Back to the 80s

Songs We Were Listening to in 1984, Part 2.


This week is the second part of the list of songs I’ve compiled that we listened to in 1984. If you’re interested in seeing the Top 10 songs, you can find them at Rolling Stone.

In 1984, Red Hot Chili Peppers made their debut, Michael Jackson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Madonna sparked controversy with her performance of ‘Like a Virgin’ onstage during the MTV Music Video Awards.

Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Controversial on its release, it went on to top the UK singles chart, selling 2 million copies in the UK alone. It became one of the most commercially successful songs of the decade.

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

This was one of many movie soundtracks released during 1984. Kevin Bacon looks so cute, and his VW beetle looks eerily familiar to my very first car. 😉

Take on Me – A-ha

This song became an international No.1 hit, and the music video was ahead of its time, winning six awards at the MTV video awards in 1986. It is considered to be the band’s signature song.

When the Doves Cry – Prince

It would be remiss of me to compile a list of songs of 1984, without mentioning the No.1 song of the year. It featured in the film ‘Purple Rain’ and in later years would go on to enter The Rock and Roll’s Hall of Fame.

Thriller – Michael Jackson

I wasn’t a big fan of Michael Jackson, but he sure knew how to dance as shown in this video. The man was practically liquid! Although a long clip (this is the shorter version), it showcased his many talents. I think it was also one of his best songs, and with a cemetery, zombies, and the wonderful Vincent Price, what’s not to love? 😉

What song/songs define the 1980s to you? Do you enjoy listening to movie soundtracks? Was there a song/artist from the 80s you didn’t like, but you’ve since changed your mind?

Image courtesy Pixabay

Back to the 80s

Songs We Were Listening to in 1984, Part 1.

The year 1984 was an interesting year in music. It was the year Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, and Elton John got married in Sydney. It was also the year Band Aid released the single ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’ which became the fastest-selling single of all time in the UK (and probably to the world’s ears, was the most played single).

If you are interested in seeing the Top 10 songs for the year, you can find them at Rolling Stone, which lists the Top 100 for 1984.

Here I’ve compiled a variety of songs in two parts of what we listened to in 1984.

Burn for You – INXS

This song came from their album The Swing, an album that received international attention, and the rest, as they say, is history. Miss you, Michael!

Rebel Yell – Billy Idol

I wasn’t a big fan of Billy Idol per se, but I did enjoy the music, which I guess is what it’s all about. This one still stands the test of time.

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

No twins, no member of the band with the name Thompson, but they did come up with this beautiful, sad song, which was an international success.

You Spin me Round (Like a Record) – Dead or Alive

Okay, I couldn’t resist this one! 😉 This came out at a time when Culture Club and Marilyn were popular.

Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2

I really liked U2 in the 1980s, with some of my friends having crushes on them at the time (yes, Larry was cute). This song went on to become one of their most popular.

I’ll be back next week with another five songs of 1984.

Were you listening to these songs back in 1984? Do you still listen to them? Have you discovered 1980s music and prefer to listen to them instead of/as well as today’s music?

Main image courtesy Pixabay

Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: Z is for ZZ Top.

Here we are folks, we have finally made it to the end of my Back to the 80s Challenge (bring out the bubbly, it is almost Christmas after all)! Honestly, there have been some occasions when I didn’t think I would actually reach this point and felt like throwing it in a few times, but when I start something I like to see it finished.

This was the first time I set myself a blog challenge and I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to do another, but never say never I guess. Anyway, thanks for sticking with me; it certainly has been testing my memory and has been a great help in researching the pop culture of the time for some of my stories.

Formed in 1969, ZZ Top had released three albums by 1973 and performed sold out concerts in the U.S. They released three more albums in the 1970s and had their first European tour in 1980. In 1983, they released the album Eliminator, which was highly successful and sold more than ten million copies. It included such hits as ‘Legs’, ‘Gimme All Your Lovin” and ‘Sharp Dressed Man’. The videos for some of these songs helped the band win their first MTV Video Music Awards. Released in 1985, their next album Afterburner became the band’s highest charting album and many of its singles became Top 40 hits.

The band went on to release six more albums, and in 2004 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They continue to perform to this day. Their trade mark beards and fluffy guitars make them one of the more memorable bands of the 1980s.

If you’re a blogger, have you ever set yourself a challenge? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter Z can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: Y is for Yazoo.

Another week in and as we’re nearing the end of another year, so too are we nearing the end of my Back to the 80s Challenge. This week, we’re looking at the letter Y and I’ll be focusing on a synthpop duo.

