10 thoughts on “Who is the Voice of the 80s In Your Mind?

  1. Prince! Recorded a masterpiece album each year (safe from 1983, where he spent time making 3 albums, and one movie) and had multiple top 10 singles each year, four of them going to #1.

  2. My vote is for Huey Lewis, because his career seems the most locked into the 1980s. Phil Collins was still recording hits (and won an Oscar!) in the 1990s; Daryl Hall had too many classics in the 1970s to be thought of strictly as an ’80s singer.

    Huey Lewis and the News broke through in 1982, then “Small World” fizzled out after one hit in 1988. (I own and like that album, but I still remember the girl in my high school class hearing “Give Me The Keys (And I’ll Drive You Crazy)” and saying, “Not THAT song, play something cool.”)

    And 1991’s “Hard at Play” feels like one last stab at capturing 1980s arena-rock magic. After that came the ’50s/’60s cover album near the height of the grunge era, then a greatest hits album, and then occasional releases that rarely got radio play.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: “Back to the Future.” Huey Lewis’s voice is linked to that 1985 time capsule, and yet his face is so unfamiliar to modern teenagers that his cameo has become an Easter egg to be pointed out, as opposed to the crowd-pleasing bit of irony it was in the ’80s.

  3. mine is simpler, because how music videos and MTV affected music in the 80’s. always when talk about 80’s music one of first time I hear in my head. Sting saying “I want my MTV” at the beginning Dire Straits “money for Nothing”

    so Sting

  4. In the 80’s Madonna: released multiple top albums, had number songs, was constantly on MTV, was on magazine covers, starred in major motion pictures.

    So I’ll have to say Michael Jackson.

  5. I had a thought about this and developed a methodology based on US top 10 singles

    I admit that there are a lot of singers I have not considered (and I may have miscounted or missed some songs)
    but out of the major performers I have looked at
    1st place Madonna – 141 points
    2nd place Phil Collins 136 points
    3rd place Michael Jackson 126 points
    (Prince was just over 100 points, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston just below)

  6. I read Brian’s choice and thought “Yeah, who else?” but my mind did not go to Phil first, as to me he’s too bound to Genesis in the late 70s and to his even greater solo stunts in the 90s.
    For some reasons, the first voices that come to my mind when I picture the 80s are George Michael’s and Tony Hadley’s (Spandau Ballet).
    As George became really big in the 90s, and Spandau Ballet were a full-80s phenomenon, I’ll go for Tony.

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