See list criteria here.
20. “Against The Wind”, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band- 1980 was tough. Most of the music on this list would not have had a chance to be included in the 1985 list, for example. That being said, I still consider all of these songs to be listenable, and still hear them from time to time. This song is one of those songs. It is nice and mellow.
19. “Don’t Bring Me Down”, Electric Light Orchestra- I remember hearing this song ad nauseum just as I was beginning to pay attention to popular music. Whenever I think of ELO, this is the song that comes to mind. It has a good guitar and base line that is hard to forget.
18. “Sailing, Christopher Cross”- This song is not good to listen to when you are driving, and trying to stay awake. I like it better than “Ride Like The Wind,” and I will have to admit that I usually sing along with it when I am alone.
17. “The Rose”, Bette Midler- I have to confess that I really like this song, even though I think that today it would be a little more adult contemporary than pop. It is extremely sing-able. I just wish someone else had released it, because few people whip me more than Bette Midler.
16. “Longer”, Dan Fogelberg- I really like Dan Fogelberg’s voice. He definitely sings ‘singer’s songs,’ and he is also a little more adult contemporary.
15. “Still”, Commodores- This was one of the first songs to give the world a glimpse into the greatness that was to come from Lionel Richie. It’s a little short, and is more forgettable than a lot of other songs because it doesn’t really have a chorus.
14. “Refugee”, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- One of the most sing-able of the Tom Petty songs.
13. “Everybody Wants Some”, Van Halen- I put this one on the list because it is not terrible, and because after looking, I noticed that there was not another Van Halen song on the list. I also like the Better Off Dead link.
12. “I’m Alright” – Kenny Loggins- I noticed that I did not have any Kenny Loggins on the list either, so it was easy to add this song in a bad year. I like the Caddyshack tie-in to this song also.
11. “Another One Bites the Dust”, Queen- “We are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were not available, so I chose this song. It has a strong baseline, but it is not a singer’s song.
10. “Magic”, Olivia Newton-John- This is also way down on my list of favorite songs, but I probably would not turn the radio if it were on. She has better stuff, but it was not available to choose from in 1980.
9. “Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd- I’m not a big Pink Floyd fan, and I really think that they are one of the most overrated bands of all time (see The Grateful Dead for another). This tune, however, is pretty good, and it does not beat me like Another Brick in the Wall. The drug theme is a little troubling.
8. “You’re Only Lonely”, J.D. Souther- This song has more of a 70s soft rock feel to it, but that being said, it is still a very sing-able song.
7. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ “, Journey- Now we are talking 80s music. I personally like the Journey power ballads better, but there are a lot of people who like the more rocking Graham Nash stuff like this. It’s still pretty good, and I like it better than their other 1980 hit “Any Way You Want It” (still not bad).
6. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, The Police- The first big 80s hit in a strong group of 80s Police hits. You generally do not mistake The Police for any other band. Sting’s unique vocals combined with the band’s upbeat style paved the way for many other British punk bands.
5. “Kiss on My List”, Hall & Oates- I chose this song over two other good Hall & Oates songs from the same year, “Wait For Me, Daryl Hall” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”. From this point, Hall & Oates became an 80s staple for the next few years.
4. “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me”, Billy Joel- Billy Joel foreshadowed his future greatness in 1980 with the release of Glass Houses. This song was pretty strong for 1980, and still enjoys quite a bit of play today. “You May Be Right” was also released this year.
3. “The Long Run”, The Eagles- 1980 signaled the end to one of the greatest runs in the history of rock and roll music. Most of the Eagles 70s music is incorrectly associated with the 80s (though it is more like modern country music than anything else). “Heartache Tonight” and “I Can’t Tell You Why” are two other great Eagle’s songs from 1980. These are not the best Eagles songs of all time, but they are all the 80s have to offer, and they are still pretty good.
2. “Cool Change”, Little River Band- I love this song. It is extremely sing-able, and very cool in a John Denver, “Calypso” kind of way.
1. “All Out Of Love”, Air Supply- The release of this great song in the same year with “Lost In Love” and “Every Woman in the World to Me” started Air Supply’s dominance of early 80s pop music. Their tunes are very melodic and pretty sing-able, though the short one (Russell Hitchcock) has an extremely high vocal range which often leaves the listener repeatedly changing keys when trying to sing along. Their looks may have been a bit off-putting, but it was a hell of an organization what with midget and Frankenstein and all.
Seriously, these guys were a brush with greatness for me. In high school, I had season tickets to Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. At the time, you could see any singing group that came to the park’s theatre for the price of admission plus $4. Since I had a season ticket, I could see all of the concerts for a mere $4, so I did.
One night, I saw Air Supply there. It was a good concert, and as my friends and I left the show we decided to ride the ‘plane ride.’ As we got to the front of the line, Air Supply stepped in front of us to ride the next time the planes stopped. There they were, one an Aryan giant, and the other an Australian midget. The short one looked even shorter without his odd elevator shoes. They rode in the plane right in front of me, and as the flight ended, we all went our own ways. I went back to Lewisville, and I assumed they went back to Lilliput.
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