A few weeks ago on my way to Saturday Night Ladies’ Poker, I was listening to (of course) the CBC. On Saturday nights, the immortal Randy Bachman of BTO does a show called Spinal Tap, and oh my Lord, I could listen to that show forever and ever. Randy strums away on his guitar while telling awesome, totally ego-free tales about his rock star past, and they are so fascinating. He plays songs on a theme each week as well, and he’s such a great storyteller that I just can’t get enough of the backstories he tells to introduce each song. I’d love to have him over for dinner.
Anyway, this one week some teenaged girl had written in to ask Randy for help with a high school assignment she’d been given. She had to pick out the one “quintessential 80s song” and discuss why it defined that decade. Since the girl wasn’t even born in the 80s (SIGH), she needed some advice.
Randy talked it over with his producer for a while, and almost went with a Duran Duran song, but in the end he came up with Rapture by Blondie. It was the first big hit to include rap, and Randy considered the introduction of rap to mainstream music to be a major moment in musical history.
At poker that night, I brought it up and FameThrowa suggested that Pump Up The Volume by MARS would be a similar song, in that it was the first big house music hit.
My personal choice was Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, which I think absolutely defines the pop-synth sound that I associate with the 80s, not to mention the girl-power theme that I think was big around then.
I think I could also make a case for Material Girl by Madonna, which remains one of my most favourite songs ever (I am SUCH a sucker for clever lyrics with puns) or Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. Both huge hits, great songs, and amazing, legendary videos, which is also a key feature to an 80s song, I figure.
What do you think is the defining song of the 80s?