songs from the 80s that sound different now

80’s Songs that Sound So Different Now That We’re Adults

That song said what?!songs from the 80s that sound different now

I was sitting in traffic last week and listening to the 80’s station on SiriusXM (hello.. how did I go SO long without satellite radio?!) when Billy Idol’s Rock the Cradle of Love came on. And while it’s an awesome song, it’s pretty much about a guy who fantasizes about the girl downstairs. Who just happens to be a teenager. Which was kinda, sorta NOT okay when we were in high school, once you have a kid in high school it’s like your worst nightmare come to life.  Although as I started thinking about it, none of Billy Idol’s songs were appropriate…

But Billy isn’t alone in this… here are a few more songs of the 80’s that you’d smack your kids stupid for listening to today.

Michael Jackson – PYT (Pretty Young Thing) Speaking of robbing the cradle, what was Michael thinking? Or was he still trying to fool everyone that it was young girls he was attracted to. At least he got the “young” piece right and out in the open

I want to love you (P.Y.T.)
Pretty young thing
You need some lovin’ (T.L.C.)
Tender lovin’ care
And I’ll take you there

Til Tuesday – Voices Carry   As much as I love belting this song out in the car, this is like the ultimate possessive, overpowering boyfriend song. Even the video shows this poor girl scared as crap at his reactions.. but love when she finally snaps at the end.

I try so hard not to get upset
Because I know all the trouble I’ll get
Oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
And something to fear
And I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one can hear

 Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 He may have bought his six-string at the local five and dime but music in 1969 is NOT what this song is about. Or maybe it is. In the “the guitar player gets all the chicks” aspect of the word. Instead, it’s about the OTHER kind of 69..  But let’s not let details ruin an otherwise perfectly good song. The lyrics may not be over the top, but I guarantee you’ll never listen to the song the same way again! 😉

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Tone Loc – Wild Thing – Did Tone make more than 2 songs? And were either remotely close to appropriate? The really funny thing about this song is that it was one of my older gay friends who had to point out the obvious to me.

So we journeyed to her house
One thing led to an other
I keyed the door, I cold hit the floor
Looked up and it was her mother

I didn’t know what to say
I was hanging by a string
She said, “Hey, you two, I was once like you
And I liked to do the wild thing”

Prince – Darling Nikki – This is about the time that I knew my parents were paying ZERO attention to my musical selection. Because if they had been, they would have thrown out every Prince album I own.. then and now. Here’s something I didn’t know… this song is rumored to be THE song that pushed Al Gore over the edge and initiated his campaign for advisory labels. I don’t know how one guy in stilettos can be full of so much raw sex, but Prince is. I mean.. you don’t even get past the 2nd line without some sex in it..

I knew a girl named Nikki
I guess you could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
Masturbating with a magazine
She said, “How’d you like to waste some time?”
And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind

Cyndi Lauper – SheBop – I don’t know when I figured out that this was the female equivalent of Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself, but I swear it was in high school. While everyone else was “bopping” around thinking it was a dance-themed song, I was like.. mmm-hhmmm.. that ain’t the BOP Cyndi’s popping y’all! I mean.. “they say I better stop or I’ll go blind”.. we ALL know that the only thing that makes you blind is masturbation!

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Van Halen – Pretty Much Any Song They Ever Wrote – But for now, we’ll talk about Panama and no.. that song was NOT about a car.

Yea we’re runnin’ a little bit hot tonight
I can barely see the road from the heat comin’ off of it
Ah, you reach down between my legs
Ease the seat back
She’s blindin’, I’m flyin’
Right behind the rear view mirror, now
Got the feelin’, power steerin’
Pistons poppin’ ain’t no stoppin’ now

Okay… I could have kept going because there are SO many more but I thought it would be fun to find out.. what’s your favorite innuendo song?


November 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I was an 80s girl, and I do sometimes listen to the XM 80s on 8 channel. But I have to agree, there were some raunchy lyrics out there. I didn’t ever internalize the lyrics, but there is no doubt that what you sing does get into your head. Now I mostly listen to The Message on satellite. Much better…
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    November 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I love 80s on 8 but sometimes it gets too poppy for me so channel 33 – First Wave is pretty much on all the time. I’m not sure I remember any of these lyrics affecting me or that I read too much into them. I just knew that I loved the songs themselves.

November 9, 2014 at 9:15 am

Well, I’m sure it’s obvious to everyone but me, but I was thrown for a loop when I discovered the hauntingly beautiful Brick by Ben Folds Five was about an abortion. I guess I never truly paid attention to the lyrics.

November 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

I’ll agree with you on all of those except one, and I’ll partially agree on that one. That one being “Summer of’69.” Adams said in an interview that it was about sex. Then in a later interview he said it was about nostalgia (such as the breakup of The Beatles, etc) and such with some elements of sex. Co-writer Jim Vallance maintains that it is the conventional meaning about the times and years, not sex. But, the middle break, I’m almost certain is about sex: “man, we were killing time, we were young and restless and needing to unwind.” Other than that I find no evidence that it’s sexual in nature.

On the Prince front, probably one of the greatest metaphoric songs ever is “Little Red Corvette.” So much innuendo.
Great post KD!

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