Formed in England in 1981, Yazoo consisted of Alison Moyet on vocals and Vince Clarke on keyboards. Alison placed an ad in the hope of forming a band and it was answered by Vince Clarke, once a member of Depeche Mode.

The song ‘Only You’ was released in 1982 and reached No.2 in the U.K singles charts. The song ‘Don’t Go’ was released the same year and reached No.3. Their first album, Upstairs at Eric’s was also released in 1982 and reached No.2 in the U.K album charts. Yazoo became known in the United States as Yaz and their song ‘Situation’ had become a hit, making it into the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1983, they released the single ‘Nobody’s Diary’, which reached No.3 in the U.K charts. It was not long after the release of the single, that the duo announced they had disbanded due to a clash of personalities and lack of communication between the pair. Despite the split, their second album, You and Me Both, was released later that same year and reached No.1 in the album charts. Alison Moyet has an amazing voice and after Yazoo, she went on to have a successful solo career.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter Y include:- Yothu Yindi, Yello.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter Y can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: X is for XTC.

It’s the end of another week and once again, it’s time for my Back to the 80s Challenge. We are now down to the last three and it hasn’t always been easy coming up with band names. These last few have left me struggling sometimes to even to come up with more than one band name. This week is a perfect example of that!

XTC were formed in England in 1972 and their debut album, White Music, was released in 1978. It wasn’t until their third album, Drums and Wires was released in 1979, that they had their first hit single, ‘Making Plans for Nigel’. Their fourth album, Black Sea, was released in 1980. This album contained the hit single ‘Generals and Majors’, which made the U.K Top 40 and the album reached No.1 in Australia. In 1982, they released their fifth album and the single ‘Senses Working Overtime’ made the Top 10 in the U.K.

In the early 1980s, the band embarked on a world tour, but had to cancel due to health reasons for one of the band members. They then became a studio band and released six more albums in the 1980s, including two under their alter-ego, ‘The Dukes of Stratospher’. Over the years, despite issues with band members and their record labels, they released at least three more albums, but eventually disbanded in 2006.

‘And all the world is biscuit shaped, it’s just for me to feed my face’ – it sounds silly I know, but I always liked that line! 😉

What are some silly song lyrics that you like listening to? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter X can you think of (it’s got me stumped)?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: W is for Wang Chung.

Another week in and just as fast as Christmas is approaching and catching me unawares, so too are we getting closer to the end of my Back to the 80s Challenge. As we are down to the last four, I’ll be doing one every week in time for Christmas to see off 2017.

Wang Chung were formed in the U.K in 1980. The term ‘Huang Chung’ means ‘yellow bell’ in Mandarin and the band initially used this as their name, only later to change it to Wang Chung for better translation in English. The band signed a two record deal in 1981 and their first album was released a year later. In 1982, while working on a new album, they released the single ‘Dance Hall Days’, which failed to chart. It was at this point that their contract was cancelled and they signed up with an American label.

Their second album Points of the Curve was released in 1984 and had two successful hits, ‘Don’t Let Go’ and ‘Dance Hall Days’ (a re-recording of the original version). In 1985, they released the soundtrack to the movie To Live and Die in L.A., which became their third album. Their fourth album, Mosaic was released in 1986, which contained their biggest hits ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’ and ‘Let’s Go!’, reaching No.2 and No.9 in the U.S. respectively. Wang Chung released their fifth album, The Warmer Side of Cool in 1989, where they had a minor hit, but overall, the album was considered a disappointment. Band members then went on to other projects and eventually disbanded in 1990.

As pointed out in some of the comments on YouTube for this video, this clip needs to come with a seizure warning. And yes, I’d hate to be the one responsible for the editing! 😉

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter W include:- Wham, Was Not Was, Wet, Wet, Wet, Warumpi Band, White Snake.

Have you been caught off guard at how quickly Christmas is almost upon us? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter W can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: V is for The Vapors.

Once again we’re back for another round in my Back to the 80s Challenge and gradually working our way down to the end of the list.

Before jumping in though, recently I was extremely fortunate to see my all time favourite band of any era – Midnight Oil. They were, as expected, absolutely brilliant and I haven’t come down from the ceiling as yet (could take a few days). Anyway, back to the challenge and this week we’re down to the letter V.

