[SDCC 2018 Playlist] -- I can in no way offer a definitive 80s playlist for the Valhalla of geekdom that is the San Diego Comic-Con International. Well, I could try, but I'm just one person. So I turned to the power of Twitter to ask my fellow comic con attendees (and folks who wish they could be attending this week) to help me curate a special playlist. I asked, "What is your favorite 80s song?" And my fellow nerds responded. So, this post is going to go beyond my standard three selections. And it's going to run the gamut of styles. But in the end, I think we end up with a nice 13-track set to kick off the weekend. If you'd like to know what tracks were selected, and who suggested them, you can read and hear more after the jump.
"Such complete intoxication | I'm high on you."
@moviegal226 was first on the charts with Survivor's "High On You." It was the 2nd track off side A (remember album sides, folks?) of the band's fifth studio outing, Vital Signs (1984). It was Survivor's most commercially successful album, and the first outing for their new vocalist, Jimi Jamison.
"I know your anger, I know your dreams | I've been everything you want to be."
Travis McIntyer (@TraviTravMc) revealed that "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour is totally his theme song. This was the 2nd single off Living Colour's 1988 debut album, Vivid. In addition to rocking radios and college campuses across the US, it won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990.
"That ain't workin' that's the way you do it."
@zanymouse offered up that peon to the MTV culture, "Money for Nothing." This was Dire Straits' most commercially successful single, and it was fueled by more than a little frustration over the visually obsessed medium of the music video.
"He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood."
Is there a band that better represents the hedonism of 80s rock than Motley Crüe? Before you answer, check out @JPiperLee's contribution to this week's playlist, "Dr. Feelgood."
"Hielten sich für Captain Kirk."
Jeffrey S. Mueller (@TheMightyJerd) had several suggestions, but I just went with the one that had the most SDCC reference: Nena's 1983 new wave song, "99 Luftballons" (or "99 Red Balloons"). What's the SDCC connection? Why, the lyric that references our revered Captain Kirk of Star Trek TOS! (The original German lyric is often translated as, "Everyone's a Captain Kirk").
"I love to listen to Beethoven."
Phaedra Grey (@phaedragrey) was also kind enough to send multiple options, but her first one hooked me: "Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)" by Eurythmics. It wasn't released as a single in the US, but it could be found on 7" and 12" single remixes. And the music video is one of those rare cases where art and technology marry for a higher purpose. I mean, I know people danced to this without ever giving a thought to, or maybe even seeing, the music video. But this use of the video medium transcends the concept of a simple dance floor offering.
"I don't care if Monday's blue."
The Con Guy (@TheConGuyDotCom) loves The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love." Now, this single was actually released in 1992, but I'm still including it here. Why? Because it's the first time Robert Smith really cut loose after being challenged to write a silly love song. And because Smith ACED that challenge.
"How does it feel to treat me like you do?"
Speaking of Mondays that are blue, our resident DJ, Mr. Leonard Sultana (@lennyukdeejay) prefers New Order's 1983 single, "Blue Monday." And that 1983 distinction is important because he wants the original version, no bloody remixes (particularly by other bands). Lenny is also known as @EnglishmanSDCC or, as he was referred to in a Thursday evening panel, "that English fan guy."
"I don't want to lose your love tonight."
I didn't know until yesterday, but Mikey O'Leary (@MichaelROLeary) and I both regard The Outfield's debut album, Play Deep (1985), to be just about a perfect pop rock record. And what track showcases this perfection? Probably the album's second single, "Your Love." It was the song of Summer 1986 (OK, maybe not *your* summer, but for a lot of us, it was). And it got enough airplay on radios and MTV to make it a top 10 hit on both US Billboard Hot 100 and US Mainstream Rock charts. (Note: I've previously written about The Outfield on my old blog, Prophet or Madman).
"Slow change may pull us apart | When the light gets into your heart."
Danika Stone (@Danika_Stone) -- author, part-time Amazon, and good friend of my wife -- also had a request for this playlist: "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds. I previously wrote about this classic track from the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club, in my Friday 80s Flashback post for November 4, 2011, which covered songs about memory. So I direct you there if you want some more details about this song. Or you could just enjoy Jim Kerr performing it flawlessly in this video.
"They say we can't survive | But a life like this keeps me alive."
There's nothing casual about @Bitspitter's music references, so it's no surprise that he would pull out a track from Casual Gods, Jerry Harrison's 1988 solo album. "Man with a Gun" may not have been released as a single, but it certainly has its devotees.
We had two New Order fans submit tracks for this week. The second suggestion comes from Alonso V (@alonsovilla84): "True Faith." It was released on this very day, July 20, in 1987. It peaked at #4 in the UK and was also top 40 hit in the United States. And if I'm not mistaken, the music video was filmed at one of my previous day jobs. Or, maybe, it just reminds me of the office politics at that company.
"Mm ba ba de | Um bum ba de."
While @PiaThrasher cited "any David Bowie song!" as her 80s fave, @RandyNasson specifically requested Queen/David Bowie collaboration, "Under Pressure." Well, that tune may have originally been released on Queen's 1982 album, Hot Space, but it was a perfect way to end Queen's Greatest Hits album of 1981. So, what better way to end this week's Flashback?
That's all till next week. My thanks to everyone who offered up their favorite track or two. 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!