If I could choose to go back in time to any year because of the music that was released, then 1985 would be it. If there was a competition for the best year of music, then in my opinion this should be the year that wins. The releases are incredible and there are two bands in this year which have continued to contribute to the soundtrack of my life (one very much in particular).
I can recall music suddenly becoming more important to me than ever before. I would do all my homework to various albums (and shared a room with my sister who was the complete opposite!). A large majority of the time I would walk around with my headphones on (the equivalent of kids with their mobiles these days I guess!) and I can recall one particular day out with my family when we went to watch the cricket. I chose to sit in the car and listen to my headphones and one particular favourite of that time was ‘There Must Be An Angel (Playing with My Heart) by The Eurythmics.
When I left middle school I moved to a private girls school – and HATED it! So, my parents moved me back to a mainstream school where all my friends had gone. After I had settled in, found my friendship group and started a social life, many of these songs formed the soundtrack to my teenage years. I don’t think I realised just how many of them had been released in this particular year.
Without doubt, this is the harder year to choose from by far to date!
As I am now a radio presenter on Radio Ninesprings, and I will be sharing my Top 10 all week and sharing 1 track from the list each day, Monday to Friday, on my show from 3pm. Plus, there is now a compilation show on Sunday’s at 6pm.
Here are this week’s honourable mentions:
- Jennifer Rush – The Power Of Love
- Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson – I Know Him So Well
- Sister Sledge – Frankie
- Paul Hardcastle -19
- Madonna – Into The Groove
- Phyllis Nelson – Move Closer
- Philip Bailey With Phil Collins – Easy Lover
- Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
- David Bowie & Mick Jagger – Dancing In The Street
- Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F
- Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is
- Feargal Sharkey – A Good Heart
- Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
- Madonna – Crazy For You
- Colonel Abrams – Trapped
- Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
- Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love For You
- Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
- Wham! – I’m Your Man
- Midge Ure – If I Was
- Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
- Marillion – Kayleigh
- Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out For A Hero
- Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark
- Stevie Wonder – Part-Time Lover
- Red Box – Lean On Me (Ah-Li-Ayo)
20. E=MC2 by Big Audio Dynamite
This is a song which I can recall having high hopes for the band for. It is a shame that it was their only hit as I thought they had such potential. I can remember my friends all loving it at the time too. I think Patsy Kensit thought similar as she married one of the band members! They were formed in London in 1984 by Mick Jones, the former guitarist and singer of the Clash and disbanded in 2001.
19. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) by Tina Turner
I absolutely loved this track and went to see Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome at the cinema – despite the fact that I had not seen any of the previous Mad Max films – just because of this tune. The film was OK. The song was better!
18. Russians by Sting
I had the first solo album by Sting called ‘Dream of the Blue Turtles’ which I received for Christmas and played ALL of the time. This was probably one of my most favourites from it by far. With all the unrest with America and the Soviet Union at the time, this showed that there were two sides to the story.
17. Take On Me by Aha
One of the most amazing videos of the time – and something which through Aha straight into the limelight. It featured the band as a cartoon strip which a girl reads in a cafe – and gets pulled into. I just loved Morten Harket and had their album ‘Hunting High and Low’. Me and my first ‘proper’ boyfriend, Sean, used to listen to it a lot!
16. Cry by Godley and Creme
Another pivotal video, this pre-dates the Michael Jackson morphing in ‘Black and White’ and the actors who sing along to the tune are just full of emotion. A wonderful song in it’s own right, I used to play it all of the time!
15. Material Girl by Madonna
This is the song that made me want to be Madonna. She, of course, wanted to be Marilyn Monroe according to the video – so I guess, by default I wanted to be Marilyn! I was intrigued by Madonna at the time and many of my friends started to dress like her!
14. Silent Running by Mike and the Mechanics
Mike and the Mechanics were made up of people from Genesis and Squeeze and they were a very talented bunch. This track was written by Mike Rutherford (Genesis) and B.A. Robertson (see previous Music to My Years years!). Paul Carrack (see Tempted by Squeeze) sung the song and they were joined by Alan Murphy as a session guitarist who provided lead guitar on the track. Alan was a session guitarist who played for Kate Bush and Go West and eventually joined Level 42 in 1988 before dying of AIDS in 1989.
13. Listen Like Thieves by INXS
INXS has been one of the most prominent bands of my life. I can recall first seeing them perform a track that is slightly higher up in this chart – and I was hooked. I thought Michael Hutchence was incredible and can recall being gutted that I had missed them perform in Guildford! I had them doodled all over my pencil case and general notebook at school.
12. St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr
And so, the teenage angst began. This and many other brat pack films were thrust onto the scene but I can remember not like this film so much as I liked the song!
11. Kyrie by Mr Mister
What an absolutely brilliant song. One that I would never switch off when it came onto the radio. I have always been a little bit gutted that Mr Mister didn’t really continue with their songs.
The song says ‘Kýrie, eléison’ and it means “Lord, have mercy” in Greek.
10. Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads
My father used to sing this song all the time – and I really wished he wouldn’t! I found it slightly uncool at this point of liking things that they did. The harmonies at the beginning of this song are just fantastic – and I longed to be able to sing that way!
David Byrne, the lead singer, said “I wanted to write a song that presented a resigned, even joyful look at doom. At our deaths and at the apocalypse… (always looming, folks). I think it succeeded. The front bit, the white gospel choir, is kind of tacked on, ’cause I didn’t think the rest of the song was enough… I mean, it was only two chords. So, out of embarrassment, or shame, I wrote an intro section that had a couple more in it.”
The video was directed by Stephen R. Johnson (who went on to direct Sledgehammer the following year) and was nominated for Best Video at the MTV awards that year.
