Three 80s Lionel Richie Albums to Return on Vinyl

On December 8, Motown/UMe will release three albums on vinyl from one of the most successful solo artists in Pop/R&B crossover history, Lionel Richie.

Three 80s Lionel Richie Albums to Return on Vinyl

The albums include — 1982’s Lionel Richie, 1983’s Can’t Slow Down, and 1985’s Dancing On The Ceiling — sealed the recent Kennedy Center Honoree’s legacy as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the modern era, in the wake of his 1982 departure from the lineup of one of Motown’s biggest artists of the Seventies, the Commodores.

Lionel Richie’s singular blend of songwriting artistry and catchy, singalong hooks has long defied genre-labeling, propelling his mass appeal to fans of R&B, soul, pop and country alike, and leading to his amassing more than 100 million album sales to date. Over the course of these three albums, Richie garnered four No. 1 singles on the BillboardHot 100 (“Truly,” “All Night Long (All Night),” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me”) and a dozen Top 10 singles overall on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts alike.

Lionel Richie (1982) is the quadruple-platinum release that announced Richie was more than capable of connecting with millions of fans both new and old with his name appearing alone on the marquee. Alongside co-producer James Anthony Carmichael, whom he had previously worked with while in the Commodores, Richie crafted the template for his Eighties success via the emotional weight behind the chart-topping ballad “Truly,” the upbeat horn-driven accents on the chorus of “You Are,” and the overall vocal panache on My Love,” which also featured background vocals from a favored collaborator, Kenny Rogers. (Richie wrote Rogers’s massive 1980 #1 crossover hit, “Lady.”)

Can’t Slow Down (1983) continued the Richie juggernaut, ultimately achieving Diamond status by selling more than 10 million copies. Again co-produced with Carmichael, Can’t Slow Down‘s first #1 single, “All Night Long (All Night),” broadened Richie’s appeal with an undeniable Caribbean-flavored hook, while the heartfelt chart-topping piano ballad “Hello” also benefitted from an iconic video directed by Bob Giraldi. The infectiously grooving “Running With The Night” also sported an electrifying guitar solo by Toto’s Steve Lukather. Meanwhile, “Stuck On You” spotlighted the artist’s emerging country leanings that eventually peaked with his platinum-selling 2012 offering, Tuskegee. That album, named after the town in Alabama Richie was born in, featured 14 down-home reworkings of his hits as highlighted by collaborations with contemporary country artists including Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Chesney.

Dancing On The Ceiling (1985) completed Richie’s 1980s chart-success trifecta with Carmichael by his side in the co-producer’s chair, achieving quadruple-platinum status while also supplying another slew of major hits. The title track’s colorful, kinetic video contains an homage to Fred Astaire’s iconic ceiling-dancing moves in 1951’s Royal Wedding. “Love Will Conquer All” marked Richie’s tenth appearance at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart. And the #1 ballad “Say You, Say Me,” originally written for White Nights, a Cold War thriller starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines, won Richie a well-deserved Academy Award® for Best Original Song.

Here’s How INXS’ Hit ‘Need You Tonight’ Got Discovered

There are plenty of stories out there on how songs were written, discovered and marketed. The story of INXS’ “Need You Tonight” is particularly interesting and was the subject of a pretty awesome Billboard piece, focused on INXS, Kick and the single “Need You Tonight.”

Here’s How INXS’ Hit ‘Need You Tonight’ Got Discovered

“As Chris Murphy, the longtime ­manager of INXS, remembers it, ‘I really thought I was f**ked.’ On an ­afternoon in 1987, Murphy, a ­wisecracking Australian, had ­gathered Atlantic Records’ radio ­promotion, sales and ­marketing ­divisions for an advance listen to ‘Need You Tonight,'” according to Billboard.

“He wanted the song to be the first single off of INXS’ sixth album, Kick. Murphy was convinced it would be the Aussie sextet’s breakthrough — a real kick in the pants to the pop-music status quo — but, he says, after a less than enthusiastic reception from the label’s top brass, he went looking for support among its foot soldiers. ‘I wanted them to storm the castle with pitchforks and say, ‘We must release this album,’ says Murphy.”