Formed in the UK in 1978, The Vapors were discovered by one of the band members of The Jam and were offered to support them during one of their tours a year later. Their first single was released in 1979, but failed to chart. Their second single ‘Turning Japanese’, reached the top three in the UK, as well as becoming a hit in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The song appeared on their debut album New Clear Days. Two more singles later made it into the UK Singles Chart and they released another album in 1981. The band broke up in 1982, believed to be due to a lack of support from their record label.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter V include:- Van Halen.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter V can you think of? Have you seen any good bands recently?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: U is for U2

It’s time once again for my Back to the 80s challenge and now that we’re getting closer to the end, we’re reaching the letters of the alphabet that really will be a challenge!

This time around is a band that became a huge success in the 1980s and another band that I was fortunate to see live. Back in the day, they were one of my favourites, but personally, they reached a point where musically, I eventually lost all interest (hey, it happens sometimes).

U2 were formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1976 and released their first album Boy in 1980. The album received positive reviews and they released the album October a year later. The album War was released in 1983 and the single ‘New Year’s Day’ was to become the band’s first hit outside of the U.K. They toured Europe and the U.S, which resulted in their live album Under a Blood Red Sky. The album Unforgettable Fire was released in 1984, which was successful in the U.S and became No.1 in the U.K. The single ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’, became their biggest hit and the band performed at the Live Aid concert in 1985, with a television audience estimated of 2 billion people. It would help establish what Rolling Stone magazine labelled as ‘the band of the 80s’ that same year.

Their fifth album, The Joshua Tree, was released in 1987 and was critically acclaimed. It went to No.1 in over twenty countries and won two Grammy Awards. A year later, the album Rattle and Hum was released and reached No.1 world wide. Over the years, U2 would go on to release eight more albums, tour extensively, become one of the most best-selling artists in history and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This song was my favourite from their very early years and I recall a different clip. But oh dear, Bono’s hair in this one – so very 80s! 😉

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter U include:- Ultravox, Uncanny X-Men, UB40, Underworld.

Have you ever lost interest in certain bands when they change musical direction? What were some of your favourite bands during the 1980s? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter U can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: T is for Tears for Fears.

Once again we’re jumping back into my Back to the 80s Challenge and we’re moving ever so closer to the finish line.

For this part of the challenge we’ve come to a band that I introduced to my kids a couple of years ago, and my daughter seemed to appreciate them at the time (yes, you have to introduce your kids to good music from an early age. 😉 )

Tears For Fears were formed in England in 1981 and had success with their third single ‘Mad World’ in 1982. Their first album was released a year later, reaching platinum status and became successful in other countries. It wasn’t until the release of the single ‘Shout’ from their second album Songs From the Big Chair in 1984, that the band reached international fame. The album also included the hits ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ and ‘Head over Heels’. Their third album The Seeds of Love was released in 1989 and was another world-wide hit. The band split in 1991 where they pursued solo careers, only to reform in 2000.

‘Shout’ was the song that my daughter favoured the most (as do I). So did a lot of people in fact, as the song went on to become one of the most recognisable songs of the 1980s.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter T include:- Talking Heads, Thompson Twins, The The, The Clash, The Triffods, TISM.

What is one of most recognisable songs of the 1980s for you? Have you introduced music from your childhood down to your own children? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter T can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: S is for Simple Minds.

Another week and it’s time once again for my Back to the 80s challenge. We’ve made it down the the letter S and I can’t believe I’ve made it this far (it’s been a long challenge), but the end is almost in sight.

I’m back to another band that was a favourite of mine back in the 80s and listened to quite a bit – and even saw them live in concert.

Simple Minds were formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1978 and released their first album in 1979. By 1981, they released four more albums and the single ‘Love Song’ became an international hit. The single ‘Promised You a Miracle’, hit the UK Top 20 and the Australian Top 10. Their album New Gold Dream was released in 1982 and became a commercial success. Despite their popularity, it wasn’t until the single ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ appeared in the film ‘The Breakfast Club’ in 1985 that they broke into the US market.

Simple Minds performed at Live Aid in 1985 and in the same year released the album Once Upon a Time, resulting in four world wide hit singles. The band would go on to undergo line-up changes, became more political in their lyrics, produce more albums and perform world tours. In 2007, the band marked their 30th anniversary. They continue to release albums and tour to this day.

I couldn’t quite decide which music video to put up for this one, as two songs in particular stand out as favourites. ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ was the other contender and is great live. Even to this day, I still can’t remember if I ever saw The Breakfast Club (yes, I know, shame)! But yeah, Alive and Kicking is my favourite – never get tired of this one. 🙂

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter S include:- Spandau Ballet, Spy vs Spy, Simply Red, Style Council, Sunnyboys, Split Enz, Stray Cats.

Have you seen ‘The Breakfast Club’? What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter S can you think of?

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