The Gist: Billboard hits from 1984 with Chris Molanphy and the lobstar of the antentwig.

The Strangest and Best Year for 1980s Hits

The Strangest and Best Year for 1980s Hits

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
May 22 2015 8:35 PM

Why Karaoke Carries a Torch for 1984

Mike Pesca slips on his parachute pants to explore immortal hits and memorable oddities from an exceptional year in Billboard chart history.

Prince was the king of the Billboard charts in 1984.

Photo illustration by Slate. Album art from Purple Rain by Prince/Warner Bros. Records.

Listen to Episode 263 of Slate’s The Gist:


Today on The Gist, we listen back to Billboard hits from 1984. Our regular guest Chris Molanphy explains why the year inspired so many go-to karaoke jams. He writes Slate’s Why Is That Song No. 1 column. For the Spiel, it’s time to name our lobstar of the antentwig.


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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.