Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'Thank You For The Music'.......even if it's 80s stuff

Turning 40 has its share of side effects…and no I am not referring to a hormone haze just yet. What I am talking about is a creeping obsession with music that marked one’s school and college-going years. Never mind that most of it – heck all of it – was either sentimental pap or worse, synchronized noise. To our 40-ish ears that’s the sound of being young. Not youth mind you, just us being young. And it never fails to hit the proverbial right chord.

Now I don’t pride myself on my musical taste. I am not one of those who can casually say ‘I like my music eclectic,’ and then proceed to quote everything from Japanese jazz to African beats to prove my point. Indeed I get spooked by such blatant display of musical machismo. At the best of times, I prefer ballad rock (Eagles etc) and at worst ABBA. (Oh yes, while I am at it, I might as well admit that hubby and I watched the musical AND followed it up with the film…and loved to tell the tale.)

But coming back to 40-something music, it takes a special kind of ear, conditioned by a generous dose of sepia-tinted sentimentality, to cheer anything that was written or composed during the 80s. For the true-blue aficionados, it was the dark decade. But for us, growing up with over-sized tees/sweat-shirts, baggy MC Hammer pants, neon jelly shoes, shoulder pads and blingy accessories, 80s music, like its fashion, is an acquired taste.

I realized that when I attended my husband’s college reunion party recently. The tony South Delhi pub graciously played ‘our kind of music’ all through the evening and the crowd, all class of mid to late 80s, were on their feet, swinging and jiving to ‘You drive me cra-yey-yey-zy’! I was so inspired by the music that evening – given that on most days I can’t make head or tail of the lounge/techno stuff most pubs play these days – that I scribbled down my version of the top 20 all-time favourites from our generation. I think most 40-somethings will more or less agree to my list. If you don’t, please feel free to add your own…And hey don’t feel apologetic…so what if George Michael is now a junkie jailbird…back then, he was WHAM….

So here goes, in no particular order….
1.Sussudio/Another Day in Paradise: Phil Collins
2.Every Breath You Take: Police
3.Billie Jean: Michael Jackson
4.Uptown Girl: Billy Joel
5.Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Cyndi Lauper
6.Eye Of The Tiger: Survivor
7.Total Eclipse Of The Heart: Bonnie Tyler
8. Walk Like An Egyptian: Bangles
9.Everybody Wants to Rule The World: Tears for Fears
10.Sweet Dreams Are Made of These: Eurythmics
11.Nikita: Elton John
12.Careless Whisper/Wake Me up: WHAM
13.Material Girl/Papa Don’t Preach: Madonna
14.Mamma Mia/Dancing Queen: ABBA
15.You Drive Me Crazy: Shakin’ Stevens
16.I Just Called to Say I Love You: Stevie Wonder
17.Hello: Lionel Ritchie
18.Lady in Red: Chris De Burgh
19.Right Here Waiting: Richard Marx
20:Dancing In The Dark: Bruce Springsteen


  1. Soma Banerjee mailed this...i am posting it..."I agree with all but I was crazy about two other songs I can remember ..one was jail house rock..though it may have come from an earlier period, the second being killing me softly...and ya you fill up my senses

  2. Mami, which decade do i belong to then? I'm beginning to scare myself. 15 out of those 20 songs are on my fave songs list too.
    Oh my!

  3. Not to forget, Beat It and The Way You Make Me Feel...MJ rules!!!
    La Isla Bonita, Chiquitita and Fernando, and Blondie's The Tide is High.
    Also, The Final Countdown (it was the 80s, right)?

  4. hehe! I agree with Parameshwari. I'm 28 and many of these songs are on my most played list too. I write it down to the damage I suffered through my impressionable years when my parents had this stuff playing in a loop.
    Funnily, I feel like the 80s made more of an impression on me than the 90s which was the decade that got away.
    Great blog, Nandini! Do post more often.

  5. hey guys thanks...good to know poor old rock-starved, fashion-challenged 80s has such a following among the young and restless...okay so one more addition from soma who has crooned all of these in her day...yep none other than 'nothing's gonna change my love for you' made immortal by the ad featuring the luscious Sharon Clarke Sequiera in the Monte Carlo ad. those were the days when TV commercials were new enough to be widely watched and Sharon made for some very pleasant viewing.....