Best of the '80s Redux — January 6, 2020 at 7:45 am

Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s Redux: Vote for your favorite songs of 1986

We’ve now crossed the halfway mark of our Best of the ’80s Redux series of year-by-year song polls as we move on to the year 1986, giving Slicing Up Eyeballs readers the chance to vote for their 25 favorites as we rank the 100 best songs released that year.

The Best of the ’80s Redux polls launched in 2015 and covered 1980 and 1981 before fizzling out (the whole site ultimately went on hiatus for almost two years). But in 2018 we kickstarted the series, and relaunched it with polls over the last two years that ranked the best songs of 19821983, 1984 and 1985.

VOTING: For the album polls (and our subsequent artist discography polls), we presented you with a list, sometimes hundreds of titles long, to choose from, plus the ability to offer write-ins. We inevitably missed titles, and some argued this skewed the results. So this time, it’s a (mostly) free-for-all. You may vote for any songs you’d like — singles, B-sides, album cuts, etc. It’s all fill-in-the-blanks, not multiple choice.

A few important things to note:

  • To be eligible, songs must have been released in some format — whether it be on an album, EP or a single — for the first time during the year 1986. That means, for example, that a song that’s released as a single in 1987 will be eligible for the 1986 poll if it first appeared on an album released in 1986. Splitting hairs? Sure, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
  • But wait! There’s an exception. The so-called “Radio Free Europe” rule. Just as we allowed R.E.M.’s twice-released debut single to be voted on in two different years, we’ll let people vote twice for songs that are re-released in re-recorded versions — such as a-ha’s “Take On Me” and Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” which made the 1984 and 1985 lists. That, however, does not mean The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” will be eligible in this poll. Why not? The single re-release in 1986 wasn’t a new recording, simply a remixed version of the original with new vocals.
  • With the album polls, acknowledging the theme of this website, we limited voting to artists that fall under the very loose and ill-defined “alternative” banner, generally acts from the punk, post-punk, goth, college rock, indie, synthpop, industrial, New Wave and related genres. Not the case anymore — although that’s still likely how the results will skew. For the song polls, vote for whatever you want.
  • Well, there is one limit. To prevent one-note fans from, say, simply listing every track off Black Celebration, you may only vote for a maximum of two songs by the same artist when filling out your Top 25. Any ballots submitted with more than two songs by the same artist will be disqualified.

DEADLINE: Voting will be open through 5 p.m. ET Friday, Jan. 17, and results will be posted at some point thereafter — after which we’ll launch the 1987 poll and take it from there.

Sound good? Then vote away via the survey widget posted below. And if you have trouble with that embedded widget, you may vote directly on Polldaddy’s site.

And because there’s not a pre-set list to choose from, we encourage you to lobby for your picks (list your whole ballot if you want), and maybe sway some votes, in the comments below.

Finally, if you’re drawing a blank on what came out that year, take a look back at our Top 100 albums of 1986 poll results, or check out these other resources:






  1. 1. XTC, “Dear God” 
    2. Elvis Costello, “Suit of Lights”
    3. Throwing Muses, “Rabbit’s Dying”
    4. R.E.M., “Hyaena”
    5. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Candy Man”
    6. The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    7. XTC,”The Meeting Place”
    8. The Pastels, “Truck Train Tractor”
    9. The Smiths, “The Queen Is Dead”
    10. R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
    11. Throwing Muses, “Vicky’s Box”
    12. Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    13. United States of Existence, “Scandal in Bohemia”
    14. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, “I Hope You’re Happy Now”
    15. Suzanne Vega, “Left of Centre”
    16. Julee Cruise, “Mysteries of Love”
    17. Guided by Voices,”The Other Place”
    18. Concrete Blonde, “Still in Hollywood”
    19. The Flatmates “I Could Be in Heaven”
    20. Love & Rockets,”Kundalini Express”
    21. Screaming Trees, “The Turning”
    22. Prince and the Revolution,”Mountains”
    23. Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”
    24. OMD, “If You Leave”
    25. The Damned, “Gigolo”

    • Neil Carver

      Love the call out to Julee Cruise.

      Also, the Pretty in Pink soundtrack had so many original singles… not to mention re-recorded versions. Can we vote for the soundtrack version of the Psych Furs’ “Pretty In Pink” as it is a significantly different version than the original?

      This question will come up in ’87 with the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack, which seems to have re-recorded versions of songs as well as some songs that don’t appear to have separate releases.

  2. Neil Carver

    1986 is not quite as hard to narrow down as 1985 (1987 will be insane).

    My first pass, self-limited one song per artist. Vetted all songs to the release date on Wikipedia (either as single or on album, whichever was first).

    25. Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11″
    24. The Chameleons, “Swamp Thing”
    23. The Call, “I Still Believe”
    22. Shriekback, “Running on the Rocks”
    21. Husker Du, “Don’t Want to Know If You are Lonely”
    20. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    19. Big Audio Dynamite, “C’mon Every Beatbox”
    18. Crowded House, “World Where You Live”
    17. XTC, “Dear God”
    16. Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
    15. Love and Rockets, “Kundalini Express”
    14. Beastie Boys, “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn”
    13. UB40, “Rat in Mi Kitchen”
    12. They Might Be Giants, “Don’t Let’s Start”
    11. The Housemartins, “Happy Hour”
    10. Mighty Lemon Drops, “Happy Head”
    9. David & David, “Heroes”
    8. Hipsway, “The Honeythief”
    7. World Party, “Ship of Fools”
    6. Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    5. Elvis Costello, “Tokyo Storm Warning”
    4. R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
    3. The The, “Slow Train to Dawn”
    2. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
    1. Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”

    • Neil Carver

      Here are the “Just Missed”

      Wang Chung, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”
      The Feelies, “The Last Roundup”
      Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”
      The Bible, “Graceland”
      Timbuk3, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”
      Human League, “Human”
      The Servants, “Transparent”
      Joan Armatrading, “Kind Words (And a Real Good Heart)”
      Cindy Lauper, “True Colors”
      Billy Bragg, “There is Power in a Union”
      The Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
      The Smiths, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”
      Chris Isaak, “Heart Full of Soul”
      Kraftwerk, “Technopop”
      China Crisis, “Hampton Beach”
      Guadalcanal Diary, “Cattle Prod”
      Eurythmics, “Missionary Man”
      Erasure, “Oh L’Amour”
      Steve Winwood, “Back in the High Life”
      Martini Ranch, “How Can the Labouring Man Find Time for Self-Culture?”
      Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
      Primal Scream, “Velocity Girl”
      Chalk Circle, “April Fool”
      Depeche Mode, “Question of Lust”
      Pete Townshend, “After the Fire (Live at Deep End)”
      Genesis, “Land of Confusion”
      The Mission, “Wasteland”
      Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” (New vocal)
      Public Image Ltd., “Rise”
      That Petrol Emotion, “Mouth Crazy”
      Hunters & Collectors, “Throw Your Arms Around Me” (‘86 version, the actual popular version)
      Talking Heads, “Dream Operator”
      Dead or Alive, “Brand New Lover”
      Gene Loves Jezebel, “Heartache”
      ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close”

      And songs that were cut because I already had one from that artist:

      Husker Du, “Sorry Somehow”
      Love and Rockets, “Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)”
      They Might Be Giants, “Youth Culture Killed My Dog”
      New Order, “Shell-Shock (Pretty In Pink Soundtrack)”

    • Neil Carver

      Just noticed that World Party, “Ship of Fools” is actually ’87… so I’ll probably replace that with Suzanne Vega, “Left of Center” which was a big miss on my part.

      Always wait for other’s lists before I submit mine.

  3. 25. Elvis Costello and the Attractions “I Want You”
    24. The Housemartins “Caravan Of Love”
    23. Public Image Ltd. “Rise”
    22. The Human League “Human”
    21. Crowded House “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    20. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark “If You Leave”
    19. Madonna “Live To Tell”
    18. Peter Gabriel w/ Kate Bush “Don’t Give Up”
    17. Depeche Mode “But Not Tonight”
    16. Level 42 “Lessons In Love”
    15. The Pursuit of Happiness “I’m An Adult Now”
    14. R.E.M. “Begin The Begin”
    13. The Jesus and Mary Chain “Some Candy Talking”
    12. Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes”
    11. The Smiths “Panic”
    10. Janet Jackson “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”
    09. The The “Infected”
    08. Talk Talk “Life’s What You Make It”
    07. Prince and the Revolution “Kiss”
    06. The Smiths “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
    05. R.E.M. “Cuyahoga”
    04. New Order “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    03. David Bowie “Absolute Beginners”
    02. Depeche Mode “Stripped”
    01. XTC “Dear God”

    • Neil Carver

      Just FYI, “Life’s What You Make It” was actually released in ’85. It is #70 on the ’85 list. (I had it as my #1 for ’86 until it was pointed out that The Colour of Spring was actually released in ’85 in Australia and Germany and such. Otherwise, I had it as ’86 myself.

