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Another Perspective: Denny Burkholder Presses Rewind on 1984

Denny Burkholder is a veteran online sports journalist, pro wrestling fanatic and former disc jockey who published Press Rewind - Ranking The Greatest Songs of the 1980s in 2013. In the book's Introduction, Burkholder explains his criteria as "one part criticism, one part reference" while admitting "the rankings are largely based on my opinion of the song's value as a song from the 1980s" while going into further detail on how he determined a song's value. He states that while chart information may be given for informational purposes and matters to a certain extent, it is but one piece used in determining his rankings. (Eight of the book's first nine pages, including the entire Introduction and his Number One and Two songs, are available to read on the book's Amazon page.) To his credit, Burkholder ranked a whopping 1532 songs from the decade in the first 591 pages of the book and then provided 174 pages of indices to help readers find the song(s) or artist(s) they may be looking for. Here are his Top 20 songs from 1984 along with his overall ranking of them within the 1980s, gleaned from one of those handy-dandy indices, with all respect for the author's copyright.
20
rank within the 1980s: 141

19
rank within the 1980s: 134

18
rank within the 1980s: 126

17
rank within the 1980s: 121

16
rank within the 1980s: 115

15
rank within the 1980s: 106

14
rank within the 1980s: 100

13
rank within the 1980s: 96

12
rank within the 1980s: 93

11
rank within the 1980s: 85

10
rank within the 1980s: 76

9
rank within the 1980s: 74

8
rank within the 1980s: 68

7
rank within the 1980s: 66

6
rank within the 1980s: 55

5
rank within the 1980s: 28

4
rank within the 1980s: 26

3
rank within the 1980s: 15

2
rank within the 1980s: 14

1
rank within the 1980s: 7

Just for fun, I looked up Burkholder's rankings of Billboard's Top 10 Singles of 1984 - he featured three of them in his personal Top 20 of 1984 - and present my findings in the chart below:
Burkholder
Billboard

19841980s
10Karma ChameleonCulture Club*268
9GhostbustersRay Parker, Jr.37283
8Owner of a Lonely HeartYes*310
7HelloLionel Richie48384
6JumpVan Halen20141
5Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)Phil Collins30227
4FootlooseKenny Loggins315
3Say Say SayPaul McCartney and Michael Jackson*1214
2What's Love Got to Do with ItTina Turner34250
1When Doves CryPrince655
*=Burkholder lists these songs as from 1983

Full disclosure: I purchased the Press Rewind ebook n 2015. A few months later, I scored a great deal on a like new printed copy of the book via ebay.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting. While I am sure the list is highly subjective based on the author's preferences (aren't they all?) I am sure it would make for some amusing reviewing. I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know as well as I do that our own personal lists are as subjective as could be.

    That being said, I can assure you that I'd gladly pay for your ebook of favorite songs as I think your preferences are closer to my own than Mr. Burkholder's big fat book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I need to get to writing. ;)

      Delete