Happy 1980's Pop Music Wanted Please
April 14, 2010 5:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for fun, poppy, happy 1980's music I was too cool to like at the time.

I'm filling up the Ipod and have been enjoying the hell out of some upbeat 1980's stuff."Walking on Sunshine," "I Want Candy" (Bow Wow Wows), and The Go-Go's are some examples of stuff I've been enjoying. Female vocalists aren't a must but a preference. Not looking for Journey/Styx/REO. Doesn't have to be 1980's, late '70's or that sound in general. Hope I'm being clear. I didn't have much luck with this thread.

There must have been tons of stuff like this out when my friends and I were slouching around in our Iggy Pop t-shirts.
posted by marxchivist to Media & Arts (98 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
La Isla Bonita by Madonna always did something for me.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:37 PM on April 14, 2010

google bubble gum music... probably lots of hits from the 60's/70's, but it might be what you're looking for.
posted by HuronBob at 5:37 PM on April 14, 2010

Altered Images - Happy Birthday.
posted by scruss at 5:40 PM on April 14, 2010

Takin' you to the top of the hour with....Naked Eyes
posted by Thorzdad at 5:41 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Early 80's era Sparks is fun. Poppy with nicely cynical lyrics.
posted by mrhappy at 5:43 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
posted by lukemeister at 5:49 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Manic Monday by the Bangles always takes me back to the fourth grade...
posted by smalls at 5:50 PM on April 14, 2010

1994, but I always thought it from the '80s: Cub, "New York City."
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:51 PM on April 14, 2010

There are a couple of box sets that are great for filling Ipods:

- No Thanks
- The Brit Box
- Left of the Dial
posted by coolgeek at 5:52 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Madonna's good - try Holiday, Borderline, or Like A Prayer. Or just pick up The Immaculate Collection.

Erasure - A Little Respect

Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth

The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
posted by sigmagalator at 5:52 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

99 Red Balloons by Nena
posted by smalls at 5:53 PM on April 14, 2010

Naked Eyes FTW!

Come Dancing by the Kinks is a personal fave.
posted by misozaki at 5:55 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Love Celebration. It makes you feel happy.
posted by srbrunson at 5:57 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Veronica by Elvis Costello is another.
posted by misozaki at 6:02 PM on April 14, 2010

Shit, how did I forget 99 Luftballoons. I got "No Thanks," uh, thanks! I guess I should say I got The Police, Talking Heads, Bowie, Squeeze, and Elvis Costello covered. We weren't too cool for any of that!

Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone!
posted by marxchivist at 6:03 PM on April 14, 2010

Pet Shop Boys
Frankie goes to Hollywood
The Cult - ok perhaps not
Bronski Beat
posted by Fiery Jack at 6:04 PM on April 14, 2010

Lenka's album (free streaming) is full of awesome, feel-good, unabashedly poppy songs. I've been listening to it constantly. (It's from 2007, but hey, you said this isn't limited by time period!)
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:07 PM on April 14, 2010

Teenage Kicks by The Undertones came out in 1978, but that's close enough, I think.

And if you want great 80s happy-making music, how about Prince? (Don't tell me you didn't secretly love Purple Rain, because then I will call you a lying liar who lies.)

And some of those Athens bands like Pylon and the B-52s and that other one, what were they called?

Oh! And Romeo Void! ("I might like you better if we slept together.") And The Cars record Candy-o, which I was too cool to like at the time, too. And Wall of Voodoo! And Sparks! And The Romantics! And.... I should stop now.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:07 PM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

Obviously, the answer is Prince (Purple Rain, Dirty Mind, Parade)

But also:

XTC - Then She Appeared
Blondie - Heart of Glass (or anything on Parallel Lines)
Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
Modern English - I Melt with You
Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
Television Personalities - Part Time Punks
Early Michael Jackson
Talulah Gosh, and anyone else on Sarah Records (British twee pop -- bet you'll really love it)
posted by susanvance at 6:09 PM on April 14, 2010

Ok, here's a bit of a list for you:

Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Cars - Gary Numan
Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club
Gloria - Laura Branigan
Valley Girl - Frank Zappa
Da Da Da - Trio
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Lies - Thompson Twins
Love Plus One - Haircut One Hundred
Mickey - Toni Basil
Goodbye to You - Scandal
Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco
She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
Our House - Madness
Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Maniac - Michael Sembello
99 Luftbaloons - Nena
Tenderness - General Public
Let the Music Play - Shannon
Obsession - Animotion
Weird Science - Oingo Boingo

