10. “Fade to Black -Metallica (1984)
Album – Ride the Lightning
I found a list I made in the early 2000’s of my favorite songs of all-time, and I had this listed as number one. While this is definitely one of my favorite heavy songs ever, it hasn’t quite help up to the title I originally gave it.
9. “Fascination Street” – The Cure (1989)
Album – Disintegration
I don’t think there’s a bass-line that gets me more hyped than this one. I have to give props to Stavesacre for covering this song on Speakeasy, otherwise I may have never dug into the catalog of The Cure.
8. “Love That Knows No Bounds” – Rich Mullins (1987)
Album – Pictures in the Sky
I didn’t dig far enough into Rich Mullins’ discography to find this song until almost twenty years after I got my first Rich Mullins cassette, but for me this song rivals his most beloved tracks. I actually would’ve like to hear this song go on for a couple more minutes and expand to an even more epic tune, but I guess you’re always supposed to leave them wanting more. He did a fine job of that here.
7. “New Year’s Day” – U2 (1983)
Album – War
To me, this is the best song u2 ever recorded. It sounds so cold and lonely, yet massively appealing. On top of the song being great in and of itself, The Edge gives a killer performance, and Bono manages to not over do it on the vocals.
6. “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure (1987)
Album – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Where “Fascination Street” (see above) shows that The Cure can master a darker pop song, “Just Like Heaven” shows they can also master a fluffier kind of pop.
5. “J For Jules” – ‘Til Tuesday (1988)
Album – Everything’s Different Now
Aimee Mann is one of my favorite female vocalists ever, and this song is a prime example of why; she is the queen of melancholy pop vocals. This song is a prime example of heart aching lyrics with a vocal performance that completely matches.
4. “The Party’s Over” – Talk Talk (1982)
Album – The Party’s Over
I wonder if the genius of Talk Talk’s synth-pop days would be more appreciated had they not practically invented post-rock a few years later. This song, not “It’s My Life”, should be perceived as the crowning jewel of Talk Talk’s early work.
3. “Send Me an Angel” – Real Life (1983)
Album – Heartland
There may not be a song on this list that I have more nostalgic ties with than “Send Me an Angel”. Why? Because this song was in a movie called “The Wizard” that I used to watch over and over when I was 6 or 7 years old. Personal memories aside, this is just a fantastic slice of 80’s pop music.
2. “Lovesong” – The Cure (1989)
Album – Disintegration
Somewhere between the dark and gritty “Fascination Street” (#9) and the beautiful pop-goodness of “Just Like Heaven” (#6) lies “Lovesong”. This tune packs the perfect balance of The Cure’s sound around a simple decree to “always love you”.
1. “The Chauffeur” – Duran Duran (1982)
Album – Rio
This song could have just as easily come out in 2015 as in 1982, that’s how impressive the production is on this track. It’s really quite remarkable to listen to this on good headphones and think about the fact that it’s 33 years-old. There’s several effortless moves from one stunning part to another, and there’s so much nuance in the background that you may hear something you didn’t notice before after many listens. As bad as I wanted to put “Lovesong” number one, there’s just not a better song in the 80’s than this one.