My 80s Playlist: Dick and Dom choose their favourite 80s songs from Joy Division to Band Aid

Virgin Radio

27 Sep 2023, 11:37

Dick and Dom in the Virgin Radio studio with Steve Denyer

Credit: Virgin Radio

Entertainment legends Dick and Dom visited Virgin Radio 80s Plus to reveal their favourite tracks from the decade.

The presenting duo best known for hosting the iconic Dick and Dom in da Bungalow Saturday morning children’s programme are also big music fans, and have worked as drum+bass DJs for many years.

Currently, the pair (full names Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood) are travelling the UK doing DJ sets at clubs and music venues throughout autumn and winter 2023.

Taking a break from their busy schedule, the two friends sat down to talk all things 80s music with Virgin Radio 80s Plus’ Steve Denyer on his My 80s Playlist segment, plus revealed the truth behind how their notorious ‘Bogies’ game came to be...

To discover Dick and Dom’s full My 80s Playlist and more, watch the video below:

Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

Joy Division’s 1980 non-album single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ was Dick’s first choice for his top few songs of the decade.

Inspired by the band’s frontman Ian Curtis’ troubled marriage and his struggles with epilepsy, the single was released in June 1980, a month after his suicide.

NME named ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ as the greatest single of all time in 2002, and it has ranked in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs survey in 2004, 2010 and 2021.

“That opening riff, it just sends your brain into the atmosphere, doesn’t it?” Dick said when asked by Steve about his thoughts on the song.

“Wherever you are, in a car, in the house, you’ll just stop and you’ll listen to that. And it will start really making you move, it’s such a track,” he continued.

Two Tribes - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Dom’s first choice for his 80s playlist selection was this anti-war song from Frankie Goes to Hollywood which entered the UK singles chart at number one in June 1984, and in the end became the UK’s longest-running number one of the 80s.

The song, a single which was later included on their album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, was a response to the growing threat of the Cold War which was brewing at the time. 

However, Holly Johnson also suggested ‘Two Tribes’ was a song which could be used to represent any two sides in a fight, and not just those involved in its immediate historical context.

Dom called the song “astronomical,” explaining: “It starts with all the beautiful, like orchestral strings, and then a little narration voice over, and then that guitar riff starts.”

After imitating the riff, he continued: “It kicks in, you know, after Holly does that ‘ow ow,’ and it just goes berserk.”

24 Hour Party People - Happy Mondays

24 Hour Party People was the second single released from Happy Mondays’ debut studio album Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out).

Released in October 1987, the song focuses on people on the dole who would rather party than look for a job. The track was Dick’s next choice for the 80s playlist.

Describing why he chose the song, the entertainer explained that having got into New Order and Joy Division as a young teen, he became very into the Manchester music scene which birthed other artists including Salford’s Happy Mondays. 

“I lived in Manchester for quite a few years, and I think the Happy Mondays really epitomised that era,” the 47-year-old said.

He went on to reference the 2002 Frank Cottrell Boyce film which was made about that music scene - specifically Tony Wilson’s Factory Records indie record label - which was named after this Happy Mondays’ song.

Do They Know It’s Christmas? - Band Aid

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s epic charity single was Dom’s next choice. Released in December 1984, the track became that year’s Christmas number one with no trouble after it became the world’s fastest-selling single of all time during its first week in the charts.

By the end of 1984, the song - which was released to raise money to help those affected by the 1983-1985 famine in Ethiopia - had sold three million copies, and it has continued to be a much played Christmas track ever since.

Explaining that this choice helped him get to pick loads of artists from the 80s which he admired, Dom described the song as having: “Probably the biggest names in music history today, let alone in that era… it was massive and you can’t recreate that.”

Asked by Steve if he has a favourite bit from the supergroup song, the 45-year-old quickly replied saying it was Boy George’s line. “When he comes in: ‘In this world,’ as soon as his voice comes in, it’s so clear and beautiful, his sound, for me it’s one of the moments which stands out.”

Take On Me - A-ha

A-Ha’s iconic 1984 song was Dom’s next choice for the playlist. Perhaps shockingly, the Norwegian synthpop band’s track failed to chart in the UK on release, and their first re-release of the song in 1985 also failed to gain much attention.

However, a second version released in 1985 made it to number two in the charts, and the inventive music video which was released alongside the track's second release allowed the song to skyrocket in popularity. It won six MTV Video Music Awards in 1986, including the Viewer’s Choice award.

“It was breathtaking, because it used animation and live action fused together,” Dom described, as Steve stressed how novel this was for the time.

The TV star added: “Not only was it a ground-breaking video, but the tune itself - if you play this anywhere, anywhere, it will get everyone onto a dance floor.”

To discover Dick and Dom’s full 80s playlist, watch the video above.

You can listen to Virgin Radio 80s Plus HERE. You can also listen on DAB+ in London and Central Scotland and on smart speakers across the UK, as well as via the Virgin Radio UK app.