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Twenty songs to define a decade

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'll post my selections for 1980-1990, 1990-2000, and 2000+ starting a bit later tonight, I'd be interested to see what people will say as well, could be a fun thread
post #2 of 34
you go first!
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok here we go: (1980-1990)

I separated the songs into two categories, Rock/Heavy Metal and Other. The songs are in no particular order within each section, more of when I thought of them.

Rock/Heavy Metal/Ballads:

1) Scorpions "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (1984)

The quintessential metalhead track, this track had wide appeal to many groups.

2) Bon Jovi "Livin on a Prayer" (1986)

This was from Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi's first commercially successful album, although some would argue that a lot of his best work came before 1986. Regardless, a great song.

3) AC/DC "You Shook Me All Night Long" (1980)

New lead singer? No problem. AC/DC rocked hard with its new album "Back in Black" and to be totally honest, it was difficult to pick an AC/DC song to represent this decade, with the aboveformentioned "Back in Black" and "Thunderstruck" to consider, but in the end, "You Shook Me All Night Long" had to be the choice.

4) Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar On Me" (1987)

Yeah, so you hear this song everywhere, football games, the radio, etc. How can you not consider it one of the defining songs of the 80s?

5) Whitesnake "Here I Go Again" (1987)

Probably their best offering from their best album, this song even made it into "Old School". How can it not make this list?

6) Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right" (1986)

I'm not sure this is exactly characterized as rock, but certainly the rap/rock aesthetic of the 80s was defined by this album, and their sound hasn't really been duplicated since.

7) Air Supply "All Out of Love" (1980)

Nuff said.

8) Night Ranger "Sister Christian" (1985)

Not exactly a power ballad, but still a great song.

9) Van Halen "Dance the Night Away" (1980)

Ok, this is barely in the 80s (if even) but still a great song from one of the defining bands of the 80s. Whether it was Roth or Hagar, they still rocked.

Definitely a fun song from the 80s.

10) Guns n Roses "Paradise City" (1987)

A difficult choice between Sweet Child of Mine, Paradise City, and Welcome to the Jungle, but I think Paradise City gets the nod.

I'll post the other 10 a bit later.
post #4 of 34
Definite 80's song:

True Faith - New Order.

Jon.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Ok here we go: (1980-1990) 8) Night Ranger "Sister Christian" (1985) .... still a great song.
Are you serious? I mean I agree that it belongs there for defining a decade, because it symbolizes a lot of the over produced meaningless of the '80s. But I've never met anyone who liked that song. I've always seen it as something that deserves mocking.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu
Are you serious? I mean I agree that it belongs there for defining a decade, because it symbolizes a lot of the over produced meaningless of the '80s. But I've never met anyone who liked that song. I've always seen it as something that deserves mocking.

That would just depend on your point of view about 80s rock/ballads in general. Personally I like it.
post #7 of 34
+1 on Night Ranger.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu
Are you serious? I mean I agree that it belongs there for defining a decade, because it symbolizes a lot of the over produced meaningless of the '80s. But I've never met anyone who liked that song. I've always seen it as something that deserves mocking.
You have to admit, it was used to very good effect in Boogie Nights.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok, here's the second installment of the 80s. By the way, this is a totally impossible task as there are so many songs that could go on this list. I just decided to put songs that were personally relevant to me when remembering the 80s. Feel free to include ones that you like, of which I am sure there are many.

1. Rick Springfield "Jessie's Girl" (1982)

If there was one song that defined the 80s to me, it would be this one.

2. Men at Work "Land Down Under" (1982)

Fun, upbeat, definitely a great 80s vibe from this track.

3. Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" (1982)

Hard to pick one song by Jacko, but this one is my fav from the 80s.

4. OMD "If You Leave" (1986)

This one I have kind of a personal relationship with. My first two years in undergrad I was friends with this girl that lived on my floor of my dorm, and this was her favorite song and she'd play it over and over, during my junior year, she jumped off a building, so anyways, I have bittersweet feelings about this song.

5. New Order "Bizarre Love Triangle" (1986)

Definitely encompasses the 80s vibe.

6. The Outfield "Your Love" (1985)

I really like this track, upbeat and fun.

7. Richard Marx "Right Here Waiting" (1989)

At the risk of dating myself, they played this song at an 8th grade dance that I attended haha.

8. Journey "Open Arms" (1982)

Probably the best of the power ballads...

9. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby" (1990)

I'm not sure this exactly counts as being in the 80s, but I remember seeing him with MC Hammer live (actually I think it was in 1990).

10. Prince "When Doves Cry" (1984)

Hard to make a list of the 80s without including a Prince song, this one is one of the best.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton
You have to admit, it was used to very good effect in Boogie Nights.

