The 80s was a glorious time indeed, full of egregiously flamboyant hair, tight clothing, utter disregard for dressing for one’s gender, and sexually ambiguous lead men abound. It really was a decade like no other, and it spawned some of the most truly hilarious songs we can ever expect to see throughout humanity’s time in this galaxy. With no further ado, we present our list of the cheesiest 80s songs ever.
Look, there are doubtlessly plenty of songs that had an admirable claim for inclusion, as the 80s was a decade just so jam-packed to the brim full of cheese, you could spread it on some bread and call it cheese toast. To be honest, you could almost pick 10 random songs from any music chart around the world in the 80s and you’d have just a legitimate a list. But we had to narrow it down somehow. Leave your comments at the end if you think we missed any really anything extraordinarily cheesy.
King Kobra – Iron Eagle
This is the undeniable cream of the crop, and couldn’t be a more worthy recipient of the title ‘Cheesiest Song in All of History’. The ridiculously poncy and colosally huge hair; the utter devastation and confusion when the hair is cruelly chopped off to fit into the strict regime of the Air Force, and the subsequent ‘manly’ weight lifting and prancing about at gym sessions (which somehow makes them look even more camp).
The song is apparently the title track for an 80s Top Gun clone called Iron Eagle, but to be honest, no-one here had even heard of that movie, but we’re sure our lives are all that much the poorer for having missed it.
Queensryche – Queen Of The Reich
This is a very, very close second. The concept behind the video, which probably seemed like a genius idea in the 80s, is that an ‘evil adventurer’ in the 4th millenium stumbles across an ancient computer, powered by a magical crystal, granting her powers to take over the world and become queen – Queen of the Reich. Only to be brought down by a bunch of dudes with nothing but guitars, majestic hair, and a whole lotta cheese.
The result is one of the funniest music videos of all time, from the initial echoing opening scream on the freeze frame of the witch (probably looked amazing at the time) to the ‘futuristic’ set design, to the mind-blowingly bad outfit worn by the Queen of the Reich (think Robocop meets Conan) to the cheesy Terminator-style band credits appearing in tacky green font, . A truly epic achievement in cheesiness.
Judas Priest – Freewheel Burnin’
Ahh, if nothing else, this videos harks back to the days when arcades were commonplace in malls and shops across the country, when entire weeks’ worth of precious pocket money could be spent in an afternoon trying to beat that infuriatingly impossible high score on Galaga.
In this hilariously cheesy video, a boy is heavily entranced in an old school 8-bit looking racing game at the arcade, which somehow magically becomes infused with the life force of Judas Priest… or something. Just watch it.
David Bowie & Mick Jagger – ‘Dancing In The Street’
Glam rock, for obvious reasons, populates most of our ‘cheesiest 80s songs ever’ list, but there’s an intruder here, a mainstream hit that in the time of the 80s managed to be widely accepted as a thunderously entertaining performance, all enthusiasm and vigour, and not at all an almost embarrassingly bad piece of ostentatious garbage that stinks of so much cheese you’d think you were in a French restaurant.
As a Youtube commenter so concisely puts it, ‘That happened and we all let it happen.’
Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
Rounding out the cheesiest songs list at number 5 is Starship with Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. In the 80s, this was an inspirational ballad, a song to play in the car with your girlfriend or boyfriend and pump your fist to. It’s still a decent song, perfect for cranking at the traffic lights and throwing your hair back like you just don’t care, but the video is fairly tragic, with Mickey Thomas, the singer of Starship, sporting a perm that at the time he would have no doubt defended with his life and pored over in the mirror for about 45 minutes each morning at least.
Article by Brendan Wilson