80s music gems, Vol. 1

I wasn’t alive for very long in the 80s. But thanks to the radio stations I listened to while growing up, I know plenty of 80s tunes that still rock today. The genres from that decade reach all over the place, and there’s plenty to love. Here are some 80s music gems that I recommend for those who are feeling a bit nostalgic…

Whitney HoustonWhitney (1987)

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was sensational! R&B truly shaped itself in the 80s, and Whitney’s vocal skills were powerful and internationally acclaimed. The album Whitney debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making history, as it was the first album by a female artist to do so. The song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is absolute fire on here—catchy in the best way with tons of synthesizer. Plus the video is adorable.


Queen The Game (1980)

Queen the game

Queen! A favorite of many, Queen had already established themselves in the seventies as an energetic arena rock band. However, their 1980 release The Game marked the first time the band used synthesizer on their recordings. It was their only album to reach #1 in the US, and it went on to become their best-selling studio album, containing the memorable tracks “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.


Violent Femmes Violent Femmes (1983)

Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (woooo!). Apparently the band was discovered while playing in front of the Oriental Theatre the night of a Pretenders show, when Chrissie Hynde asked them to do a set on stage. Most of the songs on this debut album were written while the singer Gordon Gano was still in high school. It’s hard to describe their sound, but words that come to mind are: raw, gritty, angsty, and sarcastic. Great tracks on here include “Blister In The Sun”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone”.

Beastie BoysLicensed To Ill (1986)


It’s hard to believe these guys started in the 80s! Songs like “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, and “Brass Monkey” are still played all over the place. The Beastie Boys brought an interesting twist to hip hop at the time—they were white, and they incorporated a punk rock sound to their music. Licensed To Ill was the first rap album to top the Billboard chart. Their lyrics offend just about everyone if you pick them apart, but there’s something distinct about the band’s energy and voice that makes them unique and lovable.

What are your favorite 80s music gems? Let us know in the comments!

Kayla Liederbach

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.

Curious CDs

Remember this movie? It’s not every day that the King of the Goblins steals your baby half-brother and gives you 13 hours to pass through an obstacle-filled labyrinth to get him back. Well luckily there’s an awesome soundtrack to go with this story, and it’s available on Murfie.


MI0001790600The Facts:

  • This movie stars rocker David Bowie as Jareth, King of the Goblins, and a young Jennifer Connelly as Sarah
  • The soundtrack takes you along for the journey, using a fantasy-based score fused with ’80s electric rock songs
  • Surprisingly, this movie did not do well when it was released in theaters

Maybe folks were a bit reluctant to warm up to this movie at first because it’s out of the ordinary—or maybe they were just scared of Bowie’s extremely tight pants. Ether way, this movie has a huge cult following now, and the soundtrack is an equally quirky collector’s piece.

Hair metal!

We’ve spoken before about how I hold 80’s pop culture near and dear to my heart. I have a real soft spot for everything from John Hughes films to off-the-shoulder tops to HAIR METAL (!!! *shred guitar solo* !!!). There’s just something about the gaudy getup and glam-tastic rock sound that ever appeal to me. A particular aspect that never fails to amuse (and perhaps, delight) is the long shaggy or backcombed hairstyles that hair metal bands (I just wonder how that term came about?) loved to sport.

So many hair metal bands (Poison, Twisted Sister, Cinderella, Europe, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe…just to name a few), so much hair. Mirror, mirror on the wall: who has the most beautiful hair of all?

Lose the dead weight

Your CD collection is too heavy

Did you know that 10 CDs weigh approximately 2 pounds? That means, if you do the math, 100 CDs weigh 20 pounds. And 300 CDs weigh 60 pounds. And face it, most of y’all have at least 300 discs lurking in some nook and cranny of your home.

But losing weight, 60 pounds of weight, takes strength, courage, and confidence. Lucky for you, I’ve got some inspirational songs to help you out. If you lack motivation, I highly recommend that you give ’em a listen. They’re pretty much all from training or fight montages in 80s movies, or they’re just straight-up 80s songs. (Go figure.)

But beware. They are frighteningly powerful, and you’ll have enough fist pumps to last the entire day.

Ride into the danger zone.
Turn me loose.
It’s the eye of the tiger.
Nothing’s gonna stop us now.
I need a hero.
Don’t stop believing.
Oh we’re not gonna take it.
You’re the best around.
Take me where the future’s lying.