Murphy would later on play the track for a room of his “foot soldiers,” one of which ended up being Andrea Ganis. Ganis was the only one in the room who was confident that the song was a hit record. Luckily for Murphy, Ganis was also at the time, the director of top 40 radio promotions at Atlantic, according to the report.

“Released 30 years ago in late October 1987, Kick was a game-changer for INXS and, arguably, the direction of pop music. The album went on to become the band’s highest and longest-charting album, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and remaining on the tally for a record 81 weeks,” according to Billboard.

“It yielded four top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — ‘New Sensation,’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart,’ ‘Devil Inside’ and, as Ganis predicted, the band’s first and only No. 1, ‘Need You Tonight’ — on its way to being certified six times ­platinum by the RIAA.”

“Need You Tonight” is undoubtedly one of the more iconic hits of the late 80s and to think that it almost never came to fruition is astonishing. You can read more about the journey Murphy embarked on to make sure Kick was released by clicking here.

This Celebration of Toto’s ‘Africa’ is the Best Thing Ever

When you have a favorite tune, more so, favorite 80s tune what do you do? You sing/scream it at the top of your lungs when it comes on. Well, one town in England is going to do just that to celebrate their love for. Toto‘s “Africa.”

“Crowds are proposing to gather by the fountain in the city centre on October 28 from 7.30pm. Their motive? Well it seems to be just about pure love for the ‘greatest power ballad ever,'” according to the Leicester Mercury.

“If you all like the best song from the 80s, get emotional at the point of the night it’s played when you are all completely p****d or if you just simply like listening to this banger, come down and let’s create something beautiful, open invite, the more the merrier,” reads the event post.

Now, it’s very hard not to love Toto’s “Africa” and in fact, we also consider it to be one of the greatest power ballads of the 80s. Though, dedication of this magnitude is absolutely commendable. We here at Like Totally 80s love those who celebrate the decade and this gathering of Toto fans is exactly that, a celebration of the 80s.

80s music continues to live on in full force. Don’t believe us? Well, just take this event for example. It’s a bunch of people of all ages celebrating a song from the 80s in 2017. The 80s has never died and with celebrations like this to keep it alive, it never shall.

Check out the music video for Toto’s “Africa” below.

“Africa” By Toto

 

Some the Greatest 80s Pink Floyd Albums to be Reissued

Fans of Pink Floyd, especially 80s Pink Floyd fans are going to be rejoicing as both A Collection of Great Dance Songs and Delicate Sound of Thunder will be reissued.

Some the Greatest 80s Pink Floyd Albums to be Reissued

A Collection of Great Dance Songs and Delicate Sound of Thunder mark the continuation of Pink Floyd Records’ re-release program, which already includes the band’s remastered studio catalog on 180g vinyl. The new sets will be available on Nov. 17,” according to UltimateClassicRock.

A Collection of Great Dance Songs arrived in 1981 and included some alternate mixes along with classic tracks from the band’s past, including ‘Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),’ ‘Money,’ ‘Comfortably Numb,’ ‘Wish You Were Here,’ ‘Run Like Hell’ and ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond.'”

Reissued and remastered versions of 80s albums have been on an uptick, though, Pink Floyd’s reissue is a pretty big deal. The band has been at the center of plenty of controversies in the past but continued to grow what started as a small following into something quite incredible. Their music is timeless and that is quite evident in the reissues and remastered version of these two popular albums.

Check out the tracklisting for both albums below, courtesy of UltimateClassicRock. Let us know if you’re looking forward to these reissues in the comments section below.

Pink Floyd, ‘A Collection of Great Dance Songs’ Track Listing
“One Of These Days”
“Money” (Re-recored in 1981)
“Sheep”
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (edit)
“Wish You Were Here”
“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (edit)

Pink Floyd, ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ Track Listing
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
“Learning To Fly”
“Yet Another Movie”
“Round And Around”
“Sorrow”
“The Dogs Of War”
“On The Turning Away”
“One Of These Days”
“Time”
“Wish You Were Here”
“Us And Them”
“Money”
“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”
“Comfortably Numb”
“Run Like Hell”

Apple Turns to Steven Spielberg to Revive ‘Amazing Stories’

It looks like Apple will be taking a page out of Netflix’s book with using 80s nostalgia to attract viewers. The company is moving towards original content and one of its first orders of business happens to be a revival of the 80s show “Amazing Stories.”

