By Jack Sharkey, August 25, 2017

 

1985

Live Aid was the event of the year (decade? century?), and MTV dictated what we thought was popular, even if it wasn't always good. Synthsizers and New Wave and lots of pastel colors dictated the day.   

 

Material Girl - Madonna Don't like Madonna you say? Then don't set your time machine for 1985, because popsters, hipsters and rockers alike were all listening to the Material Girl. 

 

Raspberry Beret - Prince Prince at his post-Purple Rain peak, which lasted pretty much until his death in 2016. Sheer brilliance.    

 

Take On Me - a-ha At the time, the conventional wisdom was this Norwegian band's mega-hit was because of the video (that incidentally used the absolute state-of-the-art video tech of the day to produce), but here we are thirty-two years later still trying to hit those notes.   

 

Dancing In the Street - David Bowie & Mick Jagger Bowie and Jagger wanted to perform together via satellite from Wembley Stadium in London and RFK Stadium in Philadelphia during the Live Aid benefit, but technical limitations nixed that idea. So they hit the alley behind a film studio in London and threw this together in an afternoon.

 

We Are the World - USA for Africa Through the lens of history, Live Aid, Band Aid and USA for Africa might seem a little naive and jingoistic, but even though the sincerity of the efforts didn't age well, at the time, everyone involved really did think they were making a difference. Plus, look at the people who performed on this song - simply amazing. 

 

 

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