A Song A Day in May: 80s Nuclear War Anxiety

The Music I listened to and loved in the 80s had an influence on me, it’s undeniable. Along with the books I read, the television shows and movies I watched, the people I met, they all helped shape create the foundation of who I am today. Would I be me today if I hadn’t seen “The Day After” at a young age and had a near-obsession level of paranoia over my skin getting peeled off in a nuclear blast? Who’s to say? Did the artists of the music I listen to and their speaking out on political and social matters shape me? Absolutely.

I stumbled across Stereogum‘s list of 80s songs about nuclear war and it was nostalgia on full volume for me. Their list included songs I may not have realized at the time were as political as they were, but now with adult eyes and 30+ years of hindsight, I am grateful that they are. I hope you enjoy some of them as much as I do.

The Psychedelic Furs – “Heaven” (1984)
Like “I Melt With You,” the Furs’ “Heaven” is a surface-level romantic song that has an apocalyptic backdrop (“There’s a hole in the sky/ Where the sun don’t shine”) as Richard Butler strains to claim he doesn’t hear planes coming. “Heaven” was from the Furs’ 1984 album Mirror Moves alongside one of their more underrated classics, “Here Come Cowboys,” a song that, with sardonic lines like “Here come cowboys/ Here to save us all,” is tempting to read into as well.

SOURCE: Stereogum 80s Songs About Nuclear Anxiety

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