Friday, January 14, 2011

Attack Of The 80s iPod!

I went to do my free weights workout today and, naturally, had to first pick the right playlist to run while I pumped some iron. I shouldn't say "naturally," actually, as it's only been recently that I started listening to music during my workouts. Usually I watch the news or a nature/history special on tv.

Anyway, for some reason I wanted to hear Michael Jackson's "Beat It." The song had been inexplicably stuck in my head for half the afternoon, after all. Trouble is, I didn't feel like listening to my specially made MJ playlist. Aside from that one song, I just wasn't in the mood for a Jackson's Greatest Hits type of workout.

Then I thought: well, why not an 80s workout? I haven't listened to that particular playlist in many, many moons. And I knew that somewhere in there I would find "Beat It" anyway. A lot of my playlists cross-reference the same tracks.

So, I loaded up iTunes and found the playlist appropriately titled "80s Songs." I devised this list personally with what, to me, are quintessential pop rock and metal songs of that era. Even though I was born in 1976, I didn't really become conscious of the music scene around me until roughly 1980 thanks to my mom, who was pretty young (only 21) and hip in 1980. I grew up on this music, and each selection represents a particular time or event encoded into my childhood memories of the period.

Spookily enough, when I selected the playlist and then hit "shuffle," the very first track to get randomized to the top was "Beat It!"

Holy hells! How's *that* for a sign?

Anyway, I figured it would be fun to post up my 80s playlist here for you folks. This way you can get a glimpse of what crazy tunes I enjoy from the age of big hair bands and . . . Boy George. Let me know what you think of this gargantuan list of my 50 most memorable tunes in the comments section below.

And because this is me, you'll note that my non-shuffled list is arranged in OCD fashion by year of release, earliest to latest. This is exactly the order as it appears on my iTunes.

Batista's Top 50 1980s Songs

"Video Killed the Radio Star" -- The Buggles  (1979)*

"My Sharona" -- The Knack  (1979)*

"Private Eyes" -- Hall & Oates  (1981)

"Double Dutch Bus" -- Frankie Smith  (1981)

"Down Under" -- Men At Work  (1981)

"Kiss On My List" -- Hall & Oates  (1981)

"Who Can It Be Now?" -- Men At Work  (1981)

"I Ran" -- A Flock Of Seagulls  (1982)

"Puttin' On The Ritz" -- Taco  (1982)

"Gloria" -- Laura Branigan  (1982)

"Kids In America" -- Kim Wilde  (1982)

"Maneater" -- Hall & Oates  (1982)

"Tainted Love" -- Soft Cell  (1982)

"Abracadabra" -- Steve Miller Band  (1982)

"You Dropped a Bomb On Me" -- The Gap Band  (1982)

"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" -- Cyndi Lauper  (1983)

"Beat It" -- Michael Jackson  (1983)

"Karma Chameleon" -- Culture Club  (1983)

"Mr. Roboto" -- Styx  (1983)

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" -- Eurythmics  (1983)

"All Night Long" -- Mary Jane Girls  (1983)

"Every Breath You Take" -- The Police  (1983)

"Billie Jean" -- Michael Jackson  (1983)

"What A Feeling" -- Irene Cera  (1983)

"Owner of a Lonely Heart" -- Yes  (1983)

"Cum On Feel The Noize" -- Quiet Riot  (1983)

"Total Eclipse Of The Heart" -- Bonnie Tyler  (1983)

"Somebody's Watching Me" -- Rockwell  (1984)

"Hold Me Now" -- Thompson Twins  (1984)

"Self Control" -- Laura Branigan  (1984)

"Sunglasses At Night" -- Corey Hart  (1984)

"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" -- Wham!  (1984)

"Ghostbusters" -- Ray Parker, Jr.  (1984)

"Rhythm of the Night" -- DeBarge  (1985)

"Material Girl" -- Madonna  (1985)

"Tarzan Boy" -- Baltimora  (1985)

"Obsession" -- Animotion  (1985)

"Conga" -- Miami Sound Machine  (1985)

"Take On Me" -- a-ha  (1985)

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" -- Tears For Fears  (1985)

"Danger Zone" -- Kenny Loggins  (1986)

"Hot Hot Hot" -- Buster Poindexter  (1987)

"Bad" -- Michael Jackson  (1987)

"Here I Go Again" -- Whitesnake  (1987)

"Pour Some Sugar On Me" -- Def Leppard  (1987)

"Welcome to the Jungle" -- Guns N' Roses  (1987)

"Straight Up" -- Paula Abdul  (1988)

"Smooth Criminal" -- Michael Jackson  (1988)

"She Drives Me Crazy" -- Fine Young Cannibals  (1989)

"Kickstart My Heart" -- Motley Crue  (1989)

* Even though these songs were released in 1979, they're inseparable from any 80s collection since, in my opinion, they helped define that unmistakable sound of the decade.


  1. First off, I LOVED that pic from the Last Dragon! The caption should be "In the 80s, iPods were called 'Boomboxes'!" :-)

    This is a good list! It's nice to see we share so many favorites in 80s music. I had completely forgotten about "You Dropped A Bomb On Me". I will get that song now.

    And don't worry about including "Video Killed The Radio Star". That was the inaugural video for MTV in 1981 (when they actually played music), so it's most definitely an 80s song.

  2. Oh, have you heard the Geico remix for "Somebody's Watching Me", by Mysto & Pizzi? It's actually pretty good!

  3. I've heard the cover on the Geico commercial. But other than that, no. And even though I grew up listening to Rockwell's version, it wasn't until only a few years ago that I realized that was Michael Jackson singing the chorus and doing the background vocals.

    Just . . . wow. I felt dumb.

  4. As for the pic from The Last Dragon . . . I figured the title of this blog piece combined with the imagery would be enough to suggest the caption without me even having to write it. As evidenced by the fact that you picked up on the association yourself right away. :)

    And this pic already has a more famous caption associated with it, and which has been circulating around the Googlesphere for a few years now. The caption at the bottom usually reads: "FUCK YO iPOD, NIGGA!"

    I didn't want to be quite so offensive as that. Plus, those are sombeody else's words. In the end, I decided no caption was necessary.

  5. Oh. I'm coming to get this list! I have many of them but there's a bunch I'm missing.

  6. You are a boy after my own heart. :) Excellent list.

  7. Ha-ha! Thanks, Jen. Glad you approve. :)


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