      • Neil Carver

        Or I should say that “Life’s What You Make It” was released as a single in ’85.

        • Damn, I’m normally careful to double-check these things too. Looking at UK statistics, it appears it didn’t enter the charts there until early January ’86, so I wonder if this is one of those instances where some copies of the artwork/liner notes were simply printed/dated in late ’85 (possibly the single release was even pushed back a couple weeks, as happens on occasion), or if the single really did get released/chart in mainland Europe a few months earlier? Regardless, thanks for the info. For whatever it’s worth (which is pretty much nil), #26 on my list was Eurythmics’ Thorn In My Side.

  4. Charlie Conner

    another tough selection!!! I felt the need to keep it to one song per artist, or else this would be 5 artists.

    My list (in no particular order):
    R.E.M. “FALL ON ME”

  5. The 25:

    The Chills: I Love My Leather Jacket
    Love and Rockets: Kundalini Express
    The Jazz Butcher: Hungarian Love Song
    Stan Ridgway: Drive She Said
    Jason and the Scorchers: Golden Ball and Chain
    Big Audio Dynamite: Hollywood Boulevard
    Julian Cope: World Shit Your Mouth
    Motorhead: Orgasmatron
    The Nails: Darkness Grows Uncivilized
    The Call: I Still Believe
    Midnight Oil: The Dead Heart
    The Three Johns: King Car
    Camper Van Beethoven: The History Of Utah
    They Might Be Giants: Don’t Let’s Start
    Mojo Nixon: Burn Down The Malls
    Public Image Ltd: Rise
    Georgia Satellites: Battleship Chains
    The New Christs: No Next Time
    Iggy Pop: Winners and Losers
    Peter Murphy: Canvas Beauty
    The Cleaners From Venus: Living With Victoria Grey
    Chameleons UK: Tears
    New Model Army: 51st State
    The Godfathers: I Want Everything
    Robyn Hitchcock: Never Stop Bleeding

  6. 1. The Smiths “The Queen is Dead”
    2. REM- “Fall on Me”
    3. Suzanne Vega “Left of Center”
    4. The Smiths- Big Mouth Strikes Again”
    5. Concrete Blonde- “Still in Hollywood”
    6. The Smiths- “ There is light that Never Goes out”
    7. Siouxsie and the Banshees “ Candy Man”
    8. The Chameleons- “ Swamp Thing”
    9. The Housemartins- “Happy Hour”
    10. The Mission- “Wasteland “
    11. Genesis- “ Land of Confusion “
    12. New Order- “Blue Monday “
    13. Erasure- “ Who needs love” (like that)
    14. Oingo Boingo – “Dead mans Party “
    15. Talking Heads – “ Love for sale”
    16. Siouxsie & The Banshees “ Cities In Dust”
    17. Sting- “ Russians”
    18. stranglers – “ Allways The Sun”
    19. The Damned- “ Alone Again or”
    20. Talk Talk- “Life is what you make it”
    21. The Alarm- “Strength “
    22. Pet Shop Boys- “ West End Girls”
    23. The Smiths- “ I know it’s over”
    24. New Order- “True Faith”
    25. B52s – “Wig”

    • Neil Carver

      Just fyi… if you haven’t voted yet…

      “Cities in Dust”
      “Life’s What You Make It”
      “West End Girls”

      All from earlier years. (Already on the lists for 84 and 85.) You can replace those with other votes if you want.

    • “17. Sting- “ Russians”

      That is from 1985. It was on “The Dream of the Blue Turtles” album.

    • Jay Montgomery

      “Strength” was ’85, but I’ve voted for The Alarm every year since ’81 and haven’t seen them in one of these polls yet. Here’s hoping for ’87.

    • Chris Petrick

      Deadman’s Party was released in ’85 too.

  7. I’m lobbying for The Cure “Boys Don’t Cry (New Voice Club Mix)” eligibility because it essentially is a new recording.

  8. You mean the one they called iut specifically as not qualifying?

    • haha – exactly that one.

      There is a Boys Don’t Cry that will be eligible.
      But it’s a band.
      Yes, “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” is going to be on my list.

  9. Top 25 Songs of 1986

    1. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
    2. Madonna – Open Your Heart
    3. Siouxsie + the Banshees – The Sweetest Chill
    4. Kraftwerk – Musique Non-Stop
    5. The Call – I Still Believe
    6. Judas Priest – Turbo Lover
    7. Chameleons – Swamp Thing
    8. AC/DC – Who Made Who
    9. Depeche Mode – A Question of Time
    10. Public Image Ltd. – Home
    11. Poison – I Want Action
    12. Debbie Harry – French Kissin’ In the U.S.A.
    13. Prince – Kiss
    14. Erasure – Sometimes
    15. Cinderella – Nobody’s Fool
    16. The Bangles – Manic Monday
    17. Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin
    18. Anita Baker – Caught Up In the Rapture
    19. Belinda Carlisle – Mad About You
    20. Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
    21. Mötörhead – Orgasmatron
    22. Berlin – Like Flames
    23. Peter Gabriel – Red Rain
    24. Ric Ocasek – Emotion In Emotion
    25. Cocteau Twins – Throughout the Dark Months of April and May

    Bonus 10

    1. Throwing Muses – America (She Can’t Say No)
    2. The Stranglers – Always the Sun
    3. Benjamin Orr – Stay the Night
    4. XTC – Dear God
    5. David Lee Roth – Going Crazy
    6. Clan of Xymox – Medusa
    7. Killing Joke – Adorations
    8. Modern English – Ink On Paper
    9. Eric Clapton – It’s In the Way That You Use It
    10. The B-52’s – She Breaks For Rainbows

    • Neil Carver

      Your votes for everything from straight pop to hard rock/hair bands is a breath of fresh air in these lists. Good stuff!

  10. Paul Carpenter

    Here’s my 25 for 1986

    The Smiths, “There is a light that Never Goes Out”
    The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    Paul Simon, “Graceland”
    PIL, “Rise”
    Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush, “Don’t Give Up”
    David Bowie, “Absolute Beginners”
    Black, “Wonderful Life”
    The The, “Heartland”
    The Housemartins, “Happy Hour”
    Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”
    The Blow Monkeys, “Diggin’ Your Scene”
    The The, “Sweet Bird of Truth”
    Talk Talk, “Living in Another World”
    World Party, “Ship of Fools”
    Talk Talk, “Give it Up”
    R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
    Prince, “Kiss”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    Billy Bragg, “Levi Stubbs Tears”
    The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Some Candy Talking”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    Depeche Mode, “Stripped”
    Paul Simon, “The Boy in the Bubble”
    Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead or Alive”

  11. I’d just like to point out for your voting consideration that 1986 was a great year for Cocteau Twins, yielding Victorialand, Love’s Easy Tears, and Moon and the Melodies…an embarrassment of riches! :)

  12. francisco javier tenas

    1 XTC – Dear God
    2 XTC – The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
    3 The Jazz Butcher – Still in the Kitchen
    4 The Jazz Butcher – Who Loves You Now?
    5 Robyn Hitchcock – Ted, Woody And Junior
    6 Elvis Costello – Brilliant Mistake
    7 Elvis Costello – Battered Old Bird
    8 That Petrol Emotion – Lifeblood
    9 The Woodentops – Love Train
    10 The Stranglers – Always the Sun
    11 Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
    12 Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
    13 PRINCE – KISS
    14 THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS -(She Was A) Hotel Detective
    15 THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS – Youth Culture Killed My Dog
    16 Camper Van Beethoven – The History Of Utah
    17 The Chills – I Love My Leather Jacket
    18 The Housemartins – Happy Hour
    19 The Cleaners From Venus – Living With Victoria Grey
    20 The Cleaners From Venus – Mercury Girl
    21 The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
    22 The Smiths – There is a Light That Never Goes Out
    23 The Bangles – Manic Monday
    24 Cocteau Twins – Throughout the Dark Months of April and May
    25 Sonic Youth – Shadow of a Doubt

    Mercury Girl

  13. francisco javier tenas

    1 XTC – Dear God
    2 XTC – The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
    3 The Jazz Butcher – Still in the Kitchen
    4 The Jazz Butcher – Who Loves You Now?
    5 Robyn Hitchcock – Ted, Woody And Junior
    6 Elvis Costello – Brilliant Mistake
    7 Elvis Costello – Battered Old Bird
    8 That Petrol Emotion – Lifeblood
    9 The Woodentops – Love Train
    10 The Stranglers – Always the Sun
    11 Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
    12 Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
    13 PRINCE – KISS
    14 THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS -(She Was A) Hotel Detective
    15 THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS – Youth Culture Killed My Dog
    16 Camper Van Beethoven – The History Of Utah
    17 The Chills – I Love My Leather Jacket
    18 The Housemartins – Happy Hour
    19 The Cleaners From Venus – Living With Victoria Grey
    20 The Cleaners From Venus – Mercury Girl
    21 The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
    22 The Smiths – There is a Light That Never Goes Out
    23 The Bangles – Manic Monday
    24 Cocteau Twins – Throughout the Dark Months of April and May
    25 Sonic Youth – Shadow of a Doubt

