if you’re in the mood, or trying to attract someone’s attention, you might text the name of your loved one to one of the numerous music channels and get a request played. but they need to be aware that you’re doing so or they’ll be watching one of a hundred other channels – which misses the point, and the element of surprise. this was one of the good things about local radio.local radio djs were smooth. they played soothing sounds that you wouldn’t normally hear on daytime radio. they didn’t try to be cool – if it was popular, they played it.people do still listen to the radio, and its a lot less tricky in these days of dab stations, which have removed the need to stand in front of the radio holding the aerial up at funny angles to get a decent reception.
twenty years ago, if you sent out a similar request on a late night radio show, you could be reasonably certain that either the intended recipient or at least one of their friends, would hear it. the song we chose for our dedication was most likely sophisticated beyond our years. even though we did have younger artists in the 80s, like five star, new edition, debbie gibson and countless others, most soul music was adult. we were listening to artists singing about relationships, emotions and situations we couldn’t possibly understand.
so, as a result, instead of the obsession with youth that appears to start as early as age ten nowadays,we actually wanted to be older. thirty, to be precise. thirtysomethings were glamorous and the had the kind of lifestyle I looked up to. they went to clubs, restaurants, had exotic holidays, exciting friends and dramatic relationships. john hughes movies aside, most popular 80s tv shows and movies, bar those specifically produced for kids, focused on older characters, not those that still lived with their parents.so ironically, I wanted to be the age I am now, twenty years ago, and now that I am, I’m made to feel like I should want to be younger. but i don’t – the thought of being someone who didn’t grow up in the 80s and experience real life terrifies me much more than getting older.
late night dedications – download here
alexander o’neal – if you were here tonight
his first solo single, and classic.
anita baker – caught up in the rapture
apparently inspired mary j blige to become a singer. controllers – stay
typical 80s slow jam.
eugene wilde – gotta get you home
later sampled/covered by foxy brown and blackstreet.
force md’s – tender love
later covered by cockney soul boy kenny thomas.
freddie jackson – rock me tonight
what happened to freddie?
gap band – yearning for your love
one of those songs you’ve heard before…but didn’t realise.
george benson – in your eyes
from smooth jazz to weepy ballad.
gregory abbott – shake you down
very popular last dance at many an 80s club.
isley brothers – choosey lover
this was later covered by aaliyah.
janet jackson – let’s wait a while
slightly different version from control the remixes – more tinkly.
kool and the gang – cherish
anyone from the uk remember anton singing this on popstars the rivals?
luther vandross – so amazing
vintage luther. tribute version by beyonce and stevie wonder.
melisa morgan – do me baby
prince cover, actually think i prefer this version.
midnight star – slow jam
one of the first 80s slow jams – covered later by usher and monica.