Lost in the ’80s

Before the three of us started this website, we hosted a weekly ’80s show on WXUT, 88.3 FM, the college radio station of the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio in the mid-90s. After each show, we would drop the playlist into a database, which we then fed into a script that would generate an HTML page that we edited and uploaded to our very own website.

We were very conscientious about telling our listeners the song title and artist, but since we played the occasional deep cut and B-side, we thought it would be helpful for folks to be able to look it up if they liked a song but didn’t recognize it and didn’t catch the title. (Back then, of course, you couldn’t just Shazam it.)

Our show debuted in 1995 and our site hit the “World Wide Web” in 1996, just five short years after the very first public website debuted in 1991. As you might imagine, its aesthetic was very much of its time:

It’s all there in its “dawn of the information superhighway” glory: the visitor counter that sporadically worked before it went offline forever, the busy background and unlimited-width lines of text, and, of course, the ever-so-optimistic announcements of features that were coming soon, but that never did actually arrive. (I would blame that on youthful naivety if I didn’t still do that from time to time.)

(Oh, and, of course, the recommendation to view the site using Netscape.)

If memory serves, the Lost in the 80s website was initially hosted on AOL. (We didn’t exactly advertise that, although it was easy enough to figure out from the URL.) I think we avoided the temptation to use <blink> and <marquee> tags on the site, but it’s entirely possible we experimented with them at some point. I wouldn’t design a website like that today, but I have a fond place in my heart for its bright primary colors and pre-MySpace DIY aesthetic. A nostalgia for a ’90s site that was based on nostalgia for ’80s pop music, if you will.

Sadly, the server that hosted the Lost in the ’80s site is no longer around, but we were able to grab some of the pages from the Wayback Machine/Internet Archive to provide the screenshot above. If you’re minded to explore our old weekly playlists, those pages may still be online when you read this, if you’re lucky.

Just don’t expect any of the external links to work; most of the websites they point to are long gone, and who knows who (or what) has taken over their servers. (At least one external link does work as expected, which is pretty impressive given that the link is over 25 years old at this point.)

Our final show on the air was on August 17, 1996. We played the top 50 songs most requested by our listeners. That playlist is below.

Title — Artist

”Dance Hall Days” — Wang Chung, 1984

”Sunglasses At Night” — Corey Hart, 1984

”The Politics of Dancing” — Re-Flex, 1983

”If You Leave” — Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, 1986

”Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” — The Police, 1981

”Working For A Living” — Huey Lewis, 1982

”You Know I Love You, Don’t You” — Howard Jones, 1987

”Pac-Man Fever” — Buckner and Garcia, 1982

”Vacation” — Go-Go’s, 1982

”Sweet Sixteen” — Billy Idol, 1986

”The Rain” — Oran ”Juice” Jones, 1986

”Der Kommissar” — After The Fire, 1983

”Pressure” — Billy Joel, 1982

(50) ”One Thing Leads To Another” — The Fixx, 1983

(49) ”(Keep Feeling) Fascination” — Human League, 1983

(48) ”The Reflex” — Duran Duran, 1984

(47) ”Girls Just Want to Have Fun” — Cyndi Lauper, 1984

(46) ”Let’s Go Crazy” — Prince, 1984

(45) ”Promises, Promises” — Naked Eyes, 1983

(44)”Mexican Radio” — Wall Of Voodoo, 1982

(43) ”Africa” — Toto, 1982

(42) ”Puttin’ On The Ritz” — Taco, 1982

(41) ”Down Under” — Men At Work, 1981

(40) ”You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” — Dead Or Alive, 1985

(39) ”Rapture 12 inch” — Blondie, 1980

(38) ”I Wanna Be A Cowboy” — Boys Don’t Cry, 1986

(37) ”Always Something There To Remind Me” — Naked Eyes, 1983

(36) ”Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” — Eurythmics, 1983

(35) ”Thriller” — Michael Jackson, 1982

(34) ”Major Tom (Coming Home)” — Peter Schilling, 1983

(33) ”The One Thing” — INXS, 1983

(32) ”Who Can It Be Now?” — Men At Work, 1981

(31) ”Karma Chameleon” — Culture Club, 1983

(30) ”Doctor! Doctor!” — Thompson Twins, 1984

(29) ”Call Me 12 inch” — Blondie, 1980

(28) ”In A Big Country” — Big Country, 1983

(27) ”Pop Muzik” — M, 1979

(26) ”Cars” — Gary Numan, 1979

(25) ”Rock The Casbah” — The Clash, 1982

(24) ”Let’s Go All The Way” — Sly Fox, 1986

(23) ”Abracadabra” — Steve Miller Band, 1982

(22) ”One Night In Bangkok” — Murray Head, 1984

(21) ”I Ran (So Far Away)” — A Flock Of Seagulls, 1982

(20) ”Obsession – long version” — Animotion, 1984

(19) ”Video Killed The Radio Star” — The Buggles, 1980

(18) ”We Got The Beat” — Go-Go’s, 1981

(17) ”She Blinded Be With Science – single” — Thomas Dolby, 1982

(16) ”Our House” — Madness, 1983

(15) ”Take On Me” — A-ha, 1985

(14) ”Goody Two Shoes” — Adam Ant, 1982

(13) ”Mickey” — Toni Basil, 1982

(12) ”Too Shy” — Kajagoogoo, 1983

(11) ”Somebody’s Watching Me” — Rockwell, 1984

(10) ”Don’t You (Forget About Me)” — Simple Minds, 1985

(9) ”Whip It” — Devo, 1980

(8) ”Electric Avenue” — Eddy Grant, 1983

(7) ”Relax” — Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 1984

(6) ”Mr. Roboto” — Styx, 1983

(5) ”99 Red Balloons” — Nena, 1983

(4) ”Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go” — Soft Cell, 1981

(3) ”Safety Dance” — Men Without Hats, 1982

(2) ”Rock Me Amadeus” — Falco, 1986

(1) ”Come On Eileen” — Dexys Midnight Runners, 1983







One response to “Lost in the ’80s”

  1. Back to the 80s is back! – WillNicholes.com Avatar

    […] website dedicated to 80s pop music, is back online with a new post about our old WXUT radio show Lost in the 80s. Reminisce with us about old favorites from Dire Straits, Ray Parker Jr., The Police, and […]


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