Apple Turns to Steven Spielberg to Revive ‘Amazing Stories’

“Amazing Stories” ran from 1985 to 1987 and featured a plethora of short stories that varied in terms of genre. The horror genre seemed to be a pretty big hit with viewers, though the series only lasted a total of two years.

“It might seem a little campy now, but at the time, Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’ was pretty groundbreaking. It combined horror, fantasy and science fiction, with a revolving door of cast members,” according to ABCNews, Baltimore.

“It also boasted celebrity guest actors and directors — including Kevin Costner, Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Rhea Pearlman, Danny DeVito, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis and more.”

According to the report, the show was also very successful. It took home five total Emmy wins with 12 nominations.

“The company hasn’t said where it plans to release its ‘Amazing Stories’ reboot — whether on Apple Music or Apple TV or through another outlet, like iTunes,” according to the report.

This move could see Apple becoming a direct competitor to streaming giant Netflix, who has also been flourishing with 80s inspired shows, most popularly, Stranger Things 

Stay tuned for more news on when we can expect to see a release date for the reboot.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Top Billboard’s Artist 100 Chart

Just a week after the death of Tom Petty, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are bouncing back on to the Billboard charts. The band is at the top of the Billboard Artist 100 chart and may not let up any time soon.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Top Billboard’s Artist 100 Chart

“The Artist 100, which launched in July 2014, measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity,” according to Billboard.

“Petty returns to the chart at the summit with a monstrous 10,413 percent surge in overall activity. He and the band previously topped the tally dated Aug. 16, 2014 (five weeks after the chart launched). They had last appeared on the chart on Sept. 6, 2014.”

Petty is another one of the great 80s acts that jumped to the top of the chart following his passing. Prince and David Bowie were the two most recent 80s acts to do so, according to the report. The report also claims that album sales have been the major driving factor for the resurgence of Petty, following his death. As plenty of great artists’ music tends to do after their passing, the songs and music videos have been playing non-stop.

Generations who were unaware of his greatest are now coming across it in an unfortunate way.

“Petty boasts five albums on the Billboard 200, led by his and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits, which re-enters at a new No. 2 peak with 84,000 equivalent album units (up 2,231 percent),” according to the report.

None-the-less, they are being introduced to one of the great musical minds of the 80s.

‘Dynasty’ Is Already Being Compared to the Original

Dynasty has yet to premiere on The CW but that hasn’t stopped critics from already jumping into comparing it to the original 1981 show. So, what exactly is the word that these critics are using? “Trashy.”

‘Dynasty’ Is Already Being Compared to the Original

“If you’re remembering any of the above, you never saw the original ‘Dynasty,’ one of the great trashy nighttime soaps of the ’80s, premiering in 1981,” writes David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The new ‘Dynasty,’ premiering on Wednesday, Oct. 11, is set in modern times. Blake Carrington hasn’t aged a day since John Forsythe played him. In fact, he’s gotten younger and is portrayed by Grant Show. His gay son, Steven (James Mackay), and conniving, spoiled daughter, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), haven’t aged either, but Alexis isn’t around, nor is Krystle Carrington. There is a Cristal, though, played by Nathalie Kelley, and she is engaged to Blake, much to Fallon’s displeasure.”

From the trailers for the latest CW drama, we actually see a bit of this battle take place. The show is pretty racy from the previews alone, so, one can only imagine what the real show is like.

It’s clear that “Dynasty” was a love or hate show. If you liked scandal and drama and catfights between a stepdaughter and stepmother, that was the show for you.

What’s even clearer today is that the new version of the show sounds like it is packing just as much as the aforementioned entertainment. Well, if you need to find out for yourself, you can check out “Dynasty” when it premieres on Wednesday, October 11.

‘Stranger Things’ Brings Back 80s Arcade Games

80s fans now have even more to thank Stranger Things for. The show has now teamed up with mobile gaming to bring an 80s-styled arcade game. It’s going to look a lot like your favorite arcade games from the decade.

