Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31. This has been a good countdown so far. So let’s Return to the week ending April 5, 1986, and continue the countdown.
This is one of my favorite Bob Seger songs. This is one of those misunderstood songs. It is not a patriotic song. It is about cocaine abuse. In an interview with the New York Times, Seger said, “I wrote it after reading ‘Wired,’ Bob Woodward’s biography of John Belushi. That was two and a half years ago, when there was a lot of publicity about cocaine abuse in show business. At the time, I thought that it was just a trend that would quickly die out and that the song would be out of date when it came time to record. But the situation has gotten worse. Maybe cocaine isn’t quite as fashionable on the East and West Coasts these days, but the plague has spread into the heartland — into the Middle West and the South. The key line in ‘American Storm’ is ‘You never feel the need.’ You never feel anything when you’re on drugs. You’re numb. You’re afraid to feel for one reason or another, and that’s why you turn to drugs. I want to see people not do that.”
I loved Janet Jackson. But, whenever I hear this song, this is the first thing that comes to mind [keep in mind that this is Eddie Murphy. So if you’re listening at work, make sure your headphones don’t pop out]:
That wraps up today’s list of songs. I’m really liking this countdown so far! What do you think. Do you have any favorite songs so far. Any surprises you forgot about? Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown!
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
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.
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.