The best of 1982 mix tape
There’s controversy in the Lo household! Mrs. Lo is pretty indignant that Physical by Olivia Newton John didn’t make the cut for the best of 1982 tape, and actually threatened some unspecified retribution if 867-5309 by Tommy Tutone (another long list contender) made it instead ONJ. In the end, neither one survived, and it looks like I’ll live to mix another day. I knew there would be some controversy and hurt feelings when I started this project, but I didn’t realize the threats would be quite so serious and close to home.
The 1982 mix was the hardest one yet to put together, and a lot of great stuff had to be trimmed to meet the self-imposed 60-minute run time. (Selection criteria is here.) Pour a forty on the curb for Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind, the last song out. Also, it should be noted that a surefire selection, I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is missing since it is nowhere to be found on Spotify.
As always, I invite you to peruse the list, take a listen to the final product and then let fire with the “how did you leave out XXX” vitriol.
Rio – Duran Duran
I always preferred this one over Hungry Like the Wolf. Maybe because of the video? (Wasn’t this the one where they were cruising around on sailboats in the Caribbean? I think so at least.)
More Than This – Roxy Music
One of my favorite songs ever and the first song that made this list. Classic stuff and a strong contender for the best of the 80s.
Gardening at Night – R.E.M.
Without a doubt the hardest choice I had to make, as 1982 has three of my favorite R.E.M. songs ever to choose from: the original versions of Radio Free Europe and Sitting Still, as well as the eventual winner here. Were it not for my “one song per artist per mix” (aka, the Michael Jackson Thriller Rule), all three of them would have comfortably made the cut.
The One Thing – INXS
With all of the recent reality TV nonsense, it’s easy to forget how great a band INXS were back in the day. Here’s a great reminder.
Someday, Someway – Marshall Crenshaw
This is three minutes of guitar pop perfection.
Senses Working Overtime – XTC
A personal XTC favorite. That chorus is just killer.
The Metro – Berlin
About as quintessentially early 80s as you can get and a good way to end side A.
Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye at his best is pretty much the best music has to offer.
Save it for Later – The Beat
Whether you call them The Beat or The English Beat, it’s impossible to deny how great this song is.
Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
Another controversial choice in the Lo household, but I think this crushes White Wedding into a fine powder, and then, in true 80s fashion, sniffs it off a toilet seat. (That’s my the best sentence I’ve written. I need to take a moment to enjoy that one… Okay. I’m good. Continue.)
She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby
You can argue that TD doesn’t belong on this list, I guess. You’d be absolutely and completely wrong, but you could try.
I Melt With You – Modern English
I know, I know. This one has been beaten into the ground to the point of ridiculousness. I mean, it was the centerpiece of a freaking Burger King ad campaign for the love of Pete (and Pete). Some songs are just too good no matter how you try to ruin them, and this is no doubt one of them.
Space Age Love Song – Flock of Seagulls
To be honest, I never cared for I Ran, but this one is pretty fantastic.
Kids in America – Kim Wilde
(Cut to everyone, suddenly remembering how great this song is and saying “Oh, yeah!”). You’re welcome.
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
It was a coin flip between this and Straight to Hell. I almost excluded Combat Rock completely due to my dislike for Rock the Casbah, but in the end the lure of Strummer proves too strong as usual.
And here’s the playlist version for your listening pleasure.
Okay, let fly. Which of your favorites are missing?