Album: A Hangover You Don't Deserve (2004)
Charted: 35 23


  • This song is about a woman who is still living in the past, reliving her glory years when she was a teenager in 1985. She had big dreams, but now spends her time immersing herself in '80s pop culture. Music icons from the '80s mentioned in the song are: Whitesnake, Madonna, U2, Blondie, MTV, Bruce Springsteen, Ozzy Osbourne, Wham! and Van Halen. Movies from the '80s mentioned: The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire and Pretty In Pink.
  • This song was written and originally released by the band SR-71 on their 2004 album Here We Go Again. In a Songfacts interview with Bowling For Soup lead singer Jaret Reddick, he explained how they ended up recording it. Said Reddick: "'1985' was interesting because we were coming off our biggest record, which was Drunk Enough To Dance. And we went in thinking that we had a complete album, and we recorded a complete album. We did Hangover You Don't Deserve, and it was pretty much done. Butch Walker produced three songs on that album, and we recorded the whole record at his place. And his manager called and said, 'Hey, a song came across my desk. You know Mitch Allan, right?' I'm like, 'Yeah.' 'Well, he wants you to call him.' So I call Mitch Allan from SR-71, he's like, 'Dude, I've got this song. It's a freakin' hit for you guys. It sounds like you.' And evidently that whole conversation happened because Mitch was pitching his band to Jonathan Daniel, who is Butch's manager, trying to get this record that they had put out in Japan released here in the United States. And JD said, 'Dude, that sounds like a Bowling for Soup song.' And Mitch said, 'You know what? You're right.'

    So anyway, he sends me the song. And I'm actually like, 'Man, we're done. We're literally leaving tomorrow. This album is complete.' We had a little studio apartment that we were staying in and I listened to the song a few times, and I'm like, 'Yeah, it's good.' And the night goes on, had a few more beers, me and Gary (Wiseman - BFS drummer) sat in our kitchen and listened to it twice. And we're just like, This is a great song. We don't really know that it's going to be a single, but it is great. We might as well just do it. So we went back in the next day and we cut it.

    So my thing to Mitch was, Look, there's some lines in here that definitely don't sound like something I would say. Like, I would never say, 'The rubber broke.' Or any of those kind of things. So I was like, I definitely think it needs a different bridge, I think it's gotta have more of a catchy intro. So basically I said, If you'll let me have my way with it and make it a Bowling for Soup song, then I think it'll work. And history shows that it did indeed work."
  • SR-71 lead singer Mitch Allan penned this song as a potential lead-off single for his band's third album. Having been dropped by RCA records when the label merged with Sony Music in 2004, Allan was shopping the record around hoping to get SR-71 signed to a new label, with little success. "All the labels said they were not interested in our sound, that we sounded too pop/punk, even though we were just a rock band," explained Allan in an interview with Alternative Addiction. "They also thought that the song 1985 was too old school, and people would not understand the lyrics, and it would just never work."

    Frustrated with no label interested in his band's music, Allan jumped at the chance, when Bowling For Soup expressed an interest in recording this song. "Every single person who told me the song would never work and this kind of music is finished- it made me realize those people are idiots," said Allan. "They want to dictate pop culture and dictate what people hear, but meanwhile they are not listening to what the audience wants. They want to be the ones to set the trends, but they don't know what they're talking about."

    With the success of "1985," Allan switched from being a recording artist to songwriting and has subsequently penned songs for a wide spectrum of artists including Chris Daughtry, Faith Hill, Jonas Brothers, Tokio Hotel, Anberlin and Bo Bice.
  • The line, "She was gonna shake her ass on the hood of Whitesnake's car" is a reference to Whitesnake's video for "Here I Go Again," an MTV classic that piqued the interest of many teenage boys with fleeting images of the model/actress Tawny Kitaen dancing on the hood of a Jaguar.

    In the video for "1985," Kitaen stars as the now-housewife who years for the '80s. Directed by Ryan Smith and Frank Borin (Smith n' Borin), the video also sends up scenes from George Michael's "Faith" and Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love." The Whitesnake and George Michael songs were actually released in 1987; "Addicted To Love" was 1985.

