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80's Music - songs about computers and computer games


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Computers started to enter everyday life in the 1980s. In previous decades, they had made some inroads, but it wasn't until the arrival of the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64 and Intel 086 that computers became common-place in the home. On top of these systems, there was also a dramatic rise in arcade and home video games. Not surprisingly, the rise of technology featured in a number of hits in the 80s.

  • Computer One - Dear Enemy
  • Where Would I Be Without IBM - Information Society
  • Kraftwerk - Pocket Calculator (and most of the 1981 Computer World album: Home Computer, It's more fun to compute...)
  • Kraftwerk - Electric Cafe
  • Gary Numan - Are Friends Electric?
  • Channel Z - B-52s*
  • Electric Dreams - Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder
*a hit in 1990, but off an album released in late 1989

Computer games
  • Space Invaders - Player One
  • Computer Games - Mi-Sex
  • PacMan Fever - Buckner and Garcia
In addition to being the central message in many hit songs, smaller messages appeared as passing references in other music.
  • I don't like Mondays - Boomtown Rats:
    'The Silicon Chip inside her head was switched to overload'
  • Underneath the radar - Underworld:
    'No sign - on screen
    We dance underneath the radar'
  • Gary Numan - Down in the park:
    'Down in the park
    Where the Machmen meet
    The machines are playing 'kill-by-numbers'
    Down in the park with a friend called 'Five'

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