Hits of 1985 – Horrible and Great

On September 6, 2009, Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1985 Podcast (Episode 178). Here is their list:

10. Walking on Sunshine – K.C. and the Sunshine Band
9. Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters (vetoed by Steve)
8. All I Need – Jack Wagner (vetoed by Cathy)
7. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
6. Wild Boys – Duran Duran
5. One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head
4. Some Like It Hot – Power Station (vetoed by Cathy and Steve)
3. Sea of Love – The Honeydrippers
2. We Built This City – Starship
1. We Are the World – U.S.A. For Africa

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

This was a tough one for me. There were so many horrible songs from 1985, and there were so many great ones. But, I was finally able to compile my list, so here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:

5. Money for Nothing – Dire Straits

This is one of the most overrated songs of the ’80s. Sure, the video was different from anything else at the time. And MTV is mentioned in the song. This was the perfect storm for the video to play in a seemingly endless loop for a long time on MTV. This would have been my #1 for most horrible song, if not for the awesome guitar lick at the beginning of the song. Once that guitar part is done, I go off in a daze, and forget that it’s on.

4. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young

I never cared much for this song at all. It was too boring for me. This song might not be on too many peoples’ lists of horrible songs, but I have a personal grudge against this song. As some longtime Return to the ’80s readers may know, I served in the military. The day I left, the recruiter picked me up at home to send me off to boot camp. I got in the car, and as we were pulling away, this song came on. Since this song mocked me, it is now on my Horrible list.

3. Solid – Ashford and Simpson

Typical song that lands on my Horrible list – boring and overplayed. I would have to turn off the radio whenever this song came on. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t like too many of this songwriting duo’s songs, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”, and “I’m Every Woman”.

2. Smooth Operator – Sade

The Stuck in the 80s guys were told to keep this song off their Horrible list. It did sound like they wanted it on there though. So, I will place it on my list. Is this even a song? It is more like slow torture! Slow, slow torture.

1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!

Ecchhhh. Wham! ranks right up there with Culture Club as one of my least favorite groups. The only song I don’t mind by them is “Freedom”, so at least there’s that. I wasn’t sure if “Wake Me Up..” or “Careless Whisper” would be my #1 Horrible song. Since this song is played the most on the 80s on 8 radio station, and on all radio stations that play 80s songs, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” wins. Once you hear this crappy song, it sticks with you, whether you like it or not.

Here is my top songs from that year:

10. Loverboy – Billy Ocean:

I love Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a fun song.

9. Nightshift – Commodores:

This is a really good Commodore’s song without Lionel Richie. It’s a nice tribute about music legends.

8. St. Elmos Fire (Man In Motion) – John Parr:

This song is just as good as the movie. Great rockin’s song with a Joe Cocker feel to it.

7. What About Love – Heart:

Heart was at the beginning of their resurgence with this song. Great song, and Ann Wilson has one of the best female rock voices of all time.

6. Misled – Kool and The Gang:

Kool and the Gang may be best known for their party anthem – “Celebration”. But, their Emergency album is incredible, and “Misled” is perhaps the best of the bunch. Great rockin’ song.

5. Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters

You can’t help but want to move to this song. “Neutron Dance” was the Pointer Sisters’ fourth top ten single in a row, which was on their album Break Out. It was also featured in Beverly Hills Cop. I love the Pointer Sisters, and this song is right up there among my favorites.

4.Crazy for You – Madonna

This was Madonna’s first ballad, which came off of the great Vision Quest soundtrack. This song was surrounded with controversy at the time. The Vision Quest soundtrack was on Geffen Records, and Warner Brothers had just released Madonna’s Like a Virgin album. Warner Brothers did not want “Crazy For You” released as a single, as it would take attention away from Like a Virgin. But Geffen producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber were able to convince Warner to greenlight the single. As a result, Madonna was able to prove that she had more talent than your typical attention-getting pop star. I believe that due to the fact that she could sing different styles of music, this song went a long way in making her an 80s icon.

