Twisted MixTape Tuesday 15

I can’t believe how hard these lists have been. For a decade that most people say was void of much “quality” music. It’s been nearly impossible to stick to my own rules. So much so that I was tempted to have an 80’s vol 3, but it’s time to move on. We’ve all tracked down so many songs we’ve forgotten about, so save them, write them down. We’ll be back to themed lists by the end of August and use that gold then. To make it easier, at the end of this post, I will list the mixtapes coming up.

Last week I explored the music I was listening to in the middle of the 80’s. For this week I decided to explore the early 80’s and the late 80’s. For me, those two times in my life were more the “real” me than the soul-searching, parent hating, cigarette smoking, skateboard dating, mohawk styling rebel I was during my “Ally Sheedy” phase. As much as I loved the music I was listening to then, I am less likely to listen to it now. The music I listened to in the early and late 80’s was the real me. That music was timeless, and became what we are now calling Classic Rock. I was weened on Steely Dan, The Carpenter’s, Simon and Garfunkel and The Eagles. That’s where my love for music started, and that is where it would end up.

In 1981 I was 11, for the next few years I had a permanent position set up right next to our record player at home. I used headphones, because my sister could not rip herself away from the TV that was in the same room. There was only one record player in the house, so that was my perch. From that perch there were 4 albums that were in constant rotation, I wore these covers out staring at them as I listened to the music – both sides:

But because I have to at least pretend attempt to stick to the rules. They get only an honorable mention..

In 1985 I saw my very first concert without parents. It was Don Henley’s Building the Perfect Beast tour. In 1988 I saw my first concert with people I had only known a week: As part of the celebration of the incoming class of 92 at University of Iowa – a little known band called REM put on a concert at Hancher Auditorium. Up until this time they had only played shows around their hometown, some European tours and college campuses. Who knew?

This list could contain so much amazing music from so many amazing musicians. Some notables I am leaving out are Prince, Roxy Music, INXS, The Police and Peter Gabriel. I also want to give a shout out to The Indigo Girls, their first and epic CD was released in 1989. I could put every single one of their songs from that album on this list. So many more didn’t make the cut. But when I sat down to make my mix I had 27 songs. I figured that was a little excessive, so sorry songs. I’ll miss you, but you’re in a brand new mix in my iTunes, so no worries. Instead I went with my Guilty Pleasures.

In no particular order “Music that I Predict Will Stand the Test of Time in the Older Jen Kehl’s Cassette Collection”

Jackson Browne – That Girl Could Sing (1980)  I used to sit and imagine the song was about me. The only part I heard, or knew the words to were “that girl could sing.” And of course I had these pre-teen dreams of Jackson Browne hearing me sing and saying “she’s a star!” Thank’s so much Jackson, your faith in me kept me singing, and now I’m famous – in my kitchen. You rock.


Asia – Only Time Will Tell (1982) – I don’t even know what to say. This is an 80’s anthem – no 80’s mix would be complete with out it.


Juke Box Hero – Foreigner (1981) I need to do a whole post on Foreigner, their history is pretty amazing. Sadly, this particular song was recorded after Foreigner split in half. It was intended to be part of a more commercial sound, and they succeeded. The other notable song from this album is Urgent.
This song was so mysterious to me, I really heard the lyrics, I could picture this boy who wanted to be a star. Hmmm…. maybe he was my soulmate; see previous song.


Too Much Time on My Hands – Styx (1981)  Well this was the beginning of the end for Styx. They had a lot of trouble agreeing about where their sound should go after Babe – which was such a chart topper. But Paradise Theater? Epic. Thanks for not killing each other before this album. – This is also the album where they were accused of backmasking satanic messages on their album (that means if you play it backwards you can hear it) I had to quote their response  “we had enough trouble to make the music sound right forward.” Also, James Young quotes,”If we were going to put something Satanic in our songs, we would have put it so it was in the song forward. Not so you would have to buy some $400 tape recorder to hear it.”


Our House – Madness (1982) I always wanted this to be my house.


When I turned 15 I started dating my first musician. This would turn into a series of unfortunate relationships. And by unfortunate, I mean “relationships with musicians”. They all saw a modicum of commercial success, they all had musicians egos, they all performed live. Which sucked. If you’re the girlfriend. Because then you’re the roady. I digress… the one great thing about dating musicians is you have to listen to the music they listen too. Did I say great? OK, well it can be great. Not when it’s Sister Christian by Night Ranger that you’re listen to over and over and over again.
But when it’s Something About You by Level 42, well then it might stick:


Fast forward to the late 80’s, because I had to get here somehow. My music choices started to change and morph, as did the music atmosphere itself. These next two songs are interlopers as far as the Classic Rock theme would suggest. But they were very influential to me, and are still in rotation.


