Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Decades Playlist by Jana and Erin: The Men of the '80s

In case you didn't notice, we (Jana and Erin) skipped our playlist in December.  Let's remind you that we are taking a trip through the decades of our musical faves from the '50s, the '60s, the '70s...and that brings us to...THE 80s!!! Everyone's favorite! And since the 80s is massive, we've decided to split it in three: one for the men, one for the women, one for the groups. There might even be a hairbands one in there but we're not sure yet.

Anyway, like most people, we love the music of the '80s. I (Jana) spent my childhood in the 80s (I turned 13 in 1990) and Erin entered her teen years during this decade. Beyond that, the 1980s had Reagan, Thatcher, and Gorbachev. Charles and Diana got married. The Berlin Wall came down and AIDS was on the rise. The 80s also had Saturday morning cartoons, neon (so much neon), THE MOTHERFUCKING FRAGGLES, big hair, and the Brat Pack.  It also saw the birth of MTV (you know, back when it played music) which helped launch or sustain the career of so many artists including these guys:  

Rick Springfield, "Jessie's Girl". Quite possibly one of the best songs ever written. Okay, in my (Erin's) opinion, at least. Jana's take: "Love Somebody" is a better song and also, Rick Springfield is my favorite Australian. 

Billy Idol, "Rebel Yell". Yes, the obvious choice because it's just so, so good. Jana's take: I have yet to hear a Billy Idol song and NOT had it stuck in my head for days afterwards. 

David Lee Roth, "Just Like Paradise" because when he broke from Van Halen, I (Erin) refused to pick sides. Jana's take: I didn't give a shit when that happened but this is a great song.

Bobby Brown, "My Prerogative". This was before drugs, alcohol, and arrests. He was awesome. Jana's take: Sadly, who could've predicted he'd be the last one from that family still standing.

LL Cool J, "I'm Bad". This lady (Erin) certainly does love cool James. "I'm Bad" is probably the first rap song I (Erin) knew word for word. Jana's take: When I was pregnant with The Child, we called her LL (for little Lynch). We're so clever. Also, did you notice LL never dies in any movie he's in? WHY IS THAT?

Elton John, "I'm Still Standing". A new personal anthem for me (Jana). Also a fun song. And there's a great cover of it in the movie Sing.

Eric Carmen, "Make Me Lose Control". There are no words to accurately convey how I feel about this song. I simply love it. 

John Mellencamp, "Authority Song". The struggle was real picking a JM song. Too many good options to choose from but I (Jana) settled on this one since I crank it to 11 when I listen to it. Erin opted for R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. which, incidentally, was my second choice. 

Steve Winwood, "Back in the High Life". Another one I (Jana) find beautiful and absolutely love.  

Phil Collins, "Don't Lose My Number". Confession: I (Jana) LOVE PHIL COLLINS. Almost as much as I love Billy Joel. Actually considered flying to Ireland to see him in concert in June #notajoke   Erin's take:  I do not love Phil Collins, but that's okay, this is a collaboration, and I'm happy for Jana to have her love for Phil.

We could probably list all the reason we love all the men and songs on this list (full playlist below) but instead, we'll just do our In Memoriam and get to the music. All of these men redefined how we think of a man, all of these men (well, three of four) empowered women, and all of them were influential, phenomenal musicians whose impact will be felt for decades to come. That, and their music is just fucking timeless. There's no editorial on these as the music speaks for itself.  RIP.

George Michael, "Father Figure".   Erin: I freaking love this man's voice, and I am glad Jana picked a song because I'm not sure I could narrow it down to just one.  If you too are a George fan, in case you missed this, I'm going to share this link where Rolling Stone perfectly gives you George Michael: 20 Essential Songs.

David Bowie, "Modern Love"  

Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"

Prince, "Let's Go Crazy". Jana:  I could not find a decent video or a link to accompany this song which is a fucking shame. This song is incredible and showcases everything Prince was capable of.  Erin:  So, I "cheated" and included Prince's SuperBowl performance because it is the best one ever...EVER...and he opens with Let's Go Crazy.

And here's the whole playlist:

What are some of your favorite 80s songs performed by men?


  1. Jesses Girl is one of those songs I can't help but sing to anytime I hear it. The 80s were so fun!

  2. I'm coming around to the lists now :) I will not dislike any of your choices this time, haha!
    That Prince song reminds me of my husband because he was in a Prince drumline show, which I now feel obliged to link in this comment. (He will HATE ME if he knows... ha!) You're welcome ;) (The husband appears around the 1 minute mark and has the spiky hair and glasses, then plays on snare the rest of the show.)

  3. I am a child of the 80's too. I turned 15 in 1990. :D My favorite John Mellencamp song is Jack and Diane. And it's an obvious choice, but I still love White Wedding from Billy Idol. I don't think I can pick a Prince song. I love them all from the silly Raspberry Beret to 1999 to Purple Rain and yes, to Let's Go Crazy. George Michael! That's another ache. Father Figure is an amazing song. I loved I Want Your Sex because I was young enough when it came out that seemed particularly naughty, especially in my small conservative town! I'd also have to add Michael Jackson and NWA to the list.

    1. purple rain was the first song i put on my list, but the guitar and lyrics are so much better in lets go crazy, i had to switch it. i'm more apt to listen to the other, though.

  4. I missed the 80s, but I am a HUGE fan of 80s music and movies! Jessie's Girl...sooo good. And for the record, I also love Phil Collins.

  5. Jessie's Girl is one of my all time favourite songs :)
    I share Jana's love of Phil Collins! Ha

  6. Excellent playlist (as usual) ladies! I, too, have always LOVED George Michael's voice. I could listen to him sing for hours.

    (On a related note, a hairband playlist would be freakin' awesome!)

    1. he did have a fantastic voice. it's pretty amazing. i wish i could've better appreciate his music, though.

  7. okay. but see you forgot about the duets, and there were some pretty good ones back in the day.

  8. So excited for all these playlists! Against All Odds is my fav Phil song. Let's Go Crazy is my fav Prince song. Let's Dance is my fav Bowie song. Michael is hard to narrow down, but I think it might be The Way You Make Me Feel. Some other faves by dudes are Footloose, Right Here Waiting, and Summer of 69.

    1. i got those last two on my list. i didn't know until today that stevie ray vaughan was on the guitar for lets dance. i almost had kenny loggins on my list, but it would've either been danger zone or meet me halfway.

  9. Apparently Prince hated his music being on YouTube and went out of his way to have it removed every time it appeared, which is why it's next to impossible to find a decent link to them.

    I was born in the 80s, so musically I missed most of it, although I do love 80s music now. I am another one who actually likes Phil Collins, although I wouldn't say I love him. I also like Lionel Richie, so I want to add Say You , Say Me to your list and also Missing You by John Waite. I'm also a Sting fan, but my favourite song by him is from the 90s so I'll save it for another day ;-)


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