Kiersten’s Thursday Jams: 80’s Edition!

Kiersten Buckley, Staff Writer

Welcome to this week’s Thursday Jams, 80’s edition! Keeping with last week’s trend of being all 90’s songs, this week’s edition will be all 80’s songs. As with most 80’s tunes, almost all of these songs have tons of synthesized instrumentals which were very typical of that decade. But, to balance that out, I’ve also added a few rock songs that stray from that idea. Enjoy!


“Wake Me up Before You Go-Go” – Wham!


Wake Me up Before You Go-Go is one of those songs that just makes you want to get up and dance! The lyrics of the tune relate to happiness and love, and they are relatively simple. But that isn’t a bad thing at all! The fun tambourine beat and use of a synthesized keyboard make the song extremely catchy and danceable! Lead singer of “Wham!”, George Michael, calls the track an “energetic pop record that ha[s] all the best elements of Fifties and Sixties records”. Overall, the upbeat and bubbly song epitomizes every aspect of the 80’s! You should listen to this tune if you like energetic pop songs, or music that makes you want to dance.


“Tainted Love” – Soft Cell


How could I not include this song?! If you have never heard Tainted Love by Soft Cell, I am so sorry for you. This tune practically exudes 80’s pop! This tune is actually a synthesized remake of a 1964 Gloria Jones song, which flopped. But, this  track became a huge hit here in the United States, and in the UK, when it was first released. The lyrics of the track, as the title suggests, are simply about a “tainted love”. But, like most other 80’s songs, “Soft Cell” relies heavily on a keyboard to produce their signature synthesized sound. After listening to this song even once, you’ll find yourself humming the beat of the track all day. So be warned! You should listen to this tune if you like love songs, or pop music.


“This Charming Man” – The Smiths


How could I make an 80’s edition of Kiersten’s Thursday Jams without including a song by “The Smiths”? I just couldn’t! I chose to include This Charming Man on this list not because of the premise of the track, but because of the instrumentals alone. Additionally, this tune is one of “The Smiths” most popular songs. Johnny Marr does an absolutely incredible job on the guitar, nailing the catchy guitar riff each time he plays it. Another prominent fact about the instrumentals of this track is the amazing job done on the bass guitar by Andy Rourke. The song wouldn’t be the same without him! And who could forget about Mike Joyce’s great job on the drums? These astonishing instrumentals, along with Morrissey’s talented vocals, all add up to become one altogether great tune. You should listen to this song if you like talented instrumentalists, or music that tells a story with its lyrics.


“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” – R.E.M.


It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) was one of the first of many hit tunes created by rock band “R.E.M.”. The band was formed in 1980, and from that year on, the band quickly became one of the most prominent 80’s rock bands. At first listen, their song  “The End Of The World As We Know It” sounds like nothing more than a catchy song with gibberish lyrics. But upon actually listening to the track, you find a slew of pop culture references hidden in plain sight. Additionally, the track itself is essentially a rant about society today, only with a nice tune in the background. Drums are a featured instrument in this song, and so is the awesome use of guitar. If you listen close, you can even hear the use of a keyboard and a tambourine! I mean, would it really be the 80’s if there wasn’t a keyboard and a tambourine? This tune takes you on a wild ride from start to finish, but it is so completely worth it. You should listen to this song if you like rock music, or music with interesting lyrics.


“New Life” – Depeche Mode


I first heard this song in the Black Mirror movie, Bandersnatch. After hearing this fun, synthesized tune I immediately fell in love with it. Unlike the other songs on this list, New Life doesn’t really tell much of a story with its lyrics. But what it loses in lyrics, it makes up for in its instrumentals. The instrumentals of this song consist of only a keyboard, which is typical of the 80’s. But, “Depeche Mode” makes this modern synthesized sound work for them. The lead singer’s vocals sound great with the catchy pop beat of the track. Actually, it was this song that led “Depeche Mode” to gain fame in the UK, and eventually gain fame here in the United States. You should listen to this tune if you like synthesized pop music, or fun and catchy songs.