Nothing dates you faster or points glaring spotlights on friends' age differences than chatting about what was popular when you were in high school. I got this meme from my friend Carrie Lofty, she of the most cool taste in music. Coincidently, she was in high school the same years I was in college, and I agreed with many of her choices.
The meme: Look at these Billboard charts for the five calendar years you were in high school. Choose the song(s) that was your a) fave then, b) fave now, c) worst overall.
My musical taste was only beginning to grow at the start of high school, influenced heavily by my older brother, who was into early U2, INXS, and alternative bands like Big Country. On my own radio, I listened to America's Top Forrr-teeee with Casey Kasem (you know, Shaggy's voice) on 93.1 KSND...which is now a country station. Nowadays, I turn my knob to Bob--all 80's, all day long. I used to tape my favorite songs off the radio and ended up with a collection of my favorite songs from high school that takes me back...when I write that YA novel in my head, I'll have to listen to them to get into the angst.
1985 - entered freshman year (baby Irish)
Then: "Careless Whisper" Wham (I had this on every tape), "Crazy For You" Madonna, "Miami Vice Theme" Jan Hammer (did a dance to this with my BFF in our song and dance class) "The Boys of Summer" Don Henley (again: on every tape)
Now: "Take On Me" A-Ha, "The Boys of Summer" Don Henely (still), "Heaven" Bryan Adams (hated this song at the time, because at the 8th grade dance my crush danced to it with a girl I hated), "Walking on Sunshine" Katrina & The Waves (it's so happy)
Worst: "Cherish" by Kool & The Gang (I can't sing it without a mocking tone), "We Are The World" U.S.A for Africa (no amount of singing by famous people with tax shelters off shore will offset the drought in that equatorial continent nor stop the civil wars that rage there. Plus it was overplayed), "Run to You" Bryan Adams (generally, I loved his music, but this song was about infidelity and I couldn't take that...it sorta cut like a knife...) "Born in the USA" Bruce Springstein (who convinced that man he could sing?)
1986 - freshman to sophomore
Then: (I still like these) "Take My Breath Away" Berlin (two words: Top Gun), "Rock Me Amadeus" Falco, "These Dreams" Heart (forever connected to a certain book series I was reading at the time. I'm right back there when I hear it), "Live to Tell" Madonna (my favorite ballad she's ever done), "Conga" Miami Sound Machine, "If You Leave" OMD, "Tarzan Boy" Baltimora, "Nikita" Elton John (reminds me of our trip to Australia)
Now: (I liked these songs then, too) "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings" Mr. Mister, "West End Girls" Pet Shop Boys ('Cause I still know all the words), "Silent Running" Mike and the Mechanics (new anthem for entering publishing)
worst: "Sledgehammer" Peter Gabriel (O-ver-played), "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" Jermaine Stewart (good message, but silly to sing along, esp. as a hormonal teen), "Word Up" Cameo (again, the mocking tone comes out)
1987 - sophomore to junior year
Then: "Don't Dream It's Over" Crowded House, "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" and "I've Been In Love Before" Cutting Crew, "La Isla Bonita" Madonna, "The Lady In Red" Chris De Burgh, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine, "I Want Your Sex" George Michael (it was so...scandalous. Many of us had never heard the term "monogamy"), "Funkytown" Pseudo Echo (fun song), "At This Moment" Billy Vera & The Beaters (cementing the moment Michael J. Fox fell in love with his wife, Tracy Pollan), "La Bamba" Los Lobos, "Walk Like An Egyptian" Bangles
Now: "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing is that old. Yep.), "Wanted Dead Or Alive" Bon Jovi, "You Got It All" Jets, "Here I Go Again" Whitesnake, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" Whitney Houston (gosh, she was cute then)
worst: "Looking For A New Love" Jody Watley, "I Think We're Alone Now" Tiffany (I think I'm a clone, now), "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" Wang Chung (we won't go into what high schoolers did with the name of this band)
1988 - junior to senior year
Then: "Faith" George Michael, "Need You Tonight" INXS and "Devil Inside" (actually a fave years later, in college), "Hands To Heaven" Breathe, "Seasons Change" Expose, "Wild, Wild West" Escape Club, "Father Figure" George Michael, "Hazy Shade Of Winter" Bangles, "Kokomo" Beach Boys (Mmm. Cocktail. When Tom Cruise was worth looking at. The movie was dumb), "Don't Shed A Tear" Paul Carrack
Now: "Is This Love" Whitesnake, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" Def Leppard (this was the year we had a juke box in the cafeteria, the place we were "contained" in the mornings, forbidden to go into the library (the only warm room in our school) and the boys I hated played this song over and over and over...I used one of them as the model for my hero in Mickey's Flight, so now I like the song. Go figure.), "Hungry Eyes" Eric Carnen, "Fast Car" Tracy Chapman
worst: "Sweet Child O' Mine" Guns N' Roses, "Wishing Well" Terence Trent d'Arby, "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" Billy Ocean (beep beep, yeah), "Shake Your Love" Debbie Gibson (she was more talented than this), "Don't Worry, Be Happy" Bobby McFerrin (I'll bet it's in your head now)
1989 - senior year into freshman college
Then: "Straight Up" and "Cold Hearted" Paula Abdul, "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" Tone Loc, "Bust A Move" Young M.C., "Love Shack" B-52's, "So Alive" Love & Rockets, "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" Tears For Fears, "Stand" R.E.M., "Love In An Elevator" Aerosmith, "Lay Your Hands On Me" Bon Jovi, "This Promise" When In Rome, "What I Am" Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, "Paradise City" Guns N' Roses (there's a distinct division in this year between songs that remind me of high school and songs that remind me of freshman year at college)
Now: "The Living Years" Mike & The Mechanics, "My Heart Can't Tell You No" Rod Stewart, "In Your Room" Bangles, "The End Of The Innocence" Don Henley
worst: "My Prerogative" and "Rock Wit'cha" Bobby Brown, "Girl You Know Its True" Milli Vanilli, "Hangin' Tough" New Kids On The Block