What were the first and last songs to sound like 80s songs?

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I was recently checking out Obscured by Clouds by uptown top ranking crown rulers PINK FLOYD and was struck by how much the title track sounds like an 80s song -- especially 80s action flick, Miami Vice type stuff...stick till about :40 when the guitar comes in...it's kinda crazy that it's from 72 imo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16V-wNwlTw0

which made me think is it the first song to sound "eighties"? there were definitely 80s sounding hits into the 90s...thinking of something like Prince "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Worlds" from 94...def sounds 80s and who knows w/Prince it's not unlikely it was sitting around the in vaults since the 80s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMnqtzUqTwA

which might not be the answer, but stuff like this or "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane (91) which is totally an 80s song...

****obv anything that already smells of 80s retro fetishism which started to happen in the 90s is disqualified****

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 February 2019 21:21 (one week ago) Permalink

I feel like for some hard rock AOR type of stuff, the 80s never really went away.

MarkoP, Friday, 8 February 2019 21:27 (one week ago) Permalink

cool thread concept

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 8 February 2019 21:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Most Beautiful Girl is 94 btw

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 February 2019 21:31 (one week ago) Permalink

supplement for thread concept (stolen from historians): 'the long 80s'

j., Friday, 8 February 2019 21:32 (one week ago) Permalink

huh not familiar, is that a book or something?

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 February 2019 22:06 (one week ago) Permalink

a phrase

~ 'the long 19th century'

for histories that encompass more than the chronological period they literally cover

j., Friday, 8 February 2019 22:14 (one week ago) Permalink

ahh gotcha

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 February 2019 22:21 (one week ago) Permalink

More specifically, it was coined by Eric Hobsbawm, who's idea was that as far as social and political history is concerned, the 19th century lasted from 1789 to 1914.

Tuomas, Friday, 8 February 2019 23:32 (one week ago) Permalink

I have no quarrel with the concept of a Long Eighties, but in my head there's usually some lag time.

“The Nineties” = 1992 - 2002.

“The Eighties” = 1981 - 1992.

“The Seventies” = 1973 - 1981.

“The Sixties” = 1964 - 1973.

“The Fifties” = 1950(?) - 1963.

“The Forties” = 1939 - 1950(?).

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:05 (one week ago) Permalink

i don't know, i think '70-'71 were pretty sea change years. "what's going on", for instance, is clearly not a '60s album, nor is "tapestry".

"the forties" has problems as a musical era. the recording ban, the advent of magnetic tape, the war, of course. i'd say '45 is a more or less clean break from the past.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:26 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah "obscured by clouds" always makes me think of John Carpenter

brimstead, Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:34 (one week ago) Permalink

it's definitely got kind of a synthwave vibe to it

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:37 (one week ago) Permalink

hobsbawm's got a 'short' too, dunno how he works it but maybe the 00s are a 'short' kinda decade, not in the literal sense but in having that period of time be dominated by the hangover from the 90s / not coming up with a thing of their own

j., Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:56 (one week ago) Permalink

Mad Puffin, I can think of some key 1991 albums that are pretty heavily “Nineties” albums...

yuh yuh (morrisp), Saturday, 9 February 2019 01:01 (one week ago) Permalink

January 1973
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUcUaPlUzFs

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 9 February 2019 01:28 (one week ago) Permalink

always thought of NoMeansNo's Wrong as proto-90s

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Saturday, 9 February 2019 01:36 (one week ago) Permalink

not familiar with that Yoko song, that's great

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 9 February 2019 01:58 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm always a little taken aback when I listen to stuff from the early '80s and remember that it took a little while for the '70s sound to die out.

Shaved Cyborg (Old Lunch), Saturday, 9 February 2019 02:23 (one week ago) Permalink

You say that but, phased drum intro notwithstanding, Led Zeppelin doing 'In The Evening' at Knebworth in 1979, in those yuppy / preppie get-ups with JPJ on the GX-1 sound and look like they're conjuring the mid 80s corporate rock aesthetic fully formed from blocks of pure cocaine. And you know what? It is good!

https://youtu.be/dSEClIembvU

*there's (Noel Emits), Saturday, 9 February 2019 08:54 (one week ago) Permalink

What screams '80s' about "Life Is a Highway" for you, ums? It mostly seems of a piece with the mainstream rock format of 1991 to me. (At the time, that stuff had a definite 'the 80s are over' feel for me. Obv, they became more over the further we got into the 90s.)