The song is listed first, artist second. In case you're not sure.
I'm afraid I'm far too lazy to look up links for each of these songs. I don't know if all of these will be exactly what you're looking for, but you should have fun poking through them. Oh, and perhaps you'll enjoy The Sweater by Meryn Cadell.
posted by cleverevans at 6:09 PM on April 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

Cruel Summer - Bananarama
Pass the Dutchie - Musical Youth
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
One Way or Another - Blondie (maybe not so poppy, this one)
Video Killed the Radio Star - Buggles
Come on Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners

And pretty much the entire soundtrack of Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion...
posted by smalls at 6:10 PM on April 14, 2010

Rhino records usually puts together a good compilation.

Their 80's pop culture box probably has what you're looking for.
posted by Edward L at 6:11 PM on April 14, 2010

In the British twee category, which you may or may not have been too cool for, Heavenly are incredible. The American side of twee pop has a lot to offer too, starting with Beat Happening.

And more in the mainstream, Madness, with Our House.
posted by bubukaba at 6:15 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bananarama - Shy Boy (if you like this, their greatest hits collection is a good bet)

B52s - Wild Planet is a pretty great album (Give Me Back My Man)

If you like Bow Wow Wow, check out some other Malcolm McLaren projects, Duck Rock & Fans come to mind. You can find some links in the recent obit thread. (Fans is not really super poppy -- opera set to a disco beat -- but it's awesome)

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Rattlesnake is maybe a little too angst-y for this collection, but an absolutely perfect pop album. Perfect Skin.

Scritti Politti - Perfect Way

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love

Was (Not Was) had some fun stuff: Out Come The Freaks, The Party Broke Up

The Blow Monkeys - Digging your scene

Depending on your definition of 'happy', the Art of Noise might be the ticket.

(and hey, what do you have against the Ig? This is pure pop for now people: Fall in Love With Me)
posted by Bron at 6:17 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun -- Cyndi Lauper -- I can't help but dance when I hear this.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 6:35 PM on April 14, 2010

The Shop Assistants
posted by Fiery Jack at 6:35 PM on April 14, 2010

The Cars- Shake It Up
The Cars- You Might Think
Falco- Rock Me Amadeus
Adam Ant- Goody Two Shoes
Blondie- The Tide is High
Dee Lite- Groove Is In The Heart
B-52's- Love Shack
Romeo Void -Never Say Never
posted by kimdog at 6:39 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Rezillos, The Flatmates, The Fastbacks and Strawberry Story come to mind.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:41 PM on April 14, 2010

Leave a Light on by Belinda Carlisle. Her best song.
posted by fire&wings at 6:45 PM on April 14, 2010

Romantics as BOP says - What I Like About You. If you do not like this song, you are a dead person and cannot be reached.
Martha and the Muffins - Echo Beach
Julie Brown - Homecoming Queen's got a Gun and the rest of the Goddess in Progress album
Voice of the Beehive - Beat of Love and There's a Barbarian in the Back of my Car (a personal fave)
Josie Cotton - Johnny are You Queer
Plimsouls - Million Miles Away & the rest of the Valley Girl soundtrack which has some of the other songs people have mentioned. Here is the songlist [and downloadable music I think?] from a mixtape I made in 1986. It's half mopey and half poppy.
posted by jessamyn at 6:52 PM on April 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Adam Ant—Goody Two Shoes
Nikki Corvette—Summertime Fun
Bow Wow Wow—C30, C60, C90 Go!
Cichlids—Did You Ever?
Martha and the Muffins—Paint By Number Heart
Robert Palmer—Johnny and Marie
Sheena Easton—9 to 5
Dolly Parton—9 to 5
Squeeze—If I Didn't Love You
Warren Zevon—Play It All Night Long
Sly Fox—Let's Go All The Way
Ready for the World—Oh Sheila
Third Bass—The Gas Face
David Bowie—Let's Dance
Fat Boys—Crushin'
Human League—Don't You Want Me
Weather Prophets—Almost Prayed
Sigue Sigue Sputnik—Love Massive F1-11
Biz Markee—Vapors
Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff—Parents Just Don't Understand
Siouxie and the Banshees—Peekaboo
Beastie Boys—Brass Monkey
Jellybean—Sidewalk Talk
Patrick Cowley—Mind Warp
Les Rita Mitsuoko—Someone to Love
Shreikback—My Spine is the Bassline
Egyptian Lover—What is a DJ if he Can't Scratch?
Def Leppard—Foolin'
LL Cool J—Radio
Janet Jackson—Black Cat
Duran Duran—Hungry Like the Wolf
Jazz Butcher—Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present
JJ Fad—Supersonic
Michael Jackson—Wanna Be Startin' Something
Michael Jackson—Thriller
Tom-Tom Club—Genius of Love
Oran "Juice" Jones—The Rain
Zapp and Roger—More Bounce to the Ounce
The Nails—88 Lines about 44 Women
The Flirts—Jukebox


