Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The 80s - Music Doesn't Get Any Better Than This For Me!

Oh how good it was to grow up in the 80s! And especially when Madonna came along... here was this new superstar who dressed sassy with her floppy hair bows, low hanging belts, stacked bracelets, off-shouldered tops and we wanted to look just like her! And these songs from the 80s were all amazing, they still bring back such good memories and make me want to get up and dance; Lucky Star, Holiday, True Blue, Borderline, Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Dress You Up, Papa Don't Preach, Live to Tell, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Crazy For You, Who's That Girl, Into the Groove, Like a Prayer, Express Yourself and Cherish.

In Kenya we were exposed to more English music than we were American and we loved the English bands including Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Human League, New Order, Culture Club, Tears for Fears, The Police, Bananarama, Dire Straits, Pet Shop Boys (saw them in concert in the 90s - they were amazing!), Wham, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Spandau Ballet, Eurythmics, Kajagoogoo, Rod Stewart, Paul Young, Morrissey, Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Adam Ant, Sheena Easton, Nik Kershaw!

Then there was Band Aid in 1984. The group of 40 singers who came together to sing for famine relief in Ethiopia to sing "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Living in Kenya, we were neighbours of Ethiopia and I have to say that we were pretty ignorant. I don't know if we were kids and didn't know about the famine, but till Band Aid created the awareness, we had no idea about the plight of the people in Ethiopia!

One of the ways we got to see and hear American music was through Solid Gold, a show with hits of the week, musical performances by singers and a regular appearance with 'Madame', a very witty, fun, sharp-tongued puppet who dressed in evening gowns, furs and dripping in jewellery! These are some of the performances on Solid Gold that I still remember; Billy Ocean (Carribbean Queen), Kool and the Gang (Get Down On It), Smokey Robinson (I don't care), Laura Branigan (Gloria), Jennifer Rush (Power of Love), Anne Murray (Could I have this Dance?), Tiffany (I Think We're Alone Now), Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine (Conga), Stevie Wonder (Part Time Lover), The Bangles (Manic Monday), Whitney Houston (How Will I know?), Janet Jackson (What Have You Done for me lately?), The Commodores (Nightshift), De Barge (Rythm of the Night), Bryan Adams (Straight for the Heart) and so many more!!

You can't talk about the 80s and not talk about Break Dance. I watch break dance now and still don't know how all the break dancers did all those contortions without hurting themselves. This clip is from the Breakin' and is filled with break dancing;  There's No Stopping Us - Ollie & Jerry

In the 80s, we were listening to music on tapes and walkmans were the in-thing. A friend of ours, Amyn Sidi came from Canada and brought a gold walkman that he gave us and we were on Cloud 9! We'd also have terrible recordings because we'd either record from the radio or record between tape recorders!

The main Dance Clubs in Nairobi we went to in the 80s were Carnivore, Bubbles and Sailing Club, all great and all very different from each other.

I tried to keep this list to 50, but couldn't, so here are ABOUT 50 of my favourite 80s songs;

It might be you – Steven Bishop
Everytime you go away – Paul Young
Total Eclipse of the Heart / Holding out for a Hero –  Bonnie Tyler
Hotel California - Eagles
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
I would do anything for Love - Meatloaf
If I could turn back time – Cher
Dreams / Little Lies / Seven Wonders - Fleetwood Mac
Best that you can do (Arthur Theme) - Christopher Cross
If you leave me now / Everybody needs a little time away – Chicago
Final Countdown - Europe
Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Billie Jean / Beat It - Michael Jackson
Sweet Dreams / Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
Take On Me - A-Ha
Come On Eileen - Too Rye Ay
Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go / Careless Whispers - Wham
Don't Stop Believin - Journey
I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
Lady in Red - Chris De Burgh
Power of Love - Jennifer Rush
Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
Bizarre Love Triangle (Everytime I see you falling) - New Order
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Let's Dance - David Bowie
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Jack and Diane - John Mellencamp
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
All Night Long / Hello - Lionel Richie
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Like a Virgin / Holiday / Into the Groove - Madonna
Do That To Me One more time - Captain and Tenille
The Tide is High - Blondie
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
Don't You Want Me - Human League
Who Can it Be Now - Men At Work
We Are the World - USA for Africa
Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
All Night Long - Lionel Richie
Part Time Lover - Stevie Wonder
West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
Red Red Wine - UB40
Lean on Me - Club Nouveau
Never Gonna Give you Up / Together Forever - Rick Astley
She Drive Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
Everything by Air Supply!!! (I saw them in a small concert venue a couple of years ago. I was disappointed with their cheesy images, but their songs were still great!) 
All Out Of Love / Lost In Love / Making Love out of Nothing At All / Here I Am / Even The Night are Better / Every Woman in the World - Air Supply

Believe in The Beat - Carol Lynn Townes (Song in movie Electric Bugaloo) - The video is so 80s 

Billboard's #1 Hits of the 80s

We had a little old fashioned radio in Nairobi and it was always on on Voice of Kenya (VOK) radio. They played a lot of country songs and these are those country songs I grew up with and love;

Rose Garden – Lynn Anderson
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Those Were The Days My Friend
Rhinestone Cowboy – Glenn Campbell
Coward of the County – Kenny Rogers
River Road - Crystal Gayle
Sweet Caroline / Song Song Blue – Neil Diamond
Hello Marylou
Top of the World – Carpenters
Country Roads – John Denvor
You’re so vain – Carly Simon
Just when I needed you most – Randy Vanwarmer

And Finally here a Kool and the Gang from the 80s 'Celebrating'

Thank you sharing Day 19 of 50 with me!


  1. Brought a lot of memories back. Thanks for sharing Minaz

  2. The other day we were in a restaurant and they had 80s music playing. Scott and I were loving it. Ethan later reported he thought it was cool that the restaurant plays new music and "old-fashioned" music!