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Saturday, 9 February 2019 10:04 (one week ago) Permalink

About 80% of Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' LP sounds unmistakably 80s to me, the last single taken from it was Gone Too Soon, released in December 1993.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 9 February 2019 11:23 (one week ago) Permalink

Rusho Sorry to be unclear and glib there. my small point is that I know that the cultural feel of decades is different the calendar. In my view it takes a bit of time for the impact of pioneering cultural products to alter the culture. If something sounds new and fresh, it sounds new and fresh partly by contrast from the world it enters.

This is tangential to the question of the thread, which I think is looking for outliers, not the moment where everything changed irrevocably for everyone?

Love -> Building on Fire is 77

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 11:44 (one week ago) Permalink

Last = Go-Betweens "Here Comes a City" in 2005

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 11:49 (one week ago) Permalink

“The Eighties” = 1981 - 1992.

Summer and fall 1981 saw the slushiest #1s in recent memory. It's more accurate to say the '80s began in 1982 or even 1983 when MTV stopped being an expensive niche toy that you heard about and artists recorded songs to match their video concepts.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 11:58 (one week ago) Permalink

Lurking in the darker recesses or my memory, Michael Bolton 's 'Can I Touch You There?' from 1995, produced by Mutt Lange and with a nod to Carly Simon's 'Why?' may qualify. With the bamboo flute and 'Movement 98' tempo it certainly sounded at least five years out of date at the time.

nashwan, Saturday, 9 February 2019 12:23 (one week ago) Permalink

Alfred, you are right of course. People will have their own personal eightieses, because the eighties hit us all in different ways. I have written about this before so I'll just recycle.

everybody will have their own dates and their own markers, based on their lived experience. But for me, the simplest way for me to classify the difference between the seventies and eighties is to think of two posters owned by my neighbor Stephanie (older sister of my friend Jeff).

Circa 1981, Stephanie had a Journey poster on her bedroom wall. In it, Steve Perry is singing a note that appears to emanate from his lower intestine. His eyes are tightly closed; sweat is pouring down his face. His hair looks a bit like Joan Baez’s; his jeans scrupulously follow the contours of his testicles.

I submit to you that this poster would not have made sense in 1964. By 1983, it would have seemed simply ridiculous.

Circa 1983, Steve was gone from Stephanie’s bedroom wall, which now held the icy-cool stares of Duran Duran, in white Members Only-ish jackets against a backdrop of horizontal paneling with alternating stripes of lavender and aqua. Simon Lebon’s lipstick matches the color of his immaculately pleated pants.

I submit to you that THIS poster would have made no sense in 1978. By 1993, it would have seemed like a joke.

For me, the eighties begin with the appearance of “Tainted Love” and “Don’t You Want Me” on the top 40.* My eighties are lit by a neon zigzag on a wall, probably the wall of Demi Moore’s apartment in “St. Elmo’s Fire.” On girls, the big v-necked cotton Forenza sweaters in day-glo colors; lots of bracelets. Those Miami Vice colors - teal, salmon, white linen - all went fine with Reagan, synthpop, Max Headroom, Iran/Contra, the Challenger.

In contrast, my seventies are the earth-toned orange and brown of D.C. Metro seats, R. Crumb drawings, and the preternaturally dense lasagna from The Vegetarian Epicure. Denim vests and feathered hair on men; Diana Ross over an octave bassline in 2/4 time; a mirrored ball shining through a 'fro in the disco. Abba in sequined capes; non-ironic Selleckian mustaches in fern bars. Dustin Hoffman’s neckties in the movie of “All the President’s Men.” It all went fine with Jimmy Carter, the energy crisis, a band called Bread, the hostages.

Caveats: OBVIOUSLY there are going to be people out there who were already pogoing to Devo and Talking Heads and Blondie at CBGBs or whatever in 1979. Just as there were already people who were zooming on uppers and snapping their fingers along with Beat poetry in 1959. And bravo for them. But they were not and are not the mainstream of the culture inhabited by the rest of us.

