Prom playlist: what’s missing?

February 19, 2009 § 15 Comments

Amazing comments = this updated version. Feb 19/09 1720EST.

People in Toronto (and people following me on Twitter) will know that Tonya and I are turning 40 soon … and this weekend is our party. The theme is ‘The Prom You Never Had’, rebooting 1987 and making it what we wished it had been.

I’ve been compiling the party soundtrack for a while now. Some of it’s stuff I love. A bunch of it is stuff I know people want to hear, and dance to. This is what’s on the list so far (new or re-added stuff in red):

54.40 – Baby Ran
ACDC – You Shook Me All Night Long
Aerosmith + Run DMC – Walk This Way
Aha – Take On Me
Alarm -Sixty Eight Guns
Alphaville – Forever Young
Art of Noise_04_Close (To The Edit)
Art Of Noise – Peter Gunn

B52s – Love Shack
Bananarama – Cruel Summer
Bananarama – Venus
Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian
Beastie Boys – Fight for Your Right to Party
Big Country – In A Big Country
Billy Idol – White Wedding
Blondie – Call Me
Bobby McFerrin – Dont Worry Be Happy
Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy
Bronski Beat – Smalltown boy
Cameo – Word Up
Clash – Clampdown
Clash – London Calling
Clash – Police & Thieves
Clash – Rock the Casbah
Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go
Clash – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
Cramps – Goo Goo Muck
Crowded House – Something So Strong
Cult – She sells sanctuary
Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
David Bowie – Lets Dance
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Right Round
Depeche Mode – People are People
Devo – Whip It!
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
Dire Straits -Money For Nothing
Doctor and the Medics – Spirit In The Sky
Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town

Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran – Rio
Eddie Grant – Electric Avenue
English Beat – Can’t Get USed to Losing You
English Beat -Mirror In The Bathroom
English Beat -Save It For Later
English Beat – Twist And Crawl

Eurhythmics – Would I Lie To You
Eurythmics – Sweet dreams
EWF – Wanna Be With You
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
Ferris Bueller – Oh Yeah!
Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
Flying Lizards – Money ( That’s what I want )
Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
George Michael – Faith
Go Gos – Our Lips Are Sealed
Go-Go’s – We Got The Beat
Guns n Roses – Sweet child of Mine
Human League – Don’t you want me
Husker Du -New Day Rising (Live)
Jesus and Mary Chain -Just Like Honey

J Giles – Angel is a Centerfold
Joan Jett – I Love Rock And Roll
John Cougar Mellancamp – Jack and Diane
Joy Division Cover – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
Kim Mitchell -Patio Lanterns
Kool and the Gang – Celebration
Laura Branigan – What a Feeling
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven
Level 42 – Something About You
Lionel Richie – All Night Long
Lipps Inc. – Funky Town
Loverboy – Everybody’s Working For The Weekend
Madness – Our House
Madonna – Holiday
Madonna – Like A Prayer
Madonna – Like a virgin
Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach
Madonna –  Vogue
Maestro Fresh Wes – Let Your Backbone
Martha and the Muffins – Echo Beach
Men At Work – Land Down Under
Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
Michael Jackson – Bad
Michael Jackson – Beat It
Michael -Jackson – Billy Jean
Modern English – I’ll Stop the World and Melt W
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades
Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok
Musical Youth – Pass The Duchie
Nena – 99 Red Balloons
Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Peter Schilling – Major Tom
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
Pogues- Fairytale Of New York
Police – Every Breath You Take
Police – Roxanne
Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
Prince – Kiss
Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
Prince – Purple Rain
Prince – Raspberry Beret
Prince – When Doves Cry
Pursuit of Happiness – I’m An Adult Now
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
Queen – Flash
Ramones – Bonzo Goes To Bitburg
Ramones – Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?
Ramones – Rock N Roll High School
REM – End Of The World
Rick James – Super Freak
Rush – Tom Sawyer
Sade – Smooth Operator
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love missle F1-11
Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
Simply Red – Holding Back The Years
Sinead Oconnor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Soft Cell – Tainted Love
Spandau Ballet – True
Specials – Free Nelson Mandela
Specials – Ghost Town (12″ Ver.)
Specials – Too Much Too Young (Live)
Styxx – Mr.Roboto
Talking Heads – Burning Down The House
Talking Heads -Once In A Lifetime
Tears For Fears – Shout
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science
Toni Basil – Hey Mickey
Toto – Africa
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
U2 – In The Name Of Love
UB40 – Rat in mi kitchen
UB40 – Red red wine
Van Halen – Jump
Vapors – Turning Japanese
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone
Waitresses – I Know What Boys Like
Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio
Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Wham – Careless Whisper
Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
ZZ Top – Legs
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

What’s missing? If you we’re rebooting a 1987 prom, what would you want to hear? What’s so lame we should dump it?

