Playing Back the 80s: A Decade of Unstoppable Hits

Playing Back the 80s: A Decade of Unstoppable Hits

by Jim Beviglia

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The music of the 1980s left an indelible mark on pop culture. Thanks to the dawn of MTV and the increasing affordability of synthesizers, a generation of innovative artists took the world by storm to create one of the last great glory eras of pop music.

To get to the heart of what made this decade so special, music journalist Jim Beviglia weaves a narrative of the stories behind the pop music phenomenon. Playing Back the 80s: A Decade of Unstoppable Hits features original interviews with more than sixty artists, producers, session players, writers, and others who were directly involved with the most memorable songs of the decade. Among those who appear in Playing Back the 80s are iconic artists like Huey Lewis, Rick Springfield, Kim Carnes, Vernon Reid, Dennis DeYoung, Colin Hay, and Eddie Money telling the stories of how they created, often against imposing odds and in the midst of bizarre circumstances, the unstoppable hits and unheralded gems that still enchant so many fans today.

Playing Back the 80s will have music fans pulling their old cassettes out of storage and remembering when and where they heard the songs first. For those who didn’t grow up in the 80s, this endlessly fun book will show them what the fuss was all about and maybe reveal a few surprises along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538116401
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 578 KB

About the Author

Jim Beviglia is the author of Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs; Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs; Counting Down The Rolling Stones: Their 100 Finest Songs; and Counting Down The Beatles: Their 100 Finest Songs, all published by Rowman & Littlefield.

In addition, Jim is the featured writer at American Songwriter magazine, where he writes features and reviews on new and classic artists for the print and online editions. He also hosts his own blog at, where he focuses on the back catalogues of some of rock and pop’s greatest artists and songwriters.

Table of Contents


“Cars” by Gary Numan

“Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

“Whip It” by Devo

“Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” by The Korgis

“Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads

“All Out Of Love” by Air Supply

“Just Like (Starting Over)” by John Lennon

“Take It Easy on Me” by The Little River Band

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

“Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes

“Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

“Baby, Come to Me” by Patti Austin and James Ingram

“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

“867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone

“At This Moment” by Billy Vera & The Beaters

“In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

“I Melt with You” by Modern English

“Someday, Someway” by Marshall Crenshaw

“She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby

“Shakin’” by Eddie Money

“Our House” by Madness

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

“The Safety Dance” by Men without Hats

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

“Shame on the Moon” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

“Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye

“Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and The Destroyers

“Mr. Roboto” by Styx

“Suddenly Last Summer” by The Motels

“Sister Christian” by Night Ranger

“Overkill” by Men at Work

“I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis & The News

“Cruel Summer” by Bananarama

“Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart

“She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes

“Every Breath You Take” by The Police

“Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics

“Cherish” by Kool & The Gang

“Valotte” by Julian Lennon

“Smuggler’s Blues” by Glenn Frey

“Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco

“St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” by John Parr

“Separate Lives” by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin

“Life in a Northern Town” by The Dream Academy

“Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister

“And We Danced” by The Hooters

“Cry” by Godley & Crème

“Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer

“Your Love” by The Outfield

“If You Leave” by Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark

“Welcome to the Boomtown” by David + David

“Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites

“The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby & The Range

“Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott

“Someday” by Glass Tiger

“Seasons Change” by Expose

“Don’t Mean Nothing” by Richard Marx

“One” by Metallica

“Under the Milky Way” by The Church

“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour

“The Look” by Roxette

“So Alive” by Love and Rockets

“Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty

“Love Shack” by The B-52’s

“The Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley

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