This week... A SONG FROM THE YEAR YOU WERE BORN
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (1983)
1983, what a year for music. Let's forget about the fact I'm older than God and instead look at the tunes: Prince - 1999, Men at Work - Down Under, The Police - Every Breath You Take, Hall and Friggin Oates - Man Eater, Heck even FLASH DANCE! However, my genuine favourite song of that year isn't a song from Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All, but Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. Seriously, does it need an explanation? In fact I'm betting you've already watched the video before even considering reading this.
Pixies - Allison (1990)
Although being fortunate enough to have been born in the very same year that saw the release of Vanilla Ice's greatest hit to date, Ice Ice Baby, I thought I'd go with Pixies Allison. At just over 70 seconds in length, it's pretty surprising just how catchy and memorable this track is. The screech of feedback bleeding into the sloppily played nineties-guitar-led opening wouldn't sound out out of place on the early-2000's indie scene (Libertines, Long Blondes...). Allison's minimal backing vocals and fumbled guitar solo seem to mesh the care-free fast tempo ideas of surf-rock with the grittiness of nineties garage rock.
Blur - She's So High (1991)
While I could have gone for the obvious option of Dizzy by Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff, I have instead opted for the fantastic opening track from Blur's debut album Leisure. And that's all I have to say on the matter.
Joy Division - Atmosphere (1980)
Released after Ian Curtis' suicide, this song sounds like a cry for help. Intensely powerful and emotional, this is one of Joy Division's finest moments. I couldn't pick anything else.
Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me) (1985)
If you hear this song and don't immediately think about Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson, the wonder that is young love, and a triumphant fist in the air then you are either lying or you've never seen The Breakfast Club which also kind of means I can't trust you. Anyway, this is a great track in its own right made iconic by one of the best teen movies EVER made.
Mother Love Bone - Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns (1989)
Two songs for the price of one! About as power ballad as you can get, the penultimate track of the Shine EP may have bombast in bucketloads but you can't deny that it's uplifting. A year after its release, vocalist Andy Wood would die from an overdose and since then this song has become a eulogy for him. From this painful beginning Pearl Jam was born, so I've included their tribute to Wood here because of its emotional significance.