There She Goes, The La’s
The 'Was the song about heroin or not?’ debate can sometimes take away from what should be the only topic of conversation about this tune – just how bloody brilliant is it?
There She Goes is perfectly written (pop), with the magic coming not only from its instantly recognisable melody, but the sheer simplicity of the song. Indeed, it was a bit of a slow burner for some, with guitarist John Byrne saying of the song, "I thought it would be big, a lot bigger than it was, but then forgotten like a lot of pop songs. In retrospect, the opposite happened.”
Dignity, by Deacon Blue
I’ll be honest, I’d have this in my personal top three. It’s got absolutely everything that I want in a song from a criminally underrated band and songwriter.
I could write reams and reams about why this is my favourite song of the 80’s. No need to, just have a listen to a brilliantly written tune that builds and builds. Oh, and there are bonus points for penning lyrics about packing your lunch in a Sunblest bag – only those of a certain age will get it, but we all did it! at the time
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, by Michael Jackson
The opening track from Thriller, and in a back catalogue of hit after hit, this is surely his greatest? A post-disco classic, it surprisingly didn’t do that well in the charts. Another pop song that’s been given the remix treatment, it’s almost impossible not to dance to.
Heart Of Glass, by Blondie
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind
Cool, sassy, streetwise…..Debbie Harry posters adorned many na wall in the 1980’s. I can’t possibly comment if I had one. And Blondie were the quintessentially cool New York post-punk band that was mainly underground until they released the brilliant Parallel Lines album in 1978. Tinged with disco influences, this was accessible, supremely catchy, and effortlessly cool, although local New York bands were vocal against the group for what they perceived as going mainstream. No-one was really arsed, this was just brilliant music that appealed to a new, appreciative audience.
Teenage Kicks, by The Undertones
A pop song? Oh yes! The band’s debut single, this is just as thrilling as music gets. John Peel’s favourite song of all time, indeed, the opening lyrics are on his headstone. Imagine releasing this as your first single – just where do you go from there?
This is 2 minutes and 22 seconds of raucous genius. I’m lost for words for what else to say about complete perfection.