When anyone mentions the 1980s, it depends on what ’80s they are talking about. It wasn’t all Day-Glo colors and jean miniskirts (sadly); nor was it hair metal, parachute pants, and white-collared dress shirts. Do you mean the ’80s when rap was growing up and we used mixtapes like currency? Or when I would wear Chuck Taylors and rolled-up Levis and get yelled at for dressing differently?
Having approximately 2 million 1980s playlists on my computer, I take such questions seriously. For VQR, I wanted to create a new playlist to give a sense of what the radio wasn’t often like, though, sometimes, if you were lucky, was. At first I’d thought to do only songs off the beaten path, but what’s an ’80s mix without “Time After Time”? These are not just first loves of mine but songs about that very subject, about falling in love and falling apart. Listen to the very end if you can, because like all good things—like the looks from the ’80s themselves, acid wash and all—First Loves comes full circle.
[Editor’s note: Read “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by Kevin Young from our Fall 2013 issue.]