A Look Back at 1984: All of Our Coverage

Matt Herring

The political and social disquiet of 1984 was reflected in a widespread sense that everything was up for grabs: gender identity (Boy George, Annie Lennox), sexual roles (Madonna, Prince), even the definition of rock and roll itself (Van Halen adding synthesizers on the 1984 album, Arthur Baker's 12-inch remix of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark"). Pointing toward the future, Run-D.M.C.'s pioneering debut album was the first rap album to go gold, and new strains of underground rock emerged, from the sloppy punk-funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the literate moping of the Smiths. (Click here to read the rest of Alan Light's essay on the epic year of 1984.)

Scroll below for links to Billboard's comprehensive look back at the year that changed pop music forever -- including exclusive interviews with Chris Rock on the majesty of 'Purple Rain' and Sinead O'Connor on 'Spinal Tap; Spotify playlists of the year's greatest hits; videos of the year's one-hit wonders and more. And stay tuned as we roll out more totally awesome 1984 content over the coming days...

Music Stars Look Back at 1984: Ricky Martin on Being 'Spoiled' in Menudo, Melle Mel on the Irony of 'White Lines,' Joe Perry on Reuniting With Aerosmith and More


Who Dominated the Country Charts in 1984? The Top 5 Acts -- From Willie Nelson to George Strait


Lionel Richie Laughs About the Video for His Classic Hit ‘Hello’ (Remember That Sculpture?)


Krist Novoselic: ‘Meat Puppets II’ Inspired Me Because ‘There Were No Barriers’


How Music Video Pioneer Russell Mulcahy Killed the Radio Star


Former Minutemen Bassist Mike Watt on Why Their Pivotal Album ‘Double Nickels’ Mocked Sammy Hagar


David Lee Roth ‘Did Not Want to Do’ Van Halen’s Classic Single ‘Jump,’ Says Former Bassist Michael Anthony


The Top 10 Pop Albums of 1984


Bob Mould Looks Back at Husker Du's Breakthrough Indie Album 'Zen Arcade'


The Real Story Behind Madonna’s Iconic ‘Like a Virgin’ Performance at the 1984 VMAs


Cyndi Lauper on Her Iconic 'She's So Unusual' Album: The Songs 'Were About Empowering All Us Freaks'


Boy George Laments Culture Club's '80s Videos: 'I Never Really Liked Any of Them'


How Run-D.M.C. Changed the Rap Game in 1984


Why 'Footloose' Inspired 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Director James Gunn


Jack Antonoff on Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the U.S.A.': 'It's an Unbelievably Personal and Perfect Album'


Annie Lennox Looks Back at The Eurythmics' Hyper-Productive Heyday: 'It Exhausts Me Just Thinking About It Now'


 Jon Bon Jovi Reminisces About the ‘Absolutely Awful’ Video for His First-Ever Hit ‘Runaway’


Patton Oswalt Skewers Holiday Classic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’


 How Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight' Influenced 'Miami Vice' Director Michael Mann -- and Lorde!


Why 1984 Was Michael Jackson’s Defining Year -- and the Beginning of His Downfall


See the Cover Art for the Top 10 Singles of 1984


Who Were 1984’s One-Hit Wonders?


Camille Paglia: Tina Turner's 'Private Dancer' Made a 'Feminist Statement'


Bret Easton Ellis Regrets Linking Huey Lewis and the News to 'American Psycho'


Sinead O'Connor: 'There'd Have Been a Lot More Rock 'n' Roll Suicides' Without 'Spinal Tap'


Chris Rock Looks Back at 'Purple Rain': '30 Years Later, There's Nothing Remotely Close'