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.
Public Image Ltd. – “Home” (1986)
John Lydon was no stranger to incensed takes on culture and politics, whether in Sex Pistols or Public Image Ltd. In the churning, metallic “Home,” he sneers “Better days will never be” before getting to the big stuff: “Spare no man/ Match bomb for bomb.” It combines the anger at the politicians running all this with the daily anxiety of impending doom, making its final refrain of “Home sweet home” a sarcastic, snarling outro.