The 80’s were a time of excess, a time of American renewal, and a time of really cheesy music and parachute pants. Here it is. The blog entry that I expect and hope to be critiqued by one of my favorite bloggers. He’s an expert on pop/rock music and the 80’s would be in his wheelhouse. I thought about breaking it down to Rock or Pop, bands or solo, but let’s just throw them all together.
5. Tears for Fears. When I hear a song by these guys, it just makes me feel like I have been transported through space and time right to the 80’s. The music has become a little better over time, and I even get in the mood to pop in “Shout” or “Everybody Wants to Rule the World“.
4. Billy Idol. A little more edgy than Tears, but so 80’s you’ll feel like you should be paying 90 cents for a gallon of gas. I think he really wanted to be a punk rock Elvis. Fortunately for us, although he may have been a punk his music was not really. Look at that lip curl! He sang some pretty cool tunes that are currently in my home and car rotation. “White Wedding“, “Rebel Yell“, and of course “Mony Mony“.
3. 38 Special. Rockin’ in the south! These guys made music that still stands the test. They were classics, and they didn’t have that cheesy 80’s sound. You can’t help but feel happy when you listen to tunes like “Caught Up in You” and “Hold on Loosely“, that is unless they bring back some really messed up memories. OK, if you want to feel a little broken, listen to “Second Chance” or “If I’d Have Been the One“.
2. Van Halen. How could I leave out the best rock group of the 80’s? I guess they will always be remembered most for their time with DLR as the front man. What other grown man could do a split or 15 roundhouse kicks in 10 seconds? Eddie was the best guitarist of the 80’s and he even added to the aura of the #1 on my list with one of his classic solos. Most of their best tunes were covers from previous greats. But that’s ok. Some of my favorites were: their cover of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” (and I already know it was 1978 Chris!), their cover of the Motown hit “Dancing in the Streets“, their cover of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman“, “Jump“, and **WARNING** “Hot for Teacher“.
1. Michael Jackson. Even though Michael had hits in the 60’s with his brothers, and the 70’s solo, he was essentially the music of the 80’s. No, you could not resist the evil of the Thriller. This guy was so BAD, even though he’s a little confused. Turns out that he wasn’t such a Smooth Criminal. I still dig his music, even though he’s fruitier than a cake at Christmas and he probably sees a different Man in the Mirror every time he looks. Explain to me why you think I’m wrong if you don’t agree with me, but you don’t have to pack up and Beat It (see Eddie Van Halen perform a killer solo!). But of all his 1980’s hits, “Billy Jean” was my favorite.
Now I dare you to tell me why I am wrong. Tell me that I should have put the Boss in my list. Go ahead and ask me how I could have left out INXS, Duran Duran, Prince, or Loverboy. I dare you! Or you can just do the right thing and agree with me.