My musical awakening came a little earlier than it does for most people, whose taste in tunes tend to settle in during their teen years. For a long while, I have been wanting to make a purely nostalgic playlist. I wanted it to take me back to the days of my youth, when turning on the radio in the mid 1980s meant that I knew (and generally loved) most of the music on the airwaves. It was a time when “pop” was less of a genre and more about whatever happened to be popular at the moment. It was a time when WHAM !, Bon Jovi, Sting, and Guns and Roses were all battling it out at the top of the charts. It was a glorious time, full of variety and talented artists.
Those of a certain age or musical persuasion will understand. Music, inherently, is incredibly subjective. I’m not here to judge anyone else’s taste, only to celebrate mine. If you have a similar love for the decade that shaped me, you might enjoy my 80s Radio FM playlist on AppleMusic. It’s intended to be listened to on shuffle. With over 21 hours of music and nearly 300 songs, I wanted to recreate flipping on the radio in the 1980s—you never know what you’re going to get, but it’s all going to be something good.
Depending on your own taste, you may find some glaring omissions in this list. I deliberately left off some songs that I really didn’t care for, and also included some that are here more for the nostalgia than the artistic merit. AppleMusic makes it easy to use a playlist like mine as a basis for your own custom version, so feel free to do that if you find it lacking in some area you would prefer.
I hope you enjoy, and happy listening!