Here is Part 2 – the 80's. Enjoy.
1981 (age 8-9 – fourth grade): At this time, I didn't realize the impact of the death of John Lennon. I only knew that I loved him and it made many many people sad. And I loved Double Fantasy. But, for me, that wasn't the album of the year. The album of the year for me was Beauty and the Beat by the Go-Go's. Our Lips are Sealed and We Got the Beat made my year. First heard at a slumber party, it was discussed at length with my girl classmates (who slowly became my friends), and I also learned from this album how to track the changes on American Top 40 to see what was popular. It gave me something more to talk about. I learned that if I was into popular music and could talk about what it was about, or what was going on with it, people could respect me more, or at least pretend to like me. :-)
1982 (age 9-10 – fifth grade): This year, I met a new friend that lived around the corner from me. She became my best friend. We had similar interests, but she was really smart, to the point of too smart to go to my school. One thing we shared was a love for music (and horses)... she loved the Beatles almost as much as I did. One holiday weekend, my dad sat down and recorded The Beatles A-Z on tape from a local radio station. It lasted all day, so quite a bit of it was not in alphabetical order. It took 6 ½ tapes. My new best friend and I listened to those until the tape wore thin. We imagined ourselves in the 60's, as the Beatles, wives of the Beatles, we even made skits and pored over my mom's Beatles magazines from that era. She went away for that summer, and I decided to teach myself to type. All summer, I listened to The White Album, Disk one, side one, and typed out the lyrics. I probably still have them on that thin typing paper they had back then. It was fun, and I was so proud.
1983 (age 10-11 – sixth grade): A new school, new friends, a new life. I discovered Duran Duran. I remember no other music of this time. Only Duran Duran. I had heard Rio on a trip to Hawaii over the summer, and I was in love. So, I bought their debut album, self titled, Duran Duran. I bought t-shirts, wrote birthday cards to the band, and talked endlessly to my new friends about the band and the music. It was a bond that I wasn't used to. We would scream when we heard them on the radio, we would cry when Simon LeBon got married. We discussed which one of the band we would marry, because they were all so cute, except that Roger Taylor... where did he fit into this band of beauties? We rented the Duran Duran videos, and found that Girls on Film was “perverted.” Ah the buddings of puberty.
1984 (age 11-12 – seventh grade): Ok, so I was a little behind the times. This is so cliché, but this was the only time that I ever loved Michael Jackson. I had pictures all over my room of him and the baby tiger. I loved Thriller. When I was able to get over to my friend's house who had MTV, I prayed for Thriller to be on. I wanted to be one of his dancers. I wanted to dress in those garish costumes. But it wasn't just Thriller that held the magic for me. PYT, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Human Nature, Billie Jean, and of course, The Girl is Mine with Paul McCartney (*swoon*). There were people at school who wore the requisite red jacket, black pants, and white glove, and were able to do the moonwalk effortlessly. I wanted to know them. I wanted to BE them. It was the closest I could ever get to stardom. I still listen to Michael as a guilty pleasure, but nothing was as magical as it was back then.
1985 (age 12-13 – eighth grade): The height of the 80's. I only remember the music from the dances. I went to every single one. Careless Whisper from Wham!, We Are the World, Raspberry Beret, St. Elmo's Fire, The Heat is On, One Night in Bangkok, Axel F, The Search is Over... there are SO many. But to pick one album... This is a toss up – Boy in the Box by Corey Hart, or Reckless by Bryan Adams. I listened to both like there was no tomorrow. Reckless had more hits on it than Boy in the Box. But I loved Never Surrender. It was my anthem that year. Komrade Kiev, and Eurasian Eyes were my other favorites as well as the title track. I even had planned on auditioning to sing at our eighth grade graduation with Never Surrender (I ended up trying out with Graduation Day by the Beach Boys. I lost). I didn't even put Sunglasses at Night in the same league as Never Surrender. I would play that album every day, over and over and sing along. I think I need to find this album on CD or download it. Hmmm...
1986 (13-14 – ninth grade): Again, a new school, new friends, new interests. I was in the marching band. I developed crush after crush on all the older boys. I was also exposed to all kinds of new and different music. Jazz (Count Basie), rap (Beastie Boys/Run DMC), punk rock (Dead Kennedys), alternative (The Cure), weird stuff (Oingo Boingo), all kinds of stuff. Even to this day, I have fond memories of hanging out for band practice, competitions, weekend practice, parties, etc., listening to The Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill and Run DMC, Raising Hell. I can not decide between those two. Even at a reunion that I was at (for band), we played both of these and it made us all so happy. Both of them were so breakthrough (my dad thought it was funny that I was listening to Walk This Way by Aerosmith, I had no idea who he was talking about), and it was such an interesting time for me. I had never really heard music like this. And we LOVED it. I had them back to back on one tape so I could listen to them over and over. It's Tricky is still one that I listen to regularly, You Be Illin' was great because it talked about Kentucky Fried, and Dumb Girl was more people than we cared to know. Brass Monkey made us laugh, we agreed that all boys want is Girls, Paul Revere was the best song to try to learn the words to, and She's Crafty was my friend's theme song. Ah, well... it was The New Style.