Everyone heard of Talking Heads in the 80’s; who couldn’t pick David Byrne out of a line-up? However when they decided to take a chance – exploring a different style in a different place (Paris) – they created an album that the critics loved but the public couldn’t get their hands around. It didn’t even hit the charts in the US. However it did cross my 6-disc CD changer that cost me an arm and a leg…

Mr Jones – Talking Heads (1988)


I just couldn’t listen to Kate Bush, I couldn’t handle the eerie sadness that permeated all of her music. But her musical counter part, the wacky to her weird was right there next to Talking Heads in my CD Changer. Laurie Anderson’s Strange Angels was the “Alternative” genre of the late 80’s; she was someone who made art and music, effortlessly intertwined. Her talent was well-known among other musicians and she had some notables on this album including Meatloaf and Bobby McFerrin, and if that’s not enough – she’s also married to Lou Reed, so there’s that. May I please implore you to LISTEN TO THE LYRICS? You won’t be sorry, I promise. With lyrics like: “I don’t know about your brain, but mine is really – bossy.”

Babydoll – Laurie Anderson


Starting in 1986 I began to live a double life. Every summer I toured with The Grateful Dead, fitting in shows during the school year if I could drive there in 3 hours. This was a revelation to me. Camping out with thousands of your best friends, sharing food, water, fires and other stuff. It was an amazing time… (I think this may have been when I decided showers were over-rated) In 1987 The Grateful Dead came out with its first truly commercial album, while none of the songs were new to folks who saw them live, something – that wasn’t a bootleg – to stick in your cassette deck was freaking amazing!

Throwing Stones – The Grateful Dead (1987) while this song was not the one that reached the top 10, it is the one that my friends and I waited – and listened – and hoped to catch the first few notes of as we sat out on the lawn of a huge amphitheater and then rose – screaming as it began. “The kids they dance and shake their bones” we were those kids, it was amazing.


Phew! I can’t believe I made it! That was the HARDEST list ever. And I didn’t even break the rules, WHAT? Did I just tell a bold-faced lie! Yup. This week, you get a pass if you can’t stick to 5 songs, I get it.

Now it’s your turn. I want to hear what you’ve got! This week’s theme is The 80′s Part 2. For next week we begin a new decade. Start thinking, it’s the 1990’s part 1.

The rules of Twisted MixTape are as such: Try and create a 5 song mix based on this week’s theme. As we move through the decades the assumption is you know about the music in the past, but not what is to come. Create your own post and link it up, or put your mix in the comments. If you’re going to link-up there must be a song – relating to the theme – in your post. Share this all over the place, the more the merrier. And go visit my lovely cohort – Kristi at Finding Ninee. She’s always got a song, a funny story and some silly Drawrings. Mostly, just have fun, there’ s no pressure here.

As promised The List of all Lists:

July 16 – 90’s and before pt.1
July 23 – 90’s and before pt. 2
July 30 – The 00’s and before
Aug 6 – Duets ( this can be duets or duos like Hall & Oats or Loggins & Messina you decide)
Aug 13 – No Strings Attached (I know none of this feel this way – wink wink.  But there are a lot of great songs about having a relationship/one night stand with no strings attached)
August 20 – You know what? I suck/ You suck. Get your venom out here, or maybe that ballad that basically says ‘you suck'”, or play it this way: you’re the one who did wrong and you know it. This is your apology/acknowledgement for being an ass. Or a mix of the two. You decide.
August 27 – I think this is the week I see Steely Dan, SO with that being said. Let’s do a “BEST OF” pick a band, any band, and put together a “Best of” playlist. Easy peasy for the end of summer.

AND NOW: Because you know you need to own these songs, click on the links to go to iTunes:
That Girl Could Sing – Hold Out
Only Time Will Tell – Asia
Juke Box Hero – 4 (Expanded Version)
Urgent – 4 (Expanded Version)
Too Much Time On My Hands – Paradise Theatre
Our House – Total Madness – The Very Best of Madness
Something About You (Single) – Level Best
Mr. Jones (2005 Remastered) – Naked [w/Bonus Track]
Baby Doll – Strange Angels
Throwing Stones – In the Dark (Expanded) [Remastered]




45 thoughts on “Twisted MixTape Tuesday 15

  1. IN

    Sorry for being early but I’m touring the University of Georgia in Athens, tomorrow, with my wife and teenage daughter. She’s entering her senior year of high school.

