It's been October since I did one of these. My bad. I'm currently listening to my playlist for the year 2000, so time really did get away from me. Let's see if I remember what I was doing...
I was out of high school and didn't pursue higher education. My folks couldn't afford it and they tried to get me some financial aid, but it wasn't to be. And I wasn't working much. I believe I was only working at the comic book shop at the time and I had a seasonal job in the mall for Christmas. I wasn't the most motivated of people when it came for looking for a job. I earned just enough money to buy comics and an occasional record and at the time, that was good enough. I look back at the me of 1985 and just want to kick the shit out of him. But the past is the past.
I wasn't looking forward to the post-1984 playlists. The music of high school was pretty terrific, especially in retrospect. And that sound had been slowing morphing through the early 80s. My initial thoughts as I got to this playlist was it was going to be a lot of really cheesy canned synths and cheap production. And while there may have been some of that, there were some pretty great things.
That's the year Be Yourself Tonight by Eurythmics came out. That album was a complete game changer for me. I loved the stuff Eurythmics had put out prior to this, but there was something about this record that absolutely hooked me. I really liked them before, I became a fanatic at this point.
It was also the year that Control by Janet Jackson came out. I loved that album. So much.
I loved Howard Jones' first album, but it was his second album, Dream Into Action, that, like Be Yourself Tonight, totally sold me. Took away any doubts about which direction my adoration for Howard was going to go.
Falco 3 also made a huge impression on me. I was still all about anything German and his German/English lyrics tickled me so. He was a great big giant cheeseball, but he didn't give a fuck and made fun records.
It was right around this time, I believe, that I discovered the radio station out of Woodstock WDST. They played all the coolest music. None of that pop shit that I loved, but alternative stuff no one else was playing. I found out about Midge Ure's solo record The Gift by listening to that station. "If I Was" remains one of my go to songs to this day. It was a thrill to finally see him live in concert last year and to hear this live.
Hounds Of Love is another album that pulled me in and hasn't let me go to this day. I'm embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of Kate Bush until I heard "Running Up That Hill" on the (pop) radio station. It was everything a pop single could be without being a pop single. My friend Tom had all her albums and lent them to me to copy.
I was (and still am) obsessed with Tina Turner. I flipped when I found out there was a new, unreleased song on the USA For Africa album. I was there the day it went on sale to get it. I don't know why I have such a strong memory of it, but I bought it at Cam-Bo-Rec in uptown Kingston.
Another album I have a very distinct memory of purchasing was Youthquake by Dead Or Alive. I only knew "You Spin Me Round" but it was enough. It was snowing, I got off work at my mall job and I was waiting for my Dad to come pick me up. I don't recall why I didn't have my Mom's car that day, but I had some time to kill, so I was poking around the record store. And I saw the album and had to have it.
It was really fucking cool going through this playlist. There was a lot of great music that I just didn't realize came out in 1985. It really surprised me in a good way at how good it was.
Here's what I bought in 1985 as new releases.