John Cougar – “Jack and Diane” – (1982)

This is one of the biggest songs of the 80s – I chose “Pink Houses” for the countdown because this seemed too obvious, but in reality this was a far bigger hit and far more important in 80s music and the career of John Mellencamp, who at this time was going by John Cougar. It was his biggest hit – a #1 for four weeks in the fall of 1982. Jack and Diane became defining characters of the 80s. Everyone knows who they are and everyone knows about the Tastee-Freez. This song oozes nostalgia about American youth – a theme throughout most of the Mellencamp catalog.