Songs Released In 1988

By Steve McSteveface

Following on from last year’s very successful posts ’20 Songs That Will Be Turning 20 In 2017′ & ‘10 Songs That Will Be Turning 30 In 2017‘ I have decided to keep the tradition going even although it’s about to make me feel REALLY old!

1988 was my music induction you could say. A time where I had the choice of what I listened to and deciding what I liked and what I didn’t like. In the UK the Stock Aitken & Waterman ‘Hit Factory‘ was blasting out songs left, right and centre and it will always be a golden time as far as I’m concerned.

It was a year where the smelly green waxy Barbour Jackets and furry car dice were everywhere. Bill & Ted hit the cinemas for the first time and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took over the small screen.

As far as music systems went it was the bigger the better and you practically had to arrange your furniture around these things.

SONGS TURNING 30: Songs From 1988

Obviously these days the way we listen to music is totally different but it still doesn’t stop me wanting one of these…

Philips Bluetooth Boombox
Philips Bluetooth Boombox

Or one of these or these or these or these or…can you tell I love retro stuff yet?

There have always been songs that when I hear from that era, instantly take me back to those times.

However, in 2018 – these songs are turning 30 and although that does make me feel SUPER OLD it’s a good chance to properly reminisce about some of them to see if they have stood the test of time.

To compile the full playlist I have based it on songs that hit the UK charts in 1988. They might have been released in 1987, they might have been released many years before but became popular again in 1988 so that’s how I’m working it. If anyone is going to get picky with the dates then go and turn off the internet and read something like this instead – we don’t want your sort here thank you!

Before we get to the full playlist and in no particular order, here are some my favourites…

‘I Should Be So Lucky’ – Kylie Minogue

Released: 29 December 1987

UK Chart Position: 1

Released in 1987 but didn’t hit the charts properly until 1988 there was no question that this song from Pop Princess Kylie Minogue would be first on my list. Myself and Kylie have been on an amazing musical journey together and it doesn’t look like it’s about to end anytime soon. 30 years on from this song and she is planning a new album and tour and I for one cannot wait!

‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ – Tiffany

Released: 1 August 1987

UK Chart Position: 1

A song which was popular in the US before here all thanks to Tiffany’s passion for singing in shopping malls wearing oversized sweaters. This has to be one of my all time favourite songs and a Friday night is not a Friday night unless I’ve played this song!

‘When Will I Be Famous?’ – Bros

Released: 16 November 1988

UK Chart Position: 2

I was quite surprised this never made Number One as Bros were massive in the UK. I didn’t quite get the whole ‘beer bottle caps on shoes’ craze that they were responsible for but I sure did like their music.

‘Tell It To My Heart’ – Taylor Dane

Released: 6 November, 1988

UK Chart Position: 3

When I first watched this video from Taylor Dayne I was convinced it was Tina Turner’s long lost daughter. A very popular song in school discos everywhere and I’m quite sure I had an outfit very similar to that dancer in the video!

‘Joe le taxi’ – Vanessa Paradis

Released: 25 January, 1988 

UK Chart Position: 5

Probably this song by Vanessa Paradis was one of the first French songs I’d ever heard being played mainstream. Maybe I have her to thank for my Eurovision obsession?

‘Man In The Mirror’ – Michael Jackson

Released: 16 January, 1988

UK Chart Position: 21

I’d have to say this is my favourite Michael Jackson song and any playlist that involves the 80s would be incomplete without him. This song only originally reached Number 21 in the UK charts. In 2009 it reached Number 2 because apparently he ‘died’. I’m still not convinced he’s actually dead and I’m looking forward to his return to the charts!

‘Buffalo Stance’ – Neneh Cherry

Released: 28 November, 1988

UK Chart Position: 3

Isn’t it funny how even although you haven’t heard a song for a while you still know all the words? When putting together this playlist as soon as I heard this song by Neneh Cherry I knew every single word from the opening rap. All together now…’who’s that Gigilo on the street, with his hands in his pockets and his crocodile feet…’

‘A Little Respect’ – Erasure

Released: 19 September, 1988

UK Chart Position: 4

It’s great to see Erasure still going strong these days. Nothing says the 80s to me like the opening seconds of this song.

‘The Only Way Is Up‘ – Yazz

Released: 11 July, 1988

UK Chart Position: 1

I challenge any ‘child of the 80s’ to not get up on their feet, dance to this and punch the air when it comes to the chorus. Go on, have a listen and prove me right! Thanks Yazz!

‘Especially For You‘ – Kylie & Jason

Released: 28 November 1988

UK Chart Position: 1

I know I’ve already included a Kylie song here but this time she brings Jason Donovan with her. There is nothing NOT to love about the song and I will not hear a word against it! I think a Kylie fans should unite and start a campaign to bring it back to the top of the charts at Christmas 2018 for the 30th anniversary (no Kermit the Frogs or Ed Sheerans to be involved thank you).

That’s my list of 10 and it was a tough call and if I had to do it again it would be different each time.

I did have to limit the Stock Aitken & Waterman songs but of course there are so let’s please NEVER forget the likes of Bananarama, Sinitta, Rick Astley etc.

I also started a discussion on the subreddit Popheads to share their favourites with me and here’s what they said…

Reddit Popheads

I’ve added all these songs AND MORE to a Spotify playlist and called it…


What about you? What songs would you pick out from 1988?

Don’t forget to check out our other playlists!

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Written by Steve

I’m Steve and live in a village called Alford (home of Emeli Sande & birthplace of the Aberdeen Angus cow) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I currently work in the IT industry (yawn) I just want to share my ideas, findings and general reflections with whoever wants to listen.