The Truth About Music: Play It Loud

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Throwback Thursday: 1984

It’s been awhile. I’ve been missing from the Truth About Music for some time now and what better way to stage my Kanye-esque comeback than by reviving my attempt at a Throwback Thursday column. Now if only I can amass millions of followers on Twitter since I’ve decided to actually use my account for tweeting and of course apologizing to Taylor Swift. So, without further adieu…Let’s hop in my virtual DeLorean and revisit the musical hits and misses of 1984!

In 1984, Ronald Regan was President. Bruce Springsteen was “Dancin’ In the Dark.” The Crack Epidemic was spreading like wildfire across the nation, and Vanessa Williams was spreading her legs in “Penthouse.” The Transformers and the Mac made their respective debuts, thus changing our lives forever, and Run DMC was the first ever rap group to have an album certified gold. I’ve always been a fan of 1984, mostly because it was the year I was born, but I’ve realized that 1984 was a pretty kick-ass year in the music world as well.  I guess the soundtrack to my life started out pretty awesome after all.

There were so many songs to choose from, I had to leave some out, but these are my picks for 1984. Make sure to comment and tell us what your favorites are!

What’s Love Got To Do With It” – Tina Turner
“Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken…” or who needs Ike when your face is going to get broken, as Tina proved in the movie of the same name in 1993. This song served as a career comeback for Tina Turner, and is arguably her most popular and successful single of all time.

Karma Chameleon” – Culture Club
What is a “Karma Chameleon?” I’m not sure, but Boy George explained in The Billboard Book of #1 Hits that, “The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It’s about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.”

Love Is a Battlefield” – Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar may have been correct in saying that “Love is a Battlefield,” but I’m not sure I associate teenage runaways, pimps and a prostitute rebellion with my definition of love. Then again, “no one can tell [them] [they’re] wrong.”

Sunglasses At Night” –Corey Hart
“I wear my sunglasses at night so I can, so I can…” I’ve always wondered what he “can” do while wearing sunglasses at night since a.) those are the only words of the song that I actually know and b.) it occurs to me that wearing sunglasses at night would make you pretty much blind and look like a total tool. So, I finally referenced the lyrics and apparently you can “keep track of the visions in [your] eyes,” when someone is deceiving you, if you throw on your aviators after-dark.
Random fact: The original lyrics to this song were about a totalitarian society that made everyone wear their sunglasses at night. Corey Hart later altered the lyrics to make the song more “romantic.” Hmmm…

I’m So Excited” – Pointer Sisters
I always love a great Saved By the Bell reference, and come on, this song would be nothing without Jessie Spano and her addiction to caffeine pills.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”- Wham!
What would an 80’s throwback be, without Wham! I wouldn’t want to leave you hanging on like a yo-yo.

Relax” – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
This song was one of the most commercially successful and controversial songs of the entire decade, and, it’s not even because it was used as the trigger to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia. For the entire 5 weeks that “Relax” sat in the #1 spot, it was banned from being played in the UK due to its sexually explicit nature. While the band originally contested that the song was about “motivation,” they later dropped all pretenses and admitted it was really about “shagging.”

Like a Virgin”- Madonna
This song was Madonna’s first of twelve  #1 hits, and is credited as the song that cemented her place in pop culture. How could she not be considered a pop culture icon after humping and rolling on the ground in a white wedding dress while singing about being “Like a Virgin” at the MTV Video Music Awards? This is further proof that Madonna’s “slutty” facade was the most fun.

Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
This song had to be included because: “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” Created by Ray Parker Jr. as a pseudo-advertising jingle, the track was nominated for an Academy Award and snagged the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 for three weeks. I have just one question: how are you supposed to know “if there’s an invisible man sleeping in your bed?”

“Thriller” – Michael Jackson
This one kind of speaks for itself. The music video has repeatedly been credited as the most influential of all time and was recently the first video inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2009.  However, there would be no zombies or a mini horror film music video if the song’s lyrics stayed as they were originally written: “Starlight! Starlight sun…”

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by real chance posted September 30, 2010 at 11:03

    this was very entertaining made my thursday just that much better…how about a froback friday singers with the best and worst fros?haha

  • Comment by Seo Services posted January 17, 2011 at 17:01

    I must know where you got your layout from im trying to start my own blog and yours is the coolest.