URGENT! Paging the 1980s … Please contact Reception immediately


I’ve just been told that the friend I’m being Best Man for on Monday wants a glorified 1980s mixtape to play at the wedding reception when the band isn’t on. I’m going to see him over the weekend to put a CD-R together. We both have lots of 80s stuff, but we were both out-&-out metalheads back then. There’s a file in the ‘Box if anyone with DJ experience/sense wants to Drop anything more generally suitable than HM for a 25-85 year-olds (i.e. no kid, but lots of older folks) dancefloor.

Off to work; back later.


33 thoughts on “URGENT! Paging the 1980s … Please contact Reception immediately

  1. I’m out now for most of the weekend but thought of these

    Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
    Paul Simon – pretty much anything from Graceland
    Pet Shop Boys

  2. Madonna, New Order, ABC, Freeze, Haircut 100, Soft Cell, Billy Idol, A Certain Ratio, Scritti Politti, KId Creole, Was Not Was, Grace Jones, Altered Images, The Smiths ……

    People in their late 50s and 60s now were listening to (and more importantly dancing to) all that stuff back them.

    • ABC & Soft Cell already on the list.
      I added Scritti Politti and Was (Not Was) to it today.
      Also changed the NO tune from Blue Monday to True Faith.
      Billy Idol’s White Wedding is a MASSIVE part of my & the groom’s shared 80s, but the bride has vetoed it. She also turned her nose up today at Altered Images.

  3. My friend has just a bar and we’re planning theme nights for it now. He’s a metalhead and he wants me to do the DJing and he wants 70s/80s nights as I’ve done that before.

    A couple of things. Don’t worry too much about it being music from outside the 80s, my friend said, “We’ve gotta have Oasis.” His reply to my “They’re 1990s.” was “Doesn’t matter.”

    Also don’t worry if it was never popular, if a tune is good or has entered the public’s consciousness they’ll dance like mad to it. My fave example being Iggy’s Lust for Life. Very good for congas… Real Wild Child is another party fave.

    I think I have your email via some a group email RTJ sent once. Will send something via email/onedrive.

  4. It won’t surprise you to hear I have loads of such shit on my iPod – will bung some stuff in the Box laterzzz…

  5. Are you going for ‘credible’ or ‘get everyone on the dancefloor!’?

    Bangles, Walk Like An Egyptian
    Katrina and the Waves, Walking on Sunshine
    Kylie Minogue, The Locomotion
    Mel & Kim, Respectable
    Neneh Cherry, Buffalo Stance
    Dexys, Come On Eileen
    Kim Wilde, Kids in America
    Rufu and Chaka Khan, Ain’t Nobody
    Debarge, Rhythm of the Night
    Diana Ross, Chain Reaction
    The Weather Girls, It’s Raining Men
    Irene Cara, Flashdance

    I’ll get my coat…

    • K&tW’s Walking On Sunshine already on the “must include” list. Dexys are not welcome; no explanation offered. But I must ask about The Weather Girls.

  6. I’ve put some stuff in the box – Aerosmith; Bad English; Bonnie Tyler; Bruce Hornsby; Fleetwood Mac; John Farnham; Marillion; Mr. Mister; Psychedelic Furs; REO Speedwagon; Richard Marx;
    Steve Miller Band; The Hooters; Toto x 2.

    Hope it’s a good mixture of the cheerful and the cheesy. Have fun!

    • I tried The Furs’ Pretty In Pink on the bride today, but she just looked back at me blankly. It’s off the list, and not coming in!

  7. Ok DsD, always willing to oblige, have chucked a bunch of stuff in, these are poppy but hopefully in the less “obvious” way

    Depeche Mode – New Life
    OMD – Electricity
    Teardrop Explodes – Treason
    Modern English – I Melt With You
    The Human League – Love Action
    Ultravox – Love’s Great Adventure
    New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

    and then these because they are cast iron guaranteed floorfillers

    Aha – Take On Me
    Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round Like a Record
    Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen

    Good luck!

