The first album I ever bought was Asia’s sefl-titled début record, and I bought it because I liked the cover. What can I say, I was 12 and I just really wanted to own a record.
Remember vinyl records and those big gorgeous covers? And if you were lucky you’d open them up and all the lyrics would be on the inner sleeve and you’d lay on the couch and play the record over and over until you knew all the lyrics by heart. *sigh* That lasted through my cassette tape years, but I was beyond that by the time cd’s came out.
We are now in the digital age, and I don’t even think I’ve bought an actual physical copy of an album in over ten years. Times they are a changin’, and music along with it. But I have a huge place in my heart for the music I grew up with in the 80’s, and that will probably never change. By the way, I really liked that Asia album. 12 year old me knew a good cover when she saw one.
Here’s a little sampler of the music I listened to in the 1980’s:
1980 – 1982
These were the boombox years for me, when I’d carry that thing all over the neighborhood. I remember when I got my boombox for Christmas. It. Was. Beautiful. Remember listening to the radio, waiting for that one song you loved to come on, your finger hovering over the record button? I remember that.
Air supply – The One That You Love, All Out of Love, Lost In Love, Even the Nights Are Better
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Crying Now, Open Arms, Faithfully
Hall & Oats – Private Eyes, Kiss on My List, I Can’t Go for That, Maneater
REO Speedwagon – Keep on Loving You, Take It on the Run
Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Heartbreaker, Treat Me Right, Love Is a Battlefield
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
But Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band is the one that always comes to mind first when I think of that boombox. This video is
1983 – 1985
MTV came to my town in ’83 or so, and that’s when I really got into music. Or at least the music they were playing on MTV. Actually, most of these songs blend together along the early 80’s timeline in my brain.
Huey Lewis and the News – Do You Believe in Love, The Heart of Rock & Roll, If This Is It, The Power of Love
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Here Comes the Rain Again, Would I Lie To You?
Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, Karma Chameleon
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Time After Time, All Through The Night
The Go-Go’s – We Got the Beat, Our Lips are Sealed, Vacation
Madonna – Borderline, Lucky Star, Holiday, Crazy for You, Material Girl
Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Shout, I Believe
Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf, The Reflex, Rio
Bryan Adams – Strait from the Heart, Summer of ’69, Run to You
John (Cougar) Mellencamp – Jack & Diane, Hurts So Good, Lonely Ol’ Night
Pink Houses is the one I really liked the best. My Nannie lived in a pink house, and I always thought of this song when I thought of her house:
1986 – 1987
I got my license in ’86, and after that I wasn’t sitting at home watching music videos much anymore. We were cruising town!
Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, Wanted Dead or Alive
Heart – Never, These Dreams, Alone, Nothing at All
Madonna – Causing a Commotion, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Papa Don’t Preach, Live to Tell
Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days, Dancing in the Dark, Tunnel of Love, Brilliant Disguise, Born in the U.S.A.
The Eagles – New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane, One of These Nights, Take It to the Limit
The Dream Academy – Life in a Northern Town, Bound to Be, Indian Summer, The Love Parade
I saw The Dream Academy on Saturday Night Live and bought their album after only hearing those two songs. I’ve been in love with them ever since.
1988 – 1989
Graduation and my first year at college! We went to a few concerts these years, too, which are great memories. I went to school in the mountains, and many an afternoon I was riding through the hills blasting The Eagles, Indigo Girls, and Bruce Hornsby. Singing at the top of my lungs. Those poor, poor cows.
U2 – With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name
R.E.M. – Stand, Orange Crush, Pop Song ’89, Begin the Begin, Fall on Me
INXS – What You Need, Need You Tonight, Devil Inside, New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart
Aerosmith – Dude Looks Like a Lady, Janie’s Got a Gun, What it Takes, Don’t Get Mad Get Even
The Smiths – Is It Really So Strange, Sheila Take a Bow, Panic, Ask
Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine, Tried to Be True, Secure Yourself
Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Way It Is, Mandolin Rain, Every Little Kiss, On The Western Skyline
The best concert I ever saw was Bruce Hornsby playing piano with the Richmond Symphony. Love, love this music. But I have no recollection of ever having seen this video:
This one was harder than the movies by a long mile. I wanted to list every single song I remembered from the 80’s! This is just a tiny sampling of the great music I loved from that decade, in the general order of when I remember listening to it.
You know, I just realized that some of the albums I fell in love with in the 80’s – Bruce Hornsby, The Dream Academy, U2, The Eagles – those are still among my absolute favorites today. More than 2o years later. And I still get excited when I hear them.
What were you listening to in the 80’s? I mean, if you were alive then.