The best of 1985 mix tape
It’s been raining outside, I’m up early, and Manchester City doesn’t play until tomorrow, so that means I have a free Saturday morning to compile another mix tape. The best of 1985 came together pretty quickly, though there ended up being one entry that surprised even me, and I made the dang thing. The more I play it back the more confident I am of the selection because not only it is just a great song, but it also resulted in one of the best crossfade mix tape transition achievements of my life, and that’s saying something. As always, I recommend you listen to these with about 5-6 seconds of crossfade set.
Apologies to the half dozen songs beaten out for the final spot, including R.E.M.’s Driver 8 and A-ha’s Take On Me (let’s face it, the video for that one is about 10x better than the actual song when you think about it.)
Sanctuary – The Cult
Sometimes you forget even great songs after a while. It was a treat to go back and listen to this one for the first time in long, long time. A massive opener.
Love Vigilantes – New Order
By all rights this should have been The Perfect Kiss, just because the lyrics to Love Vigilantes are pretty awful. That relentless, driving riff, however, is far from awful, and downright irresistible.
Oh Sheila – Ready for the World
Okay, Ready for the World, you just scored a Rocky-over-Apollo Creed-level surprise victory to grab this spot. Don’t let me down. Just listen to that transition from New Order into the next track and that relentless funky slap bass though. EPIC. Besides, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
In Between Days – The Cure
The Cure make their first appearance on a best of mix, namely because I like Robert Smith best when he tempers his goth gloom with some pop sensibility (and vice versa – I’m looking at you, Friday I’m in Love).
Flip Your Wig – Husker Du
I could have picked any of half a dozen Husker Du tracks here since they had two albums come out this year, but, like Mr. Smith above, I think Bob Mould is at his best when he lets loose a few hooks in the midst of the noise.
Just Like Honey – The Jesus and Mary Chain
It’s no Head On (hello 1989 mix) but still a pretty great J&MC song without a doubt.
Raspberry Beret – Prince
The decade of Prince continues unabated. This is probably my favorite of the his sizable catalog.
The Headmaster Ritual – The Smiths
The Smiths in their time made some of the best music anybody ever has, and this is a top shelf example. Maybe the best of Johnny Marr’s seemingly endless supply of riffs, and some of Morrissey best, most scathing lyrics.
Like a Virgin – Madonna
Look, Madonna isn’t what I reach for when I’m queuing up the record player at home, but, like Prince, she has a truckload of good to great pop songs and left an extensive musical and cultural influence in her wake, for good or ill. Plus, mix tape rules basically require a change of mood and pace, so you might as well make it a good one. Besides, transitioning from Morrissey to Madonna to Westerberg is just plain fun, and the world needs more fun.
Bastards of the Young – The Replacements
A stone classic, even though I have a soft spot for Waitress in the Sky.
Alive and Kicking – Simple Minds
Remember when Simple Minds was one of the biggest bands in the world, back when we had things like “biggest bands in the world?” Another one that was fun to go back and revisit.
Listen Like Thieves – INXS
I love this track. A sleeper for the final best of the 80s mix.
And She Was – Talking Heads
I’m starting to look forward to the 70s so I get a heavy dose of prime Talking Heads. Little Creatures marks the beginning of the end for them as a band.
Bittersweet – The Hoodoo Gurus
If I achieve nothing else with this project, if I can convince one or two people to go back and discover this band, it will be completely worth it.
King of Rock – RUN-DMC
Rap makes its first appearance, with apologies to Grandmaster Flash for not making the cut earlier in the decade.
Hands down this mix was the most fun (funnest?) to make. I hope you enjoy. Here’s the Spotify version for your listening pleasure.
Okay, let’s have it – what did I miss? And do I have to hand in my R.E.M. fan club singles for snubbing Fables of the Deconstruction entirely? (I mean, it’s only the namesake to this blog after all.)