1987 (14-15 – tenth grade): This was probably my favorite year as a kid. So much happened this year. I was established at school, I had definite friends, a new best friend, I got to do more things, I went to Florida and Disney World with the band, and I was no longer a freshman. Everyone on the bus that was used to transport the band to competitions and games listened to something different. In the back of the bus were the surfers. I usually sat near them, mostly because we all hung out in the same group. Several people brought stereos on the bus, and the surfers were no different. They were pretty eclectic in their musical tastes, and I was exposed to some pretty filthy lyrics that shocked, horrified and fascinated me. One of these albums was As Nasty As They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew. Me So Horny was the back of the bus anthem. A bunch of kids, just hitting puberty, not many of us getting “some,” made this even more fascinating. And total shock value. The parents usually sat in the front of the bus, so they rarely ever even heard any of the disgusting things that were being rapped about. But, us being young teenagers, thought it was hilarious to push that envelope. And of course hilarious to hear the things on that album. Especially since it was acquired before the lawsuits for copyright infringement. Every year, the back of the bus music changed, but this one stands out in my mind for some reason.
1988 (15-16 – eleventh grade): The year of my first boyfriend. The year I got my fist car and license. All genres of music passed over this time. Every song was “our song.” We could start off with Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N Roses, or Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, Hands to Heaven by Breathe, Kokomo by The Beach Boys, Never Tear Us Apart by INXS or even Always on My Mind done by the Pet Shop Boys. But no. I have to decide between two albums that made that year for me: Hysteria by Def Leppard or Richard Marx's self titled debut album. Richard Marx had the wonderful song Hold on to the Nights, which was (to me at the time) the epitome of my budding relationship with my boyfriend. Def Leppard was just cool. And had Love Bites, which is well... kind of a sexy song to a 15 year old. The reason I will pick Hysteria is just because it had more songs that I paid attention to. When I listen to it now, all the songs sound the same, but back then, before Pour Some Sugar on Me became a stripper song, It was great to drive to, to rock out to, to dance to, to sing along with. The album is still fun, just a little boring compared to then, but damn, those memories!
1989 (16-17 – twelfth grade): I remember a medley of bad hair bands and being unsatisfied with this, tuning to the oldies station. I drove my friends crazy. At this point in time, I was the taxi driver to all the underclassmen. All I would listen to in the car, was oldies. But, at one point, I must have listened to more than just that. Maybe it was the boyfriend's influence, or the people at my first job. Maybe even my mullet. Aerosmith's Pump came out that year, and I enjoyed it. Of course, this was the age of the cassette single. I had over 300 of those damn things at last count. I had every hair band hit, Motley Crue, Skid Row, Whitesnake, Poison, Bon Jovi, Nelson, Winger. The list goes on. But I remember another band who's music I loved for a long time – The Bangles (The album was Everything). They released a single “Eternal Flame” that I would sing to the boyfriend. He confessed to me his long time crush on Susanna Hoffs. This was much better than Manic Monday or Walk Like and Egyptian. This song had meaning! I'll set you free was a fantastic song, but I didn't really pay much attention to that one, until later. This year was boring for me musically. But I had much growing up to do.
1990 (17-18): I graduated high school and started Community College. Whoo hoo! I'm free! Not really, I just learned that it was easier to not go to school when you don't have to have a note from your parents. The first boyfriend and I also broke up around this time. I was broken hearted, so every song – again – reminded me of him and my heartbreak. I made all new friends, especially from my second job. So again, my music taste changed. This was the year of easy listening. And again, I feel like I should give this space to a really good, ok not so good, mix tape. Dance music galore. Ugh. I am going to lose what little street cred I have left with this one. For lack of a better choice, I am going to go with Phil Collins, ... But Seriously. For nothing else but the song, I Wish it Would Rain Down. I FELT that song. I liked Something Happened on the Way to Heaven and Another Day in Paradise, but they weren't the same. I still cry a little when I hear that song. I was young, it was my first break up, I thought my world would end. And I wished every day for him to come back.
Alrighty then, that was part two. Left on a pretty sad note, huh? Don't worry, it gets better. And so does my taste in music. :-)