Music · Music Monday · Nostalgia

21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s


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Let’s face it: The 1980’s were filled with some of the awesomest, raddest, most totally tubular things.

Cartoons like Transformers and The Simpsons and He-Man and She-Ra. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Jetsons, Inspector Gadget, DuckTales, ThunderCats, Garfield, The Smurfs, G.I. Joe, The Real Ghostbusters, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Care Bears, Gummie Bears, J.E.M., The Legend of Zelda, Pound Puppies, and Fraggle Rock.

Shows like M*A*S*H and Roseanne and Married…With Children and Happy Days and Full House and MacGyver and Quantum Leap and Dynasty and Diff’rent Strokes and Night Court and Mork and Mindy and ALF and The A-Team and Magnum, P.I. and The Cosby Show and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and Charles in Charge and Saved by the Bell and The Wonder Years.

Movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, The Karate Kid, Beetlejuice, Uncle Buck, Top Gun, Flashdance, Footloose, Good Morning, Vietnam, Tron, The Princess Bride, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Return of the Jedi, The Blues Brothers, Big, Lethal Weapon, Airplane!, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Back to the Future, E.T., and The Goonies.

Toys like My Little Ponies and Polly Pockets and Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcakes and Lite-Brites and Teddy Ruxpins. Popples, Garbage Pail Kids Cards, Big Wheels, View-Masters, Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines, Madballs, LEGOs, Trolls, Glo-Worms, Micro-Machines, Spirographs, Etch-A-Sketches, Simon Says’, Lincoln Logs, Hot Wheels, Talking Phones, Tinker Toys, Tonka Trucks, and Moon Shoes. Ataris and Nintendos and Segas.

Oh, and action figures—all of them.

Fashion like slap bracelets, jellies, parachute pants, shoulder pads, and high-waisted acid-washed jeans that you pegged at the bottom. Fanny packs, slogan shirts, track suits, dancewear, velour, and spandex. Reebok, Lacoste, Espirit, L.A. Gear, Ocean Pacific, Sperry, Swatch, Jams, Vans, Members Only, and Ray-Ban.

Hairstyles like side-ponies and top-ponies pulled up in scrunchies. Man buns (and man-ponies), mullets, and rat tails. Permed hair and crimped locks and high-teased bangs. And hairspray—lots and lots and lots of hairspray.

But the gnarliest part of those super-stylin’, neon-splashed years?

The music, of course.

Duh.

Come on, the bands and singers speak for themselves, don’t you think?

ABBA, AC/DC, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Whitesnake, The Cars, The Cure, U2, Survivor, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Toto, Hall and Oates, Dire Straits, Rush, Huey Lewis & the News, KISS, INXS, Talking Heads, Pet Shop Boys, and The Police…

Chicago, The Clash, Foreigner, Culture Club, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones, Blondie, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, A-ha, Twisted Sister, Simply Red, Journey, Bon Jovi, Genesis, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, the Ramones, R.E.M., WHAM!, Queen, and Air Supply…

Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, George Michael, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, and Billy Joel…

Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bonnie Tyler, Donna Summer, Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, Sting, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Janet Jackson, Kenny Loggins, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Robert Palmer, Belinda Carlisle, Joan Jett, Cher, Boy George, and Steve Winwood…

We could go on and on, but we think you get the point, so we will cut. it. out.

* * *

But today we aren’t sharing any of those songs we’ve all grown to love over the years (and let’s face it, since the music was so epic, kids born even decades later even know most of it). Instead, we’re throwing it back to the ’80s for this Music Monday post with a new, modern twist: At first, when you hear the sounds of synths and keyboards, you’ll think you’ve gone back in time, but a closer listen will reveal that these songs are all actually from this era. Proof that the music of the 1980’s (and all the other totally awesome things from those years) will never really go out of style.

So crank up the volume (just like you used to on your boombox), because we bet that in no time, these songs will have you pitying the fools who haven’t stumbled upon this bodacious, happen’en playlist of 21 New Songs that Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s.


1) So I Met Someone – VHS Collection


2) I Know a Place – MUNA


3) Dreamers – Scavenger Hunt


4) Dove – Pillar Point


5) Physical – The Aces


6) This Song – R.A.C. ft. Rostam


7) Heartbreak Dream – Betty Who


8) Teardrops – Roosevelt


9) Show Me the Way – Penguin Prison


10) Lying to You – Goldroom


11) Far Too Close – J.Views


12) Kimono – Tundran


13) Colder Parts – HUNNY


14) Somebody Else – The 1975


15) Take It or Leave It – Great Good Fine OK


16) Faint of Heart – The Strike


17) Dancing on My Own – Robyn


18) Tiger Teeth – Walk the Moon


19) Sunset – The Midnight

Want to know more about The Midnight? Check out our review of The Midnight concert at the historic Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado!


20) Elevate – St. Lucia


21) Heart & Thunder – FIVES


Let Us Know: What are some of your favorite things from the 1980’s? What are your favorite songs from that decade? What’s your favorite current song that sounds like it belongs somewhere in the past?
Do you like new songs that sound old? Check out our 19 New Songs That Sound Vintage and Sounds Old to Me: 19 More New Songs with a Vintage, Throwback Vibe.

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At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

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10 thoughts on “21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s

  1. I’ve heard a few of these but not all of them so I’ll have to check the rest out! The 80s were the best, Saturday morning cartoons were my favorite!

  2. Is it bad that I’ve only heard of 2 of the artists before? But, I LOVE the music! And I haven’t watched a music video for ages….maybe not since the 80’s 😉 I still love 80’s music, so I love all this music that sounds inspired by it. Plus, I still get to watch all the cartoons, as my kids watch all of them on Netflix 🙂

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