  14. Top songs of 1986 (No special order)

    1. Billy idol “Soul standing by”
    2. Rose Of Avalanche “Always there (the mainline mix)”
    3. Icehouse “Cross the border”
    4. The Lucy Show “Shame”
    5. Blue In Heaven “Just another day”
    6. Cactus World News “Years later”
    7. Cocteau Twins “Love´s easy tears”
    8. Fricción “A veces llamo”
    9. Hurrah! “Around and around”
    10. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians “Never stop bleeding”
    11. Killing Joke “Goodbye to the village”
    12. The Jack Rubies “Book of love”
    13. Boom Crash Opera “Caught between two towns”
    14. A Certain Ratio “Naked & White”
    15. After This “Fields”
    16. And Also The Trees “Gone… like the swallows”
    17. Furniture “Brilliant mind”
    18. C.S.Angels “Under the influence”
    19. The Bible “Mahalia”
    20. The Stranglers “Nice in Nice”
    21. The Three Johns “Death of the europeans”
    22. X-Mal Deutschland “Sickle moon”
    23. (Clan Of) Xymox “After the call”
    24. The Fixx “Read between the lines”
    25. Easterhouse “To live like this”

    Daniel from Llao Llao, Argentina!

  15. 1. The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    2. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    3. The Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
    4. General Public, “Come Again!”
    5. Madonna, “Papa Don’t Preach”
    6. Billy Bragg, “Greetings to the New Brunette”
    7. Slayer, “Piece by Piece”
    8. XTC, “Earn Enough for Us”
    9. The Smiths, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
    10. Timex Social Club, “Rumors”
    11. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Cities In Dust”
    12. XTC, “Dear God”
    13. Iron Maiden, “Wasted Years”
    14. Modern English, “Ink & Paper”
    15. Bob Dylan, “Got My Mind Made Up”
    16. Run-D.M.C., “It’s Tricky”
    17. Slayer, “Raining Blood”
    18. Prince, “Kiss”
    19. Husker Dü, “Sorry Somehow”
    20. Sonic Youth, “Green Light”
    21. Love and Rockets, “All In My Mind”
    22. Husker Dü, “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely”
    23. Beastie Boys, “No Sleep till Brooklyn”
    24. Jackson Browne, “Lawless Avenues”
    25. Metallica, “Master of Puppets”

  16. 1. Depeche Mode, “Black Celebration”
    2. Public Image Ltd, “Rise”
    3. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
    4. The Smiths, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
    5. Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    6. Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”
    7. The Damned, “Alone Again Or”
    8. Killing Joke, “Twilight of the Mortal”
    9. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “If You Leave”
    10. Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”
    11. Prince, “Kiss”
    12. R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
    13. The Mission, “Wasteland”
    14. David Sylvian, “Before the Bullfight”
    15. Clan of Xymox, “Masquerade”
    16. David Bowie, “As the World Falls Down”
    17. Talk Talk, “Living in Another World”
    18. Erasure, “Who Needs Love Like That”
    19. Genesis, “Land of Confusion”
    20. The Stranglers, “Always the Sun”
    21. New Model Army, “51st State”
    22. Cocteau Twins, “Love’s Easy Tears”
    23. The Chameleons, “Swamp Thing”
    24. Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”
    25. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”

    Great year for music, ’87 will be even better!

  17. Huxton Creepers “I Will Persuade You”
    Eleven Pond “Watching Trees”
    Comsat Angels “The Cutting Edge”
    The Chameleons “Soul in Isolation”
    New Order “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    The Smiths “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    P.I.L. “Rise”
    B.A.D. “Limbo the Law”
    Peter Gabriel “Red Rain”
    Dramarama “Anything, Anything”
    Gene Loves Jezebel “Desire (Come And Get It)”
    Siouxsie & the Banshees “Cities in Dust”
    Aha “I’ve Been Losing You”
    Cactus World News “The Bridge”
    Depeche Mode “Stripped”
    R.E.M. “Fall on Me”
    Depeche Mode ” A Question of Time”
    The Bolshoi “Away”
    Husker Du “I Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely”
    Chalk Circle “April Fool”
    Sad Lovers & Giants “Things We Never Did”
    The Ramones “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)”
    Icehouse “No Promises”
    The Smiths “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”
    B. A. D. “C’mon Every Beatbox”

  18. Hello. This is my list, not in a preferential order:
    1 – The Beloved – A Hundred Words
    2 – Depeche Mode – Stripped
    3 – Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
    4 – Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia
    5 – PIL – Rise
    6 – Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11
    7 – The Smiths – There is a Light That Never Goes Out
    8 – New Order – All Day Long
    9 – Peter Gabriel – Don’t Give Up
    10 – The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
    11 – Laurie Anderson – Smoke Rings
    12 – Run DMC – Walk This Way
    13 – Sapndau Ballet – Through the Barricades
    14 – UB40 – Sing Our Own Song
    15 – The B-52’s – Detour Thru Your Mind
    16 – OMD – The Pacific Age
    17 – A-ha – Scoundrel Days
    18 – Housemartins – Happy Hour
    19 – Duran Duran – American Science
    20 – Kraftwerk – Musique Non-Stop
    21 – B.A.D – C’mon Every Beatbox
    22 – The Bolshoi – Sunday Morning
    23 – Big Country – The Seer
    24 – The Mission – Wasteland
    25 – Gene Loves Jezebel – Desire

    Miss the list:
    The Mission – Let Sleeping Dogs Die
    The Bolshoi – Away / Books on the Bonfire
    OMD – If You Leave
    Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
    New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    Eurythmics – When Tomorrow Comes
    Laurie Anderson – Language is a Virus
    Peter Gabriel – Mercy Street
    The Smiths – I Know It’s Over
    PIL – Ease
    Pet Shop Boys – Tonight Is Forever
    The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian

  19. In no particular order, I submit.

    Desire -GLJ
    Dear God – XTC
    Man inside my mouth – The Cure
    Light that never goes out – The Smiths
    Hardly Getting Over It – Husker Du
    Swamp Thing – The Cameleons
    Wasteland – The Mission
    Stripped – Depeche Mode
    Driving away from home – Its Immaterial
    51st state – New Model Army
    Wonderful Life – Black
    Greetings to the new brunette – Billy Bragg
    Some Candy Talking – Jesis and Marchain
    Kiss – Prince
    Paul Revere- Beastie Boys
    Over the Shoulder – Ministry
    I know its over – The Smiths
    Mercy Street – Peter Gabriel
    Cities in Dust – Siouxsie and the Banshees
    Ying and Yang – Live and Rockets
    V. Thirteen – Big Audio Dynamite
    Levi Stubb Tears- Billy Bragg
    Ship of Fools – World Party
    I want you – Elvis Costello
    Black Celebration – Depeche Mode

  20. 21. The Three Johns “Death of the europeans”

    Great tune, but released as a single in ‘85. Jon Langford still does this one live if you ever see him or him with the Waco’s.

  21. Jay Montgomery

    Nineteen Eighty-Six okay, all across the U.S.A. Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin”

  22. Damn, forgot Leaving Trains, “She’s Looking At You”

  23. Here is my tentative list, countdown style.

    If anybody can alert me to songs that might not be eligible because they are not from 1986, please let me know before I formally submit the list for tally.


    25. Battered Old Bird – Elvis Costello
    24. Ship of Fools – World Party
    23. Brilliant Mistake – Elvis Costello
    22. Black Light Trap – Shriekback
    21. World Party – World Party
    20. Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths
    19. Graceland – Paul Simon
    18. Left of Center – Suzanne Vega
    17. Cuyahoga – R.E.M.
    16. World Where You Live – Crowded House
    15. Coming Up Close ’til Tuesday
    14. Missionary Man – Eurythmics
    13. Higher Love – Steve Winwood
    12. Happy Hour – The Housemartins
    11. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
    10. Swallowed By The Cracks – David + David
    9. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – Paul Simon
    8. Wonderful Life – Black
    7. Bizarre Love Triangle – New Order
    6. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
    5. The Dead Heart – Midnight Oil
    4. The Sailor – Big Country
    3. Fall On Me – R.E.M.
    2. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
    1. Mercy Street – Peter Gabriel

    I saw someone else list “The Dead Heart” by Midnight Oil. I would have thought it was 1987, but a check does indicate that it was released in Australia as a single in 1986, while the rest of the Diesel and Dust album was from 1987.

    • Neil Carver

      Great list, and looks like all songs are eligible. Impressed you found room for Steve Winwood… I love that album, but just couldn’t squeeze him on to my list.

