Last updated: September 01, 2014 09:10:18

80's Music

Hosted by: Patrick Seabird

80's Bands & Musicians

Quintessentially 80's

Top New Wave Bands of the 80's

Heavy Metal Bands & Artists of the 1980s

Popular Hair Bands of the 1980s

The 80s Called and They've Adopted These Bands

One Hit Wonders of the 1980s

60's and 70's Stars still 'Rockin'' in the 80's

Hip-Hop Artists of the 80s

Remember these Musicians of the 80's?

Oblivious to the 80's

Worst Musical Artists of the 80's

Coming Soon!

  • About this 80s Page
  • Blog Posts and Comments
  • Trivia
  • Quizzes

The 80's was the golden age of music videos, hair bands, synthesizers, drum machines, and angsty New Wave English crooners. We're building the ultimate place to NERD OUT on the sometimes ill-advised but always fun in retrospect era of pop music that occurred in the 1980's.

You'll find bands and musicians on the left hand side and songs and videos on the right. If you rollover most titles you'll see a little more info. In the near future, you will be able to add to, rank and comment and also easily go to Itunes or Amazon. For now, many links simply take you to Wikipedia or videos on Youtube.

The whole point of the page is that it should be interactive and crowd-sourced. While we are building more such features, please feel free to send us your suggestions, blogs or comments.

Major Trends

Videos: The 80s was the hey-dey for MTV. Music videos were more important and more seen in the 80s than at any other time. Not surprisingly, a lot of the lists, trivia, and quizzes on this page will refer specifically to videos.

Heavy Metal: It's amazing what was marketed as Heavy Metal in the 80s. Looking back some of it was just regular 'ol Rock n Roll and some of it was more like syntho-pop preformed by hair bands. But then, only a Heavy Metal Band could slow their music down and call it a Power Ballad. And, those tended to be monster hits whether they were any good or not. Check out the Top Hair Bands of the 1980s over on the left hand side and the Top Power Ballads over on the right.

More to come soon including:

Live Aid

Other Aids - Farm Aid etc...

Synthesizers

New Wave

Techno

Hip Hop

The Last Days of Disco

Country Music in the 1980s

Movies Soundtracks

TV Theme Songs

Who Sang that Song?   by Patrick Byrd   6-3-12
Heading out to trivia night? We all know these songs from the 80s but knowing who sang them might score you points.

1. Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Score extra for knowing this is a cover of a Motown song from the 60s first recorded by Gloria Jones.
2. Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners
3. I Melt with You - Modern English
4. Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes
Score extra for knowing this is a cover of a song first recorded in the 60s by Lou Johnson, Dionne Warwick, Sandy Shaw and others.
5. Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
On a personal note re: the video - I always found the lead singer's extremely long dark pit hair a bit unsettling - probably because it was so dark compared to the fur of the animal living on his head.
6. Der Kommissar - After the Fire
German version by Falco was a big hit in Europe and also received play on MTV.
7. Obsession - Animotion
8. Jeopardy - Greg Kihn
Later spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic. Greg Kihn's version might be a nominee for top creepy videos of all time.
9. I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses
10. I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
Another song originally recorded in America in the 60s but covered by an English Band in the 80s. The Strangeloves wrote and preformed the original.
11. The Safety Dance - Men Without Hats


Top Video Music Songs of the MTV Era -   by Patrick Byrd   5-23-12

The first time I saw MTV, I couldn't help but stay up and watch it all night long. I was completely transfixed and wanted to the watch the whole show until it ended.
In the end, I fell asleep in front of the TV and when I woke up - there was that rocket again- it was going to the moon and the astronaut came out and planted the MTV flag and then they went right back to playing videos. When I got home from school, the first thing I did was turn it on again and they were still playing videos!

You might say that first 'video show' lasted until MTV aired 'Remote Control', the game show in 1987. How were we to know we'd eventually end up with The Real World, The Hills and Jersey Shore and no videos at all (practically) on MTV except those commented on by Beavis and Butthead.

But in it's heyday, MTV was where we went for what was new and how we decided what was cool. Because of that, MTV is responsible for a generation of songs that will always be inseparable from their videos. Here is my quick and dirty Top 10 Music Video Songs of the MTV Era along with some thoughts from watching them again.
 

