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Quintessential 80's song - What is it?


If you had to pick just 1 song  

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If you had to pick just one song from the 80's that would best represent that decade of music, what would it be? What one song is the 'quintessential' 80's song and why would it be 'The Safety Dance'?

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Too many to pick from.  Besides the choices listed, there's also

Thriller

Beat It

(Don't You) Forget About Me

Jump

Born in the U.S.A.

 

Of the choices listed, I would have selected Everybody Wants to Rule the World, mainly for its use in the movie Real Genius.

 

 

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My immediate thoughts before opening the thread

Take on me

With or without you

But voted melt with you.

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The first 2 that always pop into my head are:

Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Simple Minds - Don't you Forget About Me

 

OMD's "If You Leave" fits the bill, too IMO

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I would add

Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight

Soft Cell - Tainted Love

Flock of Seagulls - Run

Eric Clapton - After Midnight

I second Boys of Summer

As for Duran Duran. I'd go Hungry Like the Wolf over Rio

 

 

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1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Heard this song live when they opened for Tool before the pandemic.  They have not aged very well.

 

On the original pole, I voted "If You Leave" narrowly over "Melt With You".  "(Don't You) Forget About Me" and "Take On Me" strike me as missing options that should be there.

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For me, I think it relates to iconic 80s movies as well.

2 that always come to mind are The Karate Kid and Top Gun. A 3rd one, Real Genius, is more specific for me than everyone else.

So, that leaves these choices for me:

Cruel Summer -- Bananarama

Danger Zone -- Kenny Loggins

Everybody Wants To Rule The World -- Tears for Fears

I voted the last one.

 

Edited by gianmarco
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1 hour ago, gianmarco said:

For me, I think it relates to iconic 80s movies as well.

2 that always come to mind are The Karate Kid and Top Gun. A 3rd one, Real Genius, is more specific for me than everyone else.

I was pretty young at the time, but Footloose was massive.  

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It's weird. I think of bad stuff when I think of the eighties when there was indeed so much good music that came out.

I think of Huey Lewis and The News and the movie American Psycho. Just imagine that little diatribe Bateman goes on about the pleasures of conformity, and one might get a psychological look into how I view the eighties, really.

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I chose other because the music I listen to in the 80s, which is when I was in grade school and high school, was Metallica and AC/DC and things like that.  When I think of stereotypical bad 80s music, it's songs like the Come on Eileen.

 

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Of the original choices I'd go with Melt With You.

I also endorse Tainted Love, Take on Me, Head Over Heels, both Simple Minds songs and many more.  

As is usual though, these threads inevitably morph into "here is my favorite song/band that may fit the definition set forth by the OP" and that is why I love them---more music to hear because it's too difficult to limit it to one.

Crazy 8's - Johnny Q---I loved this band from Corvallis in the mid-80's. Saw them a couple times in Seattle.  I still have this album on cassette. 

 

And of course Blue Monday,  the Cutter  and Don't Change.

 

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7 hours ago, The Dreaded Marco said:

Of the original choices I'd go with Melt With You.

I also endorse Tainted Love, Take on Me, Head Over Heels, both Simple Minds songs and many more.  

As is usual though, these threads inevitably morph into "here is my favorite song/band that may fit the definition set forth by the OP" and that is why I love them---more music to hear because it's too difficult to limit it to one.

Crazy 8's - Johnny Q---I loved this band from Corvallis in the mid-80's. Saw them a couple times in Seattle.  I still have this album on cassette. 

 

And of course Blue Monday,  the Cutter  and Don't Change.

 

I was going to add blue Monday last night and fell asleep with it playing on YouTube, all time 80’s classic

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1 hour ago, massraider said:

John Hughes tie-in has to be worth major 80's points.  

80's movies in general had a lot of songs that take you right back to a time and place anytime you hear them.

  • If You Leave
  • Don't You Forget About Me
  • I Melt With You
  • In Your Eyes
  • (I've Had) The Time Of My Life
  • Take My Breath Away/Danger Zone
  • Axel F
  • Eye Of The Tiger
  • The Power Of Love
  • Holiday Road
  • Somebody's Baby
  • Cruel Summer
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What marco said.

Melt with you has always been my iconic song of the 80s. Voted that.

Some other objective biggees that I don't think have been mentioned...

Bowie- let's dance

Gnr- welcome to the jungle  (more of an 80s outro)

Clash- rock the casbah 

Madonna- holiday

MJ- billie jean 

 

Some more subjective ones..

Felt- primitive painters

Freur- door doot

New Musik- the planet doesn't mind

The Units- high pressure days

 

 

 

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I think Rio is by far the best song of those listed.  The other choices aren't bad, but I'd add Jump, Time After Time, a Huey Lewis song (take your pick), In the Air Tonight, one of several possible Journey songs, Owner of a Lonely Heart, Can't Fight This Feeling, Take on Me and surely Every Breath you Take or Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.  Surely Free Fallin' or something from Tom Petty too.  

So much good music from the 80s, as loads of new artists came on board and many 70s bands adapted to the new sounds.  Not to mention some really impressive metal as well.  

I'm hopeful that the quality and quantity of new music will swing back around to this level soon.  Using real drums and ditching click tracks and overuse of autotune (not by every artist, but by at least SOME of them) would be nice steps.  

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