Professor Mark Csele

All-Time Favorites

Most of my favorites lie in the 80’s although there are a few 70’s bands here. This is list of my current favorites. The 80’s stuff in this list has endured through the years and _still_ sounds good. There is no particular order to this list although my favorite (if I had to pick one) would undoubtedly be ‘Blinded Me With Science’. Of course, favourite songs are like moods and change with time….

My All-time Favorite Top 23 Songs

Most of which are one hit wonders … for favorite albums, see list below… It was a top-20 list but I’m not sure what to eliminate

  • Human League – Don’t You Want Me – 1981
  • Nena – 99 Luft Balloons – 1983 (remember the video?)
  • Sherry Kean – I Want You Back – 1983 (obscure, Canadian, music popular on CFNY for a bit)
  • The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star – 1979 (the classic song that ushered-in the whole MTV era)
  • Thomas Dolby – Blinded With Science – 1982 (if any one song said ‘eighties’, this would be it)
  • Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good – 1984
  • The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian
  • Bananarama – Venus
  • Stephen Tin Tin Duffy – Kiss Me – 1985 (a classic bar tune)
  • Tapps – Runaway – 1983 (more obscure, and wonderful, alternative CFNY music)
  • Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (Mode was just one of those staple 80’s bands everyone liked)
  • New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle – 1986 (no one understood the lyrics, but it was danceable)
  • Rush – Fly By Night (not eighties, but brings back memories of a laser light show many moons ago)
  • Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen (not eighties, I remember this one on 8-track)
  • Trans-X – Living On Video (my fave from long ago)
  • Kirsty MacColl – A New England
  • Vicious Pink – Take Me Now (a classic from the Bombshelter at UofW)
  • Talk Talk – It’s My Life
  • Til Tuesday – Voices Carry
  • REM – Shiny Happy People (I like the video for ‘Stand’ better – fun and silly)
  • Ministry – Every Day Is Hallowe’en – 1984 (the classic ‘bop bop bop’ song)
  • Falco – Der Kommisar (After The Fire made a funked-up English version, too)
  • Real Life – Send Me An Angel

A few more I found which still sound great! …. so much for 23

  • Devo – Whip It (of course nowadays I think of cleaning 🙂
  • Missing Persons – Walking In L.A. (A two-hit wonder band – remember ‘Words’)
  • Yaz – Situation
  • Torch Song – Don’t Look Now (very scarce and obscure, but popular on CFNY for a bit)
  • Frida – I know there’s something going on (an ex-ABBA-ite on a solo career)
  • China Crisis – Working with Fire and Steel
  • Voice Of America – Story Of Love
  • Endgames – First, Last for Everything
  • Strange Advance – We Run
  • Ceta Javu – Situations
  • Thomas Leer – Heartbeat
  • Smiths – How Soon is Now
  • Book Of Love – I Touch Roses
  • Nu Shooz – Point of No Return (Heard on KISS FM, popular top-40)

My All-time Favorite Albums 

A carry-over from the seventies phenomenon of ‘album rock’ as opposed to ‘one hit wonder’

  • Kate Bush – The Whole Story (What an amazing voice, rumoured to span over five octaves!)
  • Propaganda – A Secret Wish (My very first CD in 1985)
  • Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon (‘Refined’ Floyd, loved it in Laser Floyd)
  • Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age Of Wireless (Besides ‘Science’, a few other good tunes like ‘Submarines’)
  • New Order – Substance 1987 (a _required_ eighties anthology)
  • U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (I never liked U2 until ‘Laser U2’ and then it had to grow on me for a bit)

My Favorite mid-80’s alternative dance/bar hits

I was at UofW at the time spending evening at Fed Hall so this in the kind of stuff you’d hear there. There’s a lot of weird stuff in there … (the Goth kind that wants to make you dress in black and stand in front of a subwoofer 🙂

  • The The – Perfect
  • Go! – Tones on Tail
  • Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People
  • Rigor Mortis – A Split Second
  • Shriekback – Nemesis
  • Love and Rockets – Ball of Confusion
  • Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – Kiss them for Me

A Few Other Gems

Which deserve mention. Some, straight from the Rolley Alley rink (ever lie on your back on a roller skating rink floor during the ‘Rock Lobster’?), others, made popular via music videos.

  • IIV (Images in Vogue) (Yeah, their songs all sound the same)
  • OMD (Orchestra Manouveurs in the Dark)
  • Romeo Void – Never Say Never (Was probably popular solely for the lyrics if not the ‘teenage angst’ angle)
  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believing (A classic Roller-skating tune)
  • Dream Academy – Life In a Northern Town
  • English Beat – Mirror In the Bathroom
  • DM – Get the balance right
  • Wall Of Voodoo – Mexican Radio
  • Cure – Just Like Heaven
  • B52’s – Rock Lobster
  • Blancmange – Don’t Tell Me

The B Sides

There is, of course, a reason why it was called it a ‘B’ side ….

A colleague and I occasionally debate the nature of seventies music. I usually present the ‘corporate rock’ argument while he feels there was lots of great music that came out during the period – but best of all, Yes (identified the colleague yet?).

My argument was that while there was an occasional good song, bands came up with a lot of crap to fill an album. Maybe bands still do this (I can think of a few examples of lousy music on various albums I own), but it seemed that the reverse side of 45 rpm records contained the particularly bad stuff ….

Consider this gem (as in “let’s bury it”) on the B side of the sappy-sweet 1973 hit “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks. ‘Seasons’ was a popular song and one misunderstood. _I_ thought it was about some guy dying of cancer, but if you look at the lyrics for the album version, you find a verse missing on the 45 version (the one which explains that he killed his best friend, Emile, since he was too friendly with his wife François). Hmmmpf … solves that mystery (ain’t the web great). Further, ‘Seasons’ was a remake, originally performed by the Kingston Trio.

While ‘Seasons’ may have, in many people’s book, been on the top ten list of bad songs you ain’t heard NOTHING yet until you’ve heard the B side! Consider the lyrics for ‘Put The Bone In’: Put the bone in she asked him at the store. Cuz my doggies been hit by a car. And I do want to bring him something. Put the bone in, she asked him once more. It gets WORSE, if you can believe that, on the second verse where the sweet pork meat is described. In _my_ book, this one tops (bottoms?) the list of the worst songs of all time.

Gone But Not Forgotten

HamsterDance A site which clearly fell into the half-baked category. It was created in 1998 by graphics student, Dierdre LaCarte, on a bet that _her_ site would get more hits than her sister’s or friend’s. Well, it’s had over 12 million hits. No longer in operation, the cute little tune developed for this site was the inspiration for the dance hit of the same name. 

Update: It’s back online. Click here to view the website from 1998!