I was born in the 80s. December ’89 – I skimmed in just under the wire. I’ve always felt absurdly proud of myself for being born in the 80s, considering I didn’t have much to do with it.
Who knows why? It is a feature of my identity and I love it. I’m listening to some of the best 80s hits as I write this. I’m realising that the songs we remember from the 80s are the ones where we can tell the singers and musicians threw themselves into the music. In the 80s they weren’t afraid to just go for it and look a bit silly (ok I know, at the time they thought they looked awesome). But today when these songs come on at parties and in clubs everyone gets into the joyful vibe. No one worries what other people in the vicinity think, because the over-the-top dramatics of 80s music takes over.
Maybe we think we are laughing at the music (“I’m being ironic, yah?”) but actually we love the catchy bass lines, the enthusiastic drums and the overly emotional lyrics.
Iconic songs that have filtered through the years and into our long-term memories include ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, ‘Beat It’, ‘Jump (For My Love)’, ‘Holding Out For A Hero’, ‘The Final Countdown’, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, and let’s not forget a staple student favourite ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. 80s music is FUN, plain and simple. It’s all about theatrics, being loud and being heard. Not forgetting the music videos, with the big hair, the expressive dance moves and the tight trousers. Actually, this is sounding like any night out in a student city…
Of course I am ignoring many types of 80s music in this article and only looking at the loud anthems that can’t be missed out in any DJ’s playlist. The Clash, The Smiths, The Police and many other respected bands and singers gave us great music. However, I’m talking about the songs that make us jump to our feet and start dancing like extras from ‘Footloose’. If Morrissey’s melancholy tones inspired that reaction in me I think I would get some very strange looks.
I was at a wonderful wedding last night and the songs that got everyone really dancing with abandon were the classic 80s songs. Young and old were air guitaring to the intro of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and screaming the chorus of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ with heads thrown back. What can I say? Whenever we were born and whatever music we grew up listening to, maybe we are all children of the 80s.
What do you think? What are your favourite 80s songs?
Published at The National Student – 16th April 2012