    I didn’t list any Athens bands like REM or B52s but I will be taking her to the old clubs and Allen’s burger stand whether she likes it or not.

    Thanks…I love those Talking Heads and Laurie Anderson songs. She’s the best. Jukebox Hero is a guilty pleasure, I can play about half of it on guitar. It’s fun.

    • Lance ~ I’m confused, are you apologizing for being on time in the form of being early? Thank you…It’s so cool you can check all of that “real music history” stuff out. Have an awesome time!

  2. It’s funny I’d never really thought about the fact that I don’t really listen to the music from the 80’s. You’re right, except for Prince! I do love it when it comes on the radio though.

    • I know Rachel, isn’t that odd. It’s like the lost generation of music. Sometimes I put the Pandora 80’s pop station on and I can listen for about 20 minutes and then I’m done.

  3. I did a post on Jackson featuring the lyrics of “Late for the Sky.” In it I wrote that I could have easily highlighted a dozen songs or more. “That Girl” is one of that dozen. So good. I’m pretty sure Asia will make the cut on my list too. Foreigner has so much to choose from and Styx… agreed so glad they put out Paradise. I used the Level 42 song as one of my Guilty Pleasures posts. It was and still is. You rocked this list Jen.

    • Kat – I really love Jackson Browne. His lyrics are so amazing. Rock Me on the Water? I sing that to the boy sometimes… so many awesome songs. Thank you!

  4. I grew up in the 80s and do so very much remember many of the bands, but will be honest don’t remember much of these songs that they sang. Feel like I was living under a rock, but seriously some of the songs by the artists and I never heard of. I was a teenager and in college in the 90s though and look forward to seeing your lists from that time period even more now.

    • Tracy – I could sing that song all day long and not get sick of it. What is that all about? If you could bottle it…

  5. I have NO idea how you managed to narrow this down. And I love that you had an Ally Sheedy phase. And your first concert- WOW! And lastly, ah, the Indigo Girls. If I want to drown in nostalgia, all I need to do is put on Rites of Passage.

    • Well now Stephanie, Maybe you can play next week? Rites of Passage is the 90’s…. You’ve got all week to work on it! And seriously it killed me to eliminate so many great songs!

  6. Just linked up! I used to listen to Juke Box Hero when I was mad at my mother for some random act of unkindness that she had the nerve to place upon me! 😉 To this day when I listen to that song, I get a little bit anxious and twitchy with the need to run until I am out of breath…I LOVE THAT SONG! 😉

  7. Only Time Will Tell – Classic! It was on every love tape I made (I think it only comes to three) and I will be hearing it in my dreams tonight!

    One of these days…But I don’t know how I could narrow each decade down! 🙂

    I love your comments on all of these!

    • Come on Angie! I would love a new player 😉 It is tough, but then you have to remember you aren’t hurting the songs feelings and dive in!

  8. Ok I am going to have to scroll back and forth to remember everything I want to say but before I start I want to say that this music linkie has been amazing for me. There is NOTHING like music (and smells, I guess – walk through a mall and randomly smell Ralph Lauren Polo and HELLO 1985!). But music. And yeah. The 80’s. I wish I knew you then. We’d have been amazing friends. And likely been arrested together, with our awesome cigs. Okay commenting now.
    I can’t BELIEVE I didn’t mention Men at Work and Styx. I purposely left Journey out as “Faithfully” was the song my mom had as “her song” with my brother’s hockey coach when she cheated on my dad (sorry but whatev. it’s 2:17am and I’m up in 5 hours and honesty is good). OMG Our House. In the middle of the street. Is going to be in my head all night. In the best of ways. Love this. Love it hard. Thanks, friend.
    TTTx10 + infinity.

    • Kristi ~ POLO! Man, they must have made a mint in the 80’s! That and Drakkar Noir! MAN talk about bug spray. I think you may have been too cool for me in the 80’s, but maybe not… maybe we’d be smoking outside the high school, getting busted – Saturday detention…. Sounds about right! Love you girl! TTTx10!

  9. Jen… Thank You for the Kind Words!!!

    Your List: I owned that Asia Album, owned that Foreigner Album, owned that Styx Album. Loved Our House. The Dead Tune is such a cool choice. Very Nice!!! Yes, it was hard… Ha!!!

    So enjoyed, Slu

    • Slu – We made it! I hope the 90’s are easier. I think they will be, or I’m just kidding myself. Hmm…

  10. Pingback: The 8 t’s (well, 5 of them, at least) | as long as i'm singing

  11. I was only one in 1981…but my mom was heavily into early 80’s music and kept a mixed tape on hand and would play them all the time in our house. So I got to know them very well.
    You brought back a lot of memories friend.

