The 1980s were marked by a growing economy and a shift in politics. Ronald Reagan was sworn to office in the US and Margaret Thatcher stood at the head of British government. Fuel efficiency was becoming a big part of the car industry, with new laws being introduced to stop pollution. Dance, new wave, R&B and hip-hop were entering into mainstream music, making it an exciting time.
Rev-Up Radio is a series that brings together cars and music from a specific era. A list of tracks are included that can be played for a long car journey, so you’ll be able to feel nostalgic. The 80s had an eclectic mix of music, and here is a playlist inspired by the times.
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman performed this iconic song during the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert on June 11, 1988 and it began to rise through the charts. It’s an emotional song about a couple who want to build a life together and overcome challenges. It’s very relatable and is perfect for when you are going on a romantic getaway with your partner.
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car by Billy Ocean
If you’re looking for relaxing background music then Billy Ocean is a good choice for any road trip. The song has a jazz influence that’s typical of the 80s. But there’s a timeless quality that allowed it to transcend the decade.
Black Limousine by The Rolling Stones
Black Limousine is a hard blues track that tells the story of an aging romance. Even in the lyrics there’s a nostalgic feeling that will appeal to couples who’ve been together for years. The song can be blended with a car like a Ford Fiesta because both have an enduring quality.
7-11 by The Ramones
The Ramones were pioneers of the punk rock scene, fitting with the bombastic quality of the 80s. 7-11 describes a fast-paced romance between two people that ends with a car crash. It has a softer melody than other Ramone songs, making it one of their stand out tracks.
Cars and Girls by Prefab Sprout
Sang by British band Prefab Sprout, Cars and Girls is directed at Bruce Springsteen’s perceived limited subject matter in his songs. It’s interesting to note that the song’s popularity comes from it being misinterpreted as a driving tune. Still, it makes a great number to listen to while you’re cruising on the motorway.
Africa by Toto IV
A classic track of the 80s, Africa is an up tempo song that transports the listener to sun-drenched Africa. It’ll definitely brighten up a rainy day when you’re stuck in traffic. It’s a song that represents more than a romance. It’s about being attached to a certain place, and all drivers can relate to it.