A Bad Place Full Of Bad Jerks
A Bad Place Full Of Bad Jerks
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30 Years Ago, Pop Music Kicked Ass

Illustration for article titled 30 Years Ago, Pop Music Kicked Ass

As a near-40 year old, I am both young enough to have wasted my elementary school afternoons watching the twelve basic cable channels graciously provided by Vision Cable (with a clicker that clicked!), the most notable and awesome (and rad) of which was MTV, and old enough to have kids that are young enough to have never seen a video on MTV and old enough to consider me old and think I'm weird. Thus, I am left in the unenviable position of both listening to today's pop music stations and sounding like my parents by constantly reminding my kids how much better pop music used to be. To that end, I decided to see what the top songs from thirty years ago were, just so I could see whether my memories were fading a certain shade of rose.


The verdict: Pop music used to kick ass. First, for about thirty-seven different reasons, I suggest you grab a sandwich and watch this:

There's a lot to talk about there. First off, I want to know why Casey needed to look at his watch to know that it was May 1, 1983. Everything about what he was wearing and what he was talking about should have told him it was May 1, 1983. Also, a solid 40% of his body weight is his head. And finally, that fucking voice.


But let's get back to the countdown, as Casey would have wanted. Here was your top 10 from this week thirty years ago:

  • 10. Little Red Corvette, Prince
  • 9. Overkill, Men at Work
  • 8. She Blinded Me With Science, Thomas Dolby
  • 7. Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
  • 6. Let’s Dance, David Bowie
  • 5. Der Kommissar, After The Fire
  • 4. Mr. Roboto, Styx
  • 3. Jeopardy, Greg Kihn Band
  • 2. Come On Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  • 1. Beat It, Michael Jackson

That's not a best-of '80s mix, folks. That was what I heard on the radio every weekend** and watched on MTV during the spring of fourth grade. I mean, Billie Jean was seventh! We were getting sick of Billie Jean? What were we thinking?


** I almost wrote "car ride" there, but then I remembered that we used to ride bikes everywhere, including to and from school, so I was never near a radio during the week. I would never let my kids ride their bikes to school, mainly because I enjoy them alive.

The postscript, of course, is that when I showed my kids this video to show them how right I was, they laughed at all of the shitty songs and the funny old man that was talking about them.


[looks at watch]

Maybe I'm getting old.

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