Various: I Want My `80s Box! I want it back. I want the palpable sense of hope and the distinct lack of irony. I want the bombast. I want major chords. I want the guitar licks so tasty that they’re licking the fretboard. I want Van Halen on the ’84 tour when they had the Western Exterminator guy for their logo. I want John Hughes to score my high school experience. I want Crockett & Tubbs to wipe the smile off the face of that penny-ante Colombian bagman. I want River Phoenix back. I want parachute pants (but maybe not painter’s caps). I want gas for 97 cents a gallon. I want that guy to score that hockey goal for the American team and then look for his Dad in the stands. I want my virginity back…and I want to sell it to Diane Lane. I want movies about custom cars battling it out in a cross-country race for financial gain. I want most of my hair back. I want big, anything-Aid charity shows. I want my favorite bands when they were bickering about what to play for the encore – not whose revival version of the group gets to use the name in Tahoe. But enough about what I want. As fun as it was, I won’t deign to pretend that all of these wonderful songs imparted some grand meaning to the culture that spawned them. The ’80s had its share of knock-offs, low-rent covers and contrivances, but even the novelties had their allure. Yello’s “Oh Yeah” comes swiftly to mind. Switzerland was a tad light on their contribution to new wave, but they did offer up this little curiosity, an oft-licensed track featured in countless TV shows and films (most memorably in the closing credits of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that it even presaged more sample-heavy electronic music than we’d care to consider. Marc Almond’s Soft Cell were fitting forebears, too, resurrecting the 1964 gem “Tainted Love” and giving it a full makeover as a sultry, synth-laden new-wave anthem. The song also appeared in medley form, appended by the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go”—effectively granting Almond the fifteen minutes of girl-group fantasy he was obviously seeking. Like Soft Cell, Oingo Boingo enjoyed a rabid fan following in the ranks of the new wave underground, but it wasn’t until the squeaky “Weird Science” put them on the pop radar that they became household names. The film’s success with the teen market didn’t hurt either. Nowadays, it’s Boingo’s Danny Elfman providing the score in his self-reinvention as a composer in great demand.


1.The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
2.Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
3.Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out
4.Tommy Tutone – 867-5309 / Jenny
5.Blondie – Rapture
6.Gap Band – You Dropped A Bomb On Me
7.Dazz Band – Let It Whip
8.Quarterflash – Harden My Heart
9.ABC – Poison Arrow
10.Asia – The Heat Of The Moment
11.Toni Basil – Mickey
12.Kool & The Gang – Celebration
13.Squeeze – Tempted
14.Soft Cell – Tainted Love

1.Pat Benatar – Love Is A Battlefield
2.Bryan Adams – Cuts Like A Knife
3.Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams
4.A-Ha – Take On Me
5.Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
6.The Fixx – One Thing Leads To Another
7.Big Country – In A Big Country
8.Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
9.Madness – Our House
10.Oingo Boingo – Weird Science
11.The Motels – Suddenly Last Summer
12.Night Ranger – Sister Christian
13.Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
14.John Waite – Missing You

1.Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
2.Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
3.Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
4.Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight
5.Run DMC – Walk This Way
6.Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love
7.Jody Watley – Looking For A New Love
8.Yello – Oh Yeah
9.Suzanne Vega – Luka
10.Chris De Burgh – Lady In Red
11.Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
12.Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
13.Bobby Brown – My Prerogative
14.Steve Winwood – Higher Love

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