Between 1980 and 1990, I aged from ten to twenty years old. The ’80s were the years I was most keenly tuned into radio and MTV, which was all we had back then. (I didn’t get into the alternative scene until I got to college.)
Much of what I loved in my teens was the R&B dance/pop music coming out then. I was a closet disco queen, which was unusual for a white boy in a very white suburb. And much of the music I was attracted to came from black artists, with some of the music appearing on Top-40 charts while some of it was slightly more esoteric, only to be heard on Cleveland’s “black” station WZAK, which was my favorite at the time. And I was a freak for the stuff coming out of Minneapolis from Prince’s little purple/paisley universe.
This month’s playlist features so many of my favorites from that time. Some were big hits, some not so much. But I assure you that all of these wound up on various mix tapes of mine over the years. I realize this playlist is very specific and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I needed a lift. Listening to these songs put a big memory lane smile on my face and a much needed spring in my step.