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Were The '80s Really That Bad?

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All Songs At 15: Were The '80s Really That Bad?

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All Songs At 15: Were The '80s Really That Bad?

Were The '80s Really That Bad?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/379100228/379103017" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Every Thursday this year, we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

The impressively hirsute Mötley Crüe in 1983. Gary Leonard/Corbis hide caption

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Gary Leonard/Corbis

This week, we look back at the first episode of All Songs Considered that Carrie Brownstein, Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I all recorded together. The year was 2008. The topic? How bad was pop music in the 1980s? Before the taping, we ran a listener poll that asked people to tell us their favorite decade for music, and almost nobody picked the '80s. (The 1960s came in first.)

This launched our recurring round-table discussions with Carrie on everything from breakup songs to the worst songs of all time.

For careful listeners, this is also the first All Songs Considered episode to incorporate Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone," a song that has gone on to enjoy a painfully long recurring role in a lot of our round-table discussions (or at least ones featuring Stephen).