Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 23/07/2002

Alternate takes on the best of the 80s

Alex's Top 20 80s songs
(ranked alphabetically by artist)

  • Robert DeNiro's Waiting, Bananarama
  • Do They Know It's Christmas?, Band Aid
  • Manic Monday, Bangles
  • Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Blues Brothers
  • Cheap Wine, Cold Chisel
  • Sussudio, Phil Collins
  • Pink Sunshine, Fuzzbox
  • 19, Paul Hardcastle
  • Adult Education, Hall & Oates
  • Too Low For Zero, Elton John
  • Things Can Only Get Better, Howard Jones
  • Wild Boys, Duran Duran
  • Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves, Eurythmics with Aretha Franklin
  • An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
  • Down Under, Men at Work
  • Sign O' The Times, Prince
  • Gimme The Prize, Queen
  • Sweet And Sour, The Takeaways
  • Doctorin' The Tardis, The Timelords/KLF
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Wham!
  • Not long after I posted my list of the 20 best songs of the 80s, my brother Alex asked if he could reply with a similar list. I'm a caring sharing type, so I agreed. Here's Alex's commentary on what he chose (longer than mine, but then I have a whole site to rant about my obsessions):

    Without a doubt, the hardest selection was the Prince track; at any given time it could have been a number of other tracks, most probably 'Kiss', 'Purple Rain' or 'Electric Chair' (never heard of it - Gus). I did ponder adding 'Kiss' in via Tom Jones & The Art of Noise, but suspected that may be cheating. I'm also somewhat bending the rules somewhat with the inclusion of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', which would knock out a lot of acts.

    'Manic Monday' might be continuing a certain Prince bias, but it's definitively better than 'Walk Like An Egyptian', which didn't even get a look in. Obviously, the less said about 'Eternal Flame' the better.

    There's some music in here that was important to me during the 80s ('Down Under', 'Robert DeNiro's Waiting') and other stuff that I only came to appreciate in the post 80's period - Chisel and The Blues Brothers most notably. The Elton John track makes the list simply because my mother had the album of the same name at the time, and I always really enjoyed it.

    'Wake Me Up' is the be all and end all of Wham! songs, and everybody knows it. 'Agadoo' only got dropped at the last second. Gus chose the clearly inferior 'A View To A Kill' over 'Wild Boys', and I'm still not sure why. 'Adult Education' is a touch esoteric as far as H&O material goes, but it still kicks butt in my opinion. '19' is one of those tracks that rattles around in your head for days (convince me your brain isn't going "nnnnnnnineteen" right about now. Go on), as is 'Sisters'.

    The only track Gus and I agree on is 'Sweet And Sour', although he was always a much bigger Takeways fan than I was -- I recall being annoyed with the TV show as Doctor Who was taken off the air to make room for it. This also neatly explains 'Doctorin' The Tardis'.

    I could have listed almost anything from Queen's 'A Kind Of Magic album, but 'Gimme The Prize' wins purely for the Kurgan intro, which I still mutter to people when I'm drunk. 'An Innocent Man' has long been my favourite Billy Joel track. Phil Collins came down to 'Sussidio' and 'Another Day In Paradise', but the recent remake has soured my memories of what was once a fine song. (No it wasn't - Gus). Howard Jones was a particular 80s obsession, as (sadly) were Fuzzbox. Damn. The inclusion of Fuzzbox means I can't snigger at Gus' choice of Whitney Houston. Well, apart from that whole junkie/battered wife/skeletor thing she's doing nowadays . . .

    I did briefly contemplate using the Band Aid trick myself, but as the song isn't that representative of the styles of a lot of the artists on it, I decided it would be cheating. And the Bangles came very close to making my list with 'Hazy Shade Of Winter' (if I'd done a top 25, they'd definitely have been in). Anyone else want to contribute?

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