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best 80s song, 80s music, 80s songs

A sound uniquely its own.

Maybe we have nostalgia-driven television shows like “Stranger Things” to blame, but music from the '80s has made its way back into the mainstream. Just what makes that '80s sound so distinctive?

You could go the scientific approach and attribute it to the heavy use of synthesized piano. And you’d certainly be right. A study published by Humanities Commons noted that one particular preset (E. PIANO 1) on the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer could be heard in up to 61% of No. 1 hits on the pop, country and R&B Billboard charts by 1986.

Of course, I think we’d have to acknowledge that there was more to it than electric piano. That music just had a certain attitude all its own. It was loud, both audibly and visually. And perhaps best of all—it encouraged people of all shapes and sizes to be bold and embrace their inner weirdo.

So, just what is the "most '80s '80s song" of all time? That was a question recently posed on AskReddit. Here are 16 of the best answers:


"Take On Me" – A-ha

@Starstarstar42 said it best: “It is the 80's distilled, run through a charcoal filter, then run through a 2nd distillation to remove any 70's & 90's impurities, leaving only the concentrated 80's with delicate woodsy overtones and hints of plum.”

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Tears for Fears

It certainly helps that this song plays during an iconic scene in “Real Genius,” a quintessential '80s movie.

“I Ran (So Far Away)” – A Flock of Seagulls

Flock of Seagulls … the band who brought us the '80s most iconic (and unflattering) haircut.

​“Rio” – Duran Duran

With the constant sailboat imagery in the music video, perhaps “Rio” started yacht rock.

“Let's Go Crazy” – Prince

The '80s were a time for epic guitar solos. And Prince delivered the most epic guitar solos of all time.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

Lauper’s first single as a solo artist not only became an instant hit, but a bona fide power anthem for girls everywhere. Especially those who just wanted to wear loud colors and cheap jewelry.

“Video Killed the Radio Star” – The Buggles

Technically this song came out in 1979. But, being the first music video ever shown on MTV in 1981, this classic by The Buggles really paved the way for every other '80s hit. Little did the creators of this ode to nostalgia realize, it was only the beginning of the rise of technology in the media.

“Material Girl” – Madonna

Though Madonna has gone through several different incarnations since, the robot voice and heavy synth arrangement in “Material Girl” definitely had her in full-on '80s mode, despite wearing a dress inspired by Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

Of course, an even better version of this song came out in 1989 when Sesame Street made “Cereal Girl.”

“Just Can't Get Enough” – Depeche Mode

Because the '80s wasn’t just about outrageous fashion choices. You could also dress like Neo from "The Matrix."

“Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley

Astley had no idea that this one song would immortalize him as a meme forever.

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Poison

According to @momzilla, it’s the quintessential "sitting heartbroken on the bleachers at the 8th grade dance because your crush is dancing with someone else" songs.

“Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins

Can anyone hear this song and not think of “Top Gun?” I don’t think so.

“Don't Stop Believin'” – Journey

Journey’s signature song was ahead of its time structurally, with the hook coming after two pre-choruses and three verses. Still, “Don’t Stop Believin’” became a phenomenon that still shows up in pop culture everywhere, not to mention your local karaoke bar.

“99 Luftballons” – Nena

Childlike wonder mixed with images of a nuclear holocaust? There’s nothing more '80s than that.

“Don't You Forget About Me” – Simple Minds

Because ”The Breakfast Club.” Obviously.

"Walk Like an Egyptian" – The Bangles

“We were all doing that stupid dance all the time.” – @killebrew_rootbeer

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. But it's enough to give anyone an '80s playlist starter pack. Be warned: Listen for too long and you might find yourself in neon spandex and saying things like “gag me with a spoon.” Which might not be a terrible thing.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


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As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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