He Said She Said: Songs from the Year We Were Born That We Still Listen To

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Yes, we are older than MTV. Shut up.
The thing that struck She Said most when researching this list of songs that came out the year we were born (May 1980) was just how much of this music we regularly listen to now. 1980 marked the end of disco, the middle of New Wave and punk, and a damn good time for country music and mopey Brit-rockers. Reagan was about to become president, Communism would fall before we turned 10 years old, and most albums were still released with an A side and a B side. MTV did not even exist yet, something we can barely fathom. We are older than MTV.

Maybe it's because we just finished watching American Psycho, or maybe it's because we're approaching the last six months of our twenties, but She Said has been feeling a lot of '80s nostalgia lately. Below are ten videos from the year of our birth, 1980. Watch them while we go return these video tapes.

"Mirror in The Bathroom," English Beat

English Beat is the best two-tone band ever (prove us wrong) and this song opens the album I Just Can't Stop It with that unmistakable chugga-chugga baseline and jazzy drums The English Beat became known for.

"Once in a Lifetime," Talking Heads

Imagine She Said as a young kid in the early days of MTV, mind being polluted by Crazy David Byrne in his Crazy Giant Suit doing his Crazy Ministry of Silly Walks chopping-his-arms-off dance. Thanks to his early influence, we turned out pretty okay. Unfortunately, as one YouTube user puts it, "Warner Music Group are too cunt-ish too understand how the world works now," so the original video is unavailable. You'll have to settle for a live version, also recorded in 1980 and no less awesome.

"Holiday in Cambodia," Dead Kennedys

Jello Biafra was singing about war and complacency before we wwere old enough to eat jello. See how we made that come full circle?

"Girl You Want," Devo

The story goes that Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh wanted to copy the sound of The Knack's huge hit from the summer before "My Sharona" (more on that in a minute). While "Whip It" gets all the glory from the album Freedom of Choice, "Girl U Want," the first single, is one of our favorite Devo songs. We have had a crush on Mark Mothersbaugh (and his pug) ever since.

"Romeo and Juliet," Dire Straits

At a time when bands were going crazy with synthesizers, vocal effects, music videos and all the modernity of the '80s, Dire Straits kept it simple and sweet with this sad love song. (Though they would not be immune to call of MTV forever.) As a result, there's something timeless about this song.

"9 to 5," Dolly Parton

Don't lie. You love this song too. But WTF is this video? I'm not sure Dolly is appropriate for children. Although she does look like a living Barbie doll.

"Brass in Pocket," Pretenders

Another video that will forever be stuck in our heads. Thanks to Miss Hynde our childhood dream forever was to be a waitress. The 80s were all about the plight of the working woman.

"Love Will Tear Us Apart," Joy Division

The jangly music betrays the message -- it's just so miserable, isn't it? This marked the beginning of the end for Joy Division. A month after the song was released, two days after She Said was born, Ian Curtis hanged himself.

"Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime," The Korgis

Here's we've got the opposite of Mark Knopfler's work -- this song is so full of effects it's downright cinematic. Speaking of cinematic, we actually prefer Beck's version because of its simplicity. Why were the '80s so maudlin anyway?

"My Sharona" The Knack

Okay, here's where the break we rules. This song was released in 1979, but was still a summer hit in early 1980 right about the time She Said's mom was ready to burst forth with us, her firstborn. She Said's Dad (or Mom, depending on who's telling the story) desperately wanted to name the soon-to-be-born child Sharona in honor of the song. The other parent put her (or his) foot down and we were blessed with the somewhat normal name we have today instead. Can you imagine being named Sharona? You'd never hear the end of this song.


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