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1980s Songs About The Moon

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by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published June 14th 2022
The moon is always in a song somewhere
The third column on a topic that is one of the largest I have tackled in doing this for Weekend Notes, about that round nocturnal moon-thing that has such a good effect on werewolves.

The moon, that large natural satellite that circles the Earth, has been a main source of poetry and song for millennia, dating back to the Babylonians. And the source of lycanthropy, so it is said. And, no, there are no songs about werewolves in these lists, either. Sorry.
music, song, moon
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

There are so many songs about the moon! Without exaggeration, I have hundreds in my collection. And so that is why this list was so hard to compile. Trying to work out what to remove, what misses out, etc. As such, here are some rules:
1) No classical music. Sorry. There are some fine pieces, but this was already hard enough.
2) No repeats of songs across columns except where the cover version is very different in tone and form.
3) No repeated artists in an individual list.
4) The word moon must be in the title on some form.
5) Moonshine songs about alcohol do not count here (but a series of alcohol columns is coming at some point).

We come to the 1980s and, for a change, this was the hardest group of songs to collate. There just were not as many moon songs released that I like… however, amongst those that were there are some of the best moon songs recorded. So, yes, it was a struggle to reach ten songs here, but some of these were first choice moon songs.

Still, I think this is a good selection.

'Moonlight Shadow' by Mike Oldfield feat. Maggie Reilly (1983)

One of Mike Oldfield's best, and for me, who owns every album he has officially released, that means something. Apart from Maggie's vocals, this comes from one of the first albums where Oldfield didn't play every instrument. I mean, he played most of them, just not all of them. It is just a wonderful track, one that I am surprised is not better known.

'New Moon On Monday' by Duran Duran (1983)

Seven And The Ragged Tiger is, to my mind, the best Duran Duran album, with great track after great track, and this was one of those really good ones. They were pop, but had enough of the rock undertones to appeal to everyone. Great song from a great album.

'Howling At The Moon (Sha-La-La)' by The Ramones (1984)

By the 1980s, The Ramones were past their glory years and this is a minor inclusion in their discography, but it is still a fun little track that is worth listening to.

'The Killing Moon' by Echo & The Bunnymen (1984)

Regarded by many critics as one of the best songs of the 1980s, while I wouldn't go that far, it is certainly a great song. The atmosphere in this track, the intelligent lyrics, the amazing production – this is definitely one of the highlights of an entire decade.

'The Whole Of The Moon' by The Waterboys (1985)

Now, this is the best moon song of the 1980s! I love this song, I love the lyrics – I still know them all – I love the little sound effects used sparingly yet well, I love the fact they used real strings and not computerised ones, I love everything about this track. I even bought the single a second time when it was re-released in the 90s, just to help it crack the charts again.

'Under A Raging Moon' by Roger Daltrey (1985)

From the classic album of the same name comes a tribute to Keith Moon. However, the word 'Moon' has a double meaning here, as the nocturnal activities of the late great drummer can attest to. Still, with those multiple drumming solos, what an amazing track.

'Bad Moon Rising' by The Reels (1986)

One of the very few repeated songs here, but only because The Reels take Creedence Clearwater Revival's rock classic and turn it into a moody new-wave synth-pop track that I bought on 45. I also have way too many remixes of it, but the original, so slow and moody, is a wonderful reworking.

'Girl In The Moon' by Icehouse (1987)

Man Of Colours was probably the peak of Icehouse's recorded output, and this track is a decent one from that collection, even if it is not the greatest song they ever recorded. Still, it is not bad and is worth a listen.

'Howlin' At The Moon' by Masters Apprentices (1988)

The classic Masters line-up re-united for a single album in 1988, which I bought the day it was released, and as well as re-recordings of two of their classics, and side two being all live recordings, this was one of two new songs, and it is a great addition to their discography. Such a good album, Do What You Wanna Do; Jim Keays is missed.

'Texas Moon' by The Church (1988)

The Church are, in my opinion, one of the most under-rated Australian bands. And this song, a minor release from them, deserved to do better. It is sonically a great track, that, in an era of Stock Aitken Waterman dross, should have shone out. But radio didn't play it. This deserved better.

A meagre ten songs from the 1980s celebrating the moon. This mix is a little more straight-forward than the others, so I apologise, but I still reckon there are some great tracks in this collection. Yes, there are even more to come, and I hope you enjoyed the third instalment!
Part one can be found here.
Part two can be found here.


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Why? The moon is important to songwriters
Where: Everywhere
Your Comment
A great list Steven - I love Moonlight Shadow - particularly after it came out of left field from Oldfield's previous works (Tubular Bells).
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1771) 58 days ago
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