Reference

I heard you making patterns rhyme like some new romantic looking for the TV sound

Mix-tape 1980-89

WE WERE SEVEN YEARS OLD WHEN 1980 arrived. The currency of music in the playground was without doubt the compact cassette tape and the beloved mix-tape. We spent hours sitting next to the radio trying to time the perfect recording of 1999 and hustling friends for their uninterrupted version of Take on Me or Mirror Man. We did have vinyl records too (mostly seven inch singles) and we purchased collectively to avoid overlap, with limited funds we would do anything to expand the music available. High fidelity technology (DON’T LAUGH) was pretty new to our generation and to an extent we have been culturally defined though the cassette and Sony Walkman (we had lesser brands). By the time the ominous year 1984 came along we were riding around on a BMX (probably a Raleigh Burner) in small tight–knit friendship gangs with portable cassette tape players listening to I Feel For You and Sweet Dreams recorded from the Top 40. It’s no surprise the first Now Music compilation was released in 1983, it tapped into the strange beauty of the mix-tape, how the songs can all mean something or link together in just the way you remember. The songs and artists for our 1980s house party are chosen for their familiarity, from or around the time of release and our seemingly never ending love of each (misguided or not).

You can listen to our 80s PARTY MIXTAPE on Spotify.

Song

Artist

Year of Release

Chart Pos

Upside Down

Dianna Ross

1980

2

Atomic

Blondie      

1980

1

Just Can’t Get Enough

Depeche Mode      

1981

8

You Make My Dreams (Come True)

Daryl Hall & John Oates

1981

5

Planet Earth

Duran Duran      

1981

12

Rapture

Blondie      

1981

5

Don’t You Want Me

The Human League

1981

1

Tainted Love

Soft Cell      

1981

1

Hungry Like the Wolf

Duran Duran      

1982

5

White Wedding

Billy Idol      

1982

6

Billie Jean

Michael Jackson      

1982

1

Only You

Yazoo      

1982

2

Mirror Man

The Human League      

1982

2

Don’t Go

Yazoo

1982

3

Rio

Duran Duran

1982

9

The Message

Grandmaster Flash &
The Furious Five

1982

8

Really Saying Something

Bananarama

1982

5

Karma Chameleon

Culture Club

1983

1

Beat It

Michael Jackson     

1983

3

Ain’t Nobody

Chaka Khan

1983

1

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Eurythmics     

1983

2

Blue Monday

New Order      

1983

9

Fascination

The Human League      

1983

2

Rebel Yell

Billy Idol     

1983

6

I.O.U.

Freeez

1983

2

Borderline

Madonna

1984

2

Relax

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

1984

1

Relax

Song

Artist

Year of Release

Chart Pos

I Would Die 4 U

Prince

1984

8

Smalltown Boy 

Bronski Beat

1984

3

Together In Electric Dreams

Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder

1984

3

I Feel for You

Chaka Khan      

1984

1

Down on the Street

Shakatak      

1984

9

Here Comes the Rain Again

Eurythmics    

1984

8

Lucky Star

Madonna

1984

14

Lucky Star

Song

Artist

Year of Release

Chart Pos

Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Eurythmics      

1984

4

Smooth Operator

Sade      

1984

19

99 Red Balloons

Nena

1984

1

New Moon on Monday

Duran Duran

1984

9

I Want To Break Free

Queen      

1984

3

Dr. Beat

Miami Sound Machine     

1984

6

Take on Me 

a-ha 

1985

2

Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

Kate Bush

1985

3

Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves

Eurythmics, Aretha Franklin      

1985

9

The Power Of Love

Huey Lewis & The News

1985

9

System Addict

Five Star      

1985

3

We Close Our Eyes

Go West

1985

5

Boys Don’t Cry

The Cure      

1985

22

Would I Lie to You?

Eurythmics

1985

17

Raspberry Beret

Prince

1985

25

You Are My World

The Communards

1985

30

1999

Prince      

1985

2

1999

Song

Artist

Year of Release

Chart Pos

I’m Your Man

Wham!      

1985

1

Who Needs Love Like That

Erasure      

1985

55

We Built This City

Starship 

1985

12

West End Girls

Pet Shop Boys      

1985

1

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Tears For Fears      

1985

2

You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

Dead Or Alive      

1985

2

Kiss 

Prince

1986

6

Don’t Leave Me This Way

The Communards

1986

1

Walk This Way

Run–D.M.C., Aerosmith

1986

1

Addicted To Love

Robert Palmer 

1986

5

Big Fun

The Gap Band      

1986

4

You Keep Me Hangin On

Kim Wilde      

1986

2

Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

Gwen Guthrie      

1986

5

Walk Like an Egyptian

The Bangles

1986

3

Nasty

Janet Jackson      

1986

19

Pull Up To The Bumper

Grace Jones

1986

12

Wishing Well

Terence Trent D’Arby      

1987

4

I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)

Whitney Houston      

1987

1

Everywhere

Fleetwood Mac

1987

4

Sign Your Name

Terence Trent D’Arby

1987

2

Walk The Dinosaur

Was (Not Was)      

1987

10

U Got the Look

Prince      

1987

11

Faith

George Michael      

1987

2

I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)

George Michael, Aretha Franklin      

1987

1

Push It

Salt-N-Pepa      

1988

2

My One Temptation

Mica Paris      

1988

7

A Little Respect

Erasure      

1988

4

Good Life

Inner City

1988

4

Theme from S-Express

S’Express

1988

1

She Drives Me Crazy

Fine Young Cannabals

1989

5

Like A Prayer

Madonna

1989

1

Back To Life

Soul II Soul

1989

1

END NOTES

Words: Glen Robinson & Rebecca Robinson
Post Art: GRRR

Relax — Cover art by Yvonne Gilbert

Lucky Star – Cover art (designer unknown) of the German 7″ vinyl pressing, distributed in Europe, and also used for 1984 UK reissue.

1999 — Cover art by Prince

1999 7inch Single