‘Stranger Things’ Brings Back 80s Arcade Games

Stranger Things: The Game is a new mobile adventure for iOS and Android that combines retro stylings with characters, settings and stories from the Netflix horror hit ‘Stranger Things.’ And yes, there’s an ’80s arcade-style Eggo waffle waiting for you,” according to CNET.

“The game offers two modes, normal and classic, with the latter described as for ‘experienced players only; it’s like 1984 hard.’ The game kicks off with you playing Chief Hopper. You get a call from Flo telling you four children have gone missing.”

Much like the show, there are plenty of 80s Easter eggs that will pop up including the level called, “The Lost Boys.” The graphics are pretty much like the 8-bit world that 80s games were built in. Don’t expect those crazy Playstation graphics.

CNET has equated the game to The Legend of Zelda in terms of the overall style. When you though Stranger Things couldn’t get any more 80s it manages to surprise you in huge ways. Netflix seems to be really ramping up the 80s nostalgia for the promotional period before the second season of Stranger Things is released later on this month.

So if you’re looking for a new game to play and happen to want a more 8-bit 80s arcade game feel, you may want to check out “Stranger Things: The Game.” The second season of Stranger Things is set to hit Netflix on October 27.

Find the Most Awesome 80s Rides at Radwood 2

It’s always a good season for looking at awesome 80s rides. Thankfully for classic car enthusiasts, there is the Radwood 2 festival that will be taking place in just a couple of months. Believe us when we tell you this is a pretty “rad” looking show.

Find the Most Awesome 80s Rides at Radwood 2

“If you ask me, the world could use a couple fewer car shows where millionaires scowl at each other on golf courses from behind their Bugattis and Delahayes,” said Patrick George of Jalopnik.

“My ideal car show would have cars like the Camaro IROC-Z and Toyota Cressida and DeLorean, filled with good music and fine people there to celebrate iconic 1980s and 1990s cars together. Fortunately some smart people already thought of this—it’s called Radwood, and not only is it back, Jalopnik is helping out this time.”

Sound good to you guys? Though Radwood 2 is going to take place in December, there won’t be any winter weather to deal with. The event is set to take place in Anaheim, California and will be hosted by The Phoenix Club.

“Cars built between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 1999, though exceptions will be made for earlier cars with a distinctly period-correct aesthetic, or later ‘continuation’ models,” according to George.

So, while there will be plenty of 80s rides out there, there will also be a few earlier models for you to gawk at. The show gets a little more fun as you have to come sporting an outfit from the same year your ride was made.

This event seems like an 80s fans’ dream so if you’re interested, click here to find out more about attending.

Should ‘IT’ Have Featured Freddy Krueger?

What would happen if two of the 80s’ most terrifying figures teamed up against a group of kids? Well, we could have possibly found out had IT director Andy Muschietti committed to his idea. Recent reports claimed that Muschietti played with the thought of having Freddy Krueger make an appearance in the film and it could have been legendary or really bad.

Should ‘IT’ Have Featured Freddy Krueger?

“In an interview with Aint-It-Cool-News (via SyfyWire), It director Andy Muschietti said that he briefly entertained the notion of having Pennywise, who shape shifts based on the fears of his child victims, appear as Freddy Krueger to one of the kids,” according Nerdist.

“Seeing as how It is a new New Line Cinema release, and the A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise is also owned by New Line, getting the rights wouldn’t have been an issue.”

It would have been pretty legendary to have these two characters meet or at least appear in the same film. Though, IT purists may have become enraged at having such a strong introduction to the film. It would very well seem out of place and cause a lot of critics to scratch their heads.

That being said, these crossovers of 80s horror icons has proven to be pretty successful in the past. Take Freddy vs. Jason, which released in 2003. The film featured two very terrifying and demented killers. One haunted you in your dreams and the other haunted you in real life. That meta was pretty interesting and entertaining for horror fans. Though the film was still super campy, it was a legendary concept.

Freddy Krueger

The concept even moved into Mortal Kombat games where horror film characters are now appearing. Those characters include, Jason, Krueger, Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Predator and more. Who knows, maybe Pennywise is on the list of characters for the next Mortal Kombat game? Would Freddy Krueger fit in the IT film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Is It Time To Stop Saying The 80s Are Back In Film?