      • There was no way I could leave “Higher Love” off the list. Chaka Khan’s vocal on that alone would make the cut!

        • Andy Patterson

          “The Sailor” and “World Where You Live”! Love those picks, Nortley. And “Don’t Dream It’s Over” at #2, just where it peaked on the US charts. If only more folks hadn’t known it as the “Hey Now” song (cue deer-in-headlights Warehouse Records clerk :/), history might have been a little different. p.s. Fantastic that Neil has the band up ‘n’ rollin’ in 2020!

          • I predict “Don’t Dream It’s Over” will place super high — maybe Top 10. Who DOESN’T like that song???

  24. Gareth Skarka

    Tough one.

    In no particular order:

    1. Love & Rockets,”Kundalini Express”
    2. Paul Simon “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”
    3. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle.”
    4.Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
    5. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes.”
    6. Big Audio Dynamite, “C’Mon Every Beatbox.”
    7. The Damned “Alone Again Or” (album track 1986)
    8.Sigue Sigue Sputnik, ” Love Missile F1-11″
    9. Duran Duran, “Notorious.”
    10. David + David, “Welcome to the Boomtown.”
    11. The Call, “I Still Believe”
    12. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark “If You Leave”
    13. Level 42, “Something About You.” (Album 85, Single 86)
    14. David Bowie, “Underground.”
    15. The Art of Noise, feat. Max Headroom, “Paranoimia.”
    16. Queen, “Princes of the Universe.”
    17. Style Council, “My Ever-Changing Moods.”
    18. Bananarama, “Venus.”
    19. Nu Shooz, “I Can’t Wait.”
    20. Europe, “The Final Countdown.”
    21. Genesis, “The Brazilian.”
    22. Emerson, Lake & Powell, “Touch & Go.”
    23. R.E.M., “Fall On Me.”
    24. The B-52s, “Wig.”
    25. The Mission, “Wasteland.”

  25. Here’s mine:
    -Chameleons “Swamp Thing”
    -Stranglers “Always the Sun”
    -Smithereens “Blood & Roses”
    -Siouxsie and the Banshees “Land’s End”
    -The The “Out of the Blue”
    -Peter Gabriel “Red Rain”
    -Suzanne Vega “Left of Center”
    -Talk Talk “I Don’t Believe in You”
    -Missing Persons “Color in Your Life”
    -David and David “Welcome to the Boomtown”
    -Clan of Xymox “Medusa”
    -O.M.D “If You Leave”
    -The Call “I Still Believe
    -Public Image Ltd. “Rise”
    -The Smiths “Big Mouth Strikes Again”
    -Book of Love “Modigliani”
    -Killing Joke “Adorations”
    -The Bolshoi “Sunday Morning”
    -New Order “Bizzare Love Triangle”
    -Cocteau Twins “Love’s Easy Tears”
    -The Beloved “A Hundred Words”
    -Kate Bush “Experiment IV”
    -Depeche Mode “But Not Tonight”
    -XTC “Dear God”
    -Concrete Blonde “Still in Hollywood”
    -Talking Heads “Wild Wild Life”
    -Berlin “You Don’t Know”
    -Psychedelic Furs “Heartbreak Beat”
    -Debbie Harry “French Kissin’ in the USA”
    -Iggy Pop “Winners & Losers”

    • Neil Carver

      Oh crap… Heartbreak Beat was ’86? I had that on my ’87 list.

      But now I look it up on Wikipedia, and yep, single released in Oct. 86.

      Now I have to change my ballot. That song is a must.

    • Smithereens “Blood & Roses”
      Kate Bush “Experiment IV”

      Ack! These were 1986! Glad I haven’t offically voted yet. May need to see if I should makes some room for one or both of these.

      • haunted when the minutes drag

        Blood & Roses is one of the greatest songs ever written. Also, maybe greatest opening bass ever — except, perhaps, I Wanna Be Adored.

  26. Presented for year vetting (particularly the re-recording of NOITB, which is so significantly different from the Dream Into Action version that I figure it has to count, yeah?)

    A-Ha, “Scoundrel Days”
    The Bolshoi, “A Way”
    The Chameleons, “Soul In Isolation”
    The Chameleons, “Swamp Thing”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”
    Depeche Mode, “Black Celebration”
    Depeche Mode, “But Not Tonight”
    Erasure, “Oh L’Amour”
    Erasure, “Sometimes”
    Peter Gabriel, “Big Time”
    Gene Loves Jezebel, “Desire”
    Howard Jones, “No One Is To Blame (new recording)”
    Icehouse, “No Promises”
    Killing Joke, “Sanity”
    Killing Joke, “Adorations”
    Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”
    The Mission, “Wasteland”
    The Mission, “Severina”
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “If You Leave”
    Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
    Prince and the Revolution, “Kiss”
    Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Candyman”
    Siouxsie and the Banshees, “The Sweetest Chill”
    World Party, “Ship Of Fools”

    • Neil Carver

      Only my opinion, but I’d totally agree with you on “No One Is To Blame” as it is called out as a re-recording with new producers on it and everything.

      This and the ’86 soundtrack version of Pretty In Pink I’d say fit the “Radio Free Europe” rule.

      It makes me wondering about my #1, “Brilliant Mind” as the soundtrack version for Some Kind of Wonderful that is issued in ’87 is noticeably different as well, but I can’t find any documentation backing up that it is re-recorded.

  27. Was not PIL “Rise” released in 1985 on Album, and the single version in January 86, thus disqualified?

  28. Thank you to everyone for sharing their lists!
    CFNY 102.1 out of Toronto published the best albums of the year at this link (sorry it’s a scan and I couldn’t attach it):
    CFNY 102.1 Best of 1986:

    • Neil Carver

      Great list… and clearly reflected here. What is interesting is that everything on that list is an album (I think), except for “Heartbreak Beat” which was a single. Interesting choice, but probably reflected the listeners votes.

  29. The Smiths, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
    The Smiths, “Ask”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    New Order, “Every Second Counts”
    Depeche Mode, “A Question of Time”
    Depeche Mode, “Black Celebration”
    Siouxsie and the Banshees, “The Sweetest Chill”
    Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Candyman”
    Ministry, “All Day Remix”
    Ministry, “The Angel”
    Skinny Puppy, “Dig It”
    Bad Brains, “I Against I”
    Bad Brains, “Sacred Love”
    Jesus and Mary Chain, “Some Candy Talking”
    XTC, “Dear God”
    Billy Bragg, “Levi Stubb’s Tears”
    Billy Bragg, “Help Save the Youth of America”
    Bruce Hornsby and the Range, “The Way It Is”
    Big Country, “Look Away”
    Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark, “If You Leave”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream it’s Over”
    Psychedelic Furs, “Heartbreak Beat”
    Berlin, “Take My Breathe Away”
    Andy Taylor, “Take it Easy”
    John Taylor, “I Do What I Do To Have You”
    Blow Monkeys, “Diggin Your Scene” (hated it in ’86 but such an earworm for me now)

  30. Absolutely “Experiment IV” is one of Kate’s most overlooked songs & music videos..definitely makes my top 25

  31. Reminder that ’86 was the last year for two new wave greats (Missing Persons & Berlin) I encourage you to check both “color in your life” & “count three pray” out. There are some great tracks on both

  32. Missing Persons was on my initial long list, so I pulled the record (yes, vinyl) out, and it really hasn’t aged well.

    Dale in the video for “I Can’t Think…”, now that’s another story entirely.

  33. addictedtonoise

    In no particular order…

    The Smiths, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
    XTC, “Dear God”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    R.E.M., “Fall On Me”
    Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”
    Spacemen 3, “Losing Touch With My Mind”
    Prince, “Kiss”
    Smithereens, “Blood And Roses”
    Smithereens, “Behind The Wall Of Sleep”
    Husker Du, “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
    Skinny Puppy, ‘Dig It”
    The Church, “Tantalized”
    Beastie Boys, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
    Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”
    Butthole Surfers, “Creep In The Cellar”
    Sonic Youth, “Shadow Of A Doubt”
    They Might Be Giants, “Don’t Let’s Start”
    Public Image Limited, “Rise”
    Metallica, “Master Of Puppets”
    Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
    Depeche Mode, “Stripped”
    The Mission, “Wasteland”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    Jesus & Mary Chain, “Some Candy Talking”

  34. mikefromffm

    This is simple. Just the whole C-86 compilation:
    Primal Scream – Velocity Girl
    The Mighty Lemon Drops – Happy Head
    The Soup Dragons – Pleasantly Surprised
    The Wolfhounds – Feeling So Strange Again
    The Bodines – Therese
    Mighty Mighty – Law
    Stump – Buffalo
    Bogshed – Run To The Temple
    A Witness – Sharpened Sticks
    The Pastels – Breaking Lines
    The Age of Chance – From Now On, This Will Be Your God
    Seite B
    The Shop Assistants – It’s Up To You
    Close Lobsters – Firestation Towers
    Miaow – Sport Most Royal
    Half Man Half Biscuit – I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)
    The Servants – Transparent
    The MacKenzies – Big Jim (There’s no pubs in Heaven)
    bIG fLAME – New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)
    Fuzzbox – Console Me
    McCarthy – Celestial City
    The Shrubs – Bullfighter’s Bones
    The Wedding Present – This Boy Can Wait

    • Neil Carver

      I was waiting for someone to do this. Such an influential selection of music, but it barely registered at the time at least in the states where i was. Happy Head… and retrospectively, Transparent, are faves of mine.

