The Essential 80’s vol. 1-5


The 1980s saw the emergence of pop, dance music and New Wave. As the term disco fell out of fashion in the decade’s early years,[1] genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience; sub-genres such as New Wave,[2] soft rock,[3] and glam metal emerged and developed a significant following.[4] Adult contemporary,[5] quiet storm,[6] and smooth jazz gained popularity. The 1980s are commonly associated with the usage of synthesizers, thus, synthpop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments exploded in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban music in general were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade,[7] with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres, rap and hip hop particularly, would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored music decade of the last 50 years

Vol. 1 The Look Of Love [ABC]—-Forever suave and debonair in fancy suits and accompanied by horns, ABC left an indelible mark with this track. Full of slight movements, vocal blends and great percussion this remains one track from a fantastic release that will just not die.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades [Timbuk 3]—-What can I really say about this track….I hated it. Truly a one-hit wonder, this southern infused track got on my nerves and stayed there.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Another band with a debonair look, Cy Curin was the master of cool with an unforgettable voice as well. With many of the songs relying on social issues, the band trudged through many releases and still tours on occasion. This is probably the biggest hit in the catalog….but by no means my favorite. Never gets old though!

Everyday Is Halloween [Ministry]—-This track from pre-Industrial Ministry is still a favorite of mine. It is amazing how a band can change in such a short time. Jorgensen still has that slight evil tone to his vocal, but this is classic dance all the way.

You Spin Me Round [Dead Or Alive]—-Full of Euro-Trash beats and tons of androgyny, this song was guaranteed to be a massive hit. The speed of the song is incredible and drove people to the dance floor around the world. There were more hits to follow, but nothing as massive as this track. It still sounds magnificent today!

Take Me Home Tonight [Eddie Money]—-Not really an essential 80’s track for me, I could take or leave Eddie Money. The song is much more of a straight up rock track without the familiar new wave flavor of many 80’s hits. It still lives on and Money always opens the outdoor music season in Detroit.

Naughty Naughty  [John Parr]—-Not really familiar with the title of this track, but the moment I heard it I felt right at home. Parr had a number of hits from popular teen movies, but managed to make an impact solo as well. The track has a nice rock/new wave mix to it that still works today!

What’s On Your Mind [Information Society]—-The epitome of a one hit wonder, this band, in all of their odd get-up costumes gave a whole new feel to electronic and synth music. Perhaps the band was meant to be visual…on record, the songs are just typical. Live, this band is killer!!!

Missing You [John Waite]—-This former lead vocalist for the 70’s band The Babys, Waite made a huge impact with his debut release and this lead-off single. The song provides a nice break from the constant swirl of 80’s synth and gives us a nice ballad to fall back on in those private moments. Waite has a killer voice and great stage persona.

I Ran [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-Taken from the playbook of MTV stars, this band had an odd look but also the chops to back it up. This contagious, spacy track was the first of many hits for the band before they imploded. The band has reformed from time to time…releasing a new CD about 5 years ago. The sound is the same and this track stands the test of time. Classic!!!

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-Reminding us that the 80’s decade was not all swirls and synths, Night Ranger put themselves on the map with this tear jerking ballad. It contains every element necessary…..great guitar….a sad sound and fantastic vocals.

The Roof Is On Fire [Rockmaster Scott & The Furious Three]—-The rap movement in the 80’s literally exploded….but was alive and well in the decade before. I’m not even sure this classic track was released in the 80’s but it still plays well today. The technology and realm of Rap has changed…but the basic formula remains. Flow and Hype!

I Want Candy [Bow Wow Wow]—-Sung by the 16-year-old mohawk Annabelle, this video made the song a bona fide hit all over the world. With classic 80’s sound and a bit of a punk attitude, the band was never able to follow the success of this track…but we have this forever to remember them by!

Tainted Love [Soft Cell]—-Perhaps one of the songs that literally defined the 80’s music movement, this song is still played everywhere and all ways. Remade and covered by dozens of people, no one can come close to the sound of Marc Almond’s distinct sound. This was and is a gay club staple….expect to hear it every time you venture out.

Lean On Me [Club Nouveau]—-Revamping this 60’s classic, Club Nouveau gave this track a whole new life. Filled with a slow, fun groove and a fun style I fell in love with this track from the first listen. The band managed to stick around for a bit, but fell into oblivion that is the 80’s. Still sounds great!

Desire [Gene Loves Jezebel]—-One of my favorite bands from across the pond, this band never received the US support that it deserved. These twin brothers managed a score of hits in Britain but were much more hit and miss here. This track is not an all time favorite, but still plays very well even today. The track has immense energy, a nice sexy feel and an unforgettable vocal.

Everybody’s Working For The Weekend [Loverboy]—-A classic working mans pop metal band, these guys toured endlessly to get the name known. A nice string of top ten hits kept them alive for quite sometime. This is a weekend song for sure…..reminds me of swimming, beer and girls. There you go….a perfect recipe!!!!

 

**** out of 5

 

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