Comments: 33

  • Kerry Koen from Weatherford, TxThis is the first song I heard by BFS and still my all time fave. It is my life's theme song. Seriously, just change a couple of the words and it is literally my life. GREATNESS!
  • Chris from Richmond VaActually I think the 2nd video parodied was Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", not Run DMC.
  • Grace from ArkhamCute video. And Tawny Kitaen is still smoking hot. She was gorgeous in the movie Witchboard.
  • Kevin from United StatesI love this song. I didn't realize until the end that it was Tawny Kitaen in the video. This song just goes to show that record producers are idiots. Anyone who would NOT think this song would be a hit is a moron. Of course you could think because I was 20 at the time I might feel that way but my friends kids all love this song too and they're currently in their 20s.
  • Augustus from Mineral Wells, MoAlright in the whitesnake video Here I go again it was the actress Tawny Kitaen who danced on 2 jaguars. It was also Tawny Kitaen who danced on a jaguar in the music video for 1985, so just figured i'd let you know that. Also this is probably my favorite song if not my favorite lol. If you couldn't recognize Tawny Kitaen you should definitely be ashamed of being an 80s fan.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhLove this catchy, creatively written song. Only saw the video after coming to this webpage. The video is cute (parts of it a bit bland) and tells the story. A bunch of (younger) loser guys live across the street from "Debbie". They can't believe her CPA husband leaves this hot chick home alone all day when he goes to work. They seem to know her story, and they entertain her by singing songs in the garage. She acts like they are an annoyance (shakes her head along with the mailman at their antics). When the night comes, tho, she allows herself the freedom to play out one of her fantasies: shakin' it on a car like the chick in the Whitesnake video. The Robert Palmer part is the best. Sad to say, there's a ring of truth to the song....many girls give up all their dreams to become a wife & mother and wind up wondering "what if".
  • Jessi from South Bloomfield, OhIs it sad that I understood all of these references when I was twelve?
  • Tom from East Hampton, Ct"Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana..." Not way before, Nirvana's first album came out in '89. 1985-1989 is just four years, it's not like its 15 years.
  • Henry from Bedrock, In"Music still on MTV . . . ah, those were the days.
  • Matt from Houston, Txand by the way it's not really clever when another band wrote it
  • Matt from Houston, Txmotley crue is not classic rock. glam metal
  • Dom from Niagara Falls, Nythis bands singer is a great lyricist. he's really creative at writing songs.
  • Dom from Niagara Falls, Nythis bands singer is a great lyricist. he's really creative at writing songs.
  • Sarah from Eastern Passage, NsIt cracks me up every time I hear the line, "When did Motley Crue become classic rock?"
    ...siiiiiigh, I miss the eighties.
  • Aless from Houston, TxLove this song. Really lets me see things through my mom's eyes...heh...
  • Cati from Atlanta, GaLol, this vid and song is great. I love in the vid when they're supposed to be Motley Crue, they look hilarious. XD The first time I heard this song I didn't know who all these people were, and I re-watched it a little bit ago and was like, "OMG! They said way before NIRVANA? How come I didnt catch that last time?" and "Oh! I get the thing about shaking her ass on White Snake's care now!"
  • Trina from Nyc, NyThe song's really great, the video's kinda goofy but it's pretty funny, and I can see the truth in it.
  • Max from Laconia, Nhthe video is not stupid! it makes perfect sense! its just stages in 80s culter. the first part is Robert Palmer. the second is just hip hop stuff. the third is George Micheal solo, and the last is Motley Crue.
  • Latasha from Austin, Txoh yea that makes sence u hate the song so u look it up and comment it way to go but anyhoo, song rocks i used to be obsessed with it back in tha day lol
  • G from I Like Pi, --hate the song
  • Hannah from Howe, Inyes, the video is kind of stupid... but i like the song! :)
  • Bobsaget from Bellville, SdThe video, so I'm told, is stupid. Is this true?
  • Cassie from Overland Park, KsI would die for Bowling for Soup.
  • David from Youngstown, OhAhh, 1985 was indeed one of my favorite years - high school senior/college freshman. The song is hysterical and quite accurate.
  • Mike from Petersham, Mauggh! ANNOYING!!! I dont like the song or the band!!
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaI loved the video. It's funny how they parodied a lot of bands from the 80s, and showed the woman trying to get through her life. Then at the end she's dressed in nothing but unmentionables, and dancing around on the hood of a ferrari like the girl from the Whitesnake video.
  • Kieran from Essex, Englandi love the line "and music still on MTV"

    BFS rock. i would
  • Cassie from Hamilton, NjBowling for Soup is the greatest band to ever exsist. They're songs are more clever than 95% of the bands' out there. Jaret Reddick is a genious.
  • Richard from San Diego, CaI hate this song so much. They play it every day at the gym, so now I'm just gonna stay home and get fat all thanks to these clowns.
  • Rik from Wenatchee, WaBryan, were you a teenager in the '80s? Lots of girls "rocked out" to Wham! back then.
  • Bryan from Edwardsville, IlWho rocks out to Wham? I think they just picked a random popular figure from the 80s.
  • Morgan from Steubenville, Ohhaha i love them i like when they are in a dress
  • Melissa from Toledo, OhI love this song and the video is hilarious. I can't believe no one commented on it.
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