Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Big 80's on 8 "Most Awesome Rad Party Songs"

This past weekend, as part of the New Year's festivities, Sirius XM's Big 80's on 8 changed up their weekly countdown show to present the Most Awesome Rad Party Songs from the decade. To ring out 2015 and usher in 2016, original MTV veejays Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn counted down the forty songs picked by the listeners.

I thought it would be fun for us to look at the list and for me to offer some commentary.

40. Autograph- Turn Up The Radio
39. Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party
38. Loverboy – Working For The Weekend
37. Talking Heads- Burning Down The House
36. Mötley Crüe – Kickstart My Heart

Okay, the first five are an interesting mix. We definitely get some rocking going with these. I love seeing Oingo Boingo as this is a four-star track in my book; the same for the Mötley Crüe tune. Talking Heads got many a party going during my college days, and the appearance of Autograph is a welcome surprise as well.

35. Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
34. Rolling Stones – Start Me Up
33. Tone-Loc – Wild Thing
32. Bryan Adams – Kids Wanna Rock
31. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two

Jermaine Stewart was my jam back in 1986, so I was very happy to see it here (it's a five-star for me). I'm okay with the Stones and where they placed. "Wild Thing" was huge back in 1989 so it works for me here as well. I initially felt Bryan Adams might have been an odd choice, but I have it at four-stars so I am good. And "It Takes Two" was a big dance floor favorite, so I am happy it made the cut.

30. Todd Rundgren – Bang On The Drum All Day
29. Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
28. Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel The Noize
27. Madonna- Where’s The Party
26. Lipps Inc. – Funky Town

I always remember "Bang On the Drum All Day" was used by local stations for the Friday afternoon launch of the weekend; I always forget that it came out in 1982. Good choice. Quiet Riot rocked many college parties I went to. I owned "Funky Town" on 45, so you know I am a fan. I am always happy to see Prince and Madonna; both of these also are four-star songs on my iPod.

25. Romantics – What I Like About You
24. Gap Band – You Dropped A Bomb On Me
23. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
22. Rick James - Super Freak
21. Duran Duran - Rio

No complaints with the next five either. Twisted Sister is a five-star for me (it was so rebellious and fun). I might have gone with a different choice from Duran Duran - maybe "The Reflex" instead.

20. Salt N Pepa – Push It
19. Go-Gos – We Got The Beat
18. Guns N' Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
17. Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling
16. Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Can't go wrong with "Push It" as it was another club favorite back in the day (and four-stars for me). The same with the Go-Go's back during my high school days. While I like "Welcome to the Jungle", I am not sure I would have put this one on the list. The next two are dance floor favorites of mine, with "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" as my absolutely favorite track off of Thriller.

15. Joan Jett & The BlackHearts – I Love Rock & Roll
14. Madonna - Holiday
13. AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
12. B-52’s – Rock Lobster
11. Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time

I love Joan Jett and this track here. Kind of surprised with a second visit from Madonna, but her debut album had some good stuff including "Holiday". My wife always jokes that this one from AC/DC should have been played at our wedding (she loves it) - it definitely gets a party going. Technically, "Rock Lobster" is from 1979, but we danced to it a lot during my college years in the 80's so it's good. Also surprised to see the offering here from Eddie Murphy (a track produced by Rick James) but it was another club favorite.

10. Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
9. Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight
8. Van Halen- Jump
7. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
6. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me

Very happy to have a Dead Or Alive track on the list, and this one is one of my favorites from them. Admittedly, I am not a Wang Chung fan (I don't even have this song in my music library) so I would have skipped this one. "Jump" was huge during my freshman year of college. I love the track from Cyndi Lauper's debut album, and there was no denying the party power of this Def Leppard track. Both are keepers for me.

5. Poison – Nothin' But A Good Time

This is another four-star for me. Not sure I would have put it this high on the list though.

4. Billy Idol – Mony Mony

No denying the dance floor and party power of this remake by Billy Idol. Another four-star for me.

3. Kool & The Gang - Celebration

A good song to celebrate with to be sure. I like it but would have again maybe had it back further on the list.

2. Beastie Boys – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party!)

Another solid anthem and four-star track from their debut album.

