Beware: I am about to open Pandora’s Box.

’80s new wave music is my true love. This is the music of MTV. KROQ. Valley Girl. Martha Quinn. The Atari 2600. Members Only. Friday Night Videos. Nina Blackwood. Ms. Pac-Man. Night Flight. Richard Blade. Sixteen Candles. Alan Hunter. Jam boxes. Revenge Of The Nerds. Cabbage Patch Dolls. Parachute pants. J.J. Jackson. Live Aid. Mark Goodman. Rubik’s Cube. Donkey Kong.

This is the music that still makes me feel like a perpetual teenager.

Ecstatic ’80s New Wave: 1986

Device_ Singles & B-Sides

Device: “Hanging On A Heart Attack [Single Version] (Knight/Chapman)

Original version from the album 22B3

Chrysalis Records, 1986

Hanging On A Heart Attack [Single Version]

Songwriter Holly Knight was responsible for some of the most memorable songs of the ’80s (“Love Is A Battlefield” and “Never” among them), but “Hanging On A Heart Attack” was the only song she took into the Top 40 as a performer. Device disbanded after only one album, and Knight returned to writing countless hits for other artists.

The Colour Of Spring

Talk Talk: “Life’s What You Make It” (Hollis/Friese-Greene)

From the album The Color Of Spring

EMI Records, 1986

Life’s What You Make It

Talk Talk had a string of memorable hit singles in the early-to-mid ’80s, but “Life’s What You Make It” is their masterpiece. The song barely broke the Top 100 in the United States, but thankfully MTV had the good taste to put it in heavy rotation. Simply put, this is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Count Three & Pray

Berlin: “Like Flames” (Brill)

From the album Count Three & Pray

Geffen Records, 1986

Like Flames

“Like Flames” was obviously not the biggest hit Berlin had in 1986, but the Analog Kid blog is the type of blog that likes to live on the edge. People don’t like me because I’m dangerous. I know, I know…my ego is writing checks my body can’t cash.

Boys Don't Cry

Boys Don’t Cry: “I Wanna Be A Cowboy” (Chatton/Seopardi/Richards/Ramsden)

From the album Boys Don’t Cry

Profile Records, 1985

I Wanna Be A Cowboy

My friend Wade is an unusual man. He is insanely intelligent, but won’t even go on Facebook because he is convinced the government is watching his every move. He can describe (in great detail) every goal scored by the U.S. national soccer team in the last twenty years. When I recently traveled to Kansas to attend a Longhorn football game, he spent a week trying to convince me that I absolutely HAD to visit the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Goessel, Kansas. After all, who in their right mind could visit Kansas without stopping in Goessel to see The Wheat Bell, a full-scale replica of the Liberty Bell made from turkey red wheat?

Wade loves to come over to my house and play tunes from my 93,000 song library. What song does he always choose first? “I Wanna Be A Cowboy.”



Captive_ Music From The Film

The Edge & Sinéad O’Connor: “Captive” (The Edge/O’Connor)

From the original soundtrack Captive

Virgin Records, 1986

Heroine [Theme From ‘Captive’]

I didn’t actually discover this album until the summer of 1987. I found it as an import at a little CD store on Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa, and of course my u2 fanaticism required me to shell out the $21.99 import price. Captive turned out to be well worth the cost– it has some fantastic instrumental pieces from The Edge, and also features the recording debut of an unknown 19-year-old Irish singer named Sinéad on a song called “Heroine.”

The Seer

Big Country: “Look Away” (Adamson)

From the album The Seer

Mercury Records, 1986

Look Away

I didn’t actually purchase any Big Country music until the early ’90s. but of course I was familiar with their MTV hits in the ’80s. I bought a used vinyl copy of  The Seer in the mid-’90s, and I heard “Look Away” for the first time in about ten years. It absolutely floored me– what a chorus! I immediately acquired the rest of the Big Country catalog, and have been a huge fan ever since. Rest in peace, Stuart.

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides

The Bangles: “If She Knew What She Wants [Extended Remix]” (Shear)

From the U.K. 12″ If She Knew What She Wants

Original version from the album Different Light

Columbia Records, 1986

If She Knew What She Wants [Extended Remix]

A few critics chastised The Bangles for not writing a lot of the songs on Different Light themselves, but that’s crazy talk when the covers are as good as “If She Knew What She Wants.” I have included the rare 12″ extended remix from the U.K. 12″ single, which nicely extends the song without resorting to bad percussion fills and hand claps– a true rarity in the remix-happy mid-’80s world.

Tears For Fears_ Singles & B-Sides

Tears For Fears: “Everybody Wants To Run The World” (Orzabal/Stanley/Hughes)

From the U.K. 12″ Everybody Wants To Run The World

Mercury Records, 1986

Everybody Wants To Run The World

Bob Geldof apparently was not very happy with Tears For Fears for skipping Live Aid, so Roland and Curt made it up to him by re-recording “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” in 1986. The newly-christened “Everybody Wants To Run The World” helped promote the Sport Aid campaign for African famine relief, and earned Tears For Fears another Top 5 U.K. hit in the process.

Deep In The Heart Of Nowhere

Bob Geldof: “This Is The World Calling” (Geldof)

From the album Deep In The Heart Of Nowhere

Atlantic Records, 1986

This Is The World Calling

Speaking of Sir Bob, “This Is The World Calling” was one of my favorite songs of 1986. It was produced by Geldof and Eurythmic David A. Stewart, and features wonderful backing vocals from Annie Lennox, Alison Moyet, and Maria McKee. Maria herself posted this pic from the recording session on Facebook last year:


That’s some big-time vocal power right there, my friends.

Wang Chung_ Singles & B-Sides

Wang Chung: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight [12 Inches Of Fun]”  (Feldman/Hughes/Wolf)

From the 12″ single Everybody Have Fun Tonight

Original version from the album Mosaic

Geffen Records, 1986

Everybody Have Fun Tonight [12 Inches Of Fun]

I’ll let Frasier Crane introduce this one:


Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.


Device: “Hanging On A Heart Attack” (Knight/Chapman)

From the album 22B3

Chrysalis Records, 1986

Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid

Hanging On A Heart Attack

Live From Earth

Pat Benatar: “Love Is A Battlefield” (Knight/Chapman)

From the album Live From Earth

Chrysalis Records, 1983

Love Is A Battlefield

Never_These Dreams [German 12_] [320 kbps]

Heart: “Never [Extended Remix]” (Knight/Wilson/Wilson/Bloch)

From the German 12″ Never/These Dreams

Capitol Records, 1988

Never [Extended Remix]

Top Gun

Berlin: “Take My Breath Away” (Moroder/Whitlock)

From the soundtrack album Top Gun

Columbia Records, 1986

Take My Breath Away

Different Light

The Bangles: “If She Knew What She Wants” (Shear)

From the album Different Light

Columbia Records, 1986

If She Knew What She Wants

Songs From The Big Chair

Tears For Fears: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Orzabal/Stanley/Hughes)

From the album Songs From The Big Chair

Mercury Records, 1985

Everybody Wants To Rule The World


Wang Chung: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” (Feldman/Hughes/Wolf)

From the album Mosaic

Geffen Records, 1986

Everybody Have Fun Tonight

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

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