Not long ago I did a post where I brought you one of the old mix tapes, dating from the 80s, that I found in my closet recently. Although I don’t even think I still have an appliance capable of playing cassettes, I still had the song list, and through the magic of YouTube I was able to reconstruct it and share it with you. Well, there were more where that first tape came from.
According to the insert (which has the song list), this tape was made from November 1987 to March 1988. As with the first one, I made it by leaving a blank cassette in my stereo tape deck and hitting record if a song came on the radio that I wanted to catch. Thus, the order is essentially random. Here’s what I recorded during those four months. Don’t judge me too harshly–I was 15 and it was 1988, for crying out loud!
The link to the playlist I made on YouTube is here, but I’ll embed each video here in the article.
“Bad” by Michael Jackson
The King of Pop was under tremendous pressure to follow up his 1982 mega-hit Thriller. This is what he came up with. It’s not exactly…well, okay, it is bad. But if you were around in 1987 you surely remember the classic video.
“Silent Running” by Mike & the Mechanics
I always thought this song was about an alien invasion. Maybe it is. Anyway, for about two weeks it was my favorite song of all time. Mike, of course, used to play in Genesis, another perennial favorite of mine from the 80s.
“It’s A Sin” by The Pet Shop Boys
The British dance group Pet Shop Boys got a lot of play in the late 80s, and this was probably their biggest hit. Notably, this song was covered by the power metal band Gamma Ray in 1999, and the cover is actually much better than the original.
“In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
It was mandated by law that Phil Collins appear on every mix tape made in the 80s.
“Hazy Shade of Winter” by the Bangles
This song was a cover of an old Simon & Garfunkel tune. It was popular in late 1987 due to its inclusion in the movie Less Than Zero, based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel that pretty much was to the 80s what The Great Gatsby was to the 20s.
“Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen
Even though it’s more than 25 years later I’m embarrassed to admit that, for a brief time in 1987, I liked this song–at least long enough to capture it on my mix tape. It’s another movie injection, having been used in the God-awful Patrick Swayze film Dirty Dancing, which was one of the biggest hits of 1987.
“What Have I Done To Deserve This” by the Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield
More PSB, this time with ’50s singer Dusty Springfield in a cameo appearance.
“Every Step You Take” by The Police
This may have been the single most popular song of the 1980s that wasn’t sung by Michael Jackson. It occupied the top chart spot for rather a large chunk of 1983.
“True Faith” by New Order
For years I did not know what band put out this song or even what its official title was; on the mix tape label I have a question mark. The magic of Googling the lyrics finally helped me identify it years later!
“You Belong To The City” by Glenn Frey
This was another soundtrack injection, this one from the Miami Vice TV show.
“Father Figure” by George Michael
When I was 15 I imagined how romantic it would be to make love to this song. Now, as an adult, I realize how horribly creepy that idea really was!
“Carrie” by Europe
The only metal song on the list–and it’s not that metal! Even though I did listen to a lot of metal in the 80s, it rarely came on the radio, and the radio was the source of my mix tapes; that a Philadelphia pop station even played this sappy ballad by Europe is pretty remarkable.
So, there you go. Hope you enjoyed my nostalgic retro embarrassment. I will probably do another mix tape post in a couple of weeks.