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January 28, 2005



Pat,I am glad you posted this. I wanted to see what some of your friends answers would be. Since I was so influenced by your music (and could not afford any of my own) - my thoughts echo yours. I will keep thinking but Duran Duran was the first band that came to my mind. Eric reads this doesn't he?


Perhaps there will a bigger response after the weekend, and I did send it to Eric but I'm not sure how often he reads thsi site.

Don White

Don't You (Forget About Me)-Simple Minds would be my quick answer. I wasn't much into the "80's music of MTV", more into Butt-Rock and Metal in general (everyone knows this). Great song in a classic movie (The Breackfast Club). It is everything 80's. www.KaosUnlimited.com


Something like Vienna by Ultravox, or Gold by Spandau Ballet. Don't know if they meet the criteria listed above, but they just feel like real 80's tracks, and came to mind straight away. They're not too late in the 80s either - the 80s sound I identify with lasted from about 79/80 to 85/86. Then came mainstream rap and techno, plus Stock Aiken and Waterman - at least in the UK and Australia - maybe not in the States or Canada. Are you familiar with Bananarama/Rick Ashley/Mel and Kim (before one of them died of cancer)/early Kylie of course/+ Dead or Alive ... come to think of it their big hit might qualify as a classic eighties song - "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" from 85 I think. It's not morose at all though, but I can't help but feel a bit down when I see Pete Burns on the tele - a very unusual man.
I was also thinking about the instrumental tune 'Axel F', but although you can't doubt its credentials as a true 80's song, it can't represent the decade enough due to lack of vocals. You need one of those deep and booming male vocalists I think, probably wearing a shiny suit and thin tie.


"Don' You Forget About Me" came to me later as a possibility. Edward-Bananrama and Ricke Astley were all over the place (unfortunately in the later case), who the hell are Mel and Kim? That's definatley a UK thing. "You Spin Me Round" was played at every dance I went to in the 80s. Dude, Axel F are you serious? "Vienna" is still a killer song, and I would probaly choose "True" over "Gold" as far as Spandeau Ballet goes.


You didn't have to really like the song in question right? It just had to define the 80s. I just thought Axel F was a very 80s song is all - you wouldn't hear it nowadays lets face it (except in Korea, where someone has sampled a bit for a dance hit - I think the music scene here is lacking somewhat). I can't deny liking it at the time though. I was only about 10 after all.
Mel and Kim were twins (black girls), and had one big hit with lyrics like '(can't remember the first line)... only please believe us, we aint ever gonna be respectable". Quite catchy - I don't think you'd forget it if you had heard it. One of them was diagnosed with cancer (and died of it) before they had time to have another hit (which they probably would have had).
Re Spandau Ballet - I'm never really sure why True is the favoured song - I always thought Gold was the really inspiring hit. (I'm desperate to sing it at Karaoke one day - I think I could pull it off!). I guess they had a good sound. Tony Hadley had appeared on a reality TV show in the UK when I was there (which I think he won), where singers who used to be famous toured America singing other peoples songs, and the audience had to vote on who they liked. He always had a great voice, and I suspect still has.
Vienna is a great song - they don't write them like that any more :-).


RE: "Axel F" See article "E. It should be dated, cheesy and a little overdramatic ... but not so
much that the song isn't still enjoyable even now. "


Well, I have struggled for days trying to determine the “Defining Eighties Song”. Don pretty much nailed it with Simple Mind’s Don’t You Forget About Me. What better example to represent the age of obsession? In my own search, I wanted to be cool and slick with a taste of cutting edge. So I was thinking of songs such as Bad Brain’s She’s Calling You off their STT release I Against I. I thought of Choose Your Poison by Squirrel Bait. Hell, even the widely popular She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult begged to be a choice. Then I started thinking of my guilty pleasures. George Michael immediately came to mind. Any one of his great ballads would have been a contender. I’m serious! And I don’t need to question my sexuality. Enough said. Leaning towards something a bit more mainstream would surface material by The Boss or Madonna. Just pick up a Rolling Stone from 1985 for evidence. Bridging the gap between Ebony and Ivory would be none other than Michael Jackson. Beat It. Damn, too early (1982). How about something by Van Halen? 1984 had a number of hits, but they where all just too popular. Add to that list David Bowie, ZZ Top, and The Police. Want to talk metal? Don’t get me started. Okay, here is just a teaser… Zebra, Priest, Ratt, Scorps, and G-N-R. All in the Jon Keen collection. Sweeeeet. I’m done rambling now, life is too short to figure out just how I’m going to get back in time and take a drive in that DeLorean. So, may I present to you my final choices?

I Feel For You Chaka Khan (1984)

Say It Isn’t So The Outfield (1985)


Yeh okay, but I didn't really subscribe to all of the rules presented in the article - I think the appropriate song just has to have the right sound - to conjure up the right memories perhaps.

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