Top 10 80’s Songs

October 27, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

First, you need to understand that when I say the best what I mean are songs that I think are the best.  If you are looking for a list of the most impactful or meaningful or blah blah blah songs, go somewhere else.  If you are looking for commentary that uses phrases like “guitar riff” or “vocalization” go somewhere else.  The social status of these songs or their musical genius is irrelevant.

i love the 80sWhat is relevant then? General awesomeness.  I’ll evaluate these in 4 categories.  How I liked the song then, the music video then, how I like the song now, and how I like the video now. The video was an important part of the song in the 80s.  This was hard.  Limiting to 10 was challenging.  I may create a post at some point with the 100 best songs from the 80’s and not put any commentary.  I would feel better about that.  I feel like I am hurting someone’s feelings.  It would be like a list of my top 2 favorite daughters (I have 3).

10. Caught up in You by .38 Special

The song then—I remember the song and kinda liking it, but I don’t remember loving it.

The video then—No memories

The song now—Love it! It may now be my number 1, crank it up, don’t get out of the car until it’s over song.  I have been known to play it on repeat online.

The video now—Oh my goodness! You have to watch this.  It was trying to be funny then, I’m sure.  It succeeded.  However, the level of unintentional comedy of the video now is off the charts.  Must watch!

You’re Welcome!

9. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

The song then—Epic.  Wailing female vocalists are my thing and this song may be the best of all of that category.  Has an awesome haunting quality about it and I loved it.

The video then—Confession (don’t judge me). I thought she was very good.  That is essentially all I remembered from that video.  Good looking girl wearing white walking around in some mansion or something.  It was a little creepy, but her being cute made up for it.

The song now—Still love it for all the same reasons  It is definitely one of the top songs in the  “if I hear it, I will be singing it for days” category.

The video now—A) She’s not that attractive. B) That video is creepy.  Way creepier than I remember.

8. Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

The song then—Great song.  Very catchy.  I’d say it’s easy to sing along too, but it would be more accurate to say that it is easy to mumble along with except for when he says “Come on Eileen.” No one knew the words to that song.

The video then—Hmmm, is it them walking around the street? Don’t remember.  I’ll let you know in a second.  Obviously, I don’t remember the video.

The song now—Still great.  Also, in the era of Google, you can finally know what they are singing.

The video now—Oh yeah! The blue overalls.  Completely unremarkable video.  I’ll still put it in here, just in case you don’t know the song and you can hear it.

7. The Reflex by Duran Duran

The song then—The best of Duran Duran as far as I am concerned.  Though Rio seems to be the song they play the most on 80s on 8 on SiriusXM.  Hungry Like the Wolf seems to be most people’s favorite.  Super catchy and fun song.

The video then—Perhaps one of the best videos of all time. (Cue Kanye)  Again, not because of artistic reasons, but for weirdness and unintentional comedy.  Watching it now may make it seem dated, but it was kind of ridiculous then too, but in great ways.

The song now—What is this song about?  I almost hesitated to put this on here because I don’t know what the song is about and there is a theory that it is dirty.  (My wife believes this and is calling for the song to be banished from the list) However, the band is quoted as saying that they don’t even know what it is about.  I’m going with that and keeping it on the list.

The video now—Watch it for the hair.  Watch it again for the awesome special effects waterfall.

6. Against All Odds by Phil Collins

The song then—I’ve been surprised by how many people don’t know this song when I mention it among my favorite 80’s songs.  Big fan of the power ballad love song genre.  While you may not put this is in the category of “power ballad,” that makes little difference to me, since this is my list.

The video then—I never saw the movie that this came from.  It was rated R and I was 12 and from a very conservative home.  However, there was enough in that video to pique the interest of a 12 year old boy. (I apologize if that it TMI). I remember liking the video for sure.

The song now—Still awesome.  Love to belt this one out in the car.

The video now—Now that I am 43 and can do what I want, I don’t want to see the movie.  It looks absolutely ridiculous.  I also judge the 12 year old me.

5. Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield

The song then—Loved this song then.  I was only 10, but I loved it.  Had no idea who Jessie was or even the concept of a love triangle.  Just knew that this song was great.

