The Best Songs of 1984 by willtopsmusictv
1984 :: The Year In Music
I was 15 years old in 1984. My life was High School, MTV, music and pin-up magazines, school dances (the “casual” ones), slam books, trips to the movies and record stores, notes passed in class, sleepovers, and endless phone calls that would tie up the phone lines forever.
Hours and hours were spent watching out for my favorite music videos and trying to tape that song I couldn’t get enough of off of the radio, carefully timing the finger push on the record button to cut out the DJ’s intros and outros. Music was everything.
I really didn’t watch much television unless it was music shows and MTV, and cable movies. My friends and I went to the movie theater a ton, especially at The City Mall, which was walking distance from my house, or The Orange Mall, which was walking distance from our High School.
This was the year I started getting obsessed with magazines. I remember asking for magazine subscriptions for my birthday and Christmas from my Grandmother, ripping out the subscription forms and giving them to her in a wish-list envelope.
Do you remember what you were listening to in 1984?
So, what exactly were you listening to? Here are my remembered personal Top 10 from 1984, what were some of yours?
10. Angel :: Madonna
“Why am I standing on a cloud,
every time you’re around?
And my sadness disappears,
every time you are near.”
He wore this green sweater that I could see from miles away and had the warmest laugh I’d ever heard, and that smile, it slayed me completely. It would take most of the school year for us to become friends, but when we did the world shifted for me. I was going through so much at home, and so much inside myself, but he made it all better (at least for the moments he was around).
“Why do I do the things I do?
Can you tell my why?
I don’t even think that I love you.”
This song, and the album Make It Big, was played incessantly in my house. It was one of those musical obsessions my Mother and I shared. I remember going to see them play live with her, both of us acting like teenagers for this rare stolen moment, swooning over George Michael, and even chasing their limousine after the show – a fond memory of my Mom and I.
“You know my only crime,
is this flight of fantasy.”
Fantasy was key at 15. Dreams of rock stars and of being in a rock band, dreams of being all grown up and leaving home, leaving town, maybe even leaving the country. I filled notebook after notebook with made up stories, and hoping to be real plans.
“It may be naive but I just want to believe I’m the only one.”
It was easy to delude myself about things, living off of hope and misunderstood intentions. Most days it was enough, being his friend, being in his life to some extent. Other times though, I felt so empty and alone, and yes, invisible – but don’t we all, at some point, at 15?
“Tilt my hat at the sun,
and the shadows they burn dark.
and I’ll burn for you,
and the love song never stops.”
This was the year I saw INXS play live, in the Summer, sitting in general admission grass seats with a group of friends. We all sang and danced our hearts out. This is the song I remember the most of theirs from this year, and from that concert.
“I want somebody who cares for me passionately,
with every thought,
and with every breath.”
Isn’t this just the perfect song for adolescent longing and unrequited love? It hit all the right spots, the lonely ones, the dreamy ones, the ones that stung. There was always a feeling of hope in it, too, and I felt it, that hope, deeply, believing in it.
“I’m in the mood for you,
or for running away.”
We used to walk around the Orange Circle at night and look up at the loft apartments, making plans that would never happen, but believing in them as if they would. Sometimes when I walk around there I still feel us, that younger version of us, and all those heady, teenage dreams. Back then I would have believed anything that involved you, I would have ran away with you, to anywhere.
“It could happen to you so think for your self.”
She had a poster of Billy on her ceiling, and smaller pin-ups of him around her dresser mirror. Her room was above the garage, with a tilted ceiling, and the allure of privacy from the rest of the house – I loved it there, the way it felt like freedom, like being grown-up and on our own. We would lie on her bed listening to this song, singing it to each other, and to Billy, feeling both younger and older all at the same time.
“If you were here,
I could deceive you.
And, if you were here,
you would believe.”
I fell in love with this song after seeing 16 Candles, and looked for it everywhere for months after. I remember it being one of those sought after songs because there had not been an official soundtrack, and the song had initially been on any albums. I finally found a 12″ of it at Music Market (oh how I miss that place) a few years later.
I listened to all of Duran Duran’s albums from previous years in 1984, and had so many songs I loved, but I’m trying to keep to the year of album release, which would have been the live album Arena. This song was my favorite on Arena, a song that always made me cry (and still does, by the way). It is gorgeous live, and I was lucky to see/hear it live that year when I saw them in concert.