Maybe not a definitive list but pretty close to it.
These are songs that evoke powerful memories for me from the 1980’s:
1. Road to Nowhere - one of my favourite spots in the world is Aoraki - Mt Cook and back in the mid 1980’s I’d travel in my 1962 VW back home to Christchurch and then return to Aoraki Mt Cook. I had a tape player in my car and I’d make sure ‘Road to Nowhere’ by Talking Heads was playing as I got closer to the Hermitage Hotel Staff Quarters where I was living.
2. Jack & Diane - I didn’t really discover John Mellencamp until a couple of years after his album “American Fool” came out but when I did, it got played to death. I was living at Franz Josef on the West Coast and we’d travel most Friday nights to Fox Glacier around 30 minutes down the road and that album would be pumping on my car stereo and I’d be singing my lungs out, “A little ditty about Jack & Diane, 2 American growing up in the heartland…”
3. Fast Car - I was back living in Christchurch in 1988 and I remember the guy behind the counter at “Sound Waves” record shop in New Brighton telling me about this cool new artist called Tracy Chapman. I remember getting the album home, putting it on the Pye 3 in 1 stereo and then laying in the sun on my parents patio absolutely mesmerised by every song.
4. Waiting for a Girl like You - I didn’t meet my future wife until we appeared in a local drama league show in 1996. I was already seeing someone and so was she but the chemistry was obvious and so I made her the classic “Mix Tape” and included this song from Foreigner because it said everything I needed to say.
5. Rain - I was lucky enough to be an exchange student with the YMCA in my last year of high school in 1984. I’d been a big fan of Dragon for a few years and just loved the vocal style and front man persona of Marc Hunter. Being a Kiwi in Canberra Australia I got the opportunity to go and see Dragon and Sharon O’Neill perform at the local university and it was such a brilliant experience. That song always reminds me of that..