If you lived through the summer of ’84, it’s hard to forget what the radio sounded like that year. It was a summer of gigantic, blockbuster albums that were played literally everywhere you went.
Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” was a virtual greatest hits record, with a ridiculous number of hit singles, while Prince’s “Purple Rain” was just as big and just as ubiquitous. It so happens that I was on the Jersey shore for part of that summer – ground zero for pop culture, especially if it’s Springsteen related - and these two albums were blasted out of every doorway and every passing car. They played so often that it was almost a relief to hear “Sade” sing “Smooth Operator” for the 10,000th time. It almost felt like a breath of fresh air when a track from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s second album came out of the boardwalk’s video arcade.
Despite the redundant nature of hearing these same albums over and over and over, the music somehow retained its integrity. I remember specific instances of feeling nostalgic seeing the sun set over the ocean while “My Hometown” played in the distance, or sitting at an oyster bar while “I Would Die For You” played over the p.a. system. That was thirty years ago.
Here’s what it was like;
1) Darlington County – Bruce Springsteen
2) I’m on Fire – Bruce Springsteen
3) My Hometown – Bruce Springsteen
4) Couldn’t Stand the Weather – Stevie Ray Vaughan
5) Cold Shot – Stevie Ray Vaughan
6) Take Me With U - Prince
7) I Would Die 4 U – Prince
8) Baby I’m a Star – Prince
9) Smooth Operator - Sade
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