11:57 a.m. - October 24, 2005
Thanks for many of you for trying the 70’s quiz. You’ll probably get more of these.
Because I’m an 80’s junkie, I had to discipline myself. These songs were all sizable Billboard hits (except one) and span all sorts of genres and styles. This was also the last decade that really had a unified feel to the charts – as everyone knew all of these songs no matter what you listened to. Things in the 90’s got way too splintered to have this much fun. Well, at least I think so!
There are 20 songs on this here volume, and again, no googling, or I will hunt you down and force you to listen to the entire “Condition Critical” album by Quiet Riot, backwards.
Shall we begin? (Shall we even Begin the Begin? Obscure REM references for $100 please, Alex??) We shall, we shall.
1. With all my heart I love you baby
3. Face to face, each classic case
4. Sitting with the thinker
5. My love, tell me what it’s all about
6. I got this feeling that you’re gonna stay
7. Lookin’ at you, lookin’ at me
8. All I’m saying – it takes a lot to love you
9. I feel safest of all
10. Then I wake up and you’re not there
11. Heading for the 90’s
12. I picked you out
13. If the words unspoken
14. …just a moment before our love will die
15. Where were you, when I needed you
16. Is it the man come to take me away?
17. You see I wanted her real bad and I was about to give in
18. Now I just wanna get close to you
19. Lost in a dream
20. You could have a big dipper
2. “Rio” – Duran Duran. Before they totally whacked out on “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” I really did like Duran Duran. And not just because chicks dug ‘em. This catchy little number only went to #14 in 1983, but what a video!
3. “Smooth Operator” – Sade. Another very classy, stylish singer and group. What were THEY doing in the 80’s? This tasteful pop song hit #5 in 1985, and also has a place in one of the funniest MST3K shorts ever! (“Why Study Industrial Arts?”)
4. “Let’s Go All the Way” – Sly Fox. This little brain barnacle hit #7 in 1986. Face it; it’s in your head now, too.
5. “I Can’t Wait” – Nu Shooz. This decade was full of these interesting little one-hit wonder pop songs. This one had some interesting arrangements and other things going on, and went to #3 in 1986.
6. “Two Of Hearts” – Stacey Q. One of the pop-tarts that sprung up in reaction to Madonna’s success, Stacey had this moment in the sun, a #3 smash in 1986.
7. “Round and Round” – Ratt. Hell, yeah! Finally some rock and roll. Sure, they were a hair metal band but rocked harder than most all of them. This blast from the past hit #12 in 1984.
8. “The Look of Love” – ABC. I do believe this is one of the first songs definitely helped by MTV. The video was great and fun, and the song was tasteful and catchy. It hit #18 on the charts in 1983.
9. “Cars” – Gary Numan. It’s hard to get some lyrics that don’t give this one away so easily. This robotic, eerie tune hit #9 in 1980.
10. “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone” – Glass Tiger. How many of you think this song would have hit #2 in 1986 if Bryan Adams WASN’T singing on it as well? No one? Me either.
11. “Wild Wild West” – Escape Club. Another song that sticks in your brain and gnaws out all of the connective tissues until you’re forced to sing along to it. This was a #1 smash in 1988.
12. “Don’t You Want Me” – Human League. It was supposedly ‘revolutionary’ to be an all synth pop band, but many people forgot about Kraftwerk by the time this hit #1 in 1982.
13. “Goody Two Shoes” – Adam Ant. Yes, Adam and the Ants had better songs, but none were hits in the USA. This one went to #12 in 1983, and it’s great enough that you can almost forgive him for “Strip.”
14. “Wait” – White Lion. A ‘hair-metal’ band that really was on the softer side of that whole movement. I could never keep all of these dang bands straight, really. This hit #8 in 1988, because the girls swooned over the sensitivity and the pretty hair. It was all about the hair.
15. “Jeopardy” - Greg Kihn. I think more people remember the Weird Al parody than this song, which had a creepy video and hit #5 back in 1983.
16. “Who Can It Be Now” – Men At Work. I think in 1982 it was impossible not to hear this #1 smash song every 10 minutes or so, and the video was on auto-loop on MTV forever. Sadly, this year, I saw a poster for Men at Work with Naked Eyes opening, playing a small bar in Cedar Rapids.
17. “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” – Georgia Satellites. Who doesn’t remember this one? They actually made some fine records back in the day, but one only remembers this corn pone #2 smash from 1986.
18. “Still of the Night” – Whitesnake. Yeah, this barely hit the singles chart in 1987, but it was all over the AOR radio stations and it kicks serious ass and takes serious names. Of course, David Coverdale fired the entire band after he made it so he could have some pretty boys for the video.
19. “Straight Up” – Paula Abdul. I would love to hear her actual singing voice without all of the processing and other tricks. It may sound ugly. This hit #1 in 1988, and now we’re stuck with her on American Idol. (Well, not me – I stopped watching it finally).
20. “Sledgehammer” – Peter Gabriel. It was sweet when this song hit #1 back in 1986, because Gabriel had always made interesting records of quality and distinction. But I wonder if anyone remembers he was the one in Genesis who sang “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway?” Two, three of you? OK.
So, how’d you do? I realize that there were a lot of 1986 songs on here – and that may say some good things or bad things about that year. That was a decent year for me – in several ways (heh!).
There may be more volumes later – as the 80’s are full of songs. Good songs, maybe not so much. But full of songs.