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Ever since I was younger, I was always influenced by my parent’s music taste, specifically ‘80s music. Even now as a 20-year-old, I listen to ‘80s music all the time; my ‘80s music Spotify playlist literally has over 120+ songs. There’s so much I love about the music from the olden days: the meaningful lyrics, catchy melodies, and singing without auto-tune. I also love that there are so many genres of ‘80s music to listen to, such as R&B, Pop, Rock, and Hip-hop. Some of the songs that I will be focusing on are music from the United States and Europe, and all kinds of songs from different genres!

“Eternal Flame” by The Bangles (1988)

The Bangles is an American pop-rock group, and you may have heard of other songs by them, such as "Manic Monday" and "Walk Like an Egyptian". “Eternal flame” is such a heartwarming song that uses a lot of metaphors to represent a meaning of love. The song title, “Eternal Flame” is a metaphor that is based on the band’s visit to Graceland, where they saw an Elvis Presley shrine that had some sort of “Eternal Flame.” It reminded that lyricist about how he used to visit the synagogue as a child to see this little red flame which was called the “Eternal Flame.”

“Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown (1988)

Bobby Brown is a singer that is very famous for his hip-hop and R&B music, especially this song called “Every Little Step.” This song has such a catchy beat––it's a song that makes you want to dance on a disco dance floor. I recommend you to listen to this song when you are getting ready in the morning, or even when going for a little jog. If you want to listen to more energetic songs like this by Bobby Brown, I definitely recommend you listen to “My Prerogative.”

“Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” by George Benson (1985)

This is an iconic love song in the ‘80s for sure. Something about the music of the song reminds me of a movie scene of a romantic film. In George Benson’s music video, the man (Benson) is telling his lover the message of this song, which is  “Nothing’s gonna change my love for you,” before he leaves on a plane. Not only is the music very lively and delightful, but also the lyrics are so beautiful to think about. I recommend not only listening to George Benson’s version of this song, but also to Glenn Medeiros’ version, as it gives a little bit of a different feel.

“The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” by Asia (1983)

Although there are many songs by the band Asia that I love listening to (mainly all the songs in their Alpha album released in 1983), “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” is one of the songs that strikes my heart. Not only are the songs nice to listen to, but the meaning of this song, presented along with the music video, always makes me emotional. Although this is a sad song, it was very interesting for me to listen to, because it gives me a perspective of other people’s situations. 

“Even the Nights Are Better” by Air Supply (1982)

Air Supply is a British/Australian band, known for their soft rock music. Although I love many songs by Air Supply, “Even the Nights Are Better” has to be one of my favorite ones ever because of how it makes me feel. Something about this song makes me imagine lying down on the grass with someone that you care about. Some other songs that I recommend listening to by Air Supply are: “All Out of Love” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.”

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! (1984)

Many of you younger folks may recognize this band for their famous Christmas song, “Last Christmas.” But here’s the real deal: you guys are missing out on their other music! This song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was a well known song in the ‘80s, and you can get a taste of their music that is absolutely different from “Last Christmas.” Instead of singing calmingly and soothingly, they sing with enthusiasm in this song. As some of Wham!’s melody and sound combination are very different from many other ‘80s songs, I think that many people would enjoy it. If you want to listen to something similar to this song by Wham!, I recommend “Bad Boys.”

  “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh (1983)

The last song that I recommend listening to is Lady in Red. This song is pretty much a classic love song that is often played in ‘80s movies, and even movies in the modern era. I think that this song is just so calming to listen to, both because of the melody, the singer’s voice, and the lyrics. The lyrics are so beautiful, especially because it’s from a perspective of a man who danced with this woman for the first time. I just think that the way that the lyrics are written is so meaningful and if you love listening to love songs, you should definitely add this to your list!

I hope that you were able to get to know some ‘80s music today, whether you are an ‘80s fan or not. There’s also so much more to explore, so I hope that you do explore some more music that was made in the ‘80s era.

Kaitlyn Corbett

ICU Japan '23

My name is Kaitlyn Corbett, a sophomore at International Christian University. I am currently studying Media and Communication studies, and I'm specifically interested in learning about the media communicates with children. Some of my hobbies are playing sports, such as soccer and tennis.
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