Wedding-safe '70s and '80s cheesiness.
April 19, 2017 4:50 PM   Subscribe

We're getting married in a pinball arcade whose decor features wall-sized, airbrushed paintings of skeleton-wizards and is generally very '80s (and AD&D). What safe-for-all-ages, high-energy songs would you put on the wedding playlist that would work well with the venue's natural goofiness/oddness? (We have ABBA and Queen. Good lord do we have ABBA and Queen. And more inside!)

Other things we think work well:

Deceptacon by Le Tigre
Tumpthumping by Chumbawumba (less all-ages than the others, but... eh)
Beastie Boys (various)
Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
Bowie (various)
La Roux
Missy Elliot (various)
Janelle Monae (various)
Grimes (various)
You're the Best from The Karate Kid
The Beginning by RuPaul
Rasputin by Boney M

(For lower-energy moments, we have a tonne of Motown love songs.)
posted by flibbertigibbet to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(And, I guess, weird or cheesy or fun songs from the modern era. But ideally not songs about breakups, divorce, etc.)
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:51 PM on April 19, 2017

This feels like a moment for Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:53 PM on April 19, 2017 [11 favorites]

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness
posted by librarianamy at 5:01 PM on April 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Was just coming here to say, I was at Funspot on Monday and they played a lot of Wham! It's also a good time for some 80s metal if you can stand stuff like Steppenwolf/Born to be Wild or Motorhead's "Please Don't Touch"
posted by jessamyn at 5:02 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pinball Wizard, of course. Either The Who or the Elton John version.
posted by FencingGal at 5:02 PM on April 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm also not sure how all ages this is, but Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light?
posted by librarianamy at 5:04 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Bang Your Drum, by Dead Man Fall. You know it as the song from craigyferg's last show.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, check out the band Sweet, especially Ballroom Blitz. Their song Little Willy may or may not be safe for all ages. I didn't realize it was dirty when I was in high school, but today's kids might be more sophisticated.

Mouth and McNeal's How Do You Do is fun. Anything by Captain and Tennille. Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London. The Roches are hilarious, especially Nerds.
posted by FencingGal at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Consider the Guardians of the Galaxy mix tapes. Specifically, The Sweet, "Fox on the Run" from the new film. See also "Hooked on a Feeling" and the ELO catalog.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Walking on sunshine, Katrina & the Waves
Echo Beach, Martha and the Muffins
Video killed the radio star, The Buggles

2nding Wham!

And you know that Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You up" was 1988....
posted by Prof Iterole at 5:22 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Time Warp may be a bit old but a danceable fave.
posted by tilde at 5:25 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Owner of A Lonely Heart, extended version, by Yes
posted by effluvia at 5:25 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Most of the Ramones music will work for this.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:25 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Culture Club I'll Tumble 4 Ya!
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:29 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm having a roller skating rink moment... stay with me... we need a disco ball in here....

"Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston.

"Funkytown" by Lipps Inc.

"Rubberband Man" by the Spinners.

Anything Bee Gees or Saturday Night Fever.
posted by TrishaU at 5:36 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Sounds like a job for Duran Duran and The B-52's, among others.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 5:48 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

You're not really married if you don't play Girls Just Want to Have Fun at the reception.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

(Hey You) What’s That Sound?” by Les Rythmes Digitales
The Number One Song in Heaven” by Sparks
Doin’ The Do” by Betty Boo
Rip it Up” by Orange Juice
Through Being Cool” by Devo
"Freak-A-Zoid" by Midnight Star
Congrats! Have fun!!!
posted by quarterinmyshoe at 5:56 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Everlasting Love - Howard Jones
That's What I Like About You - The Romantics
Love Shack - B-52s
White Wedding (if you're that kind of couple) - Billy Idol
Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi (again if you're that kind of couple)
You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
Kiss Me Deadly - Lita Ford (one tiny mention about getting drunk and high that everyone will miss)
posted by brookeb at 5:57 PM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

PacMan Fever, obviously.

Definitely some ELO, maybe Don't Bring Me Down

Safety Dance, Pop Musik, You Spin Me Round (Like A Record).

Here's an entire playlist of Old Skool Roller Skating Songs, including Freakazoid, Pump Up The Jam, and Ice Ice Baby.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:59 PM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also Just What I Needed - The Cars
posted by brookeb at 6:06 PM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Groove is in the Heart , Deeelite

This is a little angsty for a wedding, but is a great song - A Little Respect, Erasure

Can't go wrong with a little Canned Heat, Jamiroquai

And, this is a wild card, early Black Eyed Peas, along the lines of Hey Mama
posted by Fig at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is probably not at all in keeping with your current playlist, but I could probably assemble an entire playlist of early-'80s tracks that were burnt into my head as a child specifically at arcades:

Music for Arcades:
Keep on Loving You: REO Speedwagon
Legs: ZZ Top
The Best of Times: Styx
Urgent: Foreigner
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Pat Benatar
Heat of the Moment: Asia
Jump: Van Halen
Talking in Your Sleep: The Romantics
Somebody's Baby: Jackson Browne
Eye of the Tiger: Survivor
I Love Rock N' Roll: Joan Jett
Harden My Heart: Quarterflash
Waiting for a Girl Like You: Journey
You Might Think: The Cars
Jessie's Girl: Rick Springfield
The Final Countdown: Europe

