‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Is a Portal to 1985. Here’s What It Sounded Like.

Season 3 of Netflix’s beloved nostalgia creep-out “Stranger Things” premiered over the long weekend, bringing Hawkins, Ind., into the summer of 1985. In towns that didn’t have a portal to the Upside Down, those months may have been memorable for films like “Back to the Future,” cultural events like Live Aid and landmark sports victories, like the Lakers defeating the Celtics in the N.B.A. Finals. Here’s a playlist of 19 hits — and one iconic musical broadcast — that were floating in the musical ether back then.

No. 1 for three weeks in August, Tears for Fears’ beaming, anthemic call to protest was the unequivocal song of the summer.

The gently psychedelic, string-laden “Raspberry Beret” was the first single to follow Prince’s cross-media “Purple Rain” domination. “The history of the song is shrouded in mystery,” the Prince sessions expert Duane Tudahl wrote in his 2017 book, “Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984,” “but considering how Prince worked, that isn’t a surprise.”

It would be another two years before Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and the production crew Full Force would turn freestyle — the New York-brewed melting pot of electro, hip-hop, R&B and Latin rhythms ­— into a chart-topping pop concern. But this early single was a hit in Europe and subsequently a Top 40 success in the United States.

Only a few of the so-called college rock bands — among them Talking Heads, U2 and X — managed to crack the fluffy haircuts and gated snares of the mainstream rock Top 40 in the summer of ’85. The coolest, however, was no doubt R.E.M., a Georgia-based group only on its third album. On this tune, it mixed its post-punk jangle with horns and art-funky rhythms.

After watching a PBS documentary about Vietnam veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, the British producer Paul Hardcastle sampled some of the bleak dialogue and stuttered it out into an unlikely electro hit. Inspired by the music of Afrika Bambaataa, and with a hook tapped out on an early sampling synth, it was a stark hit that was less about the politics of dancing and more for dancing about politics.

One of the most successful reboots of a boomer icon in the MTV era: The greatest pop vocalist of all time figuratively tries on Devo’s energy dome with the producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden and offers a slightly dirty, thoroughly modern ride in a pink Cadillac. Its musical passengers include the Bruce Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons, the future “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson on synth bass, the dance icon Sylvester on backing vocals and members of Carlos Santana’s band providing percussion assistance.

This sparse gripe-fest was the seventh single from Run-DMC, at that point the most famous rap group ever. By the end of the summer, they would be the first rap group to perform on “American Bandstand” and the only rap group to perform at the historic Live Aid concert.

“Every Time You Go Away” was originally recorded by Hall & Oates in 1980 as a Southern soul-styled weeper. With modern production and electric sitar, the British balladeer Paul Young turned it into a sappy ballad and a No. 1 hit.

Funk was about two years away from being commercially and critically devoured by hip-hop. Still, the mid-80s produced no shortage of essential funk singles from Cameo, Zapp, Midnight Star and this all-female sextet from Los Angeles.

These glam-metal miscreants shamelessly covered this 1973 Brownsville Station tune at the suggestion of the vocalist Vince Neil — he used to cover it with his pre-Crüe band, Rock Candy. It gave Mötley Crüe its first Top 20 hit. “But every night, though I loved singing it live, Nikki [Sixx, the band’s bassist] would complain that the song was stupid, and he didn’t want to play it,” Neil recalled in the band’s biography, “The Dirt.”

On their seventh album, the California glam-metal lifers Y&T finally scored a hit with the gleaming, keyboard-soaked “Summertime Girls,” somewhat of a pop detour from the whiskey-soaked hard rock of songs like “Mean Streak” and “Don’t Stop Runnin.’”

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