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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 43 – 41

43. R.E.M., “Fall on Me” Sometimes when focusing on singles released in the nineteen-eighties, it is illuminating to look at their music videos. By the time R.E.M. released their fourth album, Lifes Rich Pageant, in 1986, MTV was approaching the

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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 46 – 44

46. Romeo Void, “Never Say Never” Romeo Void were still early in their career when they found themselves working with Ric Ocasek, then exceedingly well-versed in the creation of hits thanks to his prominent place in the Cars. According to

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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 49 – 47

49. Tears for Fears, “Everybody Want to Rule the World” Bands beholden to major labels are often told they need to buckle down and try to write a hit song. As they were prepping material for their 1985 album, Songs

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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 52 – 50

52. Primitives, “Crash” Before the Primitives got around to recording their first album, they’d already decided that “Crash” was one of their less significant songs. “We wrote that very early on and then we dropped it from the set,” explained

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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 55 – 53

55. Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car” “I had so many people come up to me and say that they felt it was their song,” Tracy Chapman said about “Fast Car,” the lead single from her 1988 self-titled debut. “And someone told

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College Countdown: CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 58 – 56

58. XTC, “Dear God” Although it is one of XTC’s best known songs, “Dear God” was initially relegated to also-ran status. The story of that decision changes depending on who is telling it. Todd Rundgren, who produced the song, maintains that

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CMJ Top 250 Songs, 1979 – 1989, 61 – 59

61. Morrissey, “Suedehead” The collaboration between Steven Patrick Morrissey and Johnny Marr was in tatters. They had completely stopped speaking to one another, putting the future of their band, the Smiths, into a state more dire than doubt. While some of the

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