The Go-Gos—Beauty and the Beat
The Sparks—Angst in my Pants
The Pointer Sisters—Break Out
posted by klangklangston at 6:55 PM on April 14, 2010 [5 favorites]

"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuck3 (complete with goofy video).
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:56 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Waitresses!
posted by mmmbacon at 6:56 PM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode.

Probably the band's only song that can be classified as an upbeat, cotton candy single.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:11 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

:LIKE AN ANIMAL" "THIS GREEN CITY" and "PUNISH ME WITH KISSES" by Blue Sunshine, not super-well known but rocks that mid 80s synth sound SO HARD. Like An Animal is very dance-y.

"HEAT KNIGHT" and "SQUARE PEGS" by The Waitresses

"LOVE UND ROMANCE" The Slits, for your punk flavor.

"MONY" The Flying Lizards.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on April 14, 2010

Hong Kong Garden - I like this version with the instrumental opening.
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on April 14, 2010

Great, fun songs here. I will add some Euro-tinged ones:

Baltimora - Tarzan Boy
Sandra - Everlasting Love and In the Heat of the Night
Samantha Fox - I Wanna Have Some Fun
Europe - The Final Countdown
Opus - Live is Life
posted by gemmy at 7:24 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most anything by Ian Dury and the Blockheads,
reasons to be cheerful
There ain't half been some clever bastards

Common as Muck
I Wanna Be Straight
For a stronger dose of happy that lasts,the entire organized dancing music of
Brave Combo
posted by hortense at 7:25 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh and if you want the girls in the audience to MELT during a slow dance you need

"As The World Falls Down"

if you need it to be more dance-y, use "Magic Dance" from the same movie.
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on April 14, 2010

get a little more brit and horn-y with "Do The Dog"
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 PM on April 14, 2010

Not what you're asking for, but an interesting series of podcasts about music in the 80's.

Acceptable in the 80's
posted by kjs4 at 7:37 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Tell Me About Your Drugs
Human Sexual Response - Cool Jerk
Tubes - She's a Beauty
Go West - Call Me
Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Madness - Our House
posted by jessamyn at 7:41 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and She-Bop by Cyndi Lauper. She's so unusual is a really great album.
posted by OmieWise at 7:41 PM on April 14, 2010

"She Bop", cause you really should have it
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on April 14, 2010

Better than she Blinded me With Science "The Key to Her Ferrari" by Tomas Dolby
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 PM on April 14, 2010

Tracey Ullman - 'Breakaway' (pure pop perfection!)
Sheena Easton - Morning Train
The Flirts - 'Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime)' (once you get this song in your head, you'll never get it out again)
Any early Whitney Houston or Janet Jackson hits
Deniece Williams - Let's Hear It For The Boy
Kirsty MacColl - 'A New England' and 'Terry'
Romeo Void - 'Never Say Never'
Big Audio Dynamite - 'Rush' and 'The Globe'
Erasure - 'Chains Of Love' and 'A Little Respect'
Missing Persons - 'Destination Unknown'
posted by Mael Oui at 7:49 PM on April 14, 2010

