This weekend, I listened to the latest episode of the totally awesome podcast Talk Talk with Martha Quinn. If you don’t subscribe and listen to that podcast, I highly recommend that you do. This most recent episode featured a heated discussion about who should appear on the ’80s music version of Mount Rushmore, which Martha named Mount Radmore. These are the songs that we would consider the founding fathers of the ’80s sound. There are so many great artists that are definitely deserving of monuments. But, if you had to choose only 4 who actually influenced the sound of the ’80s, who would you choose?
As you can imagine, things got heated on the podcast in the iHeart80s Radio 103.7 studios. Martha’s husband, Jordan, and iHeart80s Radio 103.7 DJ, Little Ricci, even got pulled into the debate.
I would highly recommend listening to this episode, then come back, and let me know who you would pick for your Mount Radmore.
I know that this will spark some debate, but I will give you my picks anyway.
Released in 1979, this song was a major influence for what was to come in ’80s Pop, New Wave, and just that fun, quirky, 80s attitude. Not to mention that it also kicked off MTV, which pretty much defined our 80s generation.
Here is another song that was released in 1979, and influenced an entire genre of music, and a lifestyle. Thanks to The Sugarhill Gang, we got some Newcleus, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and me with my boombox, parachute pants, cardboard, and some kick-ass break dancing moves. Without Rapper’s Delight, we may not have had Run-DMC (which would also mean no Aerosmith comeback), and other awesome Rap acts of the ’80s.
I’m cheating here, but I give these two songs a tie. Both of these versions were released in 1983. Rock music had been around for a long time. But, these two songs brought hard rock to the mainstream. This would lead to big hair, big parties, and big attitudes that made the 80s so much fun.
Shannon may have been a one-hit wonder, but this one hit would define a brand new genre of music with Freestyle. This style of music would carry on through the early ’90s. It smoothly transitioned 70s disco to 80s dance-pop. This would lead to Exposé, The Cover Girls, Stevie B, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, and Sweet Sensation. An 80s high school dance would not be complete without us dancing (even badly) to a song by any of these Freestyle artists, thanks to Shannon.
OK, I know I got this all wrong. There were thousands of artists in the 80s, and we can only pick a handful. Who would you pick for your Mount Radmore? I’d love to hear from you!