  35. John Thomas

    This was definitely a transitional year for music outside the mainstream. Last gasps from new wave bands and the early stages of what would come to be called “Alternative”. Nothing major from The Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen which feels weird considering how much they loomed in my life at this time. Here are my choices in no particular order:

    crowded house – don’t dream its over
    beastie boys – brass monkey
    big audio dynamite – c’mon every beatbox
    cameo – word up
    depeche mode – a question of time
    erasure – o’lamour
    world party – ship of fools
    janet jackson – what have you done for me lately
    julian cope – world shut your mouth
    Love and rockets – all in my mind
    new order – bizarre love triangle
    omd – if you leave
    peter gabriel – big time
    peter gabriel – in your eyes
    prince – kiss
    rem – fall on me
    rem – superman
    run dmc – walk this way
    smithereens – behind the wall of sleep
    smithereens – blood and roses
    smiths – ask
    smiths – there is a light that never goes out
    the blow monkeys – digging your scene
    the housemartins – happy hour
    xtc – dear god

  36. I’d like to remind everyone that songs from the Church’s HEYDAY album are eligible. The album placed No. 22 on the Best of ’86 album poll previously.

  37. Top 26 — still need to pick one to discard before voting 8-/

    – New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle — because, of course
    – The Church – Tantalized — can’t believe people are forgetting this record! C’mon people, we all loved these songs
    – The Church – Already Yesterday
    – Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls — this album just fell out of the sky with hit after hit. you could just pick any two songs and not go wrong
    – Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities
    – The Smiths – Cemetery Gates — an English Lit major’s daydream, peak Moz
    – Husker Du – Sorry Somehow — so abrasive, yet so melodic
    – Husker Du – Don’t Want to Know if You are Lonely
    – REM – Fall On Me — their best record from the IRS years
    – REM – Begin the Begin
    – Cocteau Twins – Love’s Easy Tears — as noted, what a golden year for these guys, with two album releases and this amazing EP. And their EPs were as good as their albums.
    – Cocteau Twins – Those Eyes, That Mouth
    – Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over — who doesn’t love this song?
    – Duran Duran – Skin Trade — the album’s overlooked gem
    – The Fall – Mr. Pharmacist — i’ll be back-ah! MES RIP
    – Let’s Active – In Little Ways — Mr. Easter’s opus
    – Let’s Active – Talking To Myself
    – Game Theory – Erica’s Word — Scott Miller was a songwriting genius, and this record was dripping with hooks from end to end. RIP “Our Scott”
    – Game Theory – Regenisraen
    – Depeche Mode – Black Celebration — an overrated album, but a signature song
    – Skinny Puppy – Dig It — “industrial dance” defined
    – Love and Rockets – All In My Mind — probably their last great song
    – This Mortal Coil – Tarantula — originally a Colourbox song, but the TMC arrangement was so good that Beck just copied it verbatim
    – Siouxsie – Cities In Dust — why not
    – Throwing Muses – Hate My Way — introducing Kristen Hersh and the voices in her head
    – PIL – Rise — weird as fuck, but irresistible

  38. I’ll make your decision easy. Siouxsie & the Banshees Cities in Dust was released in October, 1985 as a single. It’s number 5 on the 1985 poll.

  39. I am still formulating my list. I have 19 songs so far. I am bound and determined to get a Sonic Youth song on a list before 1988. I have voted for a Sonic Youth song every year since 1982, but they have never made it. I though Death Valley ’69 would have made at least the lower reaches of th 1985 list, but nope.

  40. Heyday is my least-listened-to Chirch album.

  41. Michael Morse

    As many others have commented, I easily could have created a Top 50 (or more) list of songs from 1986. In fact some of my favourite songs of all time were released in this year. It was a struggled to narrow it down to 25, but I did it and submit to all for vetting before I officially cast my votes.

    “Baby Ran” — 54-40
    “Brass Monkey” — Beastie Boys
    “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” – Beastie Boys
    “C’Mon Every Beat box” – Big Audio Dynamite
    “Levi Stubbs Tears” — Billy Bragg
    “April Fool” — Chalk Circle
    “Swamp Thing” — Chameleons
    “Don’t Dream It’s Over” — Crowded House
    “Stripped” — Depeche Mode
    “Brilliant Mind” — Furniture
    “Happy Hour” — House Martins
    “Driving Away From Home” — It’s immaterial
    “Love Kills” — Joe Strummer (Sid and Nancy Soundtrack)
    “Yin and Yang” — Love and Rockets
    “Bizarre Love Triangle” — New Order
    “Shell Shock” — New Order
    “Fall On Me” — R.E.M
    “Superman” — R.E.M
    “Always the Sun” — Stranglers
    “Wild Wild Life” — Talking Heads
    “Wasteland” — The Mission
    “Big Mouth Strikes Again” — The Smiths
    “Panic” — The Smiths
    “Ship of Fools” — World Party
    “Dear God” — XTC

  42. I get what you’re saying about MP Color in Your Life not aging well. No Secrets & the title track are still great IMO though. Certainly better than some of the pop songs I’ve seen on others lists

  43. 1986

    R.E.M., “I Believe”
    XTC, “Dear God”
    The Smiths, “Panic”
    Public Image Limited, “Rise”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    Housemartins, “Happy Hour”
    Smithereens, “Blood and Roses”
    New Order, “State of the Nation”
    Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
    Depeche Mode, “A Question of Lust”
    Depeche Mode, “Stripped”
    The Psychedelic Furs, “Heartbreak Beat”
    Madonna, “Papa Don’t Preach”
    Metallica, “Master of Puppets”
    Duran Duran, “Notorious”
    The Call, “I Still Believe”
    Prince, “Mountains”
    Paul Simon, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    The Pogues, “The Body of an American”
    Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    Erasure, “Sometimes”
    Prince, “Kiss”
    Level 42, “Lessons In Love”

  44. Billy Casper

    25. The Soup Dragons – Hang-Ten!
    24. Billy Bragg – Levi Stubbs’ Tears
    23. The Flatmates – I Could Be in Heaven
    22. The Chesterfields – Completely & Utterly
    21. Prince and The Revolution – Kiss
    20. The Housemartins – Happy Hour
    19. Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
    18. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Carny
    17. The Primitives – Thru the Flowers
    16. Shop Assistants – Safety Net
    15. The Wedding Present – You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends
    14. Public Image Ltd – Rise
    13. Big Black – Kerosene
    12. The Primitives – Really Stupid
    11. The Wedding Present – Once More
    10. The Bodines – Therese
    9. The Fall – Realm of Dusk
    8. New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    7. R.E.M. – Begin the Begin
    6. The Fall – Living Too Late
    5. Half Man Half Biscuit – Dickie Davies Eyes
    4. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Some Candy Talking
    3. R.E.M. – Fall on Me
    2. The Smiths – There is a Light That Never Goes Out
    1. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead

  45. Andy Patterson

    Man, so tough to whittle these down. And some might even be different come tomorrow. But here we go for now, at least!