Ok, first, Split Enz' I Got You and, because I know you're a buff, History Never Repeats. The Housemartins are also totally in this ballpark; if you've never heard The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death or London 0 Hull 4 you're in for a socialist pop chocolate gospel delight of a time. Search Youtube for "Sheep," "Five Get Over Excited," "Me and The Farmer" or "Think For a Minute" to start. Then go for early Style Council, Paul Weller's post-Jam R&B soul-pop excursion. Speak Like A Child was the first of their 80s classics, but everything on their first EP fits your bill perfectly.
posted by mediareport at 7:50 PM on April 14, 2010

one of my all time favorite songs is: men at work - land down under. this song makes me so very happy.
also, dire straits! the walk of life.
posted by ajarbaday at 7:51 PM on April 14, 2010

UB 40 - Red, Red Wine.
posted by jimfl at 7:51 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kirsty MacColl - 'They Don't Know About Us', superior to the Ullman version IMHO but both are good

If you want more super pop-y MacColl, oh man "There's A Guy Down The Chip Show Who Swears he's Elvis" gets me dancing Every. Time.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 PM on April 14, 2010

And nthing 'Echo Beach' by Martha and the Muffins.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2010

gotta love reading this thread!

2 more suggestions:
"Shout to the Top" by The Style Council
"They dont know" by Tracey Ullman
posted by theKik at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2010

Billy Ocean, Caribbean Queen jumped into my head from a long-ago memory when somebody up-thread mentioned La Isla Bonita.
posted by not that girl at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

John [in the 80s he was "Cougar"] Mellencamp's stuff, like "Jack and Diane". Also look for his cover of "Wild Night" with Meshell Ndegeocello.

No 80s mixtape is complete without Culture Club. I mean, come on, who doesn't love Karma Chameleon?

Missing Persons was fun - "Walking in L.A." was a cool song, with Dale Bozzio's weird hiccupy vocals.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:57 PM on April 14, 2010

Also, if you ever get a chance to see the film Urgh! A Music War, do not pass it up. This was a very formative experience for me when I was a Junior in high school.
posted by jimfl at 7:57 PM on April 14, 2010

Anything by Haysi Fantayzee. Their two most popular songs are Shiny Shiny and John Wayne is Big Leggy.
posted by elmwood at 8:02 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

My Ever Changing Moods by The Style Council is definitive upbeat 1980's stuff.
posted by ovvl at 8:13 PM on April 14, 2010

Instead of engaging in shameless displays of neon nostalgia, I highly recommend discovering a newer artist who will give you some lovely upbeat James Brown flashbacks instead: Janelle Monae. Not what you asked for, but it's what I'm recommending to everyone right now, because she is criminally underpromoted.
posted by gusandrews at 8:14 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

ABC: Poison Arrow, The Look of Love

Howard Jones: New Song

The Housemartins: Happy Hour

General Public: Tenderness
posted by contessa at 8:16 PM on April 14, 2010

Yaz (aka Yazoo) - for example: Situation
posted by nightwood at 8:23 PM on April 14, 2010

Three covers come to mind:

The Belle Stars - Iko Iko
Club Nouveau - Lean on Me
George Harrison - (Got My Mind) Set On You (which had two videos: "George Harrison in Crazy Room" and "Ballerina in Crazy Claw Machine")

Oh! And then there's Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. You can't go wrong with Lost in Emotion. That video's set in an amusement park on a summer night, which pretty much sums up happy 80s pop for me.
posted by Spatch at 8:32 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Electric Light Orchestra -- Yours Truly, 2095 (she has an IQ of 1001, she has a jumpsuit on); Mr Blue Sky.
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 8:45 PM on April 14, 2010

Try some freestyle. Not hip-hop freestyles, but latin-style dance music. Here's a little something I whipped up in Grooveshark. Mostly female vocals as you asked.

If you like it, googling "miami freestyle" or "latin freestyle" will get you many more suggestions and playlists.
posted by britain at 8:59 PM on April 14, 2010

Dare To Be Stupid, fast, pop-y and so so very synth.
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on April 14, 2010

Whitney Houston - How Will I Know
Debbie Gibson - Only in my Dreams, Shake Your Love, Lost in Your Eyes
Tiffany - I Think We`re Alone Now
The Jets - Crush On You
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam - Lost in Emotion, Head to Toe
Banarama - Venus, Cruel Summer
Nu Shooz - I Can`t Wait
Belinda Carlisle - Mad About You
Madonna - True Blue
Janet Jackson - Love Will Never Do (Without You)
Paula Abdul - Straight Up, Rush Rush
Jody Watley - Looking for a New Love, Don`t You Want Me, Real Love
Salt n Pepa - Push It
posted by yawper at 9:22 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tiffany's version of I think We're Alone Now - a cover of this original:
posted by rongorongo at 9:36 PM on April 14, 2010

