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Like Totally '80s Playlist

I was 15 years old in 1980 and my favorite music included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. This was music I called “rock.” A decade later I was a music director for a radio station that played The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. Music we called “classic rock.” As you might have summarized I did not listen to a lot of new music during the '80s. In fact, musically, I pretty much dismissed the entire decade as a waste of time.

So, imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me he was going to have a '80s party and wanted me to hook him up with some “'80s music.” I resisted at first but decided that enough time had passed and perhaps it was a good time to revisit the music of my formidable years. Maybe the music wasn’t as bad as I thought.

The three months it took me to compile this list brought back a lot of memories. I came to the conclusion that I listened to this music a lot more than I thought I did during that time. I also concluded that aside from a few notable exceptions (Van Halen, Prince, Beastie Boys, and U2), '80s music still blows and can’t hold a candle to the grand masters: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who.

Paul Altobelli circa 1985

Paul Altobelli circa 1985

As mentioned in the book High Fidelity, there is a certain art to making a great mix tape or CD. What songs you choose, and how you choose them, will largely affect how much your efforts will be appreciated. I believe the same can be said for the playlist - the modern-day mix tape. For this playlist I followed these rules.

  1. The song had to be released in the 1980's.
  2. The song had to had to have been played on mainstream radio during the decade.
  3. The song must be widely known by the majority not the minority.

This playlist is presented alphabetically by artist. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.

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