  8. Thank you all for your comments, private emails and contributions.

    Turns out the problem isn’t as big as I’d feared, but I’ll explain once I’ve got my demob-happy kids in bed.



  9. Hi all.

    OK, it seems the schedule for the evening on Monday has changed since I last understood it. Having finished work early this afternoon *, I decided to call in on the happy couple before going home. The bride has picked my suit, presented me with my tie & hankie to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, and explained that we need two relatively short sets of music.

    Both exclusively 80s – so I have to ignore Fuel‘s excellent advice unfortunately – what we need is:

    1. About an hour of memory-jogging, but less raucous, and not-necessarily-danceable tunes to last about an hour to be background music whilst the buffet is served after the band’s first set.

    2. Up to 75 minutes of post-band drunken dance wigouts, for the period after the band finishes, which may choose to slow down and smooch / chill-out as we get drowned out by the call of taxis and welcoming beds.

    Muggins here is tasked with sequencing some must-haves (incl. The Toy Dolls’ Nellie The Elephant, for example), picking from a preselected fifty or so agreed other tunes, and augmenting with songs they’d either forgotten, or don’t own. I also have a verboten list, sadly.

    So I’m being forced to include some strange choices (The Cars’ Drive, Elton John’s Nikita), and I’m banned from picking some otherwise dead-certs (Addicted To Love, Come On Eileen).

    Finally, it’s a strict one-song-per-band quota, so the groom has lost his beloved Walk Like An Egyptian (Ask me or Gordon about that sometime!), because the bride has bagsied Eternal Flame as The Bangles‘ one allowed song.

    Nonetheless, you’ve armed me with some brilliant grenades to lob in, for which I’m most grateful. I’ll try to keep this thread updated with how we go on.

    Must go to bed; the bottle of Pinot Grigio that barely touched the sides on its way down my neck at teatime has caught up with me.


    * – Good Luck in the play-off final to The Millers, and as I’m at it, The Cod Army too. Lovely sets of lads, both.

  10. This won’t help but I did a how to explain the 80’s through song a while back – ‘possibly’ not the most joyous dance friendly – but so interesting to see how ‘political’ pop could be / how nuclear obliteration was a real threat causing the anti american agenda / drugs were so much of an escape (but not in a 60’s fun way – this was blocking out escape) / plus the rich and poor being shaped by Thatcherism greed and uncaring attitude:

    Ghost Town The Specials
    Experiment IV (Hybrid Remix) Kate Bush
    Heartland The The
    Sheriff Fatman Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
    The Homeless Problem The Ragga Twins
    Sign O The Times Prince
    Civilization Street Culture Shock
    Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) Pet Shop Boys
    Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?) Wham!
    99 Luftballons Nena
    Two Tribes Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    War Prayer Shamen
    All This And More The Wedding Present
    Panic The Smiths
    Message II-(Survival) Grandmaster Flash
    Raindance Past Seven Days
    The Safety Dance Men Without Hats
    Blue Monday New Order
    E=Mc2 Big Audio Dynamite

    I’d say Men Without Hats/ New Order/ Nena/ Wham!/ Pet shop Boys would fit.

    Belle Stars – the Clapping song
    Dexy’s – Geno or Jackie (Jocky) Wilson Said
    and the song I’d get hitched too:
    Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Dance Little Rude Boy

      • I asked a long time ago – she refused as it didn’t sit well with her ideals.
        Then a few years later she said we could – but, by that time I’d grown to agree completely with the reasons why she refused in the first place.

        we are happy – I like the fact that our children have her surname and the eldest has the handed down clan name as a middle name. it’s all worked out fine.

        we would both be happy to have ‘Dance Little Rude Boy’ as a first dance though – (if the need arises for a new ‘wedding gift’ toaster or it becomes too tempting for the married tax breaks or something) – but neither of those are really all that romantic. heehee.

        we might just want a big party one day – and that would be the only way we’d go about it.

      • Pip and Z-boy could always get in touch with CBBC to go on their “Marrying Mum and Dad” programme. Our two watch that and might be a bit disappointed that we’re already hitched.

