THESE power tunes by poncey-haired soft metal bands have become stuck in your head and can never be removed. And your brain has decided it’s going to sing along.
The Final Countdown, Europe, 1986
This global mind-masher from Swedish rock poodles Europe makes you gravely chant ‘It’s the final countdown!’ as if something terrible is about to happen. Despite the portentous tone, it’s not about nuclear oblivion, it’s about going to Venus, so you’ve got random space bollocks stuck in your head forever.
Unwanted catchiness rating: 7 out of 10.
We Built This City, Starship, 1985
You can’t build a city from rock and roll. Concrete and girders are a better bet. And who’s going to provide the electrical infrastructure? The Bangles? Despite the non-physical nature of Starship’s music-based population centre, the chorus remains bloody indestructible in the mind of anyone that hears it, excluding GQ magazine, which voted it the worst song of all time.
Unwanted catchiness rating: 8
Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard, 1987
Not a request from a client in a Tate and Lyle-themed fetish dungeon, an agonising extended metaphor from Sheffield’s finest girly-haired rock gods. Is the sugar sex? Can you pour sex on someone? It also contains the line ‘Demolition woman, can I be your man?’, which, ironically, is a great thing to say if you want sexual intercourse to stop immediately.
Unwanted catchiness rating: 6
Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi, 1986
Starts out with a heartfelt blue collar tale of dockworker Tommy and waitress Gina – which is then obliterated by the rock anthem juggernaut of a chorus, causing your brain to slavishly chant ‘Woah, we’re halfway there…’ We never do find out what happens to Tommy’s ‘six-string in hock’. Maybe Jon Bon Jovi bought it, learned to play and became a millionaire while Tommy remained penniless and Gina left him. Clarification is needed.
Unwanted catchiness rating: 9
Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Aerosmith, 1987
In 1987 the ‘Bad boys of Boston’ unleashed this sensitive exploration of gender identity. Resist the Pavlovian urge to sing it aloud as the tacky handling of the subject may offend others. The only way to block it out is to recall another Aerosmith lobotomiser with stunted sexual content. Try Love in an Elevator.
Unwanted catchiness rating: 10