The Top 10! Finally! This is probably THE group of songs that most of you have been waiting to see. I have always LOVE Top 10s in lists. If something is listed or ranked in the Top 10, then the item must be special. I don’t care what the subject is (Now wait a sec Keller! You don’t read Martha Stewart’s lists or anything on Pinterest.), I want to see the Top 10. That list will give me a brief look as to what is import to that subject matter.
So, let’s jump right in to My Top 10 Favorite ’80s College Rock Songs!
10. The Replacements – “Alex Chilton” (1987). So, who is Alex Chilton? Chilton was the lead singer of the Sixties group The Box Tops, who scored a Number One Billboard hit with the band’s timeless classic “The Letter”. Now, the band had a few more hits, but none as big as their first hit. After Chilton left The Box Tops, he joined the godfathers of power pop, Big Star. Chilton became an iconic figure within the 80s alternative scene, as did Big Star. So, The Replacements honored both Chilton and Big Star with this Big Star/Alex Chilton homage.
9. Bob Mould – “See a Little Light” (1989). In 1987, Bob Mould left Husker Du for a solo career. What we were not ready for was the organic-sounding song cycle of acoustic-based rock songs in the place of the usual pile driving distorted guitar assault of his aforementioned band. It was a startling contrast. And, this was his finest song on his brilliant debut album.
8. R.E.M. – “Radio Free Europe” (1983). This was ground zero of the whole College Rock movement. After this song’s release, for a time, it seemed like there were actually thousands of sound-a-like bands. This song remains iconic and vital to this very day.
7. The Pogues – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” (1988). In 1986, The Clash were kaput. Few artists were stepping up to try to fill the void left behind in the wake of their demise. U2 filled the sincerity portion with their excellent music. But, it was not until 1988, that another Irish band of drunken Celtic folk punks to release a single that recalled The Clash’s energy and vitality. And, this was all done in an ode to a woman’s body.
6. The Style Council – “Walls Come Tumbling Down” (1985). Paul Weller and company seemed to conjure up the ghost of The Jam in order to create this song. It’s desperation and yearning about societal ills. It was the perfect song for the mid-point of the Reagan administration.
Another five songs down, making a total of 195 songs cover thus far on this list. Tomorrow, of course, we will finish off this list! So, until then, keep on rocking in the free world! Peace!
2 thoughts on “Here Are Songs 6 Through 10 on My 200 Favorite ’80s College Rock Songs Countdown”
I don’t know if you are familiar with MOD Pizza – their site says they have one in Evansville, one in Highland and there’s one “coming soon” to Indianapolis – but in addition to great food they have their own radio station, heard all day every day in all their locations in the US and the UK. One fateful day, I stopped into a newly opened location here in town and was immediately struck by the music as soon as I walked in the door. The music just kept getting better and better and it was unlike any station I had ever heard so I finally asked the manager what exactly we were listening to and he told me it was the company’s personalized station and I could listen to it anytime anywhere with an internet connection: MOD Radio
I soon started a Spotify playlist of the songs I had heard while dining at MOD Pizza as well as those I’ve heard while listening online in The Blueberry, standing at my desk or out by the pool and have since filled that playlist with over one thousand different tracks and counting.
MOD Pizza Radio
MOD Pizza Radio is related to your list as many of the songs you’ve selected for your New Wave and College Rock lists are part of MOD’s ever-evolving playlist as it draws a jagged line from The British Invasion of the Sixties up through The Seventies and into punk, new wave, reggae, power pop, modern rock, ska and even hip-hop all the way up through the newest bands of today.
The most-played artists thus far:
Allah-Lahs Animals Beatles Beck Bowie Cars Clash Cream Cure Depeche Mode
Elvis Costello English Beat Jam Joe Jackson Kinks Madness New Order Pixies
Police Pretenders Rolling Stones Small Faces Smiths Specials Spoon T. Rex
Talking Heads U2 Velvet Underground Who XTC Zombies
10. The Replacements – “Alex Chilton” (1987)
09. Bob Mould – “See a Little Light” (1989)
08. R.E.M. – “Radio Free Europe” (1983)
07. The Pogues – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” (1988)
06. The Style Council – “Walls Come Tumbling Down” (1985)
MOD Pizza sounds like a pretty cool business. I will have to wait until the Indy store opens in order to try it.