Confluence Flashback: 30 Rad Tunes Turning 30 in 2017

Blast back to the past with some of your favorite games at FlashBack RetroPub at our Confluence happy hour.

This September, we’re getting totally tubular at Confluence Conference with a fun 80s theme – and we want you to be part of the fun, too!

On September 14-15 at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, we’re going to have two days packed with amazing speakers who will come to share their knowledge about digital marketing with you.

We’ll have delicious food and some gnarly swag for you to take home – not to mention a happy hour after day one at Flashback RetroPub, where you can play your favorite arcade games from that decade.

Haven’t got your tickets yet? “Take a chill pill man.”

Tickets are still available here.

To get pumped for Confluence Conference and its theme this year, we’ll be bringing you “blasts from the past,” featuring the music, fashion, advertisements and other cultural items of note from the decade.

This month, we’re looking at the music of the 80s. With a fun fact included for each, here are 30 songs that made their big debut exactly 30 years ago this year.

  1. No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys

    Fun fact: The title of the Beastie Boys’ sixth single from Licensed to Ill is a play on the title of Mötorhead’s first live album, No Sleep Till Hammersmith.
  2. Is This Love – Whitesnake

    Fun fact: Whitesnake’s “Is This Love” made it all the way to number 2 on the US singles chart. The number 1 song at the time? “Faith,” by George Michael (#13 on our list.)
  3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight – Wang Chung

    Fun fact: The original version of Wang Chung’s video for “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” was banned shortly after premiering, due to reviews that determined it could cause epileptic seizures. (Which is why we’ve included a live version, just to be safe.)
  4. It’s Tricky – Run DMC

    Fun fact: Although the song also samples the full chorus structure from “Mickey” by Toni Basil, it was the sampling of “My Sharona” by The Knack that led to a lawsuit, which was later settled out of court.
  5. It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – REM

    Fun fact: Four different famous people with the initials L.B. are mentioned throughout the song, but lead singer Michael Stipe says the four are unrelated – he simply had a dream in which all four of them appeared.
  6. Talk Dirty to Me – Poison

    Fun fact: Post-hardcore band At the Drive-In took their name from the first line of the chorus.
  7. Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue

    Fun fact: Whoops! The eponymous “Dollhouse in Ft. Lauderdale” mentioned in “Girls, Girls, Girls” is actually in Sunny Isles Beach, about midway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
  8. La Bamba – Los Lobos

    Fun fact: From the Ritchie Valens biopic of the same name, “La Bamba” skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1987, and in the following year won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film.
  9. I Need Love – LL Cool J

    Fun fact: In a 1987 interview, LL Cool J was asked, what did love mean to him? His answer: “Love ain’t soft, man. It’s just a part of life.”
  10. Rhythm is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

    Fun fact: The song was featured in promos for popular game show Wheel of Fortune, with the lyrics changed to “wheel’s gonna get you.”
  11. (I Just) Died in Your Arms – Cutting Crew

    Fun fact: The lead single from Cutting Crew’s debut album, this song remains the band’s biggest hit to date.
  12. Alone – Heart

    Fun fact: “Alone” is an American Idol contestant favorite; it’s been performed by Carrie Underwood, Allison Iraheta, and others during the show’s run.
  13. Faith – George Michael

    Fun fact: What does nu-metal band Limp Bizkit, songwriters John Mayer and Keith Urban, and Alvin and the Chipmunks have in common? All of them have covered George Michael’s smash hit “Faith.”
  14. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

    Fun fact: This song would go on to be Whitney Houston’s biggest hit…until the smashing success of “I Will Always Love You” in 1992.
  15. Bad – Michael Jackson

    Fun fact: The full version of the music video for “Bad” (included above) debuted as a CBS primetime special, and featured the directorial talent of Martin Scorsese. The video also co-starred Wesley Snipes in one of his earliest acting appearances.
  16. Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi

    Fun fact: Jon Bon Jovi has stated multiple times at live shows that “Wanted Dead or Alive” is heavily inspired by Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.”
  17. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses

    Fun fact: Axl Rose claims the inspiration for the song’s famous line, “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby!” came from an encounter he and a friend had with a homeless man while visiting New York.
  18. (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life – Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes

    Fun fact: The song was originally intended for Donna Summer and Joe Esposito to sing, but they turned it down.
  19. Just Like Heaven – The Cure

    Fun fact: Frontman Robert Smith was inspired to write this song based on a past trip to the sea shore with his wife. The song would go on to be The Cure’s first hit in the US.
  20. Push It – Salt n’ Pepa

    Fun fact: Salt n’ Pepa later appeared in a 2014 Geico ad, where they would pop up in different scenarios and apply the “push it” refrain to various scenarios: Lamaze classes, football players tackling dummies, and people moving the lawn.
  21. All My Ex’s Live in Texas – George Strait

    Fun fact: Where exactly do the narrator’s girlfriends live in Texas? Texarkana, Abilene, Temple, and Galveston – if the narrator were to visit each ex-girlfriend in that order, the trip would be a total of 765 miles (about a 12 hours’ drive.)
  22. Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac

    Fun fact: The music video of the song is a visual re-enactment of Robert Noyes’ poem “The Highwayman.”
  23. Land of Confusion – Genesis

    Fun fact: The song appeared in the finale of Miami Vice, during a stakeout scene. “Land of Confusion,” along with other Phil Collins and Genesis hits, is also referenced in the film American Psycho.
  24. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

    Fun fact: The first known instance of “rickrolling” took place in May 2007, where the video was claimed to be a then-unavailable trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV.
  25. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2

    Fun fact: Las Vegas event organization president Pat Christenson credits U2’s video (filmed on Fremont Street) for improving musicians’ perceptions of Las Vegas.
  26. Sign o’ the Times – Prince

    Fun fact: Prince opted not to appear in the music video for “Sign o’ the Times,” one of the earliest known instances of the “lyric video” phenomenon.
  27. It’s a Sin – Pet Shop Boys

    Fun fact: The Pet Shop Boys were sued by TV presented Jonathan King, who accused them of stealing the melody for “It’s a Sin” from Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” King created his own cover to prove the point, but it flopped, and the Pet Shop Boys won the lawsuit.
  28. Tell It to My Heart – Taylor Dayne

    Fun fact: The video for “Tell It to My Heart” has been cited as a possible inspiration for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video.
  29. La Isla Bonita – Madonna

    Fun fact: “La Isla Bonita” was offered in an instrumental form to Michael Jackson for his Bad album, but Jackson turned it down.
  30. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

    Fun fact: “Forever and Ever, Amen” was the 1987 Grammy winner for Best Country & Western Song.

Like what you heard? If you haven’t already, follow Confluence Conference on Twitter and Facebook for more totally 80’s facts and fun, as well as updates on Confluence Conference.

Listen to the Spotify playlist of these 30 songs (and share or follow!) here: