THE hair was big, but the tunes were even bigger. However, the 1980s are always regarded as a bit uncool.

But hey, you can’t choose the decade in which you inhabit your youth. As Wham! suggested, you choose life. And then you roll with it.

That’s what Dylan Jones has done in his new book Shiny And New: Ten Moments Of Pop Genius That Defined The ’80s, which is an attempt to rehabilitate the era they called “the decade that taste forgot”.

After all, only in the 80s could Vienna by Ultravox be kept from the top of the charts by Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce.

In the book, Jones takes famous songs from the 80s and explores the cultural significance of each.

If I had to pick 10 significant songs of the 1980s it would be hard to know where to start. But I’ll have a bash, in no particular order …

1: I Will Follow by U2 … my first gig, a sweaty affair at the classy Tiffany’s in Glasgow. I was 13. The ticket cost £3.50. It was magical, but my only U2 concert. I was soon priced out of the market.

2: Rio (or anything for that matter) by Duran Duran … if you liked U2, you just couldn’t be seen to be remotely interested in Duran Duran. Could you? Of course you could. You just couldn’t admit it.

3: Karma Chameleon by Culture Club … never failed to fill the floor at the local roller disco.

4: Rescue by Echo And The Bunnymen … another sweaty night at Tiffany’s.

Boy George from Culture Club, whose Karma Chameleon never failed to fill the dancefloor

5: Holiday by Madonna (above) … possibly Madge’s cheesiest song, but one that never fails to bring sunshine to the dreichest Scottish day.

6: Hong Kong Garden by Siouxsie And The Banshees … another sweaty concert, this time at the Glasgow Apollo, where I had the pleasure of finding myself in the mosh pit next to a very hirsute mohair jumper. I sneezed for about a week.

7: Don’t You Want Me by The Human League … their album Dare was my first purchase at the original Virgin store on Glasgow’s Union Street. Thereafter I spent many hours browsing this wondrous emporium when actually I should have been doing homework.

8: Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood … anything banned by the BBC had to be good.

9: China In Your Hand by T’Pau … another cheesy one, but it was first year at uni and I was missing my boyfriend whom I only saw at weekends, but who happily, 34 years on, is now a permanent fixture. “Popmobility” (yes, it really was called that, but remember this was the 80s after all) at the big sports hall at Pleasance in Edinburgh was a Monday and a Thursday night. This was the cool down song … sad on a Monday but very happy on a Thursday as the weekend approached.

10: Letter From America by The Proclaimers … another defining song from my “grown-up” 80s years. It will always take me back to Top Of The Pops on the common room telly at the long-ago demolished Florence Nightingale Nurses’ Home, where I ended up in my first term as a student because I couldn’t find any other digs. I felt so lonely I might as well have been in America.

Alas, many years have passed since then. Tiffany’s, the Apollo and the big Virgin on Union Street are no more. But the music lives on.