Kim Wilde - Kids in America
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Around (Like a Record)
Real Life - Send Me an Angel
Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
J Geils Band - Centerfold
Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy
Men without Hats - Safety Dance
Buster Poindexter - Hot Hot Hot
posted by willnot at 9:53 PM on April 14, 2010

Someone else got Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie," but few people remember they had a second number -- something they did with Donna Summer, which was way happy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Berlin "Sex (I'm a)"
posted by brujita at 10:35 PM on April 14, 2010

I forgot Our Daughter's Wedding—Lawnchairs even though I was humming it through my whole comment!
posted by klangklangston at 11:35 PM on April 14, 2010

No Kenny Loggins? What about Footloose?
posted by LN at 6:22 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

As others have mentioned, The Style Council: Walls Come Tumbling Down.
posted by Kiwi at 7:24 AM on April 15, 2010

Seconding Scritti Politti!
posted by lukemeister at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2010

OMG what an awesome thread. I may have to answer more than once; apologies in advance. Here are my first two four nominations:

Adam & the Ants: Stand and Deliver & Antmusic
Tenpole Tudor: Wunderbar
Altered Images: I could be Happy
posted by not_on_display at 9:53 AM on April 15, 2010

Blondie's lesser known but just as fun stuff, like "Sunday Girl" and their cover of "Hangin' on the Telephone".

MX-80's "More Than Good".

Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know?" Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear it for the Boy" Gap Band's "You Dropped a Bomb on Me". Go West's "King of Wishful Thinking" (not really upbeat in lyrics, and also not even sort-of good, more just so cheesy it cracks me and my boyfriend up).

Some of these I've become more aware of lately because my husband and his best pal are major synth nerds and even though my husband in particular is painfully snobby when it comes to music (his favorite bands are Throbbing Gristle, This Heat, Autechre, and the Velvet Underground), they both will enjoy moments in incredibly cheesy one-hit-wonders from the '80s for some of the analog synths (esp. bass synths) still being used, heh.
posted by ifjuly at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Joe Jackson's "Look Sharp" and "Night & Day" albums.
B52's "Deadbeat Club" and "Dry County" are a fun comparatively underplayed alternative to "Love Shack" on the same album.
if you can find it, the song "Earth Girls Are Easy" from the soundrack of the movie of the same name.
Was Not Was "Walk the Dinosaur"
Madonna "Open Your Heart" and "Express Yourself"
Big Audio Dynamite "E=MC^2"
EBN-OZN "AEIOU, Sometimes Y"
Gang of Four "I Love a Man in a Uniform"
Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy"
Shreikback "Nemesis" and "Get Down Tonight"
The Weathergirls "It's Raining Men"
Queen/Bowie "Under Pressure"
Queen "Don't Stop Me Now"
Soft Cell "Sex Dwarf"
Flock of Seagulls "I Ran (So Far Away)"
Pete Shelley "Homosapien"
Figures on a Beach "Accidentally Fourth Street"
posted by rmd1023 at 10:46 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts", painfully bad and funny. The Bangles' "Eternal Flame" is also hilariously bad. I'm sure you've already got Cyndi Lauper...

Tiffany's cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." "Walk Like an Egyptian." The '80s cover of "Locomotion".
posted by ifjuly at 10:47 AM on April 15, 2010

They Might Be Giants - most of the album "Lincoln"
Stetsasonic "Go Stetsa"
Information Society "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)"
Baltimore "Tarzan Boy"
Curtis Day and the Knights "Jungle Love"
Grandmaster Melle Mel "White Lines (Don't Do It)"
Shona Laing "Soviet Snow"
posted by rmd1023 at 10:56 AM on April 15, 2010

"She Bop" - Cyndi Lauper
"Money Changes Everything" - Cyndi Lauper

Both off the 'She's So Unusual' LP
posted by New England Cultist at 3:02 PM on April 15, 2010

Sorry for any duplicates (great thread):

Probably anything from Swing Out Sister, but I recommend:
Waiting Game
Twilight World
and of course Breakout.

