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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another countdown starts here and this time it's about our favorite -therefore, best- tunes of the 80's. A Decade of Decadence indeed. 10 years that started tragically: The death of John Lennon, the end of the Radio Star per se and the rise of MTV (see what's on the channell now and you'll agree with the tragically adjective.) It ended on a positive note, the fall of the Berlin Wall and a newer, more positive way of thinking.

In the meantime, lots of dramatic events shaped our world, and here are the best songs of their soundtrack.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon, December 8th, 1980.

  • 100. A Flock Of Seagulls - "I Ran" (1980)

  • 99. Miguel Ríos, "El Rock De Una Noche De Verano" (1982): Think of a more seasoned Bruce Springsteen, getting ahead in spanish rock singing about the summer of love in the Vasc Country, 1982. It might be considered separatist, but the song separates itself from everything that came out in the 80's in Spain. It crosses any barriers. It's pounding drums and chunky guitar work puts this Summer Night Rock up there.

  • 98. Double, "The Captain Of Her Heart" (1986): Out of the Blue album, this mellow tone with a sticky piano melody will get you and reside in your brain for two weeks, after that trip to the mall, where you listened to it for the first time. That's why it's so popular: It's catchy, and the 80's were just about that.

  • 97.

  • 96.

  • 95.

  • 94

  • 93

  • 92

  • 91. Loquillo y Los Trogloditas, "La Mataré" (1986)

  • 90

  • 89

  • 88

  • 87

  • 86

  • 85

  • 84

  • 83

  • 82

  • 81

  • 80.

  • 79

  • 78. Guns N' Roses, "Welcome To The Jungle" (1987)

  • 77

  • 76

  • 75

  • 74

  • 73

  • 72

  • 71

  • 70

  • 69

  • 68. Motorhead, "Ace Of Spades" (1980)

  • 67. Michael Jackson, "Beat It" (1982)

  • 66. Sting, "Children's Crusade" (1985)

  • 65

  • 64

  • 63

  • 62

  • 61

  • 60

  • 59

  • 58

  • 57

  • 56

  • 55

  • 54. Queen, "Another One Bites The Dust" (1980) After 28 years, the song is still young and fresh, like a bucket of cold water in the middle of a heavy, hot party night. This tune was the result of two afluents: "Good Times" by Chic and "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead. Both provided a funky, ascending bass line that became one of the most sampled and popular loops in Hip Hop and Rap.

  • 53

  • 52

  • 51. Pino D'Angió, "Ma Quale Idea" (1980). Italian Disco Rap was invented by D'Angió, who took the bass line of "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" (see #54) and spiced it with a fairlight synth and heavier, faster drumbeats. Worked perfectly thanks to its straightness and funny lyrics about an unlucky player in a disco who can't even get laid with the drunkest woman in the house. Madison Avenue sampled it in 1999 for "Don't Call Me Baby" and hell, it brought down the house as well. Pino D'Angio's persona looks pretty much like Leisure Suit Larry.

  • 50

  • Live Aid, Wimbledon Stadium, 1985.

  • 49

  • 48

  • 47

  • 46

  • 45

  • 44

  • 43

  • 42. Soft Cell - "Tainted Love": toot toot and there was a One-Hit-Wonder Earthquake in the New Wave terrain.

  • 41

  • 40

  • 39

  • 38

  • 37

  • 36

  • 35

  • 34

  • 33

  • 32

  • 31

  • 30

  • 29

  • 28. Bruce Springsteen, "Dancing In The Dark" (1984) The dance tune of Born In The U.S.A. has more grit and drama than you might think. Springsteen was forced by his manager, Jon Landau, to write a catchy tune for Billboard and for feeding the pig. Springsteen wrote a desolate poem about a man who's tired of being alone and bored. He scored so big, artistically and commercially, that he became a superstar on a flash, with a little help of a video featuring a young, sexy short haired girl named Courtney Cox.

  • 27. Charly García, "Yo No Quiero Volverme Tan Loco" (1982): If there ever will be a tune that defines Argentinean urban culture and pathos in the eighties, on the aftermath of a brutal Military Junta regime, lots of gauchos will choose Charly's manic-depressive ballad. Leon Gieco helped with the vocals and he just built a bigger momentum. They're sad, depressed, with long lost friends and family members... but the message is clear: They don't fucking want to be that way.

  • 26. Paul McCartney, "Take It Away" (1982): 1982 was McCartney's highlight year as a composer, performer, and tribute payer to his late friend, John Lennon. Tug Of War is still his best album and this track featuring Ringo Starr and Steve Gadd playing a syncopated game of reggae and disco drumming, is the best track. Therefore, "Take It Away" is Paul's finest moment. And it happened here, in the 80's.

  • 25. Billy Idol, "White Wedding" (1983)

  • 24

  • 23

  • 22

  • 21

  • 20

  • 19

  • 18

  • 17

  • 16. Huey Lewis and The News, "Heart And Soul" (1983).

  • 15. Police - "Synchronicity II" (1983)

  • 14. Smiths - "How Soon Is Now" (1986)

  • 13. Soda Stereo - "Cuando Pase El Temblor" (1985): Some might say "Persiana Americana" was their best tune ever, but this cut from their Nada Personal LP makes their most creative and cozy tune about marriage cold feet.

  • 12. John Lennon - "Woman" (1980) Fuck it, if Lennon had named this one "Yoko," nobody would have used it for a wedding song, but he should have. It's a romantic song about straight man's need for a female form in their lives. Up to then, nobody ever wrote a feminist ode from the male perspective.

  • 11. Lipps, Inc., "Funky Town" (1980)

  • 10. Falco, "Der Kommisar" (1983) Funkier than Funky Town.

  • 09

  • 08

  • 07

  • 06

  • 05

  • 04. Dire Straits - "Money For Nothing" (1985): Chicks for free. Mark Knopfler put himself and his band at the top of the charts with an album that honestly now (2008) would be on the Country shelves of the few record stores out there. The song is about the fall of the honest artists at the claws of MTV. Ironically, their video was on heavy rotation on MTV and their catch-phrase "I want my MTV" was used by MTV for publicity purposes.

  • 03. Tears For Fears - "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" (1989): This song has more of the Sgt. Pepper era than anything released in the previous nine years. It's tied to the end of the Tatcher and Reagan years and the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as

  • 02. Tom Petty, "Runnin' Down A Dream" (1989): The guitar riff that drives this powerful rocker should be posted into the rock and roll hall of fame. A descent from the 5th note into the 4th just to arrive into it's third flat and blast it into it's first (E-B-E-Bb-E-A-E-G-E) that just gives you the chills. This is the kind of rock and roll song that could have been released any time between 1966 and now. Vibrant tale of a dream gone AWOL.

  • 01. Spandau Ballet, "True" (1983):

Berlin Wall Down! November 1989.


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