Top 10 Music Video Songs of the MTV Era

1. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads (1981)
First time I saw this video I remember thinking'Wow- that guy right there is NOT NORMAL' It would have been really interesting to be on the set while they were cooking up this video. 'Once in a Lifetime' played easily 5 or 6 times in my first 24 hours of MTV viewing and helped make me a fan forever.

2. Don't You Want Me - The Human League (1981)
I always wanted there to be a little more story in this song but I guess sometimes there's just not much left to say. It's only now that I realize the Human League is all about androgyny. I remember seeing this on that very first night, so it was probably my first heavy exposure to heavy synthesizers.

3. 1999 - Prince (1982)
If you have a thing for stockings or lipstick lesbians, this video might be partly responsible. I can't help but think this song was also one reason why actual New Year's Eve 1999 felt so immensely anticlimactic.

4. Gimme All Your Lovin' - ZZ Top (1983)
 With 'Gimme All Your Lovin' ZZ Top discovered their video formula. Take hot lascivious ladies (It's funny when I was a kid I thought one of them was decidedly NOT hot, but now she doesn't seem THAT bad.), 1 hot car, 2 cool geezers with beards, a third man who ironically enough was the only member of the band who didn't have a beard but yet his last name was 'Beard', and someone unlucky in love, whose luck will soon change. Quick question: what's really happening in this video? Is it pimps and 'hos or polyamorous wife swapping?

5. Jump - Van Halen (1984)
So let me get this straight? The guy who famously designed the Chess Kingish outfits for this video is the one who didn't want Van Halen to play a synthesizer? According to the Wikipedia page, this is the song that broke up the band.

6. Like a Virgin - Madonna (1984)
Madonna was VERY energetic in her youth! Years later, Quentin Tarentino's opening scene in 'Reservoir Dogs' gave a whole new spin to this song that never would have occurred to the 14 year old me.

7. Whip It! - Devo (1980)
Wow - where to start?! Speaking from experience cross-eyed people don't see THAT badly. I Wonder who directed it. Can't seem to find any info on that. But according to Wikipedia, sounds like the band self-financed it and knew exactly what they wanted.

8. Thriller - Michael Jackson (1983)
Was that first monster a Werewolf or a Thundercat? This one has way too much story. After the first couple of times, I always groaned inwardly when it came on because it was so long.

9. She Blinded Me with Science - Thomas Dolby (1982)
Ah adventures at the 'Home for Deranged Scientists.' Being at heart a mad scientist, it's no wonder I like this one. In the end TD chooses lust over science.

10. I Ran - Flock of Seagulls (1982)
This video was over-exposed in a fun house. With fem fatales dressed in garbage bags sporting strange sinister eye makeup it's no wonder the guy ran far away.

BTW - Any Top 10 Lists on this page should go to 11.

11. Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel (1986)
According to Daria, this is MTV's number one animated video of all time. And, as of 2011, "Sledgehammer" is the most played music video in the history of MTV.

So that's my list. It was fascinating to watch all of them again. One thing I've learned was that my personal window of obsession for MTV was from 1981-1984. After that, I was more obsessed with sports, and sadly did not pay as much attention. My list is definitely skewed to those years. I'm gonna cut it off here for now before I fall into a black hole of music video history. But you can bet I'll back for more soon.

See the right hand side of this page for a longer list including videos that would not belong on my personal list but I'm sure do belong on many of yours. Someday soon this page will be interactive and you can add to, rank and sort that list to your heart's content or even post your own in the blog section. Until then please use the email link to send us your suggestions!

 

Coming Soon!
Coming Soon!

80's Songs and Videos

Who Sang that Song?

(rollover for answers)

Top Songs of the 80s

(original list courtesy PCM)

Top Music Video Songs of the MTV Era

Top TV Theme Songs of the 1980's

Most Bizarre Videos from the 80's

80's Songs Most People Forgot

Top Soundtracks of the 1980's

Most Recognized Rap Songs of the 90s

Worst Hit Songs of the 80's

Sexiest Videos of the 1980's

Most Popular Power Ballads

Coming Soon!

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