I don’t know about pop’s greatest year (that honour would have to land somewhere around 1966 give or take a year or two), but Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Singles of 1984 definitely disproves the assertion that the 80’s were a musical wasteland.
Yes, you’ve got your abundance of Europop (some good, some bad; you decide which is which), like Dead or Alive, Wham! Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Culture Club, or The Eurythmics.
Or you’ve got your hair bands, some of which didn’t quite stand the test of time (again, you decide which ones), like Scorpion, Ratt, Bon Jovi or Def Leppard.
You’ve also got a healthy reminder that R&B was alive and well thank you very much, thanks to Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis, Sade and Tina Turner.
Then there’s folks who did a great job riding the punk/new wave pop rock thing, like The Cars, Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, or Mellencamp.
And of course there are the giants of the decade: Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Police and U2.
But, you also have blasts from the past, as it were, with entries from Springsteen, Genesis, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Elton John, and McCartney. Heck, even John Lennon has a posthumous release on the list.
So, notwithstanding 99 Luftballons, there are a lot of fabulous tunes here. And you know, I had almost as many of these records as I had for the Top 100 of 1966.