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.
Timbuk3 – “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” (1986)
Not only one of the songs that people might not interpret as being about nuclear annihilation, Timbuk3’s “The Future’s So Bright …” shared something with Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.” in that it suffered from that ’80s conservative optimism atmosphere and was misinterpreted as being a genuine, earnest sentiment. Like, the future was really looking so positive. Honestly. They meant it. I will give you a hint beyond the “nuclear science” lyric: The brightness was going to be pretty tangible, and pretty destructive.