        A work colleague and her life-partner got married a few months ago in sad circumstances, because he was dying. So whether things like pensions can be dealt without being wedded I’m not sure. She (the colleague) says that there should be civil partnership as a choice for all couples. Then they would have done it earlier, in good health.

        Anyway, I have two nephews with their mother’s surname, but it’s still quite a rare thing even in our terribly modern world.

        Great choice of tune, though isn’t it from early this millenium rather than the 80s ?

      • yeah, the last thing he did when still able to perform – it’s been with me so long in my life I just presumed it was 80’s d’oh. (a little research goes along way to being factually correct – I could start writing for the newspapers with this level of incompetence).

        z-boy has seen “Marrying Mum and Dad” – you wouldn’t see us for dust if they tried it.
        1) because I’d take over the camera and make it all artyfarty and 2) Ru would NOT be filmed.

  11. When i think 80’s – i think MTV and pretty British bands –

    ABC – Be Near Me
    Howard Jones – Things can Only Get Better
    Paul Young – Every Time You Go Away
    Thompson Twins – Lay Your Hands on Me
    Modern English – I Melt With You
    Human League – well, Human would probably be nixed, so try Keep Feeling Fascination
    George Michael – Freedom
    Spandau Ballet – True (just to hear DsD scream)
    Big Country – Big Country
    Frankie – Relax
    Power Station – your choice (I can’t go the Durannies).
    Jam – The Bitterest Pill
    Culture Club – Miss Me Blind

    and don’t forget yankee college rock –

    B52s – Roam
    Talking Heads – Girlfriend is Better
    REM – your pick

    Appetite for Destruction was 1987 i think …

    • VH – Unchained or Jump (Dance the Night away was ’79) 😦
      She Sells Sanctuary – still the best rock tune of the 80’s (pre GnR anyway)
      Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me (look away Wyngate and Fuel)
      T’Pau – Heart and Soul
      Roxette – Must Have Been Love
      Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
      Devo – Whip It
      Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
      Aerosmith – Janie’s Got a Gun
      Beasties – Fight For Your Right to Party
      PE – Don’t Believe the Hype

  12. Ah, just read through the thread after bunging 30-odd (and odd) tracks in the Box. Perhaps one or two will prove useful!

  13. Morning all. Thanks to Bish and Amy overnight. Off out to finally see The Lego Movie this morning: will open the ‘Box later.


  14. Just to add, Cyndi Lauper, if it’s not too late.
    Girls Just Want To Have Fun, for dancing.

    True Colours, or Time After Time to bring back memories and emotions.

    I do hope Aerosmith / Run DMC might get a look in too ?

    Have fun and a great day being best man !

  15. I promised I’d do this before bedtime, but I’m absolutely knackered because of last night’s alcohol intake and lack of sleep (I just cannot sleep well without DsMam next to me).

    The wedding went off perfectly well. We had a minor panic when my old laptop was buzzing badly through the speakers, but the groom had brought his, which played back with no problems at all. The background music set during the buffet had heads nodding appreciatively, but . . . .

    Bottom line is the dance floor whilst my selected dancing tunes were on was for the most part utterly deserted! Only Katrina, Dead Or Alive, The Bangles (I broke the rules and snuck Walk Like An Egyptian back in), and OMD’s Enola Gay hit the spot well enough to drag people in.

    But actually, it didn’t matter – the band (a ceilidh / barndance outfit) had completely worn everyone out, and by the time they finished, there were less than twenty people left in the room.
    I was only left with 35 mins to play with. Most of those dancing were the target age-group, and all with shoes off complaining bitterly that their feet hurt.

    So I ain’t gonna quit the day job, but thanks to you lot (and a substantial beer buzz), I was happy that I’d done what had been asked of me. Only the groom complained – with grin firmly in place and twinkle in his eye, and only that we’d been cut off before Nellie The Elephant had been played! Given that he’d spent the previous hour glued to his chair chatting, I don’t reckon he’d have got up anyway.

    Cheers everyone.

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