Here's a breakdown of the '80s references in the lyrics:
"There's a weight in the air tonight": "In The Air Tonight
" is Phil Collins' hit debut single from his 1981 solo album, Face Value
"Sister Christian says she don't feel right": "Sister Christian
" is a 1984 hit by the hard-rock band Night Ranger.
"I keep it movin' while you're putting on the red light": This refers to The Police's 1978 hit "Roxanne
" about a prostitute in the red-light district. The song opens with, "You don't have to put on the red light." Not quite an '80s tune, but Sting did record a live version for the 1982 album The Secret Policeman's Other Ball
"I thought if you leave": "If You Leave
" is a song from the popular 1986 movie Pretty in Pink
. It was a #4 hit for the British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
"I could give you all your freedom": Wham! released the hit single "Freedom
" in 1984. Rob Thomas is a big fan of George Michael.
"Let you find your sweet dreams": The Eurythmics had a #1 hit with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
" in 1983. Air Supply also hit #5 with a song called "Sweet Dreams
" in 1982.
"Girls just wanna have fun": This is the title of Cyndi Lauper's 1983 hit
"Maybe we're a strange love": "Strangelove" is the lead single from Depeche Mode's 1987 album, Music For The Masses
"But don't you want me?": The British synthpop group The Human League hit #1 in the US and UK with "Don't You Want Me
" in 1981.
"All this talk of modern love": "Modern Love
" is a hit single from David Bowie's 1983 album, Let's Dance
"Nothing compares to you": Before becoming a hit for Sinead O'Connor in 1990, "Nothing Compares 2 U
" originated with Prince's group The Family in 1985.
"Free falling to the ground": "Free Fallin'
" is a Top 10 single from Tom Petty's debut solo album, Full Moon Fever
"I wait for you to save me": "Save Me
" is a single from Queen's 1980 album, The Game
"This is a new sensation": "New Sensation
" by INXS peaked at #3 in 1988.
"I'll be your father figure": Another George Michael reference, "Father Figure
" is a single from the English singer's debut solo album, Faith
"I'll be your Major Tom": Peter Schilling had a hit with "Major Tom (I'm Coming Home)
," a retelling of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," in 1983.
"Just enjoy the silence": Although Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence
" was released in 1990, it was recorded
in 1989, so it works in a tribute to the '80s.
"Or I could turn you inside out": "Turn You Inside-Out" is a promo single from R.E.M.'s 1988 album, Green