    Big Country, “Look Away”
    Book of Love, “Boy”
    David Bowie, “Absolute Beginners”
    The Church, “Already Yesterday”
    The Church, “Myrrh” 
    Concrete Blonde, “Cold Part of Town”
    Concrete Blonde, “Still in Hollywood”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    Crowded House, “World Where You Live”
    David & David, “Welcome to the Boomtown”
    Depeche Mode, “Stripped”
    Gene Loves Jezebel, “Heartache”
    Human League, “Human”
    Billy Idol, “All Summer Single”
    INXS, “Do Wot You Do”
    Joe Jackson, “Right and Wrong”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
    Iggy Pop, “Cry for Love”
    Psychedelic Furs, “Heartbreak Beat”
    R.E.M., “Begin the Begin”
    R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
    The Smiths, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
    They Might Be Giants, “Don’t Let’s Start”
    Wang Chung, “Hypnotize Me”
    World Party, “It’s All Mine”

  46. Dammit, how’d I miss “Love Kills”? Saw S&N the same day as Iggy Pop at the Ritz in NYC.

  47. Excellent! Another vote for Big Black! I will be voting fir them, too!

  48. Caoimhin Laochdha

    Top Ten (or so) of Top 25 —

    REM, “Begin the Begin”
    REM, “I Believe”
    Steve Earle, “Guitar Town” (Tie: Best Song of ’86)
    Husker Du, “Eiffel Tower High”
    Husker Du, “Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely”
    Billy Bragg, “There Is Power in a Union”
    Billy Bragg, “Help Save the Youth of America”(Tie: Best Song of ’86)
    Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”
    Smithereens, “Strangers When We Meet”
    Smithereens, “Behind the wall of sleep”
    Bangles, “Different Light”

    If voting were 3-per-artist:
    REM, “Fall On Me”
    Husker Du, “Sorry Somehow”
    Billy Bragg, “Levi Stubbs Tears”

  49. My list in alphabetical order by artist:

    The B-52’s – Wig
    Big Black – Kerosene
    Butthole Surfers – Creep in My Cellar
    Camper Van Beethoven – The History of Utah
    Ciccone Youth – Into the Groove(y)
    Elvis Costello – Uncomplicated
    Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up
    The Housemartins – Happy Hour
    Husker Du – Sorry Somehow
    The Jesus & Mary Chain – Some Candy Talking
    Kraftwerk – Electric Cafe
    Ministry – Just Like You
    The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
    Public Image LTD. – Rise
    R.E.M. – Superman
    Siouxsie & the Banshees – Candyman
    The Sisterhood – Giving Ground
    Skinny Puppy – Dig It
    The Smithereens – Behind the Wall of Sleep
    The Smiths – Panic
    Sonic Youth – Expressway To Yr Skull
    Talking Heads – Love For Sale
    They Might Be Giants – Don’t Let’s Start
    Suzanne Vega – Left of Center
    World Party – Ship of Fools

  50. I think this is my final list. If the year is incorrect on any, someone please call out my error. Thanks!

    The Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
    David Bowie, “Absolute beginners”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream it’s Over”
    Cutting Crew, “I’ve Been in Love Before”
    David & David, “Welcome to the Boomtown”
    Bryan Ferry, “Is Your Love Strong Enough”
    Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
    The Human League, “Human”
    Level 42, “Lessons in Love”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    New Order, “Shellshock”
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “(Forever) Live and Die”
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “If YOu Leave”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    Prince and the Revolution, “Kiss”
    Pschedelic Furs, “Heartbreak Beat”
    Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty in Pink”
    Public Image Ltd., “Rise”
    Queen, “A Kind of Magic”
    The Smithereerns, “Blood and Roses”
    The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    Swing Out Sister, “Breakout”
    John Taylor, “I Do What I Do”
    Suzanne Vega, “Left of Center”

  51. Thieves Like Us

    1 New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    2 China Crisis, “Arizona Sky”
    3 XTC, “Dear God”
    4 Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    5 Talk Talk, “Life’s What You Make It”
    6 The Housemartins, “Happy Hour”
    7 Ric Ocasek, “Emotion in Motion”
    8 Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    9 Swing Out Sister, “Breakout”
    10 Black, “Wonderful Life”
    11 The Primitives, “Crash”
    12 New Order, “All Day Long”
    13 It’s Immaterial, “Driving Away Frome Home”
    14 Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
    15 Red Box, “For America”
    16 Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”
    17 The Housemartins,”Think For A Minute”
    18 UB40, “Rat In Mi Kitchen”
    19 Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “(Forever) Live and Die”
    20 China Crisis, “Best Kept Secret”
    21 The Go-Betweens, “Spring Rain”
    22 Big Country, “Look Away”
    23 Suzanne Vega, “Left Of Center”
    24 UB40, “Sing Our Own Song”
    25 The Railway Children, “A Gentle Sound”

  52. YAY! Someone else voted for Sonic Youth besides me!

  53. uncle vanya

    Submitted for inspection before posting…

    Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
    David Bowie, “Absolute Beginners”
    Deborah Harry, “French Kissing in the USA”
    Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “I Hope You’re Happy Now”
    Eurythmics, “Missionary Man”
    Feargal Sharkey, “A Good Heart”
    Human League, “Human”
    Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    Laurie Anderson, “Talk Normal (Home of the Brave)”
    New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    OMD, “If You Leave”
    Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
    Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”
    Public Image Ltd, “Rise”
    R.E.M., “Fall On Me”
    R.E.M., “Superman”
    Steve Winwood, “Higher Love”
    Suzanne Vega, “Left Of Center”
    The Call, “Everywhere I Go”
    The Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
    The Smiths, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
    Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close”
    Wang Chung, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”
    XTC, “Dear God”

    …and these didn’t make the final cut:
    Bananarama, “Venus”
    Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)”
    Belinda Carlisle, “Mad About You”
    Berlin, “Take My Breath Away”
    Billy Bragg, “Greetings To The New Brunette”
    Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead or Alive”
    Crowded House, “World Where You Live”
    Cyndi Lauper, “Change of Heart”
    Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”
    David Bowie, “Underground”
    Eddie Money, “Take Me Home Tonight”
    Elvis Costello (The Costello Show), “Brilliant Mistake”
    Erasure, “Oh, L’Amour”
    Joe Jackson, “Home Town”
    Laurie Anderson, “Language Is A Virus (Home of the Brave)”
    Lone Justice, “Shelter”
    Madonna, “Papa Don’t Preach”
    New Order, “Shell-Shock”
    OMD, “(Forever) Live and Die”
    Paul Simon, “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    Pete Townsend, “Save it For Later (Deep End Live)”
    Peter Gabriel, ”Big Time”
    Pretenders, “My Baby”
    Prince, “Kiss”
    R.E.M., “Cuyahoga”
    Robert Palmer, “Addicted to Love”
    Robert Palmer, “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”
    Steve Winwood, “Back in the High Life”
    Steve Winwood, “The Finer Things”
    The Bangles, “Manic Monday”
    The Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian”
    The Smiths, “Ask”
    The Smiths, “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”

    • Neil Carver

      Another great vote for a song off of “Blood & Chocolate” but it looks like everyone picked a different song… which mean likely none of them will make the list. Too bad… such a good album.

      Also nice to see someone else calling out Pete Townshend, especially Deep End Live. Just a great recording of an eclectic set.

  54. Man, everyone is going for Heartbreak Beat…the gem on that album is “All Of The Law”, great that it’s still in their live setlist.

    • Neil Carver

      “All of the Law” was not released until ’87 with the full album, so isn’t elgible for voting in this poll. “Heartbreak Beat” was released as a single in ’86, so is elegible. Next poll, however…

  55. Pretty in pink was originally released in ’81 so does not qualify

    • Michael Reed

      Pretty in Pink was rerecorded by Psychedelic Furs for the Pretty in Pink soundtrack in 1986. New version, so it does count for 1986.

  56. Yes but somehow neither boy or I touch roses made the best of ’85 list. Blasphemy!

    • uncle vanya

      This is the great tragedy of this and last year’s poll – these two classic songs from Book of Love are going to slip through the cracks. I would have loved to have included them this year.

  57. Actually it does. The version of Pretty in Pink released in 86 was a re-recoding for the film of the same name. ThecRadio Free Europe ruling applies, so it is eligible.

  58. Berlin – Take My Breath Away
    Big Black – Kerosene
    Chameleons – Swamp Thing
    Duran Duran – Notorious
    Erasure – Oh L’Amour
    Hula – Poison
    Madonna – Open Your Heart
    Ministry – We Believe
    New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    OMD – If You Leave
    OMD – (Forever) Live and Die
    Pet Shop Boys – Two Divided by Zero
    Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly
    Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
    Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
    REM – Fall On Me
    Ramones – Bonzo Goes to Bitburg
    Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Walking on Your Hands
    Revolting Cocks – We Shall Cleanse the World
    Revolting Cocks – Attack Ships on Fire
    Siouxsie and the Banshees – Candyman
    Skinny Puppy – Dig It
    The Smiths – There’s a Light that Never Goes Out
    Sonic Youth – Star Power
    Spacemen 3 – Losing Touch with my Mind

    • Wikipedia shows Attack Ships being released as a single in 1985 –

      • Damn, I really thought I checked that! That’s a tricky one, though, since neither of the mixes on that 12″ single (“Attack Ships…” and “…On Fire”) are the same as the album version, which was definitely released in ’86.
        (Also, I wish I had noticed the comments above about “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” before I submitted by list…)

  59. Beastie Boys – Hold It Now Hit It
    Berlin – Take My Breath Away
    CCCP – American Soviets
    Chameleons – Soul in Isolation
    Chameleons – Swamp Thing
    The Church – Roman
    Concrete Blonde – Still in Hollywood
    The Damned – Alone Again Or
    The Damned – In Dulce Decorum
    Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
    Erasure – Sometimes
    Europe – The Final Countdown
    The Fall – Riddler!
    Janet Jackson – What Have You Done For Me Lately
    Level 42 – Something About You
    Love and Rockets – Holiday on the Moon
    Love and Rockets – It Could Be Sunshine
    Motorhead – Built For Speed
    New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    Peter Gabriel – Red Red Rain
    Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities
    Siouxsie and the Banshees – Cities in Dust
    Slayer – Raining Blood
    The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
    Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life