The video then—Here I go again.  Was there a video for this? I’m not sure.  If I had to guess, I would imagine it is just him singing with his band.  We will see.

The song now—One of my 2 go to karaoke songs.  First song I ever sang at a karaoke party.  Love it.  If this song isn’t on your list, you either didn’t experience the 80’s or we may not be able to be friends.  Great song.

The video now—I was mostly right.  90% is just him singing with or without his band.  Toss in a few poorly acted angsty scenes of him pining over the girl and a super-angsty crashing his bathroom mirror scene and you’ve got the video.  Only good in an ironic way.  He also smoulders a lot into the camera.  He was a heartthrob.

4. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

The song then—How is this not #1? What is wrong with me?  This is one of the most popular songs of all time!  Rocky III was an amazing movie and this was an incredible song.  You hear this song and you just know that you can knock out anybody, including Mr. T.

The video then—Was there a video? (Recurring theme)  This song comes on and I remember the movie.  That means, most likely that the video was probably just movie clips.  If so, I loved it.  If not, that’s why I don’t remember.

The song now—My other go to karaoke song.  I even sang this song in a mullet wig at a church event once.  There may or not be video evidence.  The band intentionally raised the key of the song so I would almost be able to hit the high note, but not quite.  Very entertaining.  This song was and is one of the greatest.  The 80’s song that sold the most copies that was not also a fundraising song (Like We are the World).

The video now—Nope, not a video from Rocky III at all.  The band trying to be tough.  It is ridiculous.  I watch this and I have to tell myself that they couldn’t have been serious.  Watch it and decide for yourself.

3. The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News

The song then—Another great song from another great movie.  This seems appropriate to honor this song the week after Back to the Future day.  Huey Lewis dominated the pop charts for a couple of years and this is far and away the best one.  The fact that it was part of one of the best movies is just bonus.

The video then—Mostly just the band performing the song in a bar environment.  I always was disappointed by the video.  I wanted Marty and Doc to be in the video.  There is a moment at the beginning with the DeLorean and another at the end.  Other than that, it ignores the movie altogether.  Not a great video. The fact that the video is just blah and is this high on the list, speaks to how great a song this is.

The song now—Still great.  This song might be the one that gets stuck in my head the most after putting this list together.

The video now—Still awful

2. Borderline by Madonna

The song then—I’m not trying to get 80’s hipster on you, but I think Madonna’s best stuff was from this album. Borderline and Lucky Star and Holiday.  The Like a Virgin album made her number one in the mainstream, but this song was always the best.  The closest she ever came to recapturing this was Crazy for You which I believe was from the movie Vision Quest.  Great ballad, great song!

The video then—Most videos were just artsy and weird, this was one of the first I remember to try and tell a story.  She is getting discovered and  photographed by this creepy dude and there is jealous also creepy boyfriend or something.  This was her maximum cuteness in my mind, even though I didn’t understand her outfits.

The song now—Still the best.  The girls know for sure that there will be no changing the station if this song comes on.

The video now—Still cute.  I’m judging 1984 Charlie a little less.

1. Call Me by Blondie

The song then—What does an 8 year old know about music or anything?  Nothing.  However this is a great song.  I would call the radio station every day to request it in the hopes that it would stay number one even longer (as if requests and plays in El Dorado Arkansas were moving the needle)  This was all the manipulation of my 14 year old brother, but nonetheless, I loved this song, the intro comes on and you are ready to go.  Blondie had some great stuff in the early 80’s.

The video then—I was 8 and by the time videos were mainstream, this song wasn’t popular.  I have no memories at all of this.  The best standard guess is her singing in front of some psychedelic background.

The song now—It was number one then and is still number one.  I hesitated for a while when putting this list together.  I considered all the songs in the top 4, but not for long.  This is the one.

The video now—The definitive 80’s music expert (My brother Brad) says he doesn’t remember this video though it is the one that Blondie says is official on their website. *shrug* She’s prettier than I remember.  I remember being scared of her, probably because she had two colors of hair, blonde and black.  I thought that was creepy.  (I was 8).

There you go THE list.  I guess this is the part where I ask for your inferior list.  So, what you got?  What are your top 80’s songs?