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goldfinger

1980s

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In a way it might have been a good idea to

have forums... like this

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s etc

a decade in pop music is a long long time with forums like this members could post comments about the group in the decade when they were really hot and buzzing.

Instead Ive got to post a thread entitled 1980s ... which really... is not enough is it ?

But looking back the 1980s seem like a pretty hot decade... very innovative

Just off the top of my head

Human League

Aha

T'Pau

Billy Idol

ABC

to name but a few! surely these guys deserve their own... " 1980s " forum ?

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^Paul wasn't too bad in the 80's. Not everything he did was magic, but there were some great tunes from him in the 80's. Such as "Spies Like Us," "Press," and "Take it Away."

The 80's was a different decade, musically, than any other.

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My boss once argued to me that the 80s sucked for music, his argument being that even Paul McCartney (the love of his life) sucked in the 80s.

I then countered that Tears For Fears amongst a few other bands made the 80s not suck.

And that's your idea of a compelling counter-argument, is it?

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And that's your idea of a compelling counter-argument, is it?

The eighties were such creative years... :P

I'm not an 80's fan but I must admit there was lots of ideas rising. Some of them were awfull, of course :cool:

I agree with your boss. Paul sucked in the 80s. In the 70s too (except for his first two solo albums) And in the 90s and in 2000. Oh, the colour of his hair, what a mess... :doh: :doh:

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we dont need an 80s thread

we need an 80s forum !

you're welcome to start any such thread in this forum, if it gets enough response we can think about doing a special forum for the decade :)

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The 80's is my era, but yes, I admit, it was cheesy. Still, I say to all of you what some of you younguns say to the older users who say music today stinks...you have to keep an open mind and explore before you just go dismissing things.

I think Michael Jackson and Prince had their best decade in the '80s. Guns N Roses emerged out of the 80's, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Cult, John Mellencamp, REM and everyone favorite genre...rap :D

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WASNT the secret weapon of the 80s .. the synth ?

Human League

Depeche Mode

Aha

Howard Jones

Flock of Seagulls

Gary Numan

The synths were getting more powerful ( and cheaper ) in the 80s

I think even a lot of secret of the Abba sound in the 70s

was due to one powerful synth Benny got from Japan

.

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In the 90s everything went to crap with groups like take that and then spice girls

they decided, stuff those efin instruments and all that gear... all we need is 4 mikes and a good backing track.... and some hot lighting effects

at least in the 80s things were real with people up on stage doin it.... in the 90s it all came

to an end and became eye candy for the masses.

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And that's your idea of a compelling counter-argument, is it?

In my opinion, quite so. I happen to adore me some Tears For Fears.

I mean, I don't think the 80s were miserable musically. Being a hair metal fan, I do enjoy that. But I mean, even aside from the hair metal, the 80s gave us "Back In Black", some great Billy Joel, some great Springsteen, Dire Straits, Echo & The Bunnymen, some of Elvis Costello's best work, The Police, R.E.M., some pretty good George Harrison, some awesome Rush, GNR, Metallica, some great Ozzy, some great Paul Simon, I mean, that's just to name a few.

I mean, yes, there was cheesy 80s pop, but there was some great music too.

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Indeed. I don't have anything against Tears For Fears - I wrote a favourable review of their debut album "The Hurting" in the student magazine - but, on the other hand, if someone's arguing that the music of that particular decade sucked, I struggle with any alternative viewpoint which starts by citing TFF as some kind of pinnacle of musical achievement.

My difficulty with appraising the 80s as a musical/cultural phenomenon is that, having been 15 in 1980 and 25 in 1990 (by which time I was recording and performing in a band myself), the 80s could reasonably be described as my "heyday", during which I experienced music with intensity and passion. As such, my lexicon of musical favourites does tend to include a lot of stuff from that decade. It's just that it's not the same stuff that most people cite in the context of "celebrating the 80s". Goldfinger's initial post attempted to drum up some support for an 80s themed forum, by citing 5 "flagship artists", only one of which I wouldn't cross the road to avoid. (The Human League, in case you're wondering.) So, I immediately had a very negative impression of what such a forum might look like.

