Throwback Playlist: List of Old Songs that are Tuning In with the Present

By Juliana Frias and Xy Aldrae Murillo

It's not the same as it was, but the memories still stay there.

Think about The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights," and Harry Styles' "As It Was," some of the chart-topping hits released in the 2020s but are heavily influenced by 80's synth pop and beats — which proves that modern music can freely and creatively get inspiration from yesterday's time.

Photo courtesy of DOPE Magazine/GMA Network/Discogs/Medium

It is not just the theme and the aesthetic, but songs from the past can still be a trending hit nowadays, and it is always a reminiscing moment to look back from the past. As numerous modern hits struck the public, the majority of the population (or general community) are still leaving enough space for yesterday's Last Song Syndrome (LSS) while they enjoy the trip down memory lane. 

In the present, social media has now become the perfect medium that bridges the gap between decades and eras, with TikTok as a platform for polarizing anything and creating supercuts of catchy lines of a song to be played in a 20-second reel, and Spotify that easily navigates people with similar music tastes all thanks to its playlists as an example.

“Timeless,” as what others would say, and “classic,” as the oldies refer, music from several decades ago still hit home until this day — a perfect throwback playlist, indeed. 


Dreams by Fleetwood Mac (1977)



Rising to the #2 spot on the Rolling Stone 100 chart 40 days after its release, this folk-rock freshness is a product of how TikTok created a massive impact in the music industry. 

This calming but heartbreaking song expresses the desire of the woman’s lover to be free and not to be committed to their relationship. When they broke up, the woman wished that his ex-lover would regret that he let her go.


Hopelessly Devoted to You by Olivia Newton-John (1978)



With TikTok again in the narrative, content editors and creators are set to feature the then-and-now pictures of them, using the hook of the song. 

Thousands of singers also belted their high notes by singing this classic love song that continues to capture the hearts of the netizens from the 70s until the present time.


Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko by VST & Company (1978)



"Awit natin ay 'wag na 'wag mong kalimutan," 

It seems that Filipinos have been enchanted by this OPM love song who lives up to its lyrics as it makes a comeback this 2022. 

This hit love song did not only earn its title as one of the 70s hits but is also a timeless song loved by singers and dancers all over the country from the past up until the present.


Mayonaka no Door/Stay With Me by Miki Matsubara (1980)



This Japanese city pop song entails the torn lovers or the love that has grown distant. 

It is not that surprising that it became a widely played streaming favorite with its catchy tune combined with the lyrics that people can relate to.


Material Girl by Madonna (1984)



Want to relive the moments wherein you still enjoy dancing in the bars and singing in karaoke hubs?

Well, this song that was sung by the “Queen of Pop” has emerged again due to the creativity of the content creators. In their videos, they edited transitions from their current self to the imitated young versions of their parents in old-fashioned clothing.


Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley (1984)



The iconic “Rickroll” meme regularly resurfaced right through Reddit memes and Facebook bandwagons, the Rick Astley song surely brings a chivalrous “never gonna hurt you” moment with a bandwagon prank— just make sure that whatever people do online, do not be rickrolled.


Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush (1985)



Featured as a soundtrack for the latest season of the series “Stranger Things,” this 1985 song has massively soared in the charts, more than 30 years after its release. When the song was released, it peaked at No. 3, and it also reentered the charts again in 2012 when the song got featured in the London Olympics closing ceremony. 

The song, also broke three Guinness World Records, with records namely: the longest period for a track to reach No. 1 on the UK's official singles chart, the oldest female artist to do so, and the most tremendous gap between No. 1 positions on the chart.


All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey (1994)



Who doesn’t want to be with their loved ones during Christmas?

As the church bells ring, the carols crawl in the ears, and the windy cold air sinks into the crowd, no wonder that this 19th best song of Mariah cemented herself as the Christmas Queen, with this song topping charts every Christmas.


Toxic by Britney Spears (2003)



This dance-pop and techno-pop became a trend when the dancers on social media accepted the viral “Toxic Dance Challenge.” 

Music editors also used this song for the trending remixes that we can hear and dance along with nowadays.


Payphone by Maroon 5 (2012)



“If “Happy Ever After” did exist, I would still be holding you like this,” 

Did these lyrics hit you hard? Does it bring you the feeling of nostalgia? That's the reason why listeners still tune to this song until now. This conveys the message of a person that tried his best to save their relationship, yet in the end, the other one didn't care anymore.


Latch by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith [Remix] (2012) 



Another song that can hit you right on your feelings is the remix of this song. But instead of the usual breakup ones, this song makes you feel like you're dancing with the person that you cherish the most. The video editors used the remix as background music for their video content to “flex” their relationship and to offer this song to their loved ones.


Cool for the Summer by Demi Lovato (2015)



“Got my mind on your body and your body on my mind,”

These catchy tongue-twister lyrics of the song were used by over 2 million users on TikTok for a dance challenge. It highlights the catchy tune with an alluring vibe on it for the dancers to get the attention of the viewers.

To achieve this sentimental moment, step one to creating a perfect nostalgia moment for relieving the past through music is swiftly a fast digital move now, with the pandemic drastically increasing the engagement of people to online platforms and chances to intensively listen to radios at home. The engagement of others with the trend and trip will just musically flow.

“Old,” in terms of music, is pretty much a subjective narrative, as the 00s decade can already make people feel old though the 80s decade is chronologically older. Yet with all of these creative differences, it can be agreed that the nostalgia of these trends, these songs, and the memories associated with each aura, bring a teary smile to everyone being hit by reminiscence.

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