Dorothy, we're not in 1984 anymore

Nostalga, YouTube

Have you noticed that many '70s and '80s songs are being overplayed?  I know that was a problem in the '80s, (Side note; face it, you had 'KTI, Z-95, B-97 and WRKR all playing the exact same, tight format) but it is kinda silly that it is happening in 2009.  Some of my one-time favorite songs, like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" from Def Leppard, "Don't Stop Believing" from Journey, "More Than a Feeling" from Boston, "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, as well as songs that I never really liked, like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper and "Keep on Loving You" by REO Speedwagon all fall into that category.  As a matter of fact, just about all Def Leppard and Bon Jovi songs have become unlistentoable.

For some reason, I seemed to like minor hits back then.  Songs like "Jazzin' for Blue Jean" by David Bowie, "No More Lonely Nights" from Paul McCartney, "Undercover of the Night" from the Rolling Stones and "New Moon on Monday" from Duran Duran, for example, are some of my favorites from 1983/84.  Try finding those songs on 93.3 or 95.7 FM, or on XM Channel 8 for that matter.  They don't exist.  (Side note; since XM and Sirius merged, the "80s on 8" channel has become a haven of overplayed songs.  But their favorite is "Shadows of the Night" from Pat Benatar.)  

I've got no scientific proof to back me up, and I don't claim to listen to only '80s music, or that I listen day and night.  But some of the songs that I do like that I still can tolerate - like "Come on Eileen" from Dexie's Midnight Runners, "Der Kommisar" from After the Fire and "Walk Like an Egyptian" from the Bangles - are teetering on the edge.  The funny thing about a couple of those songs with mumbly lyrics is that thanks to the internet, I now know that Kevin Rowland was singing in that second verse...

These people round here/ Wear beaten down eyes / Sunk in smoke dried faces / So resigned to what their fate is.

Oh, sure, we get the Stones ("Start Me Up"... thanks, Packers), or  D-squared (but only "Hungry Like the Wolf" or "The Reflex"; however when was the last time you heard "Is There Something I Should Know?").  Its almost as if - in this "Let's play it safe" / Focus Group world that we live in - we can't get anything that might risk having the station changed by the listener.  If there are 100 songs from 1978 - 1986 that everyone recognizes, then song 101 can only be played after midnight.  It's too bad.  A lot of '80s music is hokey, but it really was music... with instruments and everything.

(Side note deserving of its own paragraph; Have you heard "Money For Nothing" from Dire Straits lately?  25 years after its release, the entire verse about "The little *** with the earring and the makeup, yeah buddy, that's his own hair" is gone.  Kaput.  Haven't heard it since the first time I noticed it.  Along those lines, I've heard an edited version of "Janie's Got a Gun" from Aerosmith twice, once on a Milwaukee station and once on XM. "She had to take him down easy / and put a bullet in his brain" has become "She had to take him down easy / and left him in the pouring rain" 20 years later.  Was the lobby of men that incestually raped their daughters upset about the number of copy-cat bullets in their member's brains?)

I'll take "Synchronicity II" if I can find it, they give me "Every Breath You Take".  I want "Dirty Diana", I get "Billie Jean" (again and again... and that was before His Nuttiness died).

Maybe I am ahead of the curve.  I notice myself turning on XM Channel 54 - '90s alternative and grunge - more and more.  I pine for "Jeremy" or "Black" from Pearl Jam, or "Man in the Box" from Alice in Chains.  My fear, of course, is that is the next wave in oldies radio, and that were only a couple of years from me hating another go-round of "Plush" from Soundgarden.

Following that logic, isn't it about time that Hip-Hop starts getting its own nostalga play?

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