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.

Genesis – “Land Of Confusion” (1986)
Another pissed-off indictment of the world leaders during the Cold War, Genesis’ “Land Of Confusion” is another one of the key tracks here, particularly for its music video. One of the most famous, recognizable videos of the MTV era, it depicted the band playing, as well as various world leaders, as grotesque Splitting Image puppets. It centers on Reagan, who spends part of the video running around in a Superman costume. That is, until he wakes up at the end of the video and, when going to press the “Nurse” button next to his bed, accidentally and obliviously hits the “Nuke” button. That one hits just a little too close to home these days.

SOURCE: Stereogum 80s Songs About Nuclear Anxiety

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