The Songs That Bring Me Back

As you might be aware, gentle reader, a myriadic plethora of radio stations play the modern equivalent of the “Jack” format, billing themselves as the best of the 80s, 90s, and today, but their playlists are really only an inch deep and reflect whatever catalogs of song rights are cheap at the moment–and they tend to play the same songs from the 1980s year after year, and have for a long time.

Suffice to say that none of those songs that I’ve heard, if not constantly since the 1980s, at least in the last decade or so since the 80s hits have taken over the airwaves again. I mean, Bon Jovi’s catalog from the Slippery When Wet era gets heavy rotation on both the Jack and the Classic Rock stations, so they’re not pinned in my memory to the time. Or Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” from the Breakfast Club soundtrack. That runs regularly on the radio.

But the 1980s programs like the American Top 40 replays or Nina Blackwood’s syndicated program play songs that were on the radio all the time in the 1980s but have not been on the radio all the time since, so those songs pin me like a butterfly on a display board to the moments when I was young and wishing that the DJ would stop talking so I could record the whole song from the radio even though they were talking in and talking out to keep me from recording on the radio.

I recognized one such song on the radio during one of the aforementioned radio programs, but not enough to identify it. Apparently, it was Simple Minds’ “Alive and Kicking”:

It pulled me back to the 1980s when I heard it even though I could not name it. My beautiful wife could, as she had (or maybe has) the record.

Yeah, “Jesse’s Girl” doesn’t do that. “Jesse’s Girl”, who is on Medicare now, has been a staple through the decades. Which makes it common. And not evocative of the time of which it is the product.

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