9. Goodbye Girl by Go West
Go West made up of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie. Given the chance, the whole of my top ten would have been made up of the rest of the album. But I didn’t think that would be very fair to the rest of the good music out there (so all bar two are in my honourable mentions).
This track is probably one of their most underrated in my opinion. I still sometimes sing it to my son at bedtime and I used to sing it to Grace sometimes too. It only reached number 25 in the UK so I HAD to give it a place here.
8. Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
If there was ever a track which sums up teenage angst, then this is it! Listen to the song and people from this generation (and many others) will always picture Judd Nelson with his hand raised as he walks across the football field after getting let out of detention! I can recall doing one of those online tests which says that the song which was at number one when you were 14 is basically the soundtrack to your life. This was it! I just WANTED to be Molly Ringwald thanks to John Hughes and his films The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink.
The song was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff while scoring The Breakfast Club. Both were Simple Minds fans and wrote the song with the band in mind – but they originally rejected it stating that they only performed their own material. After some persuasion from Chrissie Hynde (Jim Kerr’s wife at the time and lead singer with The Pretenders), the band took the song on and the rest is history!
7. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
This song was EVERYWHERE at the time. Dire Straits were always a favourite of my fathers (I can still recall him picking me up from parties and driving me home like a maniac with Telegraph Road playing). It wasn’t so uncool for me to like this one though!
The album was just brilliant. As well as this track it included Walk of Life and the album title track ‘Brothers in Arms’ but I had to choose this one as who can resist that guitar riff at the beginning – plus the backing vocals from Sting. I loved the video and I can recall buying a video similar to the Now Music series at the time. It had many different videos included – and this was on it! It was the groundbreaking video that was the first to be aired on MTV Europe when the network launched on 1 August 1987. I can remember wondering why Mark Knopfler wore a headband like John McEnroe though!
It was the band’s most commercially successful track peaking at number one in the US and number 4 in the UK.
6. Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams
It was a tricky choice for me from Mr Bryan Adams. I swapped this around several times – but I have always loved this song and (another) guitar riff in my top ten which is a fantastic intro! One of my memories of Bryan Adams is that my friend, Sandra Rayson, kept claiming that the song ‘Heaven’ was hers and her boyfriend’s song!
The song is about a dilemma between settling down or trying to become a rock star. It still surprises me that it never got any higher than 42 on the charts in the UK. I hope I have made a little amend for him on that here! Plus, he got his own back with another song, didn’t he?!
5. Something About You by Level 42
Level 42 were a huge favourite of mine at the time, so it was lovely to have the chance to interview Mike Lindup at the Rewind Festival a few years ago.
I thought their album ‘World Machine’ was amazing. I can remember having a big discussion about them with Gareth Greenwood in my physics class at school! I still think Mark King is an incredible bassist. I can remember hearing that he had insured his bass playing thumb for £3million!
I still never tire of hearing this track.
4. Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
Probably my most favourite track from a film – and likely still is. My sister and I were obsessed with Back to the Future (she was in love with Michael J Fox) and I can recall it being a wonderful opening to a film as Marty McFly realised he was late for school, mounted his skateboard and clung on to the back of a car in a bid to get there on time!
A hard rock version was also in the film as Marty played at a Battle of the Bands audition. A character – played by Huey Lewis himself – is judging and tells Marty’s group that they are “just too darn loud”. It also encouraged me to listen to – and love – more of Huey Lewis and the News.
3. Broken Wings by Mr Mister
This song is currently in my Top 100 chart (something Ross and I compile and listen to on car journeys) and I have come to love it’s haunting quality more and more over the years.
The words are completely meaningful to me. I believe it is all about trying to repair a relationship when it has been through complete turmoil and has really helped me through when I have thought of giving up. It peaked at number one in America and number 4 here.
2. What You Need by INXS
I will never forget the first time I heard this song. Saturday Superstore was on the television in mine and my sister’s shared bedroom. Suddenly, the video to this song came on and I can remember thinking ‘Who are they?! They are utterly brilliant!’. To me, they have remained that way ever since. INXS became a big part of my life from that day on – which will probably be evidenced as we move through the years now. They are my second favourite band to this day. Suddenly, they were all over my pencil case and school books and I was so chuffed to be able to see them a number of times in concert over the years.
It peaked at number one in America and, as INXS were much more of a slowburn to take off in the UK, this song only got to number 51 here. You was robbed guys! I am making up for it here for you.
1. We Close Our Eyes by Go West
I think we all knew this was coming, didn’t we?! I decided to go with their biggest hit – and the one that first made me their fan.
At the time, I collected everything I could about them. I had a scrapbook, I wrote down any memories I had of them, every time they were on a TV show I would record it – I can remember having a video set up in the recorder on standby just in case they appeared on the television at any point. I was determined that, one day, I would meet them. I am glad I didn’t at the time – as I probably would have made a complete idiot of myself – but years later I did on a number of occasions. The first time was at a lunch for women hosted by Davina McCall where the boys played a set. Then, I had the chance to interview them at the Rewind Festival (thanks to Ross who was there for the Reading newspaper) back in 2012 and then again two years later. This video is still one which has had the most hits for me over on YouTube. I am pleased to say that I didn’t make an idiot of myself and I was shocked to see that Peter even knew who I was, mentioning my blog to me! Over the years he has continued to wish me a Happy Birthday and, rather than a crazed fan, I consider myself a huge lover of their music and quietly respect them for who they are and what they do.
The video was directed by Godley and Creme (who are in my Top 20 with Cry) and I can recall Peter and Richard being teased about the Go Vest thing!