  12. I love your mix Jen – and I’m right there with you – I would close my eyes, and literally SEE that juke box hero. And when he turned around, he was me!

    I also very much wanted to live in that house. Well, any house where the boys from Madness lived I suppose.

    AND – stroke of genius? Why yes, the inclusion of Laurie Anderson was! (For the record, I adore Kate Bush, but she didn’t make my list either…)

    • Troy – After reading your post I can see that you probably liked Kate Bush 😉 It’s amazing what this music conjures up, huh? Right place, right time.

  13. Not only did I miss the first half of the 80s lovefest, but now I’ve missed the second half. Where does the time go??
    My entries have to include Duran Duran – anything off the Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.
    U2 – Joshua Tree and/or Unforgettable Fire. tough call.
    Naked Eyes – Always Something There To Remind Me
    When in Rome – The Promise
    and of course, Bon Jovi – anything off Slippery When Wet. sigh….

  14. I love that you included Styx – and it’s a Tommy song. 😉 And Madness always reminds me of those early days of MTV – they embody it. Those low quality, zany, Brit vids that I loved!!! OMG – I just thought of another one – The Kinks’ “Come Dancing”. Jackson Browne is always a winner, no matter what decade. I have his Greatest Hits album and I love his stuff. Laurie Anderson – yes, yes, YES! I remember listening to her album a lot. I loved Kate Bush too. That was a college staple. The Kick Inside. I was going to include Kate, but looking at the videos I was a little cringey. lol The mixes for the rest of the summer look like a blast. Good stuff up ahead Jen!

    • Linda! Totally Come Dancing!! I was trying to think of that song! I was like “there’s some song just like Our House…what is it!!!” you rock!

  15. Foreigner… I liked them at the time, I have come to totally love this particular song. It somehow has become associated in my mind with this whole blog writing ‘hobby’.

    The problem with the 80s were the clothes, plain and simple. With the exception of some of the plaid-grunge couture (in small does, of course), the problem was that either I could not afford the clothes (Wall Street) or the clothes required a familiarity with hair products that I simply did not possess.

    So for all intents and purposes, the decade was popular music courtesy of Berlitz , whatever the hell that means.

    You guys is throwing a damn fun party here… the kind that, back in the day, were the ones that you hoped that whatever you remembered afterwards would remain all that you remembered afterwards. A time when the big move was, ‘hey the club is closing wanna go find a place and have breakfast?’

  16. OK, the musician comment was perfect. Mentioning the headphones/TV struggle brought back memories. I am DYING to know more about the Dead experience. And you owned a cd player in the 80’s. Seriously. OK, I’m going to attempt a post now. You are awesome.

  17. Level 42 is SOOO 80s. Love it! I’ve never heard the BabyDoll song. I was so top 40, so no surprise there. I copied this list for the rest of the summer, so I can prepare. I already have ideas for a few of them. Thanks!

  18. We listened to the 80s all the way down the California coast…love that decade, and love your mix tape, Jen. I’ll hop back on the bandwagon one of these days!

  19. Right-people make fun of 80’s music (and, well, 80’s everything), but it wasn’t devoid of talent. I think genres were breaking up and scattering into so many directions-it was really like an explosion. Thanks for the link-up!

    • Jennifer ~ That’s a great way to explain it. It really was, and some of it burned up and disintegrated, some turned into something else, and some survived!

  20. I’m here! I’m here! I won’t let ya down 😉

    You’re right, this is hard. And I failed to use any type of rhyme or reason last week. (Damn it!)

    This week, I am giving it to the ladies… LADIES FROM THE EIGHTIES (go my gosh, I didn’t even mean to nail it like that!)

    Heaven Is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle (I can remember hearing this as a young one and I can go years without hearing it, then BOOM I still know all the words!)

    I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston (I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some Whitney…)

    Jump (For My Love) – The Pointer Sisters (Dude, some little poor child performed this in the talent show when I was like 8. I’ll never forget)

    She Works Hard For the Money – Donna Summer (Is it bad I like this cause of a cover? jk jk, this is a classic)

    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (duh…)

    Thanks, as usual, for making me think! I’ll miss next week and I am super bummed cause I am a 90’s kid!!!

    • Oh Nanny Erica, I’ll miss you so much next week! Thanks for the great picks, gonna add them to the You Tube list now! She works hard for the money, GOLD!

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