1984: Pop’s Biggest Year

Bruce Springsteen. Madonna. Prince. MTV. 1984 was filled with pop’s biggest acts and singles.

The inaugural MTV Video Music Awards took place in September, awarding Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Herbie Hancock, The Cars, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Eurythmics, and ZZ Top with Moonmen.

1984’s singles included “Thriller,” “Time After Time,” and “Boys of Summer.”

In other corners of music: Lionel Richie’s “Hello” gives Motown a big hit, Red Hot Chili Peppers release their debut, Bryan Adams breaks-through with Reckless, Bob Geldof forms Band Aid and releases the benefit single “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” The Smiths debut with their self-titled LP, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ greatest hits record Legend goes on to become the best-selling reggae album of all time, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood get controversial with “Relax.”

1984 was such a banner year for pop music that the Dire Straits would record a song inspired by its impact the following year.

Listen to WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos on Slacker’s Greatest Year In Radio station below.

But do you think it was the greatest year in music?


1984 – Van Halen
The Smiths – The Smiths
Run-D.M.C.  – Run-D.M.C.
Reckoning – R.E.M.
Legend – Bob Marley and the Wailers
Born In the USA – Bruce Springsteen
Purple Rain – Prince
A Pagan Place – The Waterboys
Ride the Lightning – Metallica
Double Nickels on the Dime – The Minutemen
Zen Arcade – Husker Du
I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
Let It Be – The Replacements
The Unforgettable Fire – U2
Like a Virgin – Madonna
Brewing Up with Billy Bragg – Billy Bragg
I Often Dream of Titans – Robyn Hitchcock

Category: 80sFEATURED


Article by: Julie Miller