Friday, May 28, 2010

Eighties Flashback

Nothing takes me back to a specific event or time more than a certain song or artist. I went to both high school and college during the eighties, and as with any time period it saw its share of bad music, but there was plenty of good music as well. I consider high school and college as formative years, musically. A lot of what I listened to was influenced by who I hung around and what they were listening to. My college roommate opened the door for me to music beyond Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen, my mainstays, into R.E.M. and U2, both of whom were huge in the late eighties. I had a slightly funkier influence from several older and wiser aunts who were into Talking Heads.

Everyone could compile a list of songs that are memorable to them for some reason from their high school and college days. Here is mine:

· My Best Friend’s Girl (The Cars) – for some reason my friends and I listened to The Cars rather obsessively
· Tempted (Squeeze) – this was a popular bar song. Ah, Squeeze…
· Welcome to the Boomtown (David & David) – I’m not sure why I decided I liked this group and bought the entire album, and I’m also not sure they had another hit
· Modern Love (David Bowie) – I loved David Bowie and bought the Just Dance album with my babysitting money. I’m sure I was NOT David Bowie’s target audience
· Lips Like Sugar (Echo and the Bunnymen) – This was me being sort of edgy in college, although in reality it was my roommate being cool and me just along for the ride
· Pump It Up (Elvis Costello) – I will always associate this song with doing group aerobics in the lounge of my freshman dorm, which I’m sure was quite a sight
· Forever Man (Eric Clapton) – I could not even guess how many times I listened to Clapton’s Behind the Sun [tape] on my Walkman (yes, Walkman!)
· Lean on Me (Club Nouveau) – this was the funky new version of Bill Withers’ song and the girls in the dorm room next door played it over and over and over…
· I’m Sorry (Hothouse Flowers) – While I was studying in Vienna my junior year of college, my roommate there introduced me to this group, and I must say they’ve held up well
· Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police) – I don’t think there’s much I need to say about Synchronicity
· (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville (R.E.M.) – Again, a nod to my college roommate who got me into R.E.M. when they were still kind of toward the beginning of their careers
· Love For Sale (Talking Heads) – my Denver aunts got me into Talking Heads and for some reason my freshman year roommate thought the name of this song was hilarious
· Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2) – I remember that my roommate mentioned that her little sister told her that U2 must hate Sundays as much as she did because of the title of this song- very funny
· The One Thing (INXS) – This group was kind of getting popular in college. I loved the name of this album, Shabooh Shoobah

The eighties also saw the dawn of MTV, and back then they actually played videos. In retrospect, I’m a little shocked that my family a) had cable, and b) my mom allowed what I recall as unlimited doses of music videos. I’m including a video that is as bizarre to watch now as it was then (who could forget Ric Ocasek’s head on the body of a bug???). Enjoy the flashback!

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