Indierod*s awesome 100 songs of The 80s

By indierod-cassettes indierod-cassettes
updated 6 days ago

songs in no particular order that stand out in the decade of AWESOME from an alternative perspective.

  1. David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes

    *Ashes To Ashes* 1980
    Bowie working his voice to strange pitch and melody while some bouncy effects and guitar play around in the trippy helium.

  2. Game Theory - Lolita Nation

    *We Love You, Carol And Alison* 1987
    The lyrics and the way Scott Miller sing them are full of hopeful pessimism, The guitar and drums intertwine as Donette and Shelley's voices sing ear candy in the chorus, "Princess in this context you're a freak!"

  3. Opal (2) - Happy Nightmare Baby

    *Happy Nightmare Baby* 1987
    An acoustic gem on an album of Psych-Blues. The decending guitar part plays well with Kendra's deadpan goth delivery.

  4. The Cure - In Between Days

    *In Between Days* 1985
    Of the many Cure songs I like, this one is musically a great listen, with a frantic acoustic guitar rumbling over synths and Robert Smith's threesome gone wrong lyrics (i think?)

  5. Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City

    *Atlantic City* 1982
    The Boss really didn't appeal to me much until he released this acoustic album, and Atlantic City, with it's gruff voice, is a gripping narrative about trying to enjoy something before it's gone.

  6. Pixies - Doolittle

    *Wave Of Mutilation* 1988
    The Pixies weird surf punk pop with sci-fi and abstract lyrics brought that slow fast slow dynamic that Nirvana would later popularize. This tune was a good example of that. fantastic!

  7. The Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town

    *Life In A Northern Town* 1985
    Just an idyllic sunshine pop nugget way out of it's time.

  8. Galaxie 500 - On Fire

    *When Will You Come Home* 1989
    This tune's character is probably expecting something that won't ever happen. Dean Wareham plays two chords and a glowing solo while Naomi Yang is picking an eclectic bass line all saturated in reverb syrup

  9. Voice Of The Beehive - I Say Nothing

    *I Say Nothing* 1988
    Great party song with a distinct 80's guitar sound that's about keeping secrets. The harmonizing is fantastic.

  10. Scandal (4) Featuring Patty Smyth - The Warrior

    *The Warrior* 1984
    Maybe it's the crush I had on her, but this is one of the few pure pop songs I really like. Patty is one great rock'n roll voice.

  11. Ministry - All Day / Everyday (Is Halloween)

    *All Day* 1986
    My first foray into industrial was thanks to Al Jourgensen.
    a song about being a subservient, with a pounding rhythm strewn with militaristic chanting.

  12. The Waitresses - I Know What Boys Like / It's My Car

    *I Know What Boys Like* 1980
    The Waitresses scored an early new wave hit with this strutting tune, loaded with sexual frustration. "Suckers!"

  13. Kate Bush - The Big Sky (Special Single Mix)

    *The Big Sky* 1985
    My favorite song from her best album. It's an atypical, raucous, song with distracted lyrics. oh and Kate's great voice.

  14. R.E.M. - S. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)

    *So. Central Rain* 1984
    This REM classic was unique to me when i first heard it coming from a background of listening to the likes of Zeppelin and Rush, with it's a mixture of descending guitar jangle and dirge lyrics. One of my fave bands in my college days.

  15. The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary

    *She Sells Sanctuary* 1985
    One of the best rock riffs period! The singing is also great on this one-probably ranks pretty high on this list if i were ranking.

  16. John Cougar Mellencamp - Cherry Bomb

    *Cherry Bomb* 1987
    Mellencamp's nostalgic songs were indicative of midwest life and this grooving, melancholic tune is addictive sweet.The violin by Lisa Germano and voice parts by Crystal Tailefaro enhanced John's laid back musings.

  17. The Cramps - You Got Good Taste

    24 For Sale from $10.23

    *You Got Good Taste* 1983
    This song is more fun that it has a right. Plenty of thinly veiled sexual references - probably describes a lot of Cramps songs.

  18. Romeo Void - Never Say Never

    *Never Say Never* 1982
    This chugging No Wave/ New Wave tune was an strange hit but the appeal is in the sound and sexuality as much as the actual jamming.

  19. My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise

    *You Made Me Realise* 1988
    The driving punk churn subverts Kevin and Bilinda's vocal harmony and plays out like a slasher flick.

  20. Prince - 1999

    *1999* 1982
    The doomsday theme was big in the nuke riddled 80's. a massive hit.

  21. The Sonic-Youth* - Sister

    *(I Got A) Catholic Block* 1987
    One of my fave band's after I grew out of heavy metal and went college/post punk. The killer main riff and other working parts are a real scream!

  22. Bauhaus - She's In Parties

    *She's In Parties* 1983
    To me, this is almost on par with Bela Lagosi's dead. The guitar is flanged throughout riding on a fuzzy bass line as Peter Murphy goths out.

  23. Simple Minds - Alive & Kicking

    *Alive And Kicking* 1985
    Very atmospheric with shimmering synths and chiming guitars banging out a anthemic ode to keeping it together

  24. Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone

    *Gone Daddy Gone* 1983
    Great tune from an equally great album. The pause breaks and fills alone are reason to spin this tune!

  25. Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies

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    *Hey Ladies* 1989
    Funky, sample heavy, and more cowbell. Party!