10. The Bangles, "Manic Monday"
Written by Prince, and it sounds like it. (That's a good thing.) The Bangles keep his patented bounce, but add a bit of their own flavor to it. From this song to Garfield, we really liked to complain about Mondays in the 80s, didn't we? There's just enough of an edge of melancholy to keep this song from being kitsch.
9. Phil Collins, "Take Me Home"
I'll admit it, I really like this song. I've talked at length about Phil Collins on this blog, because he is such an odd artifact of his time. A short, aging drummer with a receeding hairline who someone managed to make it big in the music video era. His best music, like this song, contains a surprising emotional heft. My understanding is that this is a song about someone in a mental hospital who is desperate to go home again. Collins is pretty good at bringing that tragic longing across.
8. The Outfield, "Your Love"
7. Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love Of All"
6. Janet Jackson, "What Have You Done For Me Lately"
5. Rolling Stones, "Harlem Shuffle"
At this point the Stones were completely adrift and almost broke apart. The production is ridiculously 80s, and Jagger's clowning is even more garish. The song is a classic R&B cover, the type of thing they used to do a lot on their early records, except those songs were actually good.
4. Van Halen, "Why Can't This Be Love"
3. Prince and the Revolution, "Kiss"
This song was a staple at the grad student parties I went to in the early 2000s. Much funkier than the other stuff on the charts, you just can't help shaking it when this song comes on. Prince's falsetto is also an interesting choice, giving his lyrics less of a leering connotation. As usual, when viewed in context of the other songs on the charts his hits sound that much more fresh and innovative.
2. Pet Shop Boys, "West End Girls"
1. Robert Palmer, "Addicted To Love"