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FEATURE: Top 5 Spotlight Songs for the Decades

June 6, 2017 11:00 am

Written by Helen Searle


Despite us all living in a world that is ever-changing with the advancement of technology, political movements and education, music is one aspect of our society that remains consistently appreciated no matter how much it develops according to modern taste. The radio is a classic method of communicating various forms of music to the public. We all listen to different radio stations, from Radio 2 to Smooth Radio timeless tracks are played, from what is currently fashionable in 2017 to what was fashionable to listen to back in the 70s. Using the theme of ‘spotlight’, I would like to take this opportunity to share a Top Five collection of musical tracks from the 1970s to the present day and how each one is still relevant today.

  1. 1970s

ABBA are often cited as a classic favourite that everybody knows the lyrics to and in particular the song ‘Dancing Queen’ often brings people together during times of celebration, such as weddings and parties. This is perhaps because of the joyous connotations that originate from the song: ‘you can sing, you can dance’. Whether you can ‘sing’ or ‘dance’ at that moment, when listening to the song listeners are filled with confidence and happiness because of the delightfully optimistic lyrics.

  1. 1980s

A trend of confidence begins to emerge as we enter the mindset of the band Tears for Fears and their song, ‘Everybody Wants to Rule The World’. The repetition of the lyrical phrase, ‘rule the world’, creates fictional heroes of us all in a temporary fantasy world which comes to life when we hear these rhythmic lyrics. Like ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’, this song is a gem which stimulates a feel-good attitude.

  1. 1990s

In contrast, Simply Red’s ‘Stars’ is a romantic apology that acts as a mouthpiece for many of us who struggle to express our feelings towards someone. It’s all about the ‘I’; me, myself and the complicated identities that we all encompass. By embracing this song, we are accepting our struggles through the words of another.

  1. 2000s

Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ throws listeners into a similar world of apology and tells the tale of regret when we get things wrong with the people we love. This emotive, gentle-paced song expresses our yearning for love to return ‘back to the start’, where mistakes were non-existent and things seemed uncomplicated. This song demonstrates a growing need to escape the claustrophobic nature of relationships when they become too difficult.

  1. 2010s

Although I have selected very emotive songs for this piece, their resonance with listeners hasn’t changed despite the shift in society from the 1970s onwards. I felt it was appropriate to choose Lukas Graham’s ‘Take the World By Storm’ to represent a song from today, as it is one that speaks for itself. Creating connotations of heroism, courage and determination, there is nothing but positivity to be found in this song. The bold statement: ‘I’m not afraid…’ suggests a strong and independent defence in times of sorrow and uncertainty.

I think what is crucial to each of these songs is that we can all find comfort in each of them. Through the choice of lyrics and its accompanying tune, we are each taken to a world of peace and tranquillity, in which we all feel as one in our emotional dilemmas.


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