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.

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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.