We have been guilty of one thing here at Like Totally 80s. That one thing happens to be saying that the 80s are back when referring to new films. The truth is, for the 80s to be back, it would have had to have left in the first place. It never really did and it is continuing to flourish in new films.

Is It Time To Stop Saying The 80s Are Back In Film?

When Stranger Things hit Netflix all folks could talk about was the 80s influence on the show. Though, there have been titles such as Evil Dead that made a return quite some time before that. Over the years, films have had a little 80s sprinkled in, whether it be the setting or being a reboot of an 80s classic.

It happens to be this way for a couple of reasons. One of the number one reasons that always seems to pop up is nostalgia. Nostalgia is one of the biggest driving factors when trying to sell a product today. If it’s not a vintage style it’s a TV show or film that is being brought back specifically targeting those who tuned in during the decade. With original viewers and new curious viewers, you’ve already reached a dedicated fanbase.

In addition to nostalgia, the free-spirit and trend-heavy nature of the 80s allows for a tone of creative leeway. Think about all of the incredible storylines that came from the 80s. Much of the Sci-Fi features we enjoy today are inspired by ones that were born in the 80s. The music, the clothes, the culture and even the political climate at times made the 80s a decade filled with fresh content.

That content has been recycled plenty of times over the years and quite frankly, it has made for some pretty successful films. So, the 80s isn’t back in films. It has always been present, we’re just only now starting to take a closer note of it.

80s Classic The Shining and More Help Stranger Things Cast Prep

Okay, we know, more Stranger Things hype. However, there has never been a more incredible reference to the 80s than the Netflix original. Honestly it gives us 80s fans plenty of joy knowing something, like, totally 80s, is making it in modern times. Turns out, 80s classics like The Shining and Nightmare on Elm Street happened to be reference material for some of the Stranger Things cast members.

80s Classic The Shining and More Help Stranger Things Cast Prep

Get ready for another heavy 80s inspired season. The older actors in the show, Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery and Dacre Montgomery sat down with Nerdist’s Alicia Lutes and revealed what their reference materials were for the upcoming season. Dryer, who plays Nancy Wheeler in the show, said that she watched a lot of Nightmare on Elm Street.

We’re thinking she was trying to tap into the role of a woman who has had it with being scared and is trying to take on the big bad guy. Meanwhile, Keery, who plays Steve, said he was looking at references such as 80s Tom Cruise. One film in particular was Risky Business. Young Cruise really did have some 80s classics under his belt and Risky Business was certainly one of them.

Last but not least was the new kid on the block (referencing an 80s band 100 points). Montgomery will be playing a new character on the show and is said to be the human villain. To prepare, Montgomery said he watched plenty of Steven King, including films like The Shining.

So, we can definitely look to see some of these 80s characters with a twist and a new face in the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. For more on the source material for these young actors and what to expect in season two, check out the Nerdist report.

This 80s Thor: Ragnarok Movie Trailer is Hilarious

Modern day superhero movies are so digitally enhanced that they are lightyears ahead of those of the 80s. However, it still doesn’t stop some people from creating 80s-styled trailers. This 80s Thor: Ragnarok movie trailer is absolutely hilarious. Watch for a cameo we definitely found worthy of being in the trailer.

“Now, Nerdist has ratcheted up the ’80s nostalgia even more, cutting together a delightfully cheesy trailer complete with campy special effects and VHS static,” according to EW.

“Thor isn’t the first film, of course, to get the ’80s trailer treatment (see Blade Runner 2049, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), but this might be one of the best — especially with all the scenes replacing Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk with Lou Ferrigno.”

The nod to Ferrigno is pretty awesome as The Incredible Hulk show was such a popular go-to for many. The show ran from 1978-1982, so, it does share two decades. We like to think the 80s half was the coolest.

Trailers such as the one below reminds us that even the new films can’t escape a little 80s remix right? The 80s is being sprinkled into everything, whether it’s official or not. The trailer below will give you just that right amount of nostalgia and humor to get your Wednesday flowing properly.

You can check out the 80s Thor: Ragnarok movie trailer below. Thor: Ragnarok is expected to hit theaters on November 3. Let us know what you think about the trailer in the comments section below.

