10. “We Are The World”-U.S.A. For Africa
This was the origin of all artist ensemble songs that would populate much of the decade. This one featured some pretty heavy-hitters in the world of music. Unfortunately, the message has been lost a bit since.
9. “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)”-John Parr
The title track from a relatively disappointing “Brat Pack” movie is pure 1980’s goodness. The lyrics are hokey, but in a comforting and fun way. Just don’t listen to Parr’s remix for Tim Tebow…
8. “Glory Days”-Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen’s ode to bygone days of fun and excitement is the perfect way to unwind on a cool summer evening. The song is actually fairly hopeful for Springsteen fare, especially given the darkness of “Born in the U.S.A.”
7. “Summer of ’69”-Bryan Adams
This one’s kind of deceptive, as Adams wouldn’t have have been in junior high in 1969, much less a rock band…unless he’s like in Hanson or something. Anyways, Adams later admitted that this one was about a much ballyhooed sexual position rather than the exploits of a young musician…although I guess those don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Just think twice when you serenade your sister with this one.
6. “I’m On Fire”-Bruce Springsteen
Of all the songs on “Born in the U.S.A.,” “I’m On Fire” might easily be the most underrated. The song is a slow burn and very much reminiscent of Johnny Cash’s earlier work. A nice change of pace for Springsteen & co.
5. “Money For Nothing”-Dire Straits
This song is all 80′s, from the computer animation in the video to Sting belting out the famous line, “I want my MTV.” Ah, when MTV actually played music videos…
4. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”-Tears For Fears
Tears For Fears was a solid late-1980’s/early-1990’s band. Their biggest hit was undoubtedly, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” The band’s name came straight out of psychological writings.
3. “The Boys of Summer”-Don Henley
This is Don Henley’s most famous solo track. The song is about times gone by and the death of innocence in America. This message often goes over the heads of listeners due to the songs quicker tempo and rhythm. That’s what makes “The Boys of Summer” a classic song.
2. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”-Simple Minds
“The Breakfast Club” is John Hughes’ masterpiece. Not only is the film stingingly funny, but it’s also quite poignant for Gen X. Unlike many of the 1980’s teen films, “The Breakfast Club” still holds up remarkably well today. Years from now, this film will be Hughes’ lasting legacy. The theme song by Simple Minds is iconic.
- “We Belong”-Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar is such an amazing artist, who really hit her stride in the 1980’s. No song better encapsulates her bittersweet nature more than “We Belong.” This is truly one of the best love songs of all-time.