What were we listening to in 1988? – A musical nostalgia trip!

Nothing is as quite as good as music for transporting you back to past times of love, loss, and the gaining of life's experiences. I know that most of my childhood can be most effectively measured musically!

I was suitably shocked to learn that 'Simply Irresistible' by Robert Palmer featured prominently in the New Zealand charts waaaaayyyyy back in 1988! I still remember vividly that steady rock beat, the simple, punchy, and catchy tune, the stabby brass section, and those almost-very-nearly-identical dancing/band girls - an astonishing coming-together of style and substance built to last (complete with that awesomely syncopated drum fill that inspired the young drummer in myself!) - it's in your head right now isn't it!?

And that got me to thinking, "I wonder how many other standout classic tunes that, just like me, are maybe getting on a bit?" and "I wonder what other songs were around at the same time as 'Simply Irresistible'"? Turns out that 1988 was a bumper year for iconic music!

So I made a list to share with you all - I'm referring to it among my colleagues as "A Musical Nostalgia Trip" to avoid having to feel too old myself! This is by no means an exhaustive list of the quality of music back in 1988, merely a list of tunes to hopefully trigger some nostalgic thoughts and memories, and maybe even prompt you into some nostalgic musical discoveries of your own!

There's some big hitting songs in here so if you remember them from 1988, maybe go easy and have regular cups o'tea...

Enjoy:

What we were listening to in 1988!

List created by DevilStateDan

All of these songs listed here could be considered classics and, in some cases, so can the albums that featured them. And as always with music there are so many ways to experience the world of sound, so in this list I offer you CDs, artists' biographies, live shows on DVD, music press articles, and printed music so you can play them yourself! Get borrowing and set off singing along your own musical nostalgia trip!

Yep, we were groovin' to 'The Way You Make Me Feel' 30 years ago this year. In fact, the first week of 1988 saw the great song at #6 on the NZ charts! Great tune, so cool, and still so good after three decades!

MJ sure did release some amazing music. This book looks behind the scenes during the making of 'Thriller', with exclusive photographs and insights.

INXS were big in Australia and New Zealand. 'Never Tear Us Apart' was, and still is, a massive hit, reaching #11 in Aus and #30 in NZ and still one of their very best - hard to believe it was 30 years ago though....

Why not celebrate the 30th birthday of 'Never Tear Us Apart' by learning to play some of INXS' other hits! This is music in P/V/G - that's to say it has music for piano/vocals/guitar to play the tunes listed - get playing!

We're getting all kinds of opportunities to learn to play these songs that we were rockin' to 30 years ago this year, including 'Desire' by U2! Hey, if the Edge can do it then so can you...

The latest telling of the U2 story, they gotta mention 'Desire' in there somewhere, right?!?

Has there ever been a more widely celebrated breakout solo album than 'Faith' by George Michael...!?!? The title track was the first #1 of NZ's 1988 calendar year! Give it a spin to mark the occasion, and listen without prejudice!

The most recent account of the life of the iconic singer/songwriter penned by a writer who has all the skills in producing engaging biographies.

George Michael: The Lone Star State. By Adrian Deevoy, Q, Jun 1988. Part of Rock's Backpages, The ultimate library of rock music writing and journalism. Thousands of articles, interviews and reviews from the world's best music writers and critics, from the late 1950s to the present day. Read the best writing on rock music here. /

Big hair, slow-mo dancing, oversized and off-the-shoulder cardies...and Belinda Carlisle - it must be 1988! 'Heaven is a Place on Earth' turns 30 in 2018.

Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Official video. Released in 1987, taken from Belinda's album 'Heaven On Earth'. 

What a debut album Appetite for Destruction was for the band Guns n' Roses and the standout commercial track on that album was definitely 'Sweet Child of Mine'! That iconic guitar riff, the snake-like dance moves of Axl Rose - all that hit up to #7 in the NZ charts, 30yrs ago!

Guns N' Roses: Dancing with Mr Brownstone. By Paul Elliott, Sounds, 4 Nov 1989. Part of Rock's Backpages, The ultimate library of rock music writing and journalism. Thousands of articles, interviews and reviews from the world's best music writers and critics, from the late 1950s to the present day. Read the best writing on rock music here. 

Bobby McFerrin. By Tim Page, Newsday, 30 Jul 1995. Part of Rock's Backpages, The ultimate library of rock music writing and journalism. Thousands of articles, interviews and reviews from the world's best music writers and critics, from the late 1950s to the present day. Read the best writing on rock music here. /

Def Leppard: Loadsamoney!!. By Mat Snow, Q, May 1988. Part of Rock's Backpages.

She’s Gotta Ticket: Tracy Chapman. By Lucy O'Brien, City Limits, 5 May 1988. Part of Rock's Backpages.

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