Adding a Few Tunes From the 80s

For me, the 1980s were a lost decade in both respects. The ’80s were clearly my most troubled period in life; I managed to leave a wide swath of collateral damage in my wake. In addition, it is the period in pop music that has aged poorly for me. In those days, I used to regularly visit Big Al’s Record Barn in Santa Clara and collect 45s for a buck or so apiece, a now primitive method of collecting all the important songs. If I remotely liked something I heard on pop radio, I would pick that up, too. Nothing too ambitious, but I have 500-600 45s in the home collection to show for it.

The Euro-influenced synthesized sound, with that electronic percussion, did not age well for me. Since music quickly returned to a more organic sound, I conclude I was not alone.

I recently traveled through the Great Plains for several days with a younger friend, a 35 year old man who grew up during the 1980s, and like many of us, the music he listened to during adolescence has the most lasting impact. I was 12 years old in 1970; I am certain that the pinnacle of 20th century popular music. For my friend, 1985 seems to be the year. His iPod collection includes thousands of songs from the 1980s.

He sent me a list of 20 suggestions for the collection. I reviewed them and added about 2/3 of them.

Bittersweet, Hoodoo Gurus ✭✭
Metropolis, The Church ✭✭
True Faith, New Order ✭✭
The Beat(en) Generation, The The ✭✭✭
Mad World, Tears For Fears
Never You Done That, General Public
If You Were Here, Thompson Twins
Here Comes Your Man, The Pixies ✭✭
E=MC2, Big Audio Dynamite ✭✭
It’s A Mug’s Game, Soft Cell ✭✭✭
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, The Smiths ✭✭
Making Plans For Nigel, XTC

Please don’t be disuaded by the low ratings. These are all fine songs; some are just not my cup of tea. “It’s A Mug’s Game” stands out as strange and creative. “The Beat(en) Generation” is my other favorite so far. All very pleasant, and I was pleasantly surprised, as the suggestion box rarely succeeds.

I’ve been busy adding other songs. I filled out the John Lee Hooker and Led Zeppelin catalogs, and will save those for posts dedicated to those bands, or at least other subjects that come to mind. I’ve added the following:

‘Til I Die (alternate mix), The Beach Boys ✭✭
Hello, Schuyler Fisk ✭✭✭
Hey, Good Lookin’, Roy Clark & Joe Pass ✭✭✭
The Reason Why, Vince Gill ✭✭
Fiesta, Gato Barbieri

Hummingbird, Seals & Crofts
Non, Je Ne Regretten Rien, Edith Piaf ✭✭
La Vie En Rose, Edith Piaf ✭✭
Hey Girl, Freddie Scott ✭✭
When Your Mind’s Made Up, Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova ✭✭✭

It’s Lame, Figures Of Light ✭✭
Move Out A Babylon, Johnny Clarke ✭✭✭
Nothin’ Better To Do, LeAnn Rimes ✭✭✭
Throw Me A Rope, KT Tunstall
Golden Age, KT Tunstall ✭✭

Black Horse And The Cherry Tree, KT Tunstall ✭✭✭
Bad Day, Daniel Powter ✭✭
Nervous Breakdown, Eddie Cochran ✭✭
On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Lionel Hampton ✭✭
Few Feet Away, Otis Taylor ✭✭

The Peanut Vendor, Stan Kenton ✭✭
Inspiration, Gipsy Kings ✭✭
Bamboleo, Gipsy Kings ✭✭
Come On Down To My Boat, Every Mother’s Son ✭✭
Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Mix), DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince ✭✭✭✭

“When Your Mind’s Made Up” is the emotional high water mark from the movie Once. “Summertime”, derived from the Kool & The Gang instrumental “Summer Madness”, is a personal favorite. “Nothin’ Better To Do” by LeAnn Rimes is brand new and flat out rocks. Her she is with Joss Stone on the show called Crossroads:

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