  60. Cities in Dust finished at #5 in the 1985 poll. Not eligible for 1986.

  61. My 25 (in alphabetical order):

    A-Ha – I’ve Been Losing You
    The Arch – Babsi Ist Tot
    The B-52’s – Ain’t It a Shame
    Black – Wonderful Life
    The Bolshoi – A Way
    Clan of Xymox – Louise
    Chalk Circle – April Fool
    The Chameleons – Swamp Thing
    Cocteau Twins – Lazy Calm
    Cocteau Twins – Orange Appled
    Depeche Mode – But Not Tonight
    Erasure – Oh L’Amour
    Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame
    The Jesus and Mary Chain – Some Candy Talking
    Love and Rockets – Kundalini Express
    New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
    The Neon Judgement – Tomorrow in the Papers
    OMD – If You Leave
    Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia
    PIL – Rise
    Prince and The Revolution – Kiss
    Les Rita Mitsouko – C’est Comme Ça
    REM – Fall on Me
    Siouxsie and the Banshees – Candyman
    The Sisterhood – Giving Ground
    The Smiths – Big Mouth Strikes Again
    Trisomie 21 – The Last Song

  62. Charles Conner

    Oh man! How could I forget “This Time” by E-I-E-I-O and “Souvenir” by Rubber Rodeo!

  63. Here’s my list and those that just missed. Really tough to narrow it down to 25. I could have listed 2 or more songs for New Order, Depeche Mode, The Comsat Angels, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, Dead or Alive, etc. Such a great year and solid releases by so many.
    No shade to anyone, but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for Prince, Madonna, Steve Winwood or any of those hair bands that started to take over the Top 40 radio. 1986 is when I really “switched the dial!”

    Best Songs of 1986
    Slicing Up Eyeballs
    Voting List

    1 Shriekback, “Black Light Trap”
    2 The Mission UK, “Severina”
    3 Level 42, “Lessons In Love”
    4 The Call, “Everywhere I Go”
    5 New Order, “Shellshock”
    6 Love & Rockets, “Kundalini Express”
    7 Black, “Wonderful Life”
    8 Black, “Everythings Coming Up Roses”
    9 The Housemartings, “Happy Hour”
    10 It’s Immaterial, “Driving Away From Home”
    11 Chalk Circle, “April Fool”
    12 The The, “Infected”
    13 The Damned, “Alone Again Or”
    14 The Blow Monkeys, “Diggin’ Your Scene”
    15 Oingo Boingo, “Dead Mans Party”
    16 Hipsway, “The Honeythief”
    17 Dead Or Alive, “Something In My House”
    18 The Comsat Angels, “The Cutting Edge”
    19 Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”
    20 Erasure, “Who Needs Love Like That”
    21 Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”
    22 Eurythmics, “Missionary Man”
    23 Til’ Tuesday, “Coming Up Close”
    24 Suzanne Vega, “Left of Center”
    25 Depeche Mode, “Black Celebration”

    Bubbling Under:
    1 Concrete Blonde – Still In Hollywood
    2 Prince and the Revolution – Mountains
    3 Swing Out Sister- Breakout
    4 The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again/There is a Light That Never Goes Out
    5 Shriekback – Gunning For The Budda
    6 The Mission UK – Wasteland
    7 Level 42 – Something About You
    8 The Call – I Still Believe
    9 New Order – Bizzare Love Triangle
    10 Love & Rockets – Ying & Yang and the Flowerpot Man/All In My Mind
    11 The Comsat Angels – Under The Influence
    12 Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly
    13 Erasure – Sometimes/Oh L’Amour
    14 Eurythmics – When Tomorrow Comes

  64. Dead Man’s Party was 1985. It was released as a single in 1986, but it came off the album (of the same name) that was released in 1985. So from my understanding that would mean the song too was released in 1985.'s_Party_(album)

  65. Michael Reed

    My Top 25 is mostly bands that are less well known or neglected songs from popular bands.

    In no particular order:

    A-Ha, “Cry Wolf”
    The Beat Farmers, “Riverside”
    The Flowerpot Men, “Beat City”
    Grace Jones, “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)”
    Iggy Pop, “Real Wild Child”
    Laurie Anderson, “Language is a Virus”
    Lone Justice, “Shelter”
    Not Shakespeare, “Turnaround”
    The Nails, “Things You Left Behind”
    Prince, “Sometimes It Snows In April”
    The Rainmakers, “Let My People Go-Go”
    Rob Jungklas, “Make It Mean Something”
    The Wallets, “Totally Nude”
    The Woodentops, “Good Thing”
    The Art Of Noise, “Paranoimia”
    The Bolshoi, “Away”
    The Other Ones, “Holiday”
    Shriekback, “Gunning For The Buddha”
    The Stranglers, “Always The Sun”
    ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close”
    Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
    The Call, “Everywhere I Go”
    R.E.M., “Cuyahoga”
    Billy Bragg, “Greetings To The New Brunette”
    David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”

    • FWIW – The Wallets released that song as a single in 1984 according to Discogs and then later put it on their 1986 album Take It.

      • Michael Reed

        Good eye! The 1986 version of Totally Nude is a completely new recording, so it is allowed under the Radio Free Europe rule.

    • Top 25 – 1986
      1. Chameleons – Tears
      2. Chameleons – Swamp Thing
      3. The Damned – Alone Again Or
      4. The Feelies – Slipping Into Something
      5. The Feelies – The High Road
      6. Cactus World News – Years Later
      7. Concrete Blonde – Still in Hollywood
      8. Fuzzbox – Love Is The Slug
      9. Hunters & Collectors – Is There Anybody In There
      10. Love and Rockets – Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)
      11. Midnight Oil – The Dead Heart
      12. Ministry – All Day Remix
      13. Ministry – Over the Shoulder
      14. New Model Army – 51st State
      15. The Call – Everywhere I Go
      16. The Call – I Still Believe
      17. The Church – Tantalized
      18. The Damned – Anything
      19. The Fall – Shoulder Pads #1
      20. The Godfathers – This Damn Nation
      21. The Housemartins – Anxious
      22. The Lucy Show – A Million Things
      23. The Mighty Lemon Drops – My Biggest Thrill
      24. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
      25. World Party – All Come True

      Honorable Mentions
      Chameleons – Ever After / In Answer / Seriocity
      The Feelies – On The Roof / Two Rooms
      Chalk Circle – April Fool
      China Crisis – Arizona Sky
      It’s Immaterial – Driving Away From Home
      R.E.M. – These Days
      XTC – Summer’s Cauldron
      The Pastels – Truck Train Tractor
      The Chills – I Love My Leather Jacket
      Huxton Creepers – I Will Persuade You
      Joe Strummer – Love Kills
      Public Image Ltd – Home / F.F.F.
      Ramones – My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)
      Gang Green – Alcohol
      The Mission – Wasteland
      The Damned – In Dulce Decorum
      The Fall – Terry Waite Sez / Hey Luciani / Mr. Pharmacist / R.O.D.
      The Stranglers – Nice in Nice
      The Wedding Present – This Boy Can Wait
      Easterhouse – Whistling In The Dark
      Gene Loves Jezebel – Desire
      The Bolshoi – A Way

  66. Charles Conner

    The Pogues “London Girl” — HOW could I also forget this song???

  67. *TOP 25 SONGS OF 1986*

    1. Pet Shop Boys – West Wnd Girls
    2. Bananarama – Venus
    3. Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
    4. The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
    5. Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missle F1-11
    6. Dead Or Alive – Something In My House
    7. Simple Minds – All The Things She Said
    8. A-Ha – The Sun Always Shines On TV
    9. The Dream Academy – The Love Parade
    10. Ministry – Over The Shoulder
    11. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Cities In Dust
    12. The Smiths – Panic
    13. Bananarama – More Than Physical
    14. Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities
    15. Prince & The Revolution – Mountains
    16. Ministry – Just Like You
    17. Revolting Cocks – We Shall Cleanse The World
    18. Skinny Puppy – God’s Gift (Maggot)
    19. The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
    20. Skinny Puppy – Dig It
    21. The Housemartins – Happy Hour
    22. Duran Duran – Notorious
    23. INXS – What You Need
    24. Double – The Captain Of Her Heart
    25. Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy

  68. West End Girls – a typo for my #1? #shame

  69. Here it is!

    B-52’s – Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland
    David Bowie – Absolute Beginners
    The Call – Everywhere I Go
    Ciccone Youth – Into the Groove(y)
    Eurythmics – Thorn in My Side
    Fields of the Nephilim – Power
    Front 242 – Quite Unusual
    Peter Gabriel – Red Rain
    Husker Du – Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely
    Iggy Pop – Cry For Love
    Lene Lovich & Nina Hagen – Don’t Kill the Animals
    The Mission – Garden of Delight
    The Other Ones – Holiday
    Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Walking on Your Hands
    R.E.M. – Cuyahoga
    Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11
    Paul Simon – Graceland
    Siouxsie & the Banshees – The Sweetest Chill
    The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
    Sonic Youth – Star Power
    Talking Heads – Puzzlin’ Evidence
    The The – Infected
    They Might Be Giants – (She Was A) Hotel Detective
    Timbuk 3 – Future’s So Bright, Gotta Wear Shades
    UB40 – Rat in Mi Kitchen

  70. I think we need a ruling on Quite Unusual.
    I thought it was 1987. But I see on Discogs that it was released on a 7” in Belgium late in 1986. I think it’s more commonly seen as 1987 but not sure how it’d be viewed for these polls.

