The Wonder Woman 1984 trailer has finally landed, and it knocked all of our socks off. One of the coolest parts of the trailer, aside from seeing Gal Gadot kicking all the butt, was the brilliant use of New Order’s new wave classic “Blue Monday.” This is a surefire sign that the movie is going to lean in hard on the glorious pop music of the era.
But since this is Wonder Woman we’re talking about here, we think it would only be appropriate if WW84 leaned specifically into the incredible women who helped define the MTV era. Here are our picks for seven female music superstars that we think deserve a spot on the soundtrack for Patty Jenkins’ upcoming film.
Note: Only women who released music or were on the charts in 1984 qualify. So no Whitney Houston, Sade, or Janet Jackson, whose debut albums or breakthrough records wouldn’t come until later in the decade. Not because they’re not totally awesome, because they are.
7. The Bangles
Although singer Susanna Hoffs and her band wouldn’t reach their peak success until the latter half of the decade with songs like “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Manic Monday,” the Bangles’ debut album actually did come out in 1984. The first and most famous single from that first album is actually called “Hero Takes a Fall.” Certainly seems like a no-brainer to include in a superhero movie.
6. Donna Summer
When one thinks of Donna Summer, they tend to think of the ’70s. In that decade, she was the absolute Queen of Disco. When the disco backlash hit the early ’80s, Donna was unjustly exiled from the pop music charts. But in 1983, she made a comeback with the song “She Works Hard for the Money,” which was a huge international hit. This anthem to working women everywhere would fit in perfectly with the message embodied by Wonder Woman and her Amazon sisters.
5. The Go-Go’s
From 1981 to ’84, the Go-Go’s were the girl group du jour. They took their scrappy punk rock Sunset Strip sound and translated it into New Wave pop perfection over the course of three albums and several hit singles. Then they famously (and very acrimoniously) broke up, before getting back together over a decade later. But their last hit of the decade was 1984’s “Head Over Heels,” which totally describes how Steve Trevor feels about Diana Prince, doesn’t it?
4. Pat Benatar
When MTV launched in 1981, their output was basically a constant rotation of white dude rockers, and not a whole lot else. But there was one woman who stood above the pack: Pat Benatar. In the early part of the decade, she had a string of hit songs to her name, like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” In fact, her 1983 hit “Love is a Battlefield” was still all over top 40 radio in 1984. And could there be a more appropriate song for our favorite Amazon warrior than that one?
3. Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual released in the fall of 1983. By early 1984, its first single “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was on constant rotation on both radio and MTV, and helped define an entire era of pop music. She also had three other top ten hits from this album, making it one of the most successful debut records for a female artist in history. You set a story in 1984 and not find a way to reference the pop culture impact of Ms. Lauper.
2. Tina Turner
Tina Turner spent the ’60s and ’70s as one half of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. After she freed herself from her toxic husband and musical partner, everyone assumed Tina’s career was over. But in 1984, at the age of 45, she returned with “Private Dancer,” a solo album that was the biggest selling record of that year from a female artist. She proved to a sexist and ageist music industry that there was life for a female pop star past a certain age. Plus, with those arms, we’re pretty sure she is a real life Amazon. Tina defines strength against all odds, and her music should be included in any movie about a superheroic goddess.
In January of 1984, Madonna went on American Bandstand performing her hit song “Holiday.” She told host Dick Clark her plan for the following year was “to rule the world.” Turns out, she wasn’t kidding. Over the course of the next 12 months, Madonna would land four other top ten hits, set the standard for music videos as a genre, and ultimately become the biggest selling female recording artist of all time. But 1984 was the year it all started for her, and you can’t talk about women in music in that era without acknowledging the Material Girl.