen to this on my huge, portable FM headphones.

Anyone else have some particular favourites that aren't on the standard 80s compilations?


E.C. Morgan said...

Great post. What a blast from the past.

How about the classic tune Rock Me Amadeus by Falco?

I Wanna Be a Cowboy by Boys Don't Cry?

Cars by Gary Nueman?

Whew...thanks for the flashback!

Mary said...

Oh no, look what you've started ;-)

jamie ford said...

Here's a few more:

Belle Stars: Sign of the Times
Thomas Dolby: Hyperactive
Vitamin Z: Burning Flame
The Cult: She Sells Sanctuary
Icicle Works: Whisper to a Scream
Talk Talk: It’s my life
Haircut 100: Love plus one

Now I feel old. Where's my geritol?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh oh oh, The Cult.

You know, there are some classic '80's numbers, like "Holdin' Back the Years" and "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" plus anything by Eurythmics.

But here's a golden oldie that was a big hit in Canada:

Twilight Zone by Golden Earring.

Essentially a one-hit wonder, but it's the classic spy thriller song.

Oh, and Spin Doctors and INXS and my favourite Thompson Twins song, "Don't Mess With Doctor Dream."

Unfortunately, my husband's maintained his love of Tears for Fears...

Writeprocrastinator said...

Captain Sensible, damn I loved that song and it proves you don't have to rap for sh*t to have a catchy tune.

From your neck of the woods:

"Can I Come To" from Mental As Anything.

"No Promises" by Ice House. One of the best Bowie imitations and speaking of Bowie-soundalikes...

"Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs.

I could go on all day about The Cult, howzabout "Rain?"

Daniel Hatadi said...

Damn, now I have to use the *cough* 'record store' to look up some of these unknown toons.

The Mentals, hey? Always loved "My Spirit Got Lost" and "The Nips Are Getting Bigger".