Writing “Best of 2016” up there feels a bit wrong, because 2016 has been the worst. From the Presidential election to pop music rivalries, this year has been a total mess. I mean, the radio in LA is still playing Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” — please stop, it’s not that good of a song — during a year in which Beyonce, Kanye, Frank Ocean, and Lady Gaga dropped long-awaited albums. Rihanna dropped ANTI, probably the best album of the year and the radio still is like “I took a pill in Ibiza…” — WHY? Step up your game, radio, because that is not one of the good songs to eat your feelings to.
But 2016 has been a total eat-your-feelings kind of year, but in a different way. I have to admit, I’ve actually had trouble writing this entry for months because…pop music has been terrible. Then George Michael died on Christmas (come on 2016) and I’ve been listening non-stop to his music, the soundtrack to the moments I first discovered MTV & VH1. That’s when I realized this year isn’t about eating your feelings to regular music — it’s all about the throwback songs to mourn those we’ve lost.
Here are a bunch of retro tracks to pour some out for the pop culture icons we lost this year.
13. “Freedom ’90” By George Michael
NPR’s Linda Holmes wrote the following about this song: ” I dare you to listen to it in the car fewer than three times in a row.” And it’s true. This is a pop song with layers and it’s so rewarding every time you give it a listen.
12. “Everything She Wants” By Wham!
I mostly know this song as the ’80s song I never knew the name of. Listening to it as an adult now, this track has an impressive narrative plot.
11. “Fame” By David Bowie
Fun fact: This was on the Pretty Woman soundtrack and I used to listen to my mom’s cassette of that all the time.
10. “Rebel Rebel” By David Bowie
AKA that guitar riff you know from everywhere.
9. “Purple Rain” By Prince
THERE ARE BARELY ANY PRINCE SONGS ON YOU TUBE and it makes me sad. Really, any 8ish minute version of this song is the best version, though.
8. “Raspberry Berret” By Prince
Be prepared for this to be stuck in your head all day in the best way.
7. “Hallelujah” By Leonard Cohen
Get your tissues ready, the waterworks are coming with this one.
6. “Careless Whisper” By George Michael & Wham!
Am I allowed another George Michael song? I mean, it’s my blog, so probably. A few years ago, I declared this was the best song of all time. Yes, yes it is.
5. “Fastlove” By George Michael
This was my jam…in middle school. But George Michael’s foray into ’90s dance holds up remarkably well today and it’s still more sophisticated than most of the EDM stuff of 2016.
4. “I’m Afraid Of Americans” By David Bowie
This is my favorite Bowie song. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails.
3. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” By Aretha Franklin & George Michael
Would you like some more George Michael? GOOD! Here is the perfect ’80s tune.
2. “Monkey” By George Michael
You said you liked George Michael, right? This is another good one.
1. “One More Try” By George Michael
I’m so glad you like George Michael as much as me. This is the ultimate eat-your-feelings song.
Cry it out with GM and ask for one more try, preferably during a year that’s way less depressing, thanks.