Taylor Swift might have disappointed us by revealing that her special surprise for the fans was that Swift would be doing a Yahoo! Livestream instead of releasing a new single, but we should have know better than to doubt her. During the livestream, Swift released "Shake It Off" as a single and a music video. Whether you love or hate the song, or love or hate the video, the fact of the matter is that Swift is finally producing new music and her fans couldn't be more excited. Her upcoming album, 1989, is going to be her first full-pop effort and Swift is already claiming "late '80s pop" as her inspiration for the album. That much is clear from the vintage polaroid picture she's using as her album cover.
However, the '80s was such a broad decade for awesome hit music that we don't actually know as much about Swift's album as we'd like. After all, her "Shake It Off" music video was an eclectic mix of dancing styles (some culturally insensitive) so why should the rest of the songs on the album be any different? Instead of just limiting herself to late '80s pop, Swift should take inspiration from these 13 songs that hit the charts between 1981 and 1989.
"Boys of Summer" (1984)
Artist: Don Henley
Inspiration: "Boys of Summer" is one of those nostalgia-packed summer songs that are just begging for a gender flip. If anyone would have a song called "Girls of Summer", it would be Taylor Swift.
"Don't Stop Belivin'" (1981)
Inspiration: Oh, come on. Journey is a karaoke classic. How can Swift ignore "Don't Stop Believin'" just because it's from the early '80s? It's got exactly the kind of great message that Swift would love to perpetuate through her music.
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" (1985)
Artist: Simple Minds
Inspiration: "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and The Breakfast Club have inspired so many homages and references (and a mash-up in Pitch Perfect) that there's no way Swift won't give it a nod on 1989.
"I Love Rock & Roll" (1982)
Artist: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Inspiration: Of all of Joan Jett's songs, this is the one that seems like it should be right up Swift's alley if she wants to try new things. A little pop-rock sound is exactly what her album needs and it could even give her a direction to go in for the album after that.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (1986)
Artist: Whitney Houston
Inspiration: If there's one thing we should have learned from "Shake It Off", it's that Swift loves to dance and she doesn't care how awkward she looks doing it. The title and message of this song is pretty much Swift in a nutshell.
"If I Could Turn Back Time" (1989)
Inspiration: No late '80s pop album would complete without a nod to Cher and the romantic, nostalgic, regretful sound to this single has a lot in common with Swift's "Back to December" from her Speak Now album.
"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (1987)
Inspiration: Never has the apocalypse sounded as upbeat as it does in this R.E.M. song. It's a song with a quick tempo and fun lyrics and I could see Swift being inspired to write a whole apocalypse-based song of her own. After all, she did do "Safe and Sound" for The Hunger Games soundtrack.
Artist: The Cure
Inspiration: Swift might not have had a boyfriend for a while and this might be her first album without a strong love focus, but she wouldn't be Taylor Swift if she didn't include at least one love song. And The Cure's "Lovesong" is a love song so love song-y that they couldn't find a better title than that.
"Material Girl" (1984)
Inspiration: It's impossible to say pop without someone bringing up Madonna and "Material Girl" is one of the best songs she released in the '80s. Besides, its message has yet to come with an expiration date. In fact, there might be more material girls in this material world than ever before.
Artist: Toni Basil
Inspiration: Swift already took her cue from "Mickey" in the "Shake It Off" music video, but I anticipate that there will be more songs on 1989 that sound like they should have been on the Bring It On soundtrack. And if there's not, then there should be.
"Never Gonna Give You Up" (1987)
Artist: Rick Astley
Inspiration: If you haven't heard of rickrolling, then you had very, very nice friends between 2007 and 2008. "Never Gonna Give You Up" came back into fashion when the rickrolling meme cropped up and Swift needs to give it proper homage on her album, please and thank you.
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (1984)
Inspiration: Who can listen to this Wham! song without wanting to jump up on their feet and dance? The sound and tempo of this song seems like it would fit in with songs like "Shake It Off" and I can already see Swift making one very colorful music video based on it.
"What's Love Got to Do With It?" (1984)
Artist: Tina Turner
Inspiration: Then again, considering that 1989 is poised to be Swift's first album that isn't all about love, why not highlight that fact with this self-referential song? What's love got to do it? Who needs a boyfriend when your friends can get Drake-inspired needlepoints? You do you, T. Swizzle.