Just for fun, I’ve been checking out You Tube and finding all sorts of songs from the 1980s that I haven’t heard, for the most part, since the 1980s. They’re not the greatest songs in the world, but I admit I like them. Honestly, I’m stunned that not only did other people remember these songs, but they found them and posted the videos! Fun stuff. These songs are not presented in any particular order. They’re just here for your enjoyment.
1. Pop Goes The World (Men Without Hats)
Everyone remembers “Safety Dance,” but have you ever wondered why Men Without Hats is not included in lists of one-hit wonders from the 1980s? In the U.S., it’s because they had a second hit. “Pop Goes the World” was just as much fun as its predecessor, but did not climb as high up the charts. Shame. It’s catchy.
2. Run, Run Away (Slade)
You’re forgiven if this tune reminds you a little bit of “Angel is a Centerfold” by the J. Giles Band. It’s not. It’s just one of those numbers that got stuck in my head one afternoon and never left. I may have heard it on the radio once, may have seen the video once. And then it was gone, and whenever I tried to describe it to people, they always thought I was talking about “Angel is a Centerfold.” That’s life.
3. Life in One Day (Howard Jones)
I’m cheating with this one. It belongs on the list, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know too many people who remember it. Thing is, I have heard it since the 1980s. In the late 1990s, I confess, I became re-addicted to this song at a particularly rough patch in my life. “Pretend the water is champagne and fill my glass again and again” got me through 1997! Many remember “Things Can Only Get Better” and, of course, “No One Is To Blame.” This number was from the same album. (This isn’t the official video. The official video, unfortunately, kind of ruins the song. Dig it up for yourself if you really want to see why I say that).
4. You Take Me Up (Thompson Twins)
The moment you hear the garish harmonica intro, you realize that the team that brought you “Hold Me Now” and “Doctor! Doctor!” has made, well, a mistake. Keep listening, though. In fact, listen to it about two or three times. This song grows on you. It grew on me.
5. Strip (Adam Ant)
This is another song I thought disappeared off the face of the Earth after the mid 1980s. Adam Ant is well-remembered for the song “Goody Two Shoes,” (“don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?”), but point a gun at someone’s head and demand another song title from the same artist, and you’d better be ready to pull the trigger, because 99 percent of the public doesn’t remember this catchy number (and this video may be the cheesiest of the decade, although I guess that’s another post).
6. Margarita (Wilkins)
Take a really bad movie with a nothing plot, add a not-half-bad song and you get… memories that don’t last very long. At least not in the U.S. “Salsa: The Motion Picture” was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Dirty Dancing and a Latin explosion that, sorry, had not quite taken place yet in mainstream U.S. culture. Starring former Ricky Martin joven-bandmate Robbie Rosa, the movie was a failure in all ways but one: it gave us this infectious Spanglish quasi-hit. Remember it? Don’t worry: if you remembered it, it probably wouldn’t have made this list.