Paul King - simply known in the 1980s King - the wonderfully talented Irish singer who sang such brilliant songs in the mid-1980s. He’s strikingly handsome, too. Not that I have a thing for him or anything. ;) Check out his Website here. 

Paul King - simply known in the 1980s King - the wonderfully talented Irish singer who sang such brilliant songs in the mid-1980s. He’s strikingly handsome, too. Not that I have a thing for him or anything. ;) Check out his Website here

"Taste of Your Tears" by King (from his 1985 album Bitter Sweet). King’s fantastically brilliant superb masterpiece kick-ass (can you tell I adore this song???) "Taste of Your Tears" is one of those songs that puts me right back in one of the best times of my life. In this video, King and his fabulous band performs "Taste of Your Tears" on television on Halloween night 1985. Give it a listen. It really truly is - objectively speaking - one of the best songs of the Eighties. This is a fairly unexceptional video, though - a typical live performance (although he’s mind-bogglingly great live!). OK, OK, OK, I’ll get off my King kick (you’d think I was madly in love with the guy). King (who’s real name was Paul King) experienced his heyday - his 15 minutes of fame - in the mid-1980s, between about ‘84 and ‘86. He’s an Irish musician, and - to be honest - I’m not sure what he’s up to these days. His three biggest singles, "Love & Pride," "Won’t You Hold My Hand Now," and “Taste of Your Tears” were all hits around 1985. By hits, I don’t mean Top 20 on the pop charts. But they received lots and lots and lots of airplay on alternative/new wave radio stations, like Salt Lake City’s KCGL. A few lesser hits (1986’s "Torture," 1987’s "I Know" and “Follow My Heart”) didn’t really catch on the same way as those first three. (Note: I just checked Paul King on Wikipedia - thank God for Wikipedia - and it says he’s a producer for MTV Europe). Please, if you only listen to one song on "My Eighties," make it this one. Truly, Eighties music doesn’t get any better. I am crazy about this song! Video Rating: 8/10 (Song Rating: 945,829,458,967/10). 

From the “Fearless Leader” File: Not everybody loved Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Punks, with few exceptions, tended to loathe his policies. The original Rock Against Reagan Festival was held on July 3, 1983, and featured the Dead Kennedys and other punk bands. There were other Rock Against Reagan concerts, many featuring the DKs and other prominent punk bands of the day. They continued as long as he was in office. 

From the “Fearless Leader” File: Not everybody loved Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Punks, with few exceptions, tended to loathe his policies. The original Rock Against Reagan Festival was held on July 3, 1983, and featured the Dead Kennedys and other punk bands. There were other Rock Against Reagan concerts, many featuring the DKs and other prominent punk bands of the day. They continued as long as he was in office. 

Bruce Springsteen on the cover of Musician magazine, 1984.

Bruce Springsteen on the cover of Musician magazine, 1984.

Check out this Ms. Pac-Man commercial for the Atari 2600, circa 1982. I believe that’s Don (Jeopardy) Pardo narrating the advertisement! 

MR. MISTER ALERT!! MR. MISTER ALERT!! (Please proceed to the rear exits in an orderly fashion! And take these broken wings with you…)

MR. MISTER ALERT!! MR. MISTER ALERT!! (Please proceed to the rear exits in an orderly fashion! And take these broken wings with you…)

Madonna, 1983. Hard to believe these were taken 30 years ago!

Madonna, 1983. Hard to believe these were taken 30 years ago!

Depeche Mode on the cover of Smash Hits magazine from July 1981. They look so damned young! And talk about staying power: they’re still making excellent music!

Depeche Mode on the cover of Smash Hits magazine from July 1981. They look so damned young! And talk about staying power: they’re still making excellent music!

Another Time magazine cover, this one from 1981, spotlighting cats. How can anyone possibly hate cats? Seriously!

Another Time magazine cover, this one from 1981, spotlighting cats. How can anyone possibly hate cats? Seriously!

Steve Jobs on the cover of Time magazine, February 15, 1982. 

Steve Jobs on the cover of Time magazine, February 15, 1982. 

"Trouble" by Lindsey Buckingham (from his 1981 album Law and Order). This song was soooooooo junior high for me. It was on the radio all the time when I was in about the seventh or eighth grade. There are lots of familiar faces in the video (in addition to Lindsey), including Mick Fleetwood, Walter (“Magnet and Steel”) Egan and Bob (“Sentimental Lady”) Welch. Who’d a thunk that strange grunting at the start of the song is saying, “Two, ah-three, ah-four! Two, ah-three, ah-four!” Back in ‘81, I thought they were saying, “Ew a-fee a-fowl!” After that, the song slips into a mellow groove, and retains it until the very end. Lindsey went on to sing a few other hits in the 1980s, most notably "Holiday Road," the catchy theme song to National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983). But his solo career never really took off in the same way that of Phil Collins’s or Sting’s did. Oh well. He’s a fabulous singer, and an extremely talented musician, and “Trouble” - while definitely the product of its times - remains a very enjoyable toe-tapper. Video Rating: 7.5/10.

The Cult, pictured here in 1984. From left to right: Billy Duffy, Ian Astbury, Nigel Preston and Jamie Stewart.

The Cult, pictured here in 1984. From left to right: Billy Duffy, Ian Astbury, Nigel Preston and Jamie Stewart.

Previews of Coming Attractions: War Games (1983). John (Saturday Night Fever) Badham’s 1983 Cold War/geek/techie thriller, about a precocious teenager (Matthew Broderick) nearly setting off World War III using computer equipment that dates back to the age of Vikings, really scared the s—- out of me when I saw it in the movie theaters in Salt Lake City at the age of 15. The film came out the same year as Badham’s other techie thriller, Blue Thunder, another excellent film that - when you watch it today - appears to be very much the product of the 1980s. I won’t give away the ending to this gripping thriller, except to say that - well… we’re still here, aren’t we? 

9 out of 10 people who have mastered the Atari 2600 game E.T. have also bookmarked “My Eighties” on their Web Browser!

Source: The National Council on Video Games

"Mad World" by Tears for Fears (off of their 1983 album The Hurting). This song was remade in the early 2000s by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, and used in the film Donnie Darko (2001) and the game Gears of War. But nothing can top the ‘83 version, a soulful song about alienation and the bittersweet experience of leaving childhood behind and walking into the briar patch that is public school and, after that, life. (At least that’s what I think it’s about, and I’m the blogger here, so if you don’t like it, well, too damn bad!) This was one of several amazing songs off of their ‘83 album The Hurting, which was - in many ways - completely overshadowed (and unjustifiably so) by their runaway bestseller Songs from the Big Chair a mere two years later. The Hurting represented - in the opinion of this blogista - Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith at their very best. New wave doesn’t get any better. Video Rating: 8.5/10. (Song Rating: 10/10)