Ten Songs That Killed The 80's!


For a brief time, the '80s could do no wrong. Thanks to MTV, quirky new bands were coming out of the woodwork and making records that we're still talking about. Even bands that hadn't been relevant since the '60s were getting in on the act.

Like all good things, however, too many also-ran's began jumping on the bandwagon. Even so, one can't help but wonder how we could go from the elegant 'future noir' of Human League's "Don't You Want Me" to the latch-key kids' pity party that was Nirvana's "Rape Me" in ten short years. Somebody had to have pinched a loaf in the punch bowl. We've assembled ten of the most likely suspects.




Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight

If videos were nothing more than commercials for rock bands, Wang Chung were the first to decide to start writing jingles. For a band who'd last gone Top 20 in '84 with "Dance Hall Days" to suddenly become self-referential was either a case of unbridled hubris or a stroke of genius, or both.

It's almost as if Jack Hues knew this song was going to catapult him into a new tax bracket. Doesn't make the song, or video, any less insufferable.




Iggy - Real Wild Child

"Hey, you know what this thin slice of pop fluff needs? A punk icon willing to sing anything for money!" What cracks me up is that after this song failed to turn Iggy into a pop star, Ric Ocasek's kid comes along and records it too a couple years later and it kills his career.

Iggy's version went on to appear in such stellar cinematic achievements as "Adventures In Babysitting" and "Crocodile Dundee II".



Mr. Mister - Broken Wings

The '80s was a fun-loving and care-free time, until Mr. Mister came along with this lifeless, meandering, self-conscious mess that inexplicably went Top 10. We were still having fun, but now we were feeling those first few twinges of guilt that would lead to all sorts of unnecessary hand-wringing and ultimately...Nevermind.



Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here No More

Sure, we love sitar and drum machines as much as the next guy, but those who went out and bought the band's new album Southern Accents hoping for more of the same got a rude awakening. That would explain why the next single, "Rebels", cratered. The best revenge is watching the crowd flee for the restrooms whenever the band plays it live.



John Fogerty - Centerfield

John Fogerty has been a lot of things over the course of his long career as the heart and voice of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but hokey isn't one of them. Until now, that is. The first time you heard the song, you knew you'd never have to hear it again, but knew that you would. Now, of course, they can't show more than ten baseball bloopers in a row without using the song.



Dire Straits - Money For Nothing

If you can name a more boring band during the '80s than this British combo, this writer is all ears. As catchy as the song may have been, there was no escaping the then-high-tech video at the time. Without it, no way this song becomes the cultural touchstone that many consider it to be. Mark Knopfler's snarky critique of the decade before it was even half done seemed to be a signal that, by '85, perhaps we'd all jumped the shark.



Run DMC - Walk This Way

This was the exact point when rap got lazy. Biiiig difference between sampling a tune and covering the darn thing. This laziness resulted in someone not wanting to do any actual work throwing Aerosmith a lifeline that ultimately wound up resuscitating their career, leading to an entire decade of commercial pandering by the band that may have otherwise been avoided (a man can dream, can't he?).



Poison - Every Rose Has A Thorn

A song people have been making fun of for 30 years, but somebody bought it. If a hard rock band had even thought about doing a song like this in the '70s, the Hell's Angels would have pummeled their asses while the cops turned a blind eye.




U2 - When Love Comes To Town


Dear Bono, if I wanted to listen to the fucking Fabulous Thunderbirds, I'd be listening to the Fabulous Thunderbirds.



Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is

Perhaps no one song is more responsible for killing the '80s than this syrupy gospel-tinged snoozer. Whereas 1981's "Waiting For A Girl Like You" was evocative and musically sophisticated, "I Want To Know What Love Is" was a clumsy virgin rounding third base on flip flops.

Why give the song to CeCe Winans (or Aaron Neville) when you can score a gigantic mega-hit with the song all by yourself and, in doing so, make it so that radio never touches one of your band's new rock anthems ever again? Job well done, Mick.

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