"Sh Sh Sh! Wait! Here's the good part." That was a hysterical scene.
post #11 of 34
For me the 80's was more about electronica so..

1) Joy Division - Love will tear us apart
(One of my fav records..)

2) The smiths- There is a light
(You gotta have The smiths in any top 10..!)

3) Gary Numan - cars
(Crap song but one man his synth on stage is so 80's)

4) New Order- Bizarre love triangle
(I'd agree with people on here, not their best(True Faith IMHO) but defo. the most 80's)

5)Afrika Bambaataa- Planet Rock

6) Grandmaster Flash- The message or White lines
(Only in the 80's could you have a video like that..)

7) Cybertron- Clear

(One of the first techno records, start of whole Detroit scene..)

8) U2- New Year's day
(Their finest song?)

9) Inner City- Good life
(classic house record)

and finally

10) Mickey J- Bad
(Who can forget that leather jacket!)
post #12 of 34
the Mrs and I caught an 80's show on VH1 the other night and all the old videos moved me to nausea. I exaggerate some, but I recall sneering at Janet Jackson and Duran Duran back then and glad to say that some things in life have not changed.

So here then in no particular order, some powerful songs from the 80's that I loved:

AC/DC - You Shook Me all Night Long (classic and powerful)
The Clash - London Calling (could have been any of a dozen songs)
Metallica - One (opened up a new audience)
U2 - New Year's Day (also, any number of their songs will suffice)
Husker Du - Could You Be the One? (alt-rock at its finest)
The Smiths - Paint a Vulgar Picture (mopey brits write catchy tunes)
Men at Work - Who Could it be Now? (Catchy, catchy, catchy)
Terence Trent D'Arby - Wishing Well (Could have been Roly Poly)
David Bowie - Modern Love (Let's Dance, also)
Van Halen - Jump (guitar god goes synth and rules the airwaves)
post #13 of 34
cum on feel the noize - quiet riot in between days - the cure everybody wants to rule the world - tears for fears relax - frankie goes to hollywood born in the usa - springsteen boys of summer - don henley everybody everybody - blackbox push it - salt n pepa freedom '90 - george michael state of the nation - industry girls girls girls - motley crue cool it now - new edition we're not gonna take it - twisted sister everybody's working for the weekend - loverboy dont you (forget about me) - simple minds cant touch this - mc hammer centerfold - j geils band jump - pointer sisters the promise - when in rome give it up - kc & the sunshine band
post #14 of 34
A good guide would be the soundtrack to the TV series, Reunion. In that show, we watched the same group of high school best friends grow up, where each episode examined another year in their lives. So, the first episode, we seen them as high school seniors in 1985, and the episode after that, we saw what happened to them in 1986 and so on and so on. They had a pretty good musical selection, where for the episode that supposedly took place in 1985, the soundtrack would be songs from that year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Ok here we go: (1980-1990) I separated the songs into two categories, Rock/Heavy Metal and Other. The songs are in no particular order within each section, more of when I thought of them. 7) Air Supply "All Out of Love" (1980) Nuff said.
Dude, I'm one of the biggest Air Supply fans out there; right now, I'm listening to their greatest hits CD as I type this. So, as a fan, I've got to argue that Air Supply doesn't belong in the category of Rock/Heavy Metal. I can see the connection between all the other songs you chose in this category, but not Air Supply. You've got some power ballads in this category, but those were also sung by rock/heavy metal bands that were trying to broaden their audience. That was a 80s phenomenon, when you had all those hard rock/heavy metal bands that would always have one overproduced, power ballad on their albums. And, my problem with this list when you cite Air Supply is that it almost puts it a cultural ghetto, limiting it to a nostalgia act. But, Air Supply does not belong just to the 80s; their timeless music belongs to the ages now.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire.
Dude, I'm one of the biggest Air Supply fans out there; right now, I'm listening to their greatest hits CD as I type this. So, as a fan, I've got to argue that Air Supply doesn't belong in the category of Rock/Heavy Metal. I can see the connection between all the other songs you chose in this category, but not Air Supply. You've got some power ballads in this category, but those were also sung by rock/heavy metal bands that were trying to broaden their audience. That was a 80s phenomenon, when you had all those hard rock/heavy metal bands that would always have one overproduced, power ballad on their albums.

And, my problem with this list when you cite Air Supply is that it almost puts it a cultural ghetto, limiting it to a nostalgia act. But, Air Supply does not belong just to the 80s; their timeless music belongs to the ages now.

I can buy that, especially given the fact that I put Journey's Open Arms in the other section. I kinda just wanted to squeeze it in there, as it's one of my fav songs...
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