-The Bangles' "Manic Monday"-The bright, bouncy song is one thing that makes this a candidate for best single of the year: a terrific look at the alarm clock blues and at the start of the working week. Sample line: "Six o'clock already/ I was just in the middle of a dream/ I was kissin' Valentino/ By a crystal blue Italian stream." Equally inviting are Susanna Hoffs' perfectly tailored vocal and the Bangles' Mamas and Papas-inspired harmonies. Trivia note: It was 20 years ago this week that the Mamas and Papas' only No. 1 record entered the Top 40. Its title: "Monday, Monday."
-Prince's "Kiss"-The single combines an ever-so-cool update of a classic James Brown guitar-accented funk riff with witty lyrics that suggest a bit more humility in Prince's sexually aggressive posture. "You don't have to be rich to be my girl," he advises. "You don't have to be cool to rule my world." Even the put-downs are tinged with humor: "Act your age, not your shoe size," he tells one prospective lover. Keep an ear open also for two other Summer Pop jewels from "Parade": "Girls and Boys" and "Mountains."
-Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty in Pink"-The best thing about the success of this title tune from the Molly Ringwald film is that it focuses attention on the Furs, a British band led by Richard Butler. An appealing artistic mix of David Bowie and John Lydon, he is one of the most commanding writers and performers on the contemporary rock scene-though the group's last LP was a disappointment. For the Furs at their best and an even stronger version of this song, check out the band's excellent, 1981 "Talk, Talk, Talk" album.