Don't get me wrong; I've danced to a Billy Idol tune or two in my time, but to hold him up as an example of innovative artistry and a credit to the decade is just staggering.

The problem is/was that although there was good music being made in the 80s, for the most part this was away from the mainstream, in the independent/alternative sectors, where the groundwork was being done for the resurgence of credible rock music which occurred in the 90s, and which continues to resonate today. The trend in mainsream music was not only towards the use of synthesizers (not a crime per se, although a lot of heinous sins were committed under the synth-pop aegis), but towards grandiose production values, (particularly in American rock and pop), with the result that potentially enjoyable music was ruined by the stench of flatulent bombast. "Big" production values and the rise of "stadium rock" have never struck me as positive trends in rock/pop music, yet these are the two characteristics for which the 80s are most renowned.

It might be difficult for many of you to understand my position, because there is a big difference between US culture and UK culture and the values we espouse. Similarly, there is a significant difference between "mainstream" cultural activity and alternative/independent cultural activity. Well, there certainlywas back in the 80s; It's a lot more blurred nowadays.

I happen to be of the inclination that synth-pop, stadium rock and hair-metal all sucked , to a greater or lesser degree. I never even liked Guns'n'Roses. So maybe, it's unrealistic of me to even engage in any kind of discourse with US music-consumers about how shite the mainstream music of the 1980s was?

I don't want to come across all negative - being reminded of "China In Your Hand" can have this aggravating effect on me - so here, off the top of my head, are some reasons to be cheerful about 80s music:

Killing Joke, The Fall, The Smiths, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Dead Kennedys, The Cocteau Twins, Sonic Youth, Throwing Muses, The Church, Julian Cope, Crass, The Wedding Present, Husker Du, Bauhaus, Scratch Acid, Madonna, X Mal Deutschland, The Triffids, Big Black, Public Enemy, Foetus, The Pixies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pop Will Eat Itself, My Bloody Valentine, Danielle Dax, The Cure.

;)

"Instead of peace and revolution,

We got AIDS and Whitney Houston" from "Lunchtime For The Wild Youth" by The Chesterfields, 1986, in which the band express their disappointment at the climate of submissive consumerism of mid 80s pop culture.

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Killing Joke, The Fall, The Smiths, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Dead Kennedys, The Cocteau Twins, Sonic Youth, Throwing Muses, The Church, Julian Cope, Crass, The Wedding Present, Husker Du, Bauhaus, Scratch Acid, Madonna, X Mal Deutschland, The Triffids, Big Black, Public Enemy, Foetus, The Pixies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pop Will Eat Itself, My Bloody Valentine, Danielle Dax, The Cure.

;)

I'm kind of surprised to see Madonna mentioned in that list. Partly because I wouldn't immediately associate her with your taste in music, but mostly because she seems a bit random in this list of mostly post-punk, punk, noise rock or general 'alternative' artists... or in other words how did you come from Scratch Acid to Madonna to X-Mal Deutschland? :D

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Madonna probably does seem a bit random in amongst that list of predominantly indie/alternative artists, yeah, but I did come up with that list spontaneously while I was writing the post, so it is a bit "random" anyway. :D And I liked Madonna at the time, so she is an example of "something good that was going on in the 80s".

My list of artists was just an account of some of my personal tastes, but, by including too much "obscure stuff", did not really serve to illustrate the point I had been making previously.

If it looks like I'm being the music snob, that's unfortunate and probably a misunderstanding of my point. Whilst having a committed interest in indie/alternative music, I also liked plenty of stuff from the "trivial pop" end of the spectrum -even at my most serious, I 've always been a sucker for good "pop" - but I tended to appreciate individual records rather than artists; partly because so much early 80s pop was so terrible, it was difficult to commit yourself to anyone, for fear of what crud they might turn out next. Artists you quite liked could become ghastly overnight.

