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Chart Flashback: 1984

Twenty-eight years ago this week Duran Duran were reflexing, Springsteen was dark-dancing, and Prince made birds do cuckoo things. We revisit and regrade the top 10.

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1. Duran Duran, ”The Reflex”

”The reflex is an only child/He’s waiting in the park”? ”The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark”? I hope the reflex has bail money, because it sounds like he’s about to get arrested for solicitation. But sing it, Simon ”Krazy Lyrics” Le Bon! Sing it like you’ll always use it, try-yai-yai-yai-yai not to bruise it. B+

2. Bruce Springsteen, ”Dancing in the Dark”

Bruce’s search for nocturnal cardio activities is more innocent than Duran’s — he just wants to escape the everyday and do a little denim do-si-do with young Courteney Cox. (Though we don’t recommend literally starting a fire from a spark, Boss; nobody wants an arson charge.) A

3. Prince, ”When Doves Cry”

Doves cried, dolphins wept, koalas straight-up lost their minds. Basically, every mammal who ever heard this song went completely bonkers, because it is 5 minutes and 52 seconds of drum-machine-shuddering, violet-ocean-blooming perfection. A+

4. Laura Branigan, ”Self Control”

She would quit the music industry by the mid-’90s and die, sadly, of a cerebral aneurysm in 2004, but Branigan’s excellent run of throaty ’80s power ballads (see ”Gloria,” ”Solitaire”) included this darker tale of romantic obsession. B+

5. The Pointer Sisters, ”Jump (For My Love)”

If love was a battlefield for Pat Benatar, it was something between an Olympic event and a really insane Zumba class for the Sisters. So if you want more, more, moooore, well…You know what you have to do, boys. A

6. Huey Lewis & The News ”The Heart of Rock & Roll”

Huey Lewis, Renaissance man! Seriously, ask him anything: Hearts? The doctor is in, and he confirms that they are still beating. Geography? He knows a thing or two: ”D.C., San Antone and the Liberty Town, Boston and Baton Rouge/Tulsa, Austin, Oklahoma City, Seattle, San Francisco, too.” Whew! And saxophones? Don’t even get him started. B

7. Cyndi Lauper, ”Time After Time”

Girls just wanna have fun, yes. But sometimes they also wanna have a really sad, pretty moment with a synthesizer. A

8. Billy Idol, ”Eyes Without a Face”

Twenty points to you, my friend, if you got that the ghosty female voices on the chorus of Idol’s going-for-baroque ballad were cooing ”les yeux sans visage” (a.k.a. ”eyes without a face,” in French) and not ”lasers only plodge.” Clap, clap! A-

9. Deniece Williams, ”Let’s Hear It for the Boy”

Let’s hear it for Deniece, who had a five-octave range and spent years singing backup for Stevie Wonder, but will probably forever be most famous for soundtracking that scene in Footloose where Kevin Bacon teaches Chris Penn (R.I.P.) how to do the white-boy shuffle ‘n’ snap. A-

1. Mike Reno and Ann Wilson, ”Almost Paradise…Love Theme From Footloose

The frontman for Loverboy and the lead lady of Heart swear that they can see forever in each other’s eyes. Though it’s possible that they may have confused ”forever” with ”astigmatism.” B