Seconding Yaz's Situation. Also good by them:
In My Room
Yazoo Don't Go

Other wonderful ladies from the Eighties:
Sade No Ordinary Love
Grace Jones La Vie en Rose
Jody Whatley Looking for a New Love
Book of Love Boy

Propaganda Duel, and Machinery

My all time fav '80's song: Don't Walk - The Big Supreme
Bronski Beat Small Town Boy
Haircut 100 Love Plus One
Roman Holiday Stand By
Secession Touch
Rob Base / DJ EZ It takes Two
Shannon Let the Music Play
The Communards Don't Leave Me This Way

God the 80's were fun.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:25 PM on April 15, 2010

Curtis Day and the Knights The Time - "Jungle Love"

Are you thinking of Otis Day and the Knights, from the movie "Animal House"?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:16 PM on April 15, 2010

It's from the 90's, but Ace of Base "The Sign" is probably right up your alley.
posted by salvia at 12:01 AM on April 16, 2010

Are you thinking of Otis Day and the Knights, from the movie "Animal House"?

er, yeah. i'm not sure what happened there. some kind of neural short-circuit. i blame middle age or something.

posted by rmd1023 at 3:33 AM on April 16, 2010

One of my faves, but from the 90s: "Steal My Sunshine" by Len

"Buffalo Gals" by Malcolm McLaren
"Ah! Leah" by Donnie Iris
"Cooky Puss" by the Beastie Boys
"The Breaks" by Kurtis Blow
"Cruel to be Kind" by Nick Lowe
"Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo
"Deeper and Deeper" by the Fixx
"New Sensations" by Lou Reed
"Fantastic Voyage" by Lakeside
"Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" by Ian Dury & the Blockheads
"Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits
"Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo
"Fascist Groove Thing" by Heaven 17
"Mirror In The Bathroom" by The English Beat
"Moonlight Feels Right" by Starbuck
"New Toy" by Lene Lovich
"Oh Yeah" by Yello

These were taken from my iTouch collection. I love sharing songlists. Apologies if these are repeats. Enjoy!

There are some great cuts here - I took notes and am heading over to my iTunes store this afternoon! Thanks!
posted by mnb64 at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2010

This has been great, thanks everyone. I'll mark more best answers as I go through these over the weekend. I was grinning like a fool listening to some of this driving into work today.

And I want to be on record: I do not now, I never have, and I doubt that I ever will, have a problem with Iggy Pop.
posted by marxchivist at 6:27 PM on April 16, 2010

Oh, duh! This may be from 90 or 91, but there's always The Proclaimers' 500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 PM on April 16, 2010

Rush Hour - Jane Wiedlin
You Make My Dreams - Hall and Oates
Private Eyes - Hall and Oates
This Little Girl - Gary U.S. Bonds
Strut - Sheena Easton
Physical - Olivia Newton-John
Right On Track - Breakfast Club
posted by SisterHavana at 11:26 PM on April 16, 2010

As a result of this question, I re-discovered this little gem from Blondie.
posted by marxchivist at 9:09 AM on April 17, 2010

Also, Kid Creole's "Endicott".
posted by kristi at 11:41 AM on April 17, 2010

A few more:
Torch Song - Don't Look Now
Matthew Wilder: Break My Stride
Chiefs of Relief - Freedom to Rock
Fatal Charm: Summer Spies
Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday.
Men Without Hats: Pop Goes the World
Sophia George - Too Girly Girly
Audrey Hall - Smile
posted by rongorongo at 2:14 PM on April 17, 2010

oh, hey, i should've mentioned before this: streaming awesomeness once a week -- knhc's "save the wave" show on thursdays between 7am and 10am US-pacific time. all full of 80's awesomeness with a strong bent towards 'when gay disco attacks'.

C89.5's website with links to the live stream.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:54 AM on April 22, 2010

Not "bubblegum" cheery, but more like invigorating and powerful in a positive way

"What do all the people know" by The Monroes
"We Belong" by Pat Benetar
"Rich Girl" by Hall and Oates
posted by holterbarbour at 11:59 PM on April 28, 2010

The Box, a Montreal group that rose and fell in the80's - Closer Together, Crying Out Loud For Love, My Dreams Of You
posted by Hardcore Poser at 3:34 PM on May 5, 2010

How have we not yet mentioned One step beyond by Madness?!
posted by cestmoi15 at 3:52 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

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