Essential Tracks

Terry Teachout's co-blogger, OGIC, on About Last Night was on vacation recently and was able to listen to CBC's Radio One, which is exploring five essential tracks from each decade in the 20th century. Here's the list from the 80's:

1. 'Billie Jean' [Michael Jackson]
2. 'With or Without You' [U2]
3. 'Message' [Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five]
4. 'Fight the Power' [Public Enemy]
5. In a tie, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' [Joy Division] and 'When Doves Cry' [Prince]

The runners-up were Eddy Grant's 'Electric Avenue' and 'Hungry Like the Wolf' by Duran Duran."

While I'm not sure that I agree with the above, I'm hard put to come up with alternatives (at least, right now, off the top of my head - give me a little while and I'm sure I could). "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles, perhaps, because it was prescient.

Read what OGIC says and create your own essential list.


Anonymous said...

While I may agree with Michael Jackson and Prince right away (though not those particular selections) the first one that popped in my head was Police On My Back by the Clash. As for U2 why oh why would they be on any list?

mark zip said...

<pedantry>Ummmm, well, "Police On My Back" is an Eddy Grant song (from his time in The Equals)</pedantry>

Dunno about the U2 track, though. Really. How about Sonic Youth? "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye? "Attention Na Sida" by Franco?

And,of course, such a list should always accompanied by some mention of the cultural context in which it was compiled. For instance, is this a list of Essential Western/Anglo pop? Also, given that this was put together by a Canadian radio program, I am astounded that they did not feel that they had to have some Canadian track. I mean, what happened to CanCon?