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.
Ultravox – “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” (1984)
“Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” was another of those songs that told a heartfelt tale against the scene of everyone having mere minutes left in their lives. Notably, it’s one of the songs on this list that reacts to nuclear culture as a whole, as important a strain in ’80s psychology as nuclear war. The video for the song depicted a man realizing a power-plant meltdown was imminent and rushing home to spend his final moments with his family. This point on the list seems as good a time as any to remark on just how uplifting ’80s pop music truly was.