History has this way of magnifying the achievements of some whilst gradually airbrushing out others, regardless of the relative merits of either. I was mystified at the time, and am still at a loss to understand why the Americans picked up on (for example) A Flock Of Seagulls, Howard Jones - regarded only as figures of ridicule at home - and elevated them to something like iconic status. In the case of the former, their status rests upon one memorable hit single ("Wishing") and an eye-catching hair-do. OK, it's arguably a decent record. But there have been better pop-singles, better bands and better hairstyles, so why remember AFOS nearly 30 years later?

When it comes down to it, maybe I feel a little protective of my decade. And the idea that "Karma Chameleon" (or similar) might be perceived as a decade-defining, high-water mark fills me with irrational, resentful dread. :P

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I couldn't list all those bands... there were so many... Violent Femmes, Psychedelic Furs, Duran Duran (you might not like them but they are basically eighties...), Ultravox, etc...

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The '80s might deserve their own forum - the "Music Discussion Classic" worked out pretty well, and that covers pre-'80s.

I'm conflicted about the '80s. On one hand there were a lot of very original songs that I really liked, and everyone heard them because Top 40 hadn't splintered and people still listened to (non-corporate) radio.

On the other hand, it just seemed too easy. Just about anyone could crank out a hit if they used a certain formula, and suddenly Heart, Yes and Aretha Franklin were on the charts with songs that sounded nothing like their good stuff.

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In the US, the Seagulls' biggest hit (and only US top 10) was I Ran (So Far Away).

CJ,

You're correct about "I Ran (So Far Away)" being A Flock Of Seagulls' biggest hit, but it wasn't their only U.S. Top 10 hit; they had three.

Too many people only look at the U.S. Billboard "Hot 100" chart when researching, but it is not the only U.S. Billboard Chart.

The "Hot 100" Chart only monitors Pop radio stations, not Alternative or Rock radio stations; therefore, a song cannot be judged only by it's placement on the "Hot 100" chart.

Some rock songs do crossover and place on the Hot 100 chart because the song is catchy enough for pop radio.

I personally think they should rename the "Hot 100" chart to the "Pop 100" chart to avoid any confusion.

Billboard published its first rock tracks chart in 1981 and titled it simply "Top Tracks". It is now known as "Mainstream Rock Tracks", compiled from rock radio stations.

During the mid-1980s an alternative rock radio format developed and by September of 1988 Billboard debuted the "Modern Rock Tracks" chart.

None of their songs made the Modern Rock Tracks chart but here are the positions that each peaked at on the Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts in the U.S.:

I Ran (So Far Away)

Hot 100 #9, Mainstream #3

Space Age Love Song

Hot 100 #30, Mainstream #59

Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)

Hot 100 #26, Mainstream #3

The More You Live, The More You Love

Hot 100 #56, Mainstream #10

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OK, I might have been mistaken on which of their singles was the durable one. ("Wishing" is the only one I ever occasionally hear on the radio, so I assumed it was that one; "I Ran" was only a minor hit over here, didn't even make the Top 40). From where I'm sitting, such fine detail is scarcely relevant. In the cold light of day, A Flock Of Seagulls were relatively crap, and there is no justification for celebrating them thirty years on. :P

One potentially interesting thing about them is that they took their name from a fragment of a Stranglers lyric ("Toiler On The Sea"). :thumbsup:

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On the other hand, it just seemed too easy. Just about anyone could crank out a hit if they used a certain formula, and suddenly Heart, Yes and Aretha Franklin were on the charts with songs that sounded nothing like their good stuff.

Absolutelly. It hurts when you hear that Simmons electronic drum on "Double Fantasy" or "I'm Your Man"... :P

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