80s Thor: Ragnarok Movie Trailer

30 Songs from the Summer of 1987

Music-wise, I’d have to rank the summer of 1987 as… OK. Either way, we’re going to take a look at 30 Songs from the Summer of 1987.

30 Songs from the Summer of 1987

Don’t get me wrong: thirty years ago, beachgoers were slathering on that Coppertone lotion to some very, VERY good songs– I’m talking classics, such as U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” Heart’s “Alone,” and Sammy Hagar’s “Give to Live.” (OK, that last one might not technically qualify as a classic…)

 

During any other era, those kinds of songs would translate into an amazing summer.  But this is the Great 80s we’re talking about, a decade that included summers absolutely jampacked with musical goodness. Consider…

 

  • Summer 1982 had Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” Toto’s “Rosanna,” Toto, and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

 

  • Summer 1983 had The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”

 

  • Summer 1984 had Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters,” and TWO Prince chartbusters– “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.”

 

How could any summer possibly compete with line-ups like that?

 

But hey, don’t take my word for it.  As Summer 2017 officially comes to a close, I compiled a list of thirty songs from the Summer of 1987.  The songs are in no particular order, until the final four– which I believe are true contenders for the Songs of the Summer for 1987.  (Just my opinion, of course… peruse the list and decide for yourself.)

 

My Thoroughly Subjective Evaluation of Thirty Pop Songs from the Summer of 1987

 

“La Bamba,” Los Lobos– According to a May 2017 Forbes article, only three songs with all or mostly Spanish lyrics reached Numero Uno on the Billboard charts: “Despacito” (“Song of the Summer, 2017” ); “Macarena” (from 1996); and the Los Lobos remake of “La Bamba”— the very first song with all Spanish lyrics to reach number one. (Incidentally, the original Ritchie Valens version from 1958 only went to number 22.)

“Moonlighting,” Al Jarreau–You mean the theme song to the TV show Moonlighting was a semi-hit on the radio (peaking at 23 on the Billboards)?  Do bears bear? Do bees be?

 

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me” AND “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” Whitney Houston– Whitney didn’t almost have it all in 1987; she really DID have it all. This summer alone, her album Whitney spawned these two songs, both of which went to number one.  She later released two more number-one singles from this same album, “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.”  In fact, she was the very first female artist to have four number one hits from a single album. And combining these four with the three number ones from her previous album results in an even more impressive accolade: Whitney Houston is the only artist EVER to have seven consecutive number one songs.  So much success… and now her legacy is largely that of a cautionary tale. Very sad.

 

“Touch of Grey,” Grateful Dead– I devoted a whole article to “Touch of Grey,” which you can read here.

 

“Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine– I can’t hear this song without thinking of that Friends episode, when Joey was singing and dancing idiotically, and Chandler deadpans, “Gloria Estefan was right: Eventually, the rhythm is going to get you.”

 

“I Want Your Sex,” George Michael AND “Shakedown,” Bob Seger AND “Cross My Broken Heart,” The Jets (all from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop II)–Yeah, the film sucked, but the soundtrack was solid, generating three top-10 hits: “Cross My Broken Heart” reached number 7; “I Want Your Sex” peaked at 2; and “Shakedown” went all the way to 1. I’m sort of surprised “I Want Your Sex” stalled out at 2, since it was played ALL the time that summer– much to the chagrin of your parents who considered it the dirtiest song they ever heard. And don’t get me started on the fact that “Shakedown” is Bob Seger’s only number one song. “Night Moves,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Turn the Page”… Seger has so many amazing songs in his discography, and THIS is the only song that went to number one? Life isn’t fair…

 

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” Kim Wilde AND “Always,” Atlantic Starr AND “Head to Toe,” Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam– I am lumping all three together as One-Week Wonders, because they all had one-week reigns at the top of the Billboard charts in 1987.  And they did it in a row.  Kim Wilde’s remake of the Supreme’s classic went to number one on June 6th, 1987.  But Kim couldn’t hang on for more than a week, as Atlantic Starr overtook the top spot on June 13th. Alas, they too proved to be falling Starrs, as Lisa Lisa went to the head of the class for June 20th– before surrendering the throne a week later to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance…” (Incidentally, in October 1987, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam once again hit number one for just a single week, with  “Lost in Emotion.”)