  71. Cities in Dust is noted in above comments as 1985.

  72. Cities in Dust is 1985.

  73. 1 The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
    2 The Smiths There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
    3 The Wedding Present You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends
    4 The Jesus and Mary Chain Some Candy Talking
    5 The Wedding Present Once More
    6 Psychedelic Furs Pretty In Pink (1986 version)
    7 XTC Dear God
    8 The Chameleons Mad Jack
    9 REM Begin the Begin
    10 OMD If You Leave
    11 New Order All Day Long
    12 Love and Rockets All In My Mind
    13 The The Out of the Blue
    14 The Church Already Yesterday
    15 REM Hyena
    16 Psychedelic Furs Heartbreak Beat
    17 OMD The Pacific Age
    18 The Chameleons Swamp Thing
    19 New Order Every Little Counts
    20 Public Image Ltd Rise
    21 Julian Cope World Shut Your Mouth
    22 Felt Ballad of the Band
    23 The The Infected
    24 Slayer Raining Blood
    25 The Weather Prophets Almost Prayed

  74. XTC, “Earn Enough For Us”
    Big Audio Dynamite, “Sightsee M.C!”
    Elvis Costello,”American Without Tears”
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds,”All Tomorrow’s Parties”
    The Smiths,”Panic”
    Depeche Mode,”A Question of Time”
    Talk Talk,”Life’s What You Make It”
    The Housemartins,”Freedom”
    Neil Young,”Weight Of The World”
    Talking Heads,”Love for Sale”
    Billy Bragg,”Levi Stubbs’ Tears”
    New Order,”Bizarre Love Triangle”
    Robyn Hitchcock,”If You Were a Priest”
    Butthole Surfers,”Pepper”
    It’s Immaterial,”Driving Away from Home (Jim’s Tune)”
    Iggy Pop,”Blah-Blah-Blah”
    Sparks,”Music That You Can Dance To”
    Laurie Anderson,”Language Is a Virus”
    R.E.M.,”Fall on Me”
    The Mission,”Wasteland”
    Camper Van Beethoven,”Cowboys From Hollywood”
    Kraftwerk,”Musique Non Stop”
    Dead Kennedys,”Anarchy For Sale”
    The Triffids,”Wide Open Road”
    Felt,”Rain Of Crystal Spires”

  75. All this cross-referencing sources against others’ lists, and I turn mine in –

    and still I completely whiffed on The Mighty Lemon Drops. This sucks.

    As someone else mentioned, ’86 was a wild transitional year in popular music. So much of what was on FM radio was good, and much of that quite good.

    What I settled on:

    1. Give it Time – The Woodentops
    2. Mountains – Prince
    3. Erica’s Word – Game Theory
    4. It’s Tricky – Run-D.M.C
    5. Slipping (Into Something) – The Feelies
    6. Wide Open Road – The Triffids
    7. Fall On Me – R.E.M.
    8. There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
    9. Bizarre Love Triangle – New Order
    10. Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely – Husker Du
    11. World Where You Live – Crowded House
    12. Still in Hollywood – Concrete Blonde
    13. Good Guys and Bad Guys – Camper Van Beethoven
    14. I Touch Roses – Book of Love
    15. Always the Sun – The Stranglers
    16. Word Up – Cameo
    17. C’est comma ca – Les Rita Mitsouko
    18. Fly on the Windscreen – Depeche Mode
    19. Mad About You – Belinda Carlisle
    20. Rain on the Scarecrow – John Mellencamp
    21. Talking to Myself – Lets Active
    22. You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
    23. Twenty Deadly Diseases – Severed Heads
    24. Sweet Bird of Youth – The The
    25. I Wanna Be a Cowboy – Boys Don’t Cry

  76. Isn’t Pepper 1996?

  77. Neil Carver

    Totally just a suggestion, and maybe too much effort/confusion for Matt…

    For the 1987 poll… what about a “Pre-Vote” post/article. Something like, “Next week, you’ll get to vote on 1987 best songs. Here are the rules. Start posting your Top 27 lists below, lobby for your favorites, crowd source your choices to make sure the songs you are listing are eligible!”

    Something that could bring attention to the poll… get people talking and sharing lists… get people to point out the “Hey… don’t vote for Cities In Dust!!” type of thing, before people can actually vote.

    Have the poll with big red letter, “COMING SOON! Vote Staringn XX date!”

    Anyway… just a thought, as it would be a way to generate interest, get people talking… even limit the time that the poll is open to one week if you want… but at the same time, help people clean up their votes.

    (Or, I could just be taking this song voting thing way too seriously…

    … naaaaaaah!)

    • Neil Carver


      … Top 25…” not 27


      “Vote Starting XX date…” not staringn

    • Hi Neil – Not to speak for Matt, but isn’t that the process that already exists? That’s basically what this web page is and what the comments are.

      Matt posted notice of the survey and the rules well in advance here and 3 times on Facebook, so the heads up is already being done.

      And as far as making sure songs are eligible via crowd-sourcing, it’s pretty simple – all people need to do is post their anticipated picks here (which a lot of people do) and then hold off on submitting their final survey until they’ve received feedback (which I’m guessing most people aren’t doing). If people are concerned about making picks that don’t count, they should just use this 2-step approach.

      So just my opinion – I’m not sure any process change on Matt’s part is needed.

  78. Yeah… the only difference is not opening the poll for voting right away. Give people time to post and discuss before the poll opens.

    Only suggesting it as it is probably a big headache to have clean the data of all the ineligible votes before calculating the results.

    Wouldn’t get rid of all of the ineligible votes, but it might help. That was all.

    • Charles Conner

      that’s a decent suggestion! It would certainly help to jog the memory banks besides weeding out songs from the wrong year. Sometimes these years get kinda mixed up!

  79. After paring down from a shortlist of around 100 here is what I finally went with:

    The Art Of Noise Featuring Duane Eddy, “Peter Gunn”
    The Call, “Everywhere I Go”
    Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
    Dumptruck, “Back Where I Belong”
    Duran Duran, “Notorious”
    Electric Light Orchestra, “So Serious”
    Eurythmics, “Thorn In My Side”
    Eurythmics, “When Tomorrow Comes”
    The Fixx, “Built For The Future”
    John Fogerty, “Change In The Weather”
    Georgia Satellites, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”
    Jason And The Scorchers, “Golden Ball And Chain”
    Let’s Active, “In Little Ways”
    Love and Rockets, “All in My Mind”
    Madness, “(Waiting For) The Ghost Train”
    Modern English, “Ink And Paper”
    Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark, “(Forever) Live And Die”
    Screaming Blue Messiahs, “Wild Blue Yonder”
    Brian Setzer, “The Knife Feels Like Justice”
    Shriekback, “Gunning For The Buddha ”
    The Smiths, “Ask”
    The Stranglers, “Always The Sun”
    The Stranglers, “Ghost Train”
    The The, “Heartland”
    World Party, “Ship Of Fools”

    • Georgia Satellites! hah. I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard that song since 1986… now the echo “… and keep your hands to yourself” is now echoing around my head. Not sure if that is a good thing.

    • Dumptruck!
      Reminded me though that I totally spaced and missed another Boston band from that year, The Neighborhoods!

      • oh no – Robert – how did I forget THE HIGH HARD ONE? Think It Over? She’s So Good? W.U.S.A? Uniforms & Insignias?

        I’ve complained that the record (like any of theirs save the new record from last year) can’t be find streaming. But I’m also fairly sure it was never even issued on CD.

        • Ward – So many good songs on that album, you didn’t even mention 2 of my favorites (Arrogance, Right as Rain). You’re right, was never issued on CD and it’s not on streaming, at least not yet.

  80. Troy Heiner

    When are the results going to be posted?

  81. addictedtonoise

    With the lack of live music options the ’86 results would be a fantastic surprise before The Light That Never Goes Out goes out…

  82. Paul Carpenter

    In these strange times a playlist of 1986 would be a welcome relief

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