Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 35 years ago this week.
Touching down in late May of 1985, I turn on my local Top 40 radio station and hear some of my favorite artists of all-time in heavy rotation, as well as quite a few songs from iconic movies of the era.
So let’s check out what we were all listening to this week back in 1985. Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
This song not only defined a decade, it defined a generation. A classic on its own, that fact that it was written for The Breakfast Club, and is played during the credits of the iconic ‘80s film, turned “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” into something so much bigger than Simple Minds could’ve possibly imagined.
5. Sade – Smooth Operator
Here’s a fact – Sade’s music is responsible for at least 40% of all pregnancies since her career began.
OK, maybe that’s not a fact, but anyone who’s listened to her music would tell you it’s entirely plausible.
7. DeBarge – Rhythm of the Night
A phenomenal songs that immediately inspires jubilance and good times, “Rhythm of the Night” has the added honor of being on the soundtrack to The Last Dragon. It’s another marriage of a classic song, and a classic movie.
9. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Tears For Fears had their fair share of hits, but “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was definitely one of their biggest.
Another era-defining song, the message still resonates three and a half decades later (and probably will until the end of time).
Dennis Miller would use this classic as the theme song for his HBO show, Dennis Miller Live.
10. Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F
Harold Faltermeyer might not be a name you immediately recognize, but when you click play on “Axel F” you’ll immediately recognize his biggest hit, as this was the theme from Beverly Hills Cop.
It was the mid-‘80s, synths were in style, and this was an instrumental gem.
12. Animotion – Obsession
Even though they had a few other songs that made their way up the chart, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say if you remember Animotion it’s probably because of their cover of “Obsession.”
If you don’t remember Animotion, you will by the time you get to the chorus.
Side note – you have to admire the complete lack of subtlety of lyrics like, “Who do you want me to be / To make you sleep with me?”
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Don’t Come Around Here No More
“Don’t Come Around Here No More” isn’t just a great song, the video for it is one of the greatest videos of all-time.
Speaking of great, do yourself a favor and read the full backstory of the creation of this song. It’s a batsh*t insane story involving the Eurythmics, and a cocaine fueled party at Stevie Nicks’ house the night after she broke up with Joe Walsh.
None of the celebrity-based reality shows of today even come close to what was going on in the ‘80s.
20. Bryan Adams – Heaven
The music of Bryan Adams has been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite some time. Actually, I don’t even feel guilty about it, the man can write a hit (although based on a recent incident he probably shouldn’t write anything on social media).
In 2001, DJ Sammy and Yanou saw success releasing a dance club version of the song featuring vocalist Do. It’s a completely different take on the song, yet it’s equally great, and I’ve been known to crank up either version when they come on the radio.
That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.