Musical Musings… 80’s Songs That Throw Me Back

I once read somewhere that olfactory memories are the strongest (I don’t remember the specifics because I didn’t smell it), but I’d beg to differ.  In my opinion, songs provide the greater capacity to throw you back, and here are some 80’s songs that do.

For starters, movie themes are cheats, and Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World is no exception, so much so that I also refer to it as the Real Genius song.  It always instantly conjures this image in my mind:

Everybody wants to butter the world.

For whatever reason, The Motels’ Only the Lonely always reminds me think of playing summer baseball.  My best guess as to the reason why?  I used to watch Casey Kasem’s America’s Top 10 (or some other show like that… I don’t remember because I didn’t smell it) before I’d ride my bike to the park.  As it is with most of these aural/cerebral connections… it’s best not to ask how or why.

I was only the lonely in right field.

This one’s an easy link up – Janet Jackson’s When I Think of You always makes me think of my first girlfriend, Brenda.  I was in the sixth grade; she was in fifth.  She was a cheerleader.  This was the song that her team (group?) performed to at the Pontiac Silverdome.  The odd memory attached to this?  The handled neon green comb I used to carry around with me to fix my spiked haircut:

It kind of looked like this, but more rounded and more neon green.

This one is a bit sentimental.  Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out always hurls me back to an early 80’s winter when I went ice fishing with my dad and his friends.

J. Geils Band’s Centerfold is about a man’s discovery of his childhood dream girl growing up and appearing in an adult magazine.  To me, it’s about summer camp and reading this:

My memory has just been sold... on eBay for $1.09.

Unfortunately, Bryan Adams’ Cuts Like a Knife also makes me think of comic books… except I was in college, driving around town in a burgundy Cadillac Brougham in a pony tail and trench coat, searching for back issues, listening to his greatest hits cassette, So Far So Good.

So far, so good, indeed.

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