With the arrival of Def Leppard,
that leaves Peter Gabriel as the only major 80s pop artist to still hold out on putting his back catalog on Spotify (and since he has acted like a tremendous douche on the subject, I doubt we'll see him cave anytime soon). Anyway, I decided to take the occasion to post all 1980s Hot 100 Top 10 songs that remain unavailable on Spotify. This is for reference and perhaps to put pressure on artists and labels for release. Because my interest lies in the 1980s decade, the list is restricted to that decade. An asterisk (*) indicates that the song spent a significant amount of time on Spotify since late 2015 or so, but has been removed for an unexplained reason. Artist-authorized re-recordings will be noted. If the only thing available is a dubious re-recording with a suspicious label indication, the song is listed as not available. The list is sorted by peak position. I may follow up this list by continuing through the rest of the Top 20 or Top 40. Anyway, here you go:
"I Love Rock n' Roll"--Joan Jett and the Blackhearts "Mickey"--Toni Basil* "Flashdance...What a Feeling"--Irene Cara* (recently sourced from a compilation; the parent album is still unavailable and fakes abound--don't count on its stability) "Sledgehammer"--Peter Gabriel
"Rock On"--Michael Damian (a very good 2009 rerecording by Damian himself is available)
"Electric Avenue"--Eddy Grant*
"All I Need"--Jack Wagner
"I Want Your $ex"--George Michael (available, but the charting song is not available in a separate track from its "Part 2" B-side, "Brass in Love")
All are available, but take Anita Baker's "Giving You the Best That I Got" with a grain of salt. Most of her hits appear to be available again, but as parts of compilations that may or may not be dubious or authorized by her. They never play as part of her own albums, and the album art itself does not really show up. "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" by The S.O.S. Band is sourcing from a compilation (including the compilation album art) with a cut-off fade out as of March 2020. The parent album has been greyed out with the exception of the hit.
"For Your Eyes Only"--Sheena Easton
All apparently available
All apparently available
"Lookin' for Love"--Johnny Lee* (tends to periodically reappear via compliation, then disappear again after a short time--UPDATE March 2020: as of Summer 2019, seems to FINALLY be stable and sourcing from the original album "Make a Move on Me"--Olivia Newton-John* "She Blinded Me with Science"--Thomas Dolby*--UPDATE March 2020: now appears to be available and sourcing properly from the original parent album, hopefully stable.
All apparently available
"Crimson and Clover"--Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
"Spies Like Us"--Paul McCartney
"Sweet Freedom"--Michael McDonald
"They Don't Know"--Tracey Ullman
"Big Time"--Peter Gabriel "I Remember Holding You"--Boys Club--UPDATE March 2020: the song in its original recording has been made available as a single with a b/w image of the two band members as cover art. The full album is not available nor is it in the database. Stability questionable.
"Don't Shed a Tear"--Paul Carrack* (available again as of March 2020) "The Doctor"--Doobie Brothers* (has reappeared via compilation, then been removed again. UPDATE March 2020: now sourcing from the original parent album and available)
Note that "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia has been available in the same version from several different sources, apparently an authorized re-recording. Recently, a source showed up with an entire B&G album and good album art (unlike the typical "fake compilation" album art that is so ubiquitous on Spotify), but it is still unclear if the recording is the original. It sounds authentic.
"Hold on to My Love"--Jimmy Ruffin (it looks like all the available versions of this are re-recordings, even though they are not all indicated as such and they sound very good)
"Baby Love"--Regina (was available, but removed again as of March 2020)
"Where Are You Now"--Jimmy Harnen and Synch
"Cry"--Waterfront--UPDATE March 2020: available and sourcing from the original album
So...all things considered, that's a pretty short list. Good job, Spotify! Hopefully someone looks at this to know where work is needed. All top 10 songs should be available. In fairness, the entire "What a Feelin'" album from Irene Cara was recently removed without explanation. Would be nice if someone from Spotify could find out why or work on it. Gabriel...sigh. Who knows if he will cave? Nobody thought Prince's heirs, Seger or Def Leppard would [UPDATE: It happened!]. Some of the albums that have long been unavailable with no explanation, such as Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll," deserve some effort [UPDATE: Finally, Joan Jett's catalog is fully available!]. And so do the really obscure tracks like Boys Club "I Remember Holding You" (half of that act was a member of the Jets, so the song, as a Top 10 hit, should have been included on one of those Jets compilations). Jack Wagner's "All I Need" is the highest charting song of the decade to not be available in any digital format, including download. Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" is also unavailable for download at iTunes or Amazon, but it was there at one point and then removed.
Pay attention to this list, Spotify, and get the job done! The labels and artists (where applicable) need to be "persuaded."
As I said, I may follow up with Top 20 and Top 40 songs.