I’m a self-described music whorelette. I listen to and own a bit of everything. I can pick favorites from most any genre and if I make a mix CD, boy is it mixed. 1984 is one year that really stands out in my mind- because of the great music. I was in seventh grade and nearly every good memory had music at least playing in the backdrop. Remember the frightening Lionel Richie videos that had his jeri-curled self dancing with a bunch of straight-faced, brightly dressed, celebrity hopefuls?
Comebacks were popular that year. “Jump” and “Panama” were in
heavy constant rotation on MTV and Van Halen’s David Lee Roth could do no wrong. Tina Turner strutted her still-great legs in “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and even The Police resurfaced briefly before splitting.
1984 brought several new voices that sounded familiar. Yes resembled The Police; Rockwell was mistaken for Michael Jackson and so on. I won my very first album (yes, it was vinyl) off the radio that spring. Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA. I didn’t even like Springsteen, I just wanted an excuse to go to the radio station to pick up a prize. Back then my friends and I all convened nightly around the kitchen table listening to our favorite station, eating Middleswarth Bar B Q chips, flipping through magazines and gossiping. The goal was for us all to score a free album and within two weeks our goal was met.
The summer was especially memorable. Cyndi Lauper provided the anthem of course, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Prince was the man. We practiced dorky cheerleading routines to “Let’s Go Crazy” and were mesmerized by the video, “When Doves Cry”. Madonna inspired trips to Brooks in the local mall to buy fluorescent clothes, belts, socks, and of course those jelly bracelets. Lots and lots of bracelets. I had to have painter pants like Bananarama wore and a big hair bow to match. We worshipped Duran Duran and fought over who was the cutest band member. I still lean towards Simon even 20 years later.
The year also gave us several really good one-hit-wonders. Ray Parker Jr. was all about ghostbusting, John Waite wasn’t missing anyone at all, The Romantics told me that I talk in my sleep and I felt a lot of “noize” whenever I blasted Quiet Riot.
Such simple memories triggered by music even to this day, but they’re guaranteed to make me smile every time I look back.
Here’s a list of Billboard’s Top 100 of 1984; which ones still make you smile?