1. Prince - 1999

You know you won't get any complaints from me to see Prince at the top, and "1999" is such a solid tune from his career. I am happy with it being number one.

So, what would I have liked to see on this list that did not make it? How about Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes"? Maybe Klymaxx's "Meeting In the Ladies Room"? And where is Janet Jackson? "Control" definitely should have made the cut. I might have also thrown in Alexander O'Neal's "Fake".

How about you? What would you have liked to see on this list of the Most Awesome Rad Party Songs from the 1980's?


HERC said...

My first thought: "Where the heck is BLUE MONDAY?"

My second thought: "There is a definitely a downside to democracy."

Though I am ill-prepared (and too late) to vote in the general Most Awesome Rad Party Songs election, here's my two cents on the list of songs.

Another thought: "Where's the Blondie? They had three Number One songs in the Eighties and still didn't make the list." What is this, the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame?

My own party going experience in the Eighties was minimal - I remember attending exactly three parties and going to two clubs, one time each, with a borrowed ID. (Thanks, Kevin.) As an introvert, these social gatherings held very little appeal if only because I was already with a lady friend I'd rather be alone with.

The List. First off, any song wth "party" or "good time" or "celebrate" of "fun" in the title should have been disqualified right off the bat. Second, one song per artist please, otherwise we're left with 40 Prince songs and would be better off changing the title of the list. Sorry, Madonna, but you lose on both accounts.

I like how you ignored that Loverboy track in the first group of tracks. While that song certainly gets the most airplay of any of their songs, including those weekend kickoffs you mention later, it has always been my experience that "Turn Me Loose" sets a party off.

In the second group, Bryan Adams is definitly the weak link in the chain - not saying its a bad song, I like it a lot - it just doesn't fit well with the rest of the songs. I would have subbed in Huey Lewis y los News with "Workin' For A Living".

Would have to toss both the Prince and Madonna tracks in the next bunch. I'd drop in Janet Jackson's "Alright" and Kenny Loggins with "Footloose".

The fourth batch is fairly solid though "Rio" should be out and "The Reflex" (as you suggested) or "Hungry Like The Wolf" should be in.

"Brass Monkey" instead of "Fight For Your Right".

As for the rest of the list, these songs need to be worked in somehow:
Anything by INXS
"Bust A Move" - Young M.C.
"Come On Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners
"Goody Two Shoes" - Adam Ant
"Should I Stay Or Should I Go" - The Clash
"Don't You Want Me" - Human League
"867-5309/Jenny" - Tommy Tutone
"Walk Like An Egyptian" - Bangles
"Modern Love" - David Bowie
"Word Up" - Cameo

and a few dark horse candidates:

"Oh Yeah" - Yello
"That's Good" - Devo
"Just Can't Get Enough" - Depeche Mode
"Gimme Gimme Gimme" - Narada Michael Walden with Patti Austin
"My Sharona" - The Knack (they let "Rock Lobster" in)
"Right On Track" - Breakfast CLub
"Hold On Tight" or "Rock 'N' Roll Is King" by ELO
"One Step Beyond" - Madness
"One Thing Leads To Another" - The Fixx
"Beds Are Burning" - Midnight Oil
"Flamethrower" - J. Geils Band

...who am I kididng, I could list alternates all day and well into the next two but the populace has spoken. At least the part that listens to satellite radio and uses social networks which leaves me out again. Always on the outside looking in.

You don't like Wang Chung - never knew that. I'd sub in "Dance Hall Days" in place of the pandering "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and I favor "The Men All Pause" over "Meeting In The Ladies Room" by just a bit. And the one Billy Idol song I have never liked is his cover of "Mony Mony"- would put "White Wedding", "Dancing With Myself" or "Rebel Yell" in its place. Hope we can still be friends.

Martin Maenza said...

Herc, we'll always be friends. :)

I agree the list did favor certain words in the title. I did not see the ballot page so I wonder if they started with a subset to chose from. No clue. I would suspect it would be at least stuff on the channel's playlist.

Love your suggestions. Thanks for those.

As someone who went to a lot of parties and clubs during the 80's, this is pretty par for the popular stuff. Every event or club had its own flavors, of course. That's how you decided who you would pay future visits to.