This is one of our favorite topics of discussion at NPR Music: What was the worst and best decade for pop music? We'll post a survey later asking you what you think, but I say the worst is the '80s.
For me, the production and instrumentation in the '80s ruined popular music. I'm referring specifically to Top 40 songs you could hear on the radio. It was so over-the-top. The production was gaudy, with hard-edged synths and electric drums overpowering the melodies. Part of the problem was that these were fairly new instruments, and we hadn't learned how to finesse them yet.
My dislike of '80s pop music has earned me a reputation among friends as a cranky killjoy who just doesn't get it. But, as with all cranky killjoys, the truth is that I secretly loved a number of songs from back then, but never would have admitted as much.
Here are the Top 10 '80s pop songs I secretly loved. When they came on the car radio, I'd roll up the windows so no one would hear and then crank the volume.
In no particular order:
1. "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears, from the 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair
I remember getting into an argument in my high-school cafeteria with someone who asserted that Tears for Fears was one of the greatest bands ever, but there's some great tension in this song. It builds with a sweeping synth solo at about the 1:30 mark, and peaks with what I thought was a pretty awesome phase-shifting drum fill at 2:45.
2. "Life in a Northern Town" by The Dream Academy from the band's self-titled 1985 debut
I never knew what this song was about, but it always got me a little misty-eyed. It really takes me back hearing it now.
3. "Too Much Time on My Hands" by Styx from the 1981 album Paradise Theater
I played keyboards in a cover band in high school, and this was one of my favorite songs to do. One year, we performed for the high-school Christmas dance. At one point, while jamming that opening synth line, I looked out into the audience and saw someone breakdancing. I really thought we'd made it.
Let me explain why programming isnt
But it is for foreigners.
Lets start with the foreigners. Some of them grew up listening to US pop music (80s pop music, hehe). They spent their last dollars on McDonalds. They wore Levis. They dreamed of coming to America...want anything that is American.
And then, one day, someone tells them "more foreign programmers are admitted to the US than foreign finance majors." And they choose programming as their major! Amazing!
Now, let's look at the Americans. Someone tells them "more foreign programmers are admitted to the US that foreign finance majors. So many, in fact, that your programming classes will be mostly foreigners wanting to immigrate, and your wage will fall in half as soon as Congress decides to raise the H1-B cap
Neon Trees Drummer Talks 80s Pop, Religion and Wagamama Ahead of Boston .. — BostInno
EB: It's kind of cool because we have alternative sounds mixed with 80s pop music, but we're a rock band. I suppose, “Duran Duran meets the Killers" describes us pretty well, actually.