[Goodbye 2017 in 1980s Style] -- It's the final Flashback post for 2017! In so many ways, this year has been a dumpster fire, particularly on the national and world stages. Sure, like any year, there have been some bright spots. And one of those bright spots is the opportunity to share my love of 80s music. So, how best to say goodbye to this past year in 80s fashion? Why, find a trio of songs such that each one, in one way or another, is about endings and changes. If you would like to know what those songs are this time around, you can read and hear more after the jump.
Flashback #1: "It was always burning since the world's been turning."
Our first Flashback of the week is "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. This song appeared on Joel's 11th studio album, Storm Front (1989), and its lyrics allude to over 100 headline events between 1949 and 1989. Now, this song gets quite a bit of flack and it has its detractors (and parodies). However, it was pretty well received. At this point in 1989, it was sitting in the #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. And that was after it had already spent two weeks in the #1 position. In fact, it spent a total of 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a top 40 hit for all but one of those weeks, and it was in the top 10 for a total of six weeks. It was earned a Grammy nod for Record of the Year (but it lost to Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings"). I'm not saying chart performance and Grammy nods legitimize a song, but I am pointing out they're a good measure of fan reception. And it truly fits in with my dumpster fire analogy for 2017.
Flashback #2: "Tam bo li de say de moi ya | Hey Jambo Jambo."
On a lighter note, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is often a cause for celebration. And celebrations often include songs and dancing. And if there's a song that embodies this bring everyone together for a good party ethos, it's "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie. The first single off Richie's second solo album, Can't Slow Down (1983), "All Night Long (All Night)" spent a total of 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Three of those weeks were spent in the #1 spot (November 19 through December 3, 1983), and it ended up staying in the top 10 till the end of 1983. And how much fun is this video?
Flashback #3: "Pack it up or throw it away | What I can't carry, bury."
"Pack It Up" wasn't a single, but it's a great example of a deep cut from the Pretenders' sophomore release, Pretenders II (1981). And if you're looking back at 2017 with a burn-it-all attitude, this is your song. Chrissie Hynde snarls and rants about flushing out her enemies and burning down every bridge while guitarist James Honeyman-Scott (11/41956 – 6/16/1982) lays down some heavy riffs. This song is pretty much rocket fuel for packing up and getting out of a bad situation. Crank it up!
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!