In many ways, the 1980s welcomed more of a return of the traditional musical artist. The flower power of the 1960s and the disco craze of the 1970s were little more than long-ago memories when the 1980s’ artists settled into their niches. Here are my 10 favorite male singers from that decade … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 360 of The Daily Dirt
1. We conclude our week of examining the leading male and female rock voices of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
It’s been fun. Hope you have enjoyed it half as much as me. (Reminder: No artist can appear in more than one decade. My rankings. My rules.)
- 1. Michael Jackson: Can you imagine the music he would have provided the world if his life had not ended at age 50? The King of Pop had 28 top-10 hits in a relatively short span. My favorite? “The Way You Make Me Feel.”
- 2. Boy George: If you wade through all of the peripheral issues that engulfed his life, there was an amazing artist. He may have had the finest overall voice of any artist in this decade. “Karma Chameleon” remains one of my all-time favorites.
- 3. John Mellencamp: He will always be the king of “heartland rock.” Songs like “Hurt So Good” and “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.” never get old.
- 4. Freddie Mercury: I’m not sure what was more impressive, his flamboyant stage presence or his four-octave range.
- 5. Bryan Adams: One of the most distinctive voices in rock annals — not too mention an accomplished guitar player, few realize Adams carved out an equally successful second career scoring a number of major hit movies.
- 6. Prince: Most consider “Purple Rain” his finest effort. I still lean toward “When Doves Cry.”
- (PUBLISHER’S NOTE…Steve…good God…You have Boy Freaking George ahead of Prince? And while the small-town Midwestern boy in me loves some Cougar and Adams…really? The debate here is Prince or MJ for the top spot. JRG)
- 7. Lionel Richie: Of all his hits, “Stuck On You” may be the best.
- 8. Huey Lewis: The 1983 LP “Sports” from Huey Lewis and The News was one of the decade’s most celebrated.
- 9. Billy Ocean: “Get Out of Dreams, Get Out Of My Car”: one of the best song titles ever. Leslie Sebastian Charles is the native of Trinidad and Tobago’s actual name. Fun fact: Billy Ocean has three lungs.
- 10: Steve Perry: A crippling hip injury ended Perry’s career a little more than 25 years ago. At one time, there were no hotter talents in rock, or more in demand, than Perry and Journey. Best Steve Perry song? How about “Don’t Stop Believin'”? Just ask the girls athletic teams at Quincy Notre Dame High School.
2. Here’s an update from babynames.com for the most popular baby names so far this year:
- 1. Oliver
- 2. Asher
- 3. Theodore
- 4. Noah
- 5. Henry
- 1. Violet
- 2. Charlotte
- 3. Aurora
- 4. Amelia
- 5. Hazel
- 1. Willow
- 2. Rowan
- 3. Sage
- 4. Avery
- 5. Quinn
3. Some strange, but oh-so-true facts, thanks to Reader’s Digest:
Gold medal: Froot Loops are all the same flavor. (As soon as I’m done with this, I’m going to Hy-Vee on Harrison and buying a box of Froot Loops.)
Silver medal: The actual name for a flock of ravens is a “conspiracy” or “unkindness. (Not sure what is actually wrong with flock.”)
Bronze medal: Octopuses (Octopi? JRG) have three hearts. So do squids. (I only have one, but is big.)
Steve Thought O’ The Day — If all the Froot Loops taste the same, why not just have them all be red, purple or whatever?
Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He is actually the person in charge of the newsroom today. God help us all.
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