3. I Can’t Hold Back – Survivor

This is one of my favorite songs by Survivor. This came off the great Vital Signs album, which was their first with lead singer Jimi Jamison. They had other hit songs from this album, such as “High On You” and “The Search Is Over”, but “I Can’t Hold Back” is my favorite. It was featured prominently in the recent movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop“, which made it the best part of the movie.

2. Summer of ’69/Heaven – Bryan Adams

I had a hard time deciding which Bryan Adams song to throw on here, so why not add both? Summer of ’69 is a great rocker. I’m sure we can all relate to looking back at the “good ole days”, or you wouldn’t be reading this. And “Heaven” is a great ballad. It is a nice slow-dance song.

Summer of ’69

1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

The ultimate ’80s song from the ultimate ’80s movie. You can’t think of one without the other. It even has staying power as this song is played while the losing American Idols are being booted. This song does gte played alot, but somehow I cannot get sick of it.

6 thoughts on “Hits of 1985 – Horrible and Great”

  1. Well, you may not like these lists very much…

    Another year where I had a hard time digging up a Horrible Hits list.
    5. “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” – Don Henley
    4. “Neutron Dance” – Pointer Sisters (“Jump” was so much better…this one was just too mechanical for me)
    3. “One Night in Bangkok” – Murray Head (and I actually had this on 45…why?)
    2. “Strut” – Sheena Easton
    1. “Obsession” – Animotion

    And another year with so many great hits.
    10. “We Are The World” – USA for Africa
    9. “Fortress Around Your Heart” – Sting
    8. “Do What You Do” – Jermaine Jackson
    7. “Walking On Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves
    6. “Everything She Wants” – Wham!
    5. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – Tears For Fears
    4. “Some Like It Hot” – Power Station
    3. “Every Time You Go Away” – Paul Young (sorry…)
    2. “Easy Lover” – Philip Bailey and Phil Collins
    1. “Careless Whisper” – Wham!

    The top two songs were played on one of the best days of my life, and they always take me back to that moment. The #3 song reminds of the person with whom I spent that day, so maybe I’m a little biased toward those songs.

    Although I like Wham! and Duran Duran, I’ll agree that “Wake Me Up” and “Wild Boys” were not their best efforts and almost worthy of making the bad list.

    By the way, how awesome is it the “Loverboy” and “Lovergirl” ended up right next to each other in the Top 100? Only in the 80s!


    1. I Like your ‘Horrible’ list. Except for the Pointers, all the other ones were borderline for me. I like Sheena Easton, but I don’t like “Strut”.

      I do like alot of your ‘Great’ list. (just not the ones that made my horrible list). “Easy Lover” was borderline for my ‘great’ list. “Walking On Sunshine” was right in the middle for me. On one hand it can be kind of corny. But on the other hand, it is a fun song, and does make you feel good. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is totally mid-80s. I do like that one.
      And, the “Loverboy” and “Lovergirl” caught my eye too. That was pretty funny.

      Thanks again for your list!!


      1. I like Sheena as well, but that song and her “U Got The Look” duet with Prince annoy me to no end.

        Speaking of Prince, how did “Take Me With U” not make the top 100? That’s probably my favorite song of his, and would have made my top ten.

        “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was the song they played during the closing credits of last year’s ESPN documentary “Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL?” It was a perfect choice.


  2. Oh, and “Crazy For You” almost made my top ten. So did “Material Girl,” even though I’m not a huge Madonna fan. I really did like those songs, though.


    1. I actually did have “Material Girl” on my list too, but took it off at the last second in favor of Billy Ocean. Then I almost put it with “Crazy For You” like I did with the 2 Bryan Adams songs. But I didn’t want to get too carried away. I’m also not a huge Madonna fan, but I like those songs too. Then I didn’t care for her too much until the ‘Like A Prayer’ songs that got released.

      Thanks again for your feedback. I appreciate it, and look forward to it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s