Where I lived, the arcades were more rockin' than the roller rinks. The roller rinks were far dancier:

Music for Roller Rinks:

Rock the Casbah
: The Clash
Relax: Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Mr. Roboto: Styx
Look of Love: ABC
Let's Hear It for the Boy: Deniece Williams
Let's Dance: David Bowie
The Reflex: Duran Duran
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?: Culture Club
Doctor Doctor: Thompson Twins
Keep Feeling Fascination: The Human League
1999: Prince
Borderline: Madonna
Celebration: Kool & the Gang
The Glamorous Life: Shiela E.
In My House: The Mary Jane Girls

It's almost disturbing how easy this was to remember, when I can't remember what I had for dinner two nights ago.
posted by eschatfische at 6:12 PM on April 19, 2017 [8 favorites]

All fired up, by Pat Benatar
Saturday Night, by the Bay City Rollers
Walk like an Egyptian, by The Bangles
Bad Reputation, by Joan Jett
Long Tall Glasses, by Leo Sayers
Frampton, aaah... Too many choices.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:16 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

This sounds like a job for Prince!!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:35 PM on April 19, 2017

And Blondie!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:36 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

And Joan Jett!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:36 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Rock Lobster from the B52s would be great.
posted by shortyJBot at 6:38 PM on April 19, 2017

Take On Me - a-ha
I Melt With You - Modern English
Girls Like Me - Bonnie Hayes
posted by gudrun at 6:49 PM on April 19, 2017

Came in to recommend the Sweet, but was beat to it.
Some other things that might fit:
More 70s glam-y stuff...Probably a lot of T. Rex would hit the spot, but I like T. Rex - Till Dawn for this function.

Pointer Sisters - Automatic is so good. Synthy, dancey, lyrics about circuitry and systems going down.

Enon - Tilt You Up! is a track from the past 15 years. Has a good beat, goofy pinball sound effects, and male-female vocals featuring lyrics about flippers and buttons and ramps and stuff. Ostensibly it's about pinball playing, but their might be something metaphorical going on.
posted by mean square error at 7:29 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

99 Red Ballons!
posted by ipsative at 8:49 PM on April 19, 2017

Gotta have some Oingo Boingo!
posted by MoTLD at 9:58 PM on April 19, 2017

The Go-Gos and Bananarama. Go back and listen to their stuff - you'll love it.
posted by Toddles at 10:37 PM on April 19, 2017

Seconding Prince, especially his song Kiss.
posted by Aha moment at 10:49 PM on April 19, 2017

Pointer Sisters — Automatic
Pointer Sisters — Jump (For My Love)
Deniece Williams — Let's Hear It For The Boy
Chaka Kahn — Ain't Nobody
Indeep — Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Thin Lizzy — The Boys Are Back in Town
Yaz/oo — Don't Go
Paula Abdul — Forever Your Girl
Hall & Oates — You Make My Dreams
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:11 PM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Couple of these have been mentioned, but nm...

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - Dead or Alive
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Jump - The Pointer Sisters
Holding Out For a Hero - Bonnie Tyler
Apollo 9 - Adam & The Ants
Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
Run Run Away - Slade
Don't Leave Me This Way - The Communards
Venus - Banarama
Swords of a Thousand Men - Tenpole Tudor
Pink Sunshine - Fuzzbox
I Eat Cannibals - Toto Coelo
I Think I Love You - Voice of the Beehive
Cuddly Toy - Roachford
Just a Mirage - Jellybean
Break My Stride - Matthew Wilder
Down Under - Men At Work
Tainted Love - Soft Cell

and, er... Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden. Obv.

If you're a Spotifyer, then have a browse through here for more inspiration if there's anything suitable.

Oh, and not 80s, but Tell Me Ma - Sham Rock went down well.
posted by thingonaspring at 12:40 AM on April 20, 2017

I read the comments assuming the Nutbush dance would be mentioned but a bit of googling tells me that it's only a thing in Australia. Mind blown. It fits perfectly into the 70s/80s theme. Even our police will spontaneously do the nutbush if the occasion requires. You might need to teach people but really of a few can do it, everyone else picks it up.
posted by kitten magic at 4:44 AM on April 20, 2017

How about "Pump up the Volume" ? Yes? No?
posted by james33 at 4:56 AM on April 20, 2017

Lots of good stuff here, but since neither the first song nor the first band that popped in my head hasn't been mentioned, I'll just throw in the Cure, specifically Close to Me.
posted by General Malaise at 7:24 AM on April 20, 2017

From experience: DO NOT play Meatloaf's "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" at the wedding. The DJ at my wedding played it, and I remember it struck a sour note - even though the wedding was nearly 10 years ago. The lyrics at the end of the song have the male earnestly wishing for death so his marriage will end!!!

"I started swearing to my god and on my mother's grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore, that I would love you to the end of time
So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I'm praying for the end of time
It's all that I can do
Praying for the end of time, so I can end my life with you"
posted by Ardea alba at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

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