Of course, both “Tainted Love” and “Don’t You Want Me” were released in 1981, but were not on my radar screen until 1982, so my eighties date from then until grunge/Nevermind/flannel.

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 12:38 (one week ago) Permalink

The '80s began on November 11, 1981 when Joan Collins debuted on Dynasty. But Top 40-wise, I agree with Puffin that it was getting "Tainted Love" and "Don't You Want Me" me nearly back-to-back in early '82 because that was clearly a new sound (even remarked upon at the time)

Josefa, Saturday, 9 February 2019 14:03 (one week ago) Permalink

well, in America "Don't You Want Me" didn't top the chart until summer '82 while "Tainted Love" was well on its way to earning the title of longest Hot 100 resident in history, a record broken in 1995-96 by another eighties act.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 14:40 (one week ago) Permalink

Prince's Gold is incredibly 80s for 1995 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IQE62Vn4_U

PaulTMA, Saturday, 9 February 2019 14:48 (one week ago) Permalink

I guess "Don't You Want Me" was a slow burner because it hit the Cashbox chart in early March '82 (don't know about Billboard)

Josefa, Saturday, 9 February 2019 15:14 (one week ago) Permalink

Like "Tainted Love," it was an unusual slow burner: it took 12 weeks to climb into the top ten, another five to dislodge "Ebony and Ivory" (how's that for A New Day is Dawning?).

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 15:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Wait, why would a Journey poster have seemed ridiculous in the year of Pyromania?

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Saturday, 9 February 2019 16:20 (one week ago) Permalink

I associate Talking Heads so strongly with the ‘80s, that when complaining (on this board) about Pitchfork’s recent “Best Albums of the 1980s” list, I was all — “...and they left off the first two Talking Heads LPs??”

(keep in mind, I know all about the CBGB scene; as well as the title of the first album!)

yuh yuh (morrisp), Saturday, 9 February 2019 16:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Obviously Roxy Music were a big influence on the early '80s new pop/new romantic scene but this song in particular seems to have the groundwork for that sound pretty much down:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFeqtXMKZ4U

Gavin, Leeds, Saturday, 9 February 2019 16:41 (one week ago) Permalink

(From 1975)

Gavin, Leeds, Saturday, 9 February 2019 16:41 (one week ago) Permalink

Look I love that you guys know stuff & all but I was ten frickin years old; all I knew was what I heard from Casey Kasem. Tainted Love, Don't You Want Me. 1982.

Gunther Gleiben (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 17:16 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm with ups here - "Life Is A Highway" sounds like "Let The Day Begin" or a Richard Marx tune more than 1991 rock.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 9 February 2019 17:23 (one week ago) Permalink

1992 was peak Poppy Bush Interzone era. Check out the modern rock chart.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:04 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm with ups here - "Life Is A Highway" sounds like "Let The Day Begin" or a Richard Marx tune more than 1991 rock.

I don't think it's that different from the Petty/Mellencamp/Dire Straits songs on the 1991 list but neither is "Let the Day Begin" (which is from 1989) tbh.

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:19 (one week ago) Permalink

I guess there's a late 80s/early 90s 'interzone' sound that's distinct from the mid-80s sound of Born in the USA or Slippery When Wet (which is what I was thinking of as '80s', probably too narrowly) but also distinct from what came after (which the REM and Black Crowes songs were looking towards). "Dreamline" sounds like "Show Don't Tell" but not like "Marathon".

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:32 (one week ago) Permalink

Of course there's also Can in 1972 sounding like Madchester groups of '89, but I guess that's a whole nother thing

Josefa, Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:35 (one week ago) Permalink

I guess there's a late 80s/early 90s 'interzone' sound that's distinct from the mid-80s sound of Born in the USA or Slippery When Wet

Precisely. It's like early seventeenth century English poetry or Italian painting compared to the Renaissance: gaudier, Mannered, as if biding its time for the next revolution.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:35 (one week ago) Permalink

Gonna be hard to beat Obscured By Clouds really.