§ 15 Responses to Prom playlist: what’s missing?

  • Bram says:

    Congrats, Mark. Well, from your RSS feed to my ears — let me suggest Starship’s We Built this City (which has apparently been named “the worst song ever” and “one of the stupidest songs of all time” — everyone’s a critic) and Bundock’s American Singer.

  • Ryan says:

    Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing”
    Gowan, “Moonlight Desires” or “Strange Animal”

    Need to identify one or two “last dance songs”. Maybe GnR’s “November Rain”, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or *gasp* Zep’s “Stairway.” You can judg your age by what the last dance song was at your prom — the young kids will have something like Meatloaf’s “I would do anything for Love.”

    No prom is complete without a last dance song.

  • Liz Phillips says:

    You have no Cars (best friend’s girlfriend)! Eagles (I don’t care, I loved them then), Styx (you gotta put Babe in there for the ass-grab slow dancin’),Luba (every time I see your picture I cry), Bonnie Tyler (Bright Eyes), think K-tel . . . I’ll ask my brothers . . .

  • Paul Kim says:

    this is an *awesome* list. a few more suggestions from the new wave aisle: english beat – save it for later, kajagoogoo – too shy, berlin – sex, golden earring – twilight zone, romeo void – never say never, oingo boingo – dead man’s party, new order – perfect kiss

  • Neil says:

    Alas, I cannot make it to your shindig, but I can offer some musical suggestions:

    Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio
    The Cure – Lovecats? Why Can’t I Be You? So many to choose from…
    Adam Ants – Goody Two Shoes
    The Alarm – 68 Guns
    Big Country – In a Big Country
    The Plimsouls – Million Miles Away

  • Neil says:

    Oh, and I know it’s technically from the 70’s, but the B-52’s Rock Lobster was a fixture at my jr. high / high school dances.

  • Greg Wilson says:

    Not a single Elvis Costello tune? For shame… And what about the Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”, or some Billy Idol?

  • jesspassiton says:

    Decs version of wake me up before you go go is missing! I got mine here fore just 79p and proceeds go to charity – come on its hilarious to see ant and dec back in the charts! (they are battling to see who can sell the msot singles this week as part of ant vs dec)! Come on team Dec (he has to win singing a wham classic – Ant has covered Sclub 7!)

  • Jude says:

    Great list, Mark! Support Neil’s adds.


    Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
    Donna Summer – State of Independence
    Echo and the Bunnymen – Rescue, Killing Moon, Lips Like Sugar
    English Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom
    Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out
    Level 42 – Something About You
    Patti Smith – Because the Night, People Have the Power
    The Monks – Drugs In My Pocket

  • Phoff says:

    Great list! I’ll be turning 40 soon and this brings me way back.

    I was going to add most of what Liz Philips suggested (you have to play Bonnie Tyler!), but I’ll make 2 more suggestions:

    Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
    Thompson Twins – Doctor Doctor
    Platinum Blonde – Crying Over You

  • Misha says:

    1) I’m of an age where early-to-mid-80’s (Duran Duran) seems like a *completely* different musical era than mid-to-late-80’s (Beastie Boys).

    2) Some great records came out in 1987 – Sonic Youth:Sister, Prince:SignOTheTimes, Eric B & Rakim:Paid in Full, Public Enemy Yo Bum Rush the Show. But none of those scream 1987 to me. What does is the Cure, Just Like Heaven, a song I don’t particularly love. But is sure locates the year for me, and I sure did hear it a lot at parties.

  • Liz Phillips says:

    Paul and everyone after him should be listened to in terms of adds. Judy, I had that very Level 42 song so Mark, DO IT. And where’s the Cars?????????? and Babe???? You can’t be a snob. Babe was THE slow song so get it in there, punk boy!

  • Paul says:

    Great list! Some missed? More grist:

    Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
    Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives
    James Brown – Funky President
    Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
    Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized
    The Cars – Drive
    The Cure – Lets Go To Bed
    The Rolling Stones – Too Much Blood
    The Romantics – What I Like About You
    The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?

  • Special AKA – Free Nelson Mandela

    Oingo Boingo – theme from the New Music (da da da DAH, da da da da da, dum de dum de dum de dum da dee da dee…. cue trumpet squeal

    Hoodoo Gurus – Like Wow – Wipeout

    Colourfield – Can’t Get Enough of You Baby

    and a guilty admission… Haircut 100 – Love Plus One 🙂

  • Great playlist! Not sure if I agree with all the choices, but who does? Great blog🙂

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