 

“The Pleasure Principle,” Janet Jackson AND “Doing It All for My Baby,” Huey Lewis and the News AND “Back in the High Life Again,”  Steve Winwood– And I am lumping these three together because they are linked by the theme of longevity.  All three acts had songs on the charts in the Summer of 1986; a year later, they were STILL churning out songs from those same albums. So…

 

  • Stevie Winwood released the album Back in the High Life and the single “Higher Love” in June 1986.  The album eventually spawned four songs that went to the Top 20.  (“Back in the High Life Again” went to 13.)

 

  • Huey Lewis released “Stuck with You” from the album Fore! at the very end of August 1986; over the next year, that album produced five top-ten hits. (By contrast, Huey’s 1983 album Sports, regarded by many as his masterwork, had four top-ten hits.)

 

  • Janet Jackson has them both beat, though. Janet released the album Control in February 1986. That means, by the time she released “Pleasure Principle” in May 1987, Control had been on the charts for almost FIFTEEN months. “Pleasure Principle” was the sixth single from the album, and although it was the least successful as far as the Billboards go (the song peaked at 14 on the charts, while the previous five singles from the album all made it to the top five), Jackson’s control over the pop music for such a long time is one nasty feat indeed.

 

“Who’s That Girl,” Madonna– I always found this one of the more insipid Madge songs, but it went to number one, so as always, what do I know? Then again, Madonna was so popular at this point, she could put out an album of her reading The Epic of Gilgamesh and people would have bought it.

 

“Why Can’t I Be You,” The Cure– This surprisingly upbeat testament to self-loathing only went to 54 on the charts, but at the time, it was the band’s highest-charting single. (And the follow-up, “Just Like Heaven” peaked at 40– which is crazy, since it’s now such a beloved staple of the 80s.)

 

“Kiss Her Goodbye,” The Nylons– In the Summer 1987, I actually purchased this song, a cover of Steam’s 1969 hit “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” as a 45 record.  (Don’t laugh: it was a fun song, and it went to #12.)

 

“Heart and Soul,” T’Pau– There was more than a little bit of “Heart and Soul” in the 80s.  T’Pau’s “Heart and Soul” went to number four on the charts in 1987, and four years earlier, Huey Lewis and the News had a number eight hit with their own “Heart and Soul”— which apparently was a remake of a 1981 song by a group called Exile. (The Exile version just missed the Billboards, peaking at 102.)  And lest we forget, in 1988’s Big, Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played the 1938 version of the song “Heart and Soul” on the giant floor piano.  And speaking of Tom Hanks…

 

“City of Crime,” Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd–  The theme song to the film Dragnet.  The song is actually better than the film, which is saying something because the song is thoroughly immemorable.  However, in the video, Tom Hanks (along with his co-star Dan Aykroyd) raps and does some pretty impressive dance moves– proving, as always, that there is nothing Tom Hanks can’t do. (Side note: apparently, the video’s choreographer was none other than Paul Abdul.)

 

“Give to Live,” Sammy Hagar– Too bad no one remembers this, because it’s a pretty good tune with a uplifting message about, essentially, the importance of faith, hope, and charity.  Man, who knew Sammy Hagar had it in him?

 

“Rock Steady,” The Whispers– Never one of my favorite songs, but I have to say, it has, in fact, rocked quite steadily over the past thirty years. In the last two weeks alone, I heard it on the radio three times, on three different stations.

 

“Good Times,” INXS with Jimmy Barnes (from The Lost Boys soundtrack)–No, it never cracked the Top 40 (stalling at 47), but I’m including it on this list, for two reasons: (1) It’s really catchy; and (2) I wanted to give a shout-out to the underrated yet very awesome Lost Boys soundtrack, which also featured Echo and the Bunnymen’s version of “People Are Strange” and Gerard McMahon’s “Cry Little Sister”).

 

“Only in My Dreams,” Debbie Gibson–Deborah’s debut single and her entrance into the world’s stage. (And she was only fourteen years old when she wrote it!)