Not to turn this into a general prescient outliers thing but the lush breakdown around five minutes into Gino Soccio - Dancer (1979) sounds a lot like some bouncy FM bass you'd hear in early 90s prog house or proto trance, skipping over the 80s entirely. But of course there's also a clear line of influence back to disco, it's just very neat use of electronics for the time.

*there's (Noel Emits), Saturday, 9 February 2019 18:53 (one week ago) Permalink

Roxy Music is a good call - theirs is some of the first music I'd feel comfortable calling "New Wave"

YMO's "Pure Jam" always felt like an early 90s track, when in fact it was released in '81

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STPpnnfJ-GM

frogbs, Saturday, 9 February 2019 19:23 (one week ago) Permalink

For me the 80s began when M's 'Pop Musik' hit #1 in 1979.

LeRooLeRoo, Saturday, 9 February 2019 20:21 (one week ago) Permalink

a John the Baptizer moment

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2019 20:22 (one week ago) Permalink

i always used to think of roxy music as an eighties band

frame casual (dog latin), Saturday, 9 February 2019 20:48 (one week ago) Permalink

if that prince song works, i think i would also go with other alt-ballad sounding hits like Adam Ant "Wonderful" (95), Duran Duran "Ordinary World" (93), maybe The Pretenders "I'll Stand By You (94).

i would maybe extend that to expensive-sounding AOR ballads hits that don't really exist anymore - from the likes of Bryan Adams ("Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman") or Celine Dion ("If You Ask Me To," "The Power Of Love") which don't feel specific to the late '80s but definitely felt ubiquitous then and throughout the '90s. maybe that was more of a '90s thing?

i'm not sure if this is what you're asking for but something like Depeche Mode "I Feel Love" (2001) feels to me like something that could have existed 15 years prior, although "'80s nostalgia as a commodity" was definitely a thing by that year.

billstevejim, Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:29 (one week ago) Permalink

there must have been mid-'90s hair metal but i'm having trouble thinking of what bands stuck it out. Def Leppard "Let's Get Rocked" was 1992.

billstevejim, Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:31 (one week ago) Permalink

the power of love was an 80s ballad though

Friedrich B. Neechy (Oor Neechy), Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:33 (one week ago) Permalink

Word, I never knew that. lol not a huge fan of that song so I never bothered reading into its history.

billstevejim, Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:50 (one week ago) Permalink

Jennifer Rush had a huge #1 with it in the UK in the 80s

Friedrich B. Neechy (Oor Neechy), Saturday, 9 February 2019 23:54 (one week ago) Permalink

Ha, I didn't know until now that the Jennifer Rush version never made the US Top 40. It was #1 in Canada.

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Sunday, 10 February 2019 00:39 (six days ago) Permalink

There's definitely a bit of 80s in "Obscured by Clouds", that intro sounds a bit like "In The Air Tonight" in fact, but the analog synths make it still pretty obviously 70s for me. The sound of the 80s was all about digital synths like the DX7.

o. nate, Sunday, 10 February 2019 02:13 (six days ago) Permalink

Jennifer Rush had no career to speak of in the US. Shame, too, because I genuinely do like some of her stuff.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 10 February 2019 02:21 (six days ago) Permalink

This Diana Ross song from 1978 was obviously an attempt to ride the Moroder/Summer wave as far as it would go, but I think it's actually a bit more forward looking than even "I Feel Love."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOgei80XNK4

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 10 February 2019 02:28 (six days ago) Permalink

I feel like the last 80's hit was Jane Child's 'Don't Wanna Fall In Love' in 1990. After that the charts were full of eurohouse, r&b ballads, and AOR pop rock.

LeRooLeRoo, Sunday, 10 February 2019 19:07 (six days ago) Permalink

what about Amy Grant?

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 10 February 2019 19:07 (six days ago) Permalink

^yeah

aquaman goes to college (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 10 February 2019 20:14 (six days ago) Permalink

I tend to think of Young Americans as the line in the Sand between "late Sixties" & "early Eighties" but as far as og New Wave records go, you really can't fuck with Taking Tiger Mountain

aquaman goes to college (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 10 February 2019 20:18 (six days ago) Permalink


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