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1980s Jams: How Will I Know, Neutron Dance, I'm So Excited, Oh Sheila, Casanova, Caravan of Love, Something About You, Natural Selection

Let's start with Whitney Houston...

As you'll see below, many mid-1980s pop songs re variations on this song.

Both in terms of musical style (dance but accessible) and lyrics about love.

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How Will I Know (1985) and I Wanna Dance With Somebody (1987) are the same song...

Both Whitney songs are variations on the Neutron Dance (1984).

Neutron Dance itself is really a sequel to I'm So Excited (1982).

Neutron Dance inspired the sound of many songs, including Oh Sheila (1985).

This song sounds like Pointer Sisters crossed with Prince When Doves Cry (1984).

Slow down that sound just a little and you get Billy Ocean.

Or Levert singing Casanova (1987).

This sounds similar to New Edition, too.

Another variation on this theme is Isley, Jasper, Isley - Caravan of Love (1985).

And another similar sound is Level 42 - Something About You (1985).

This mid-1980s sound was common to many artists, including the Jets, Atlantic Starr, and Lionel Richie.

These songs evolved into the early 1990s pop sounds like MC Hammer and C+C Music Factory.

One lesser known song in this genre is Natural Selection - Do Anything (1991).

The influences from Whitney Houston, Pointer Sisters, Prince, and New Edition's solo efforts come together in this song. Sure, it's derivative, but most pop music builds on what came before it.

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