Why did I choose to write an article on the top 10 songs of 1984? Well, 1984 has a special place in my heart and just mentioning that year elicits some of the strongest memories of my childhood. The reason 1984 has such a strong connection for me is because that is the year I started Junior High. More than any other grade jump the step from grade 7 to grade 8 represented the biggest change in lifestyle and culture for me. In one year I’d gone to being one of the kings of my school to a tiny beaner, living in fear from the big kids in the torn jean jackets, hanging out in the smoke pit. It was a time of self discovery, and an era of new friends, and for every memory that lives on from that time there seems to be a song associated with it. Music always seems to be intertwined with our strongest memories, and these top 10 songs of 1984 all elicit strong emotions and memories for me. With my heart on my sleeve, here are my picks for the top 10 songs of 1984:
10 – Corey Hart – Sunglasses At Night
A little Canadian content on the list of the top 10 songs of 1984. This cool track by this popped collar superstar got played to death on radio stations here in Canada. I don’t know if he enjoyed the same popularity in the U.S., but for a while the boy in a box was probably the most popular person in Canada.
9 – Kenny Loggins – Footloose
The only thing that elicits stronger memories than music, is music that is attached to a movie or TV show as well. Looking back I file this one under “What was I thinking in 1984?”. Still, at the time I liked the movie and I liked the song even more.
8 – John Waite – Missing You
This one had to make my list of the top 10 songs of 1984. I didn’t dance with so many girls while listening to this song. No, wait. I listened to this song while not dancing with many girls. Hmmmm. That still doesn’t sound good. Oh well. For some strange reason the memory is still a good one, even though it involves me sitting on the bleachers wishing I had more courage.
7 – Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
If you had asked me in 1984 what my top 10 songs of 1984 were I doubt this one would have been on it. However, 30 years has changed my opinion in many areas. This song now makes the top 10 of 1984, but this is balanced out by the fact I no longer want a pair of parachute pants.
6 – Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
And guys just want to have fun watching girls have fun. The dance floor always experienced a mad rush whenever this 1984 classic was played, and the guys were happy to stand on the sidelines and watch the girls bounce.
5 – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
Though I am Canadian, and don’t feel the same sense of patriot pride that Americans get when listening to The Boss perform I will still have to admit his music is pretty good, and this song gets a deserving spot at number 5 on this list of the top 10 songs of 1984. Having a young, hot Courtney Cox in the accompanying music video didn’t hurt his cause either.
4 – Prince – When Doves Cry
Prince was absolutely huge in 1984. I know he’s been a superstar for decades now, but he was really at the top of his game in 1984. As best as I can remember the movie, Purple Rain wasn’t all that good, but the accompanying soundtrack was fantastic and this almost hypnotic track is the best song of the bunch. Gotta bust out that album again. Absolute gold.
3 – Van Halen – Jump
Back in the good old days when David Lee Roth was still fronting this classic band, Jump was helping me and my friends actively participate at high school dances since all that was really required was the ability to get both feet off the ground at the same time. An easy pick for one of the top 10 songs of 1984, but the music video is almost painful to watch these days. Guys really shouldn’t wear clothes that tight.
2 – Madonna – Like a Virgin
This selection on the list of the top 10 songs of 1984 is all about the music video. Madonna might look good now, but she was absolutely smoking hot in 1984. The best part for a 13 year old guy was the fact that every girl in school was defying their parents and trying to emulate the way she dressed. Thanks very much for the great memories Madonna.
1 – Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters
Who ya gonna call? The top grossing movie of 1984 also spawned the greatest song of that year as well. I’m unfamiliar with Ray Parker Jr.’s work before or after, but hearing this classic theme song still takes me back to opening night at the theater, and reminds me that, for a time, Peter Venkman was the man I one day wanted to be.