Sara Crawford on Tour: The Ten 80s Tunes that Transport Her Back in Time
Joining us this week in celebration of the release of her new book, Sara Crawford is bringing us back to the 1980s with the ten tunes that convey her back in time—not in a Dolorian, but through the pulsing airwaves of the school gymnasium speakers. In her new release, Time After Time, the main character, Megan, is carried through the power of music back to the year 1987. Read on to find out which songs will transport you to the era of big hair, bold patterns, and timeless pop!
Ten 80s Songs That Could Send Me Back in Time
In my book, Time After Time, a Whitney Houston song sends Megan back to 1987. I originally thought of this idea--being literally sent back in time by a song--in my obsession with 80s music and how these songs always make me nostalgic for a time period I wasn’t even a part of. (Alright, technically, I was alive for half of the 80s, but I hardly think I was jamming to The Smiths at four years old.)
This got me thinking about what songs in particular always make me feel like I could get sent back in time. So as my book makes it way out into the world, I wanted to share ten 80s songs that I absolutely adore.
1. Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
If I have a “dance around your house when no one is watching” song, it’s totally this one. The lyrics are perfect, and I have so much fun singing along with it. New Order has a lot of great songs, but this one is my favorite.
2. Modern Love - David Bowie
I couldn’t make this list without putting a Bowie song on here! I love Bowie from all decades, but this is my favorite 80s song he does. It’s just so happy. Whenever it comes on, I have to at least tap my foot.
3. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
This is an iconic song. The way Ian Curtis wails the melody is almost haunting, but it’s set to such a catchy guitar riff, you almost don’t even notice. I love how this song seems like an upbeat pop song on the surface, but if you look deeper, there’s a lot more going on.
4. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
My favorite albums by The Cure are actually the sadder, mellower Bloodflowers and Disintegration. But when I think of The Cure in the 1980s, this is the song that immediately comes to my mind. It’s maybe the happiest song by The Cure, and if it doesn’t make you dance around, are you sure you have a pulse?
5. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Ironically, I love this song so much because there’s something timeless about it. I feel like it could have come out at any time, and everyone can relate to it in some way. The lyrics are brilliant. It makes me think of the episode of Parks and Recreation where April, Anne, and Donna all sing this song together because of course everyone knows it! It’s amazing.
6. Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
There’s something about the opening guitar riff in this song that makes me feel SO NOSTALGIC and bittersweet. The lyrics are poignant, and I absolutely adore the way Neil Finn sings it.
7. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
Okay. So I have a Morrissey (lead singer of The Smiths) tattoo… I’ve covered this song… I’ve seen Morrissey live several times… I even became a vegetarian for a year all because of a PETA video he put on a concert DVD. I’m a little obsessed with Morrissey and The Smiths. But this is definitely my favorite Smiths tune. To me, it captures that moment you are driving with someone you love and the perfect song comes on at the perfect time.
8. Like a Prayer - Madonna
My main character, Megan, is actually a much bigger Madonna fan than I am. (My music taste is similar to the “weird goth kids” Megan encounters in the bathroom once she gets to the 80s.) But I do absolutely love this Madonna song. And it’s one of my go-to karaoke songs.
9. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
This is probably the most poppy song I love from the 80s, but it just makes you feel like you are soaring. Whitney Houston is one of the best vocalists ever, and this catchy melody will have you singing along for weeks.
10. Take on Me - a-ha
Obviously, this song has THE BEST music video ever, but even if you forget about that, it’s an amazing song. It evokes such a feeling of magic and connection. And when that synth kicks in, you just can’t be sad. It’s impossible!
To hear all of these songs and other totally tubular 80s songs to go along with Time After Time, check out this playlist.
Megan seems pretty typical—a teen who has only ever seen her mother as tired, overworked, and a bit neurotic. But when she attends an 80s-themed dance she finds herself whisked back in time—to 1987 where she runs into her own mother living her best, though reckless, life.
Fans of the Back to the Future film franchise and Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park will be ready to throw on some leggings, let the big hair fly in Sara Crawford's time-traveling romp through the 80s!
Grab your copy now:
Sara Crawford is an author, a playwright, and a musician. Ever since she was five years old, she has lived for art in one form or another. This manifested itself as writing plays at age eight and convincing (forcing) the neighborhood kids to perform them on her driveway, auditioning for Atlanta Ballet's The Nutcracker three years in a row before finally landing a small role as a toy soldier, starting an all-girl band in high school, writing and producing her own plays and short films, and most recently, writing a YA trilogy about a girl who falls in love with her Muse (THE MUSE CHRONICLES). Sara has been an actress, a singer, a playwright, a songwriter, a guitarist, a keyboard player, a poet, a screenwriter, and an author of both fiction and non-fiction.
She graduated in 2008 from Kennesaw State University with a B.A. in English and in 2012 from the University of New Orleans with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (emphasis in Playwriting). She has taught creative writing courses for Southern New Hampshire University, and she has been in numerous bands in Atlanta, including Pocket the Moon. She also loves to talk about books, music, and writing on her YouTube channel. For more information visit her website.