1984: Lost (Meat Puppets): In 1984, the one dollar coin is introduced in Australia, likely replacing “koala ears” as the appropriate legal tender. This song is off Meat Puppets II, a pretty fresh album I learned about 10 years later when I was into anything covered by Nirvana.
1985: Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush): Smack in the middle of the 80s, Kate Bush released an album of quintessential 80s pop. It’s not the worst sound in the world, but didn’t last as long as Wrestlemania, another phenomena that debuted in 1985. However, Kate Bush’s career did burn brighter + longer than most original Wrestlemaniacs, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik included.
1986: Back in the High Life Again (Steve Winwood): Unlike much of the music in the 1980s, this song endures. Dare I say, this song inspires me. There, I said it. Perhaps it inspired (or was inspired by) “Hands Across America,” the event that joined 5 million sweaty-palmed americans from NYC to Long Beach, CA in May, 1986.
1987: When We Was Fab (George Harrison): This song was “Fab” back when “fab” was a hip adjective. Also “fab” in ’87: the Wack-Os at the Assemblies of God defrock fraudulent snake-oil salesman, and helpless diddler, Jim Bakker.
1988: Boyz-n-the-Hood (Easy-E): One of the best rap tunes ever. Easy was pretty solid. I bet he enjoyed 1988, but thought California v. Greenwood (where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police officers do not need a search warrant to search through discarded garbage) was straight bullshit.
1989: Dirty Blvd. (Lou Reed): According to always-infallible-wikipedia, this groovy tune contrasts the poor and the rich in New York City. 1989 was a landmark year for poor and rich everywhere. In Beverly Hills, CA, Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in the family’s den. In Stockton, CA, down-and-out self-hater Patrick Edward Purdy kills 5 children, wounds 30 and then shoots himself. People couldn’t let go of the 80s. Take some deep breaths, crazies.
1990: Epic (Faith No More): The video with the fish. Creepy, yet hypnotic – like when Universal Studios Florida opened to the public that summer.
1991: Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog): Ok, I’ve really been looking forward to downloading this classic track. I have loved this song for 17 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever owned it. Things are looking up. Kind of like the Bulls, who won their first title in ’91, with a 4 games to 1 trouncing of the Lakers. Side Note: It was a rough year for Magic, who, along with losing to the Bulls, also announced he had contracted the HIV later that year.
1992: Let Me Ride (Dr. Dre): The grunge movement came along at a weird time for my age group. Picture a bunch of pubescent 7th graders with changing voices trying to imitate Eddie Vedder. Similarly, there are few things more comical than a bunch of white suburban tweens laying down verses from The Chronic in their parents’ basement…”Bodies being found on Greenleaf, with their fucking heads cut off - mutherfucka, i’m Carps.” I choose not to revise history, and that was the early 90s. Regardless, this is a groovy song off an awesome album.