 

“Don’t Mean Nothing,” Richard Marx– Marx’s debut single, which went all the way to #3.  (By the way, Marx has a great podcast called Song Talks, where he interviews other singer/ songwriters about classic songs. Very informative and entertaining.  Check it out.)

 

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” Michael Jackson– The debut single from the album Bad– an adjective which, conveniently enough, aptly describes this song. The song is just bad. And if anyone else recorded it, at any other point in history, it wouldn’t even make it to the Top 1,000. But because it’s a Michael Jackson song, and it’s the first single from the follow-up to Thriller, the song goes to Number One.  But it’s just a terrible song all around.

 

“Alone,” Heart– Now we’re getting into the final four, what I consider potential candidates for “Song of the Summer, 1987.” First up is the song that no less an authority than Billboard.com, in its May 2017 list of “Summer Songs 1958-2016: The Top 10 Tunes of Each Summer,” identified as 1987’s Song of the Summer. And Billboard wasn’t, uh, alone in its admiration: even Daughtry seemed to like it, since he ripped off the beginning piano for his song “What About Now.” (Come on: you know it’s true.)

 

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” U2– Amazing, enduring song, for sure… but in a weird way, the fact that it is so enduring makes it hard for me to call it a Song of the Summer. The song is SO timeless, it’s hard for me to place it in a specific period of history, in the way that I can a song like “Eye of the Tiger” or “When Doves Cry.” The song almost transcends “SotS” status, if that makes any sense.

 

“Here I Go Again,” Whitesnake– Before I even started writing this list, I figured this would be my pick for Song of the Summer 1987. After all, it’s one of the best songs of the entire decade, and I remember it being played all the time that summer.  But then I did some research, and some pesky facts conflicted with my memory: it seems “Here I Go Again” didn’t enter the Top 40 until August 8th, and it didn’t reach Number One until October 10th.  Fo rizzle? So I’m torn: can a song that lived the majority of its life on the charts in the Fall be considered a Song of the Summer?

 

“Luka,” Suzanne Vega– You know what?  Even if “Here I Go Again” could qualify, THIS is my personal Song of the Summer for 1987. Yeah, it only reached number 3 on the charts, but who cares?   This song, Vega’s heartbreaking portrait of an abused child, still moves me, even thirty years later.  Vega gives such a layered depiction of denial– not just the narrator’s denial (“I walked into the door again”), but also the unwillingness of the audience, the “you,” to acknowledge the narrator’s suffering. (“Yes, I think you’ve seen me before.”) Just a perfect, tragic song. One of my all-time faves, and my pick for Song of the Summer 1987.

 

How about the rest of you?  What was the Song of the Summer thirty years ago? And are there other classics I omitted from this list? Send your thoughts…

Stranger Things 80s Movie Posters Slaps You With Nostalgia

The Netflix original Stranger Things took 80s nostalgia and ran with it. Now, as the second season for the show approaches, the streaming network has created classic 80s movie posters, using the current cast of Stranger Things.

“Netflix is pulling out all the stops on social media in the weeks leading up to Season 2,” according to AdWeek.

“Last month, the show’s official Twitter account began giving fans more of what they want by launching a weekly recap of each episode of the first season under the hashtag #StrangerThursdays, and tying each episode to a classic ’80s film.”

Stranger Things 80s Movie Posters Slaps You With Nostalgia

The poster below matches Stranger Things character Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, with the Firestarter poster from the 1984 film starring a young Drew Barrymore.

“It’s the attention to detail that really makes these faux posters stand out. From the taglines to the fonts, these are faithful tributes to films that have long served as touchpoints for the very sort of viewers who would obsess over Stranger Things,” according to the report.

“This retro effect is very much in keeping with past efforts to promote a series jam-packed with references to the movies honored in this campaign, as well as period classics like E.T., The Goonies and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

80s Movie Posters

Additional posters include classic 80s films like Stand By Me, The Running Man, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Evil Dead and Jaws. They are very tastefully done and are really surprisingly nostalgic. You can check them all out by clicking here. Has Stranger Things succeeded in drawing you in for season two? Let us know in the comments section below.

Stranger Things season two is scheduled to release on October 27, just days shy of the Halloween holiday. Prepare to be scared!