I certainly wasn't a kid in the eighties, but radio made me feel like one. I'd left country at the right time and discovered rock at the exact right time. My kids were still pre-teens, meaning they'd still agree to go places with me ~ drives to the mall, maybe a jaunt to pick up a pizza. And all the while our companion was rock radio. I foisted my musical tastes on them, swirling up the radio volume anytime a song I really liked kicked off. When "We Are The World" became a big radio hit, I patiently explained to them which singer was singing which part. My oldest really glommed onto Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night", a song I hated ("so I can...so I can..."), but I can never hear that song today without being reminded of that seven-year-old kid. On one of our yearly sojourns to South Dakota's Black Hills, Van Halen's "Jump" was the hot hit of the day. That organ-sounding guitar solo blasted out of the car radio's speakers approximately every seven minutes, to the point where I wasn't sure if I was experiencing car sickness or David Lee Roth-sickness. But my kids liked the song.
The eighties were the era of one-hit-band wonders, mostly British it seemed, but those tracks remain some of my favorite eighties songs to this day. The Dream Academy with "Life In A Northern Town", The Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy". And who could forget (or ever would be allowed to forget) Rick Astley?
Music snobs tend to denigrate eighties music, but I bet if they got a gander at my Spotify playlist they'd soon be dancing around their living rooms, or if they were male, at least tapping their foot. One thing about eighties music, it was joyous, not morose ~ not navel-contemplation. All that introspection is overrated. I like songs like this:
Yes, I am country at heart, but I wouldn't give up my eighties rock for the world. It speaks to me in ways that little other does.