Today we are bringing you another decade of music and moving into the 1980s, often voted the most favourite of all eras; well it was for us anyway!
So many memories and so many great singers, bands and styles; what with the stars of the 1970s still very much on the scene and re-inventing themselves! I will try to include as much as I can!.
The 1980s saw the emergence of pop, dance music and New Wave.
Fashion changed again an saw extra bright skirts, leg and arm warmers and the extra use of ribbons in girls hair! There was an overload of denim and slogan T-shirts were everywhere!
I bet there will be someone reading this blog now who owned a white T-Shirt that said "Relax" on it, either that or "Frankie Says" plastered on it.
These "Relax" T Shirts were bought to life Frankie Goes To Hollywood. This was a group fronted by male vocalist Holly Johnson with Keyboard player Paul Rutherford also providing vocals. The group's 1983 debut single "Relax" was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts, and then topped the UK singles chart for five consecutive weeks. It went on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately became the seventh best-selling UK single of all time. They also enjoyed success with hits such as "Two Tribes" and "The Power of Love"
Another T-Shirt you may have owned would of stated "Choose Life" This was a favourite with the Band Wham! Wham was a duo formed by Andrew Ridgeley and a certain well known singer by the name of George Michael. Wham had many hits including "Bad Boys" (1983) "Club Tropicana "(1983) The one that everybody knows and is a popular choice with wedding Djs "Wake Me Up"(1984).
Not forgetting the well loved Christmas hit "Last Christmas"(1984) George Michael continues with his controversial music career today where as Andrew Rideley didn't seem to follow the same path.
Many people think that Wham were around for the whole of the 1980s? In fact they only performed as a duo from 1982 to 1986!As the term disco began to fade in the early part of the 1980s, styles such as post-disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular.
Rock music continued to remain strong with it’s fans and enjoy a wide audience. Sub-genres such as Soft Rock, New Wave, and glam metal with it’s unmistakable heavy distortion, pinch harmonics and whammy bar abuse became very popular.
I have also researched and found out that the distant Adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz began to gain popularity. When you think of the 1980s songs, the music and the whole era itself; Smooth Jazz isn't even thought of!
Speaking of which, and to give you another example of how some styles and songs aren't even thought of in the 1980s. Mr Luther Vandross released one of his most well known smoothest songs of all "Never too much"
Ok this may have been 1981 right at the start, but 1980s all the same. I bet if you asked anyone to say "When this song was about?" 1970s would probably be the reply!
A lot of the 1980s songs, commonly used digital recording, and plenty of use of synthesizers, with synth pop music and other electronic genres .
There was less use of traditional instruments in songs and more use of fake instrument sounds, false noise and electro synth use. Interesting electro sounds taking the place of where instruments were once heard, especially in the intervals of songs!
Remember the 1987 Simple Minds Hit "Don't you forget about me". Simple Minds were a Scottish Rock band formed by Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill in 1977. An example of how bands had to adapt, as the 1970s ended and the new age of the 1980s came along. Simple Minds also performed the hit associated with football "Alive and Kicking" (1985) and went on to perform Stadium Rock from 1984-1991.
With respect to Simple Minds, if I asked you to name me the 1980s Pop Duo who used this synth electric sound more than anyone, and were probably the best at it (personal thought) you could tell me easily? Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, better known as The Pet Shop Boys. Synth Pop, Dance Pop and certainly New Wave. This duo had it all. Forming in 1981and still touring now, The Pet Shop Boys had so many hits in the 1980s. These include "Suburbia" (1986) "What Have I Done To Deserve This" (1987) "It's A Sin" (1987) the well known "West End Girls" (1986) and even in 1988, mixing up Elvis Presley's "Always On My Mind"
Also during the 1980s, several major electronic genres were developed, including techno, electro, freestyle, house and interesting Euro dance, Some of these continued into the 1990s.
Throughout the decade of the 1980s, R&B, hip hop and urban styles were becoming more common, particularly in large metropolitan cities and in the more inner city areas. Rap was especially successful towards the end of the 1980s with the coming of the golden age of hip hop.
Thinking about it, who can remember the 1984 film Break Dance?
Like all of the 1980s, there are so many well known artists who performed Rap, Hip Hop or Rnb. I will try to mention a few. Well aim towards my own personal favourites!
Artists such as The Sugar Hill Gang, Diana Ross, Kool & The Gang, Shalamar, The Beastie Boys, Atlantic Starr. There were the emergence of Artists who continued well into the 1990s. Bobby Brown, Salt n Peppa, LL Cool J, Eddie Grant and Public Enemy but to name a few!
These urban styles, more so rap and hip hop; would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s. Still running today with not much adjustment to the original 1980s songs. The 1980s saw the reinvention of Michael Jackson, the superstardom of Prince and the emergence of simply amazing female artists.
A certain girl by the name of Madonna took the world by storm and still does today. Madonna was certainly the pop star that every girl wanted to be, and she was certainly the one to beat in the 1980s. Hit songs such as "Holiday" (1983) "Like A Virgin" (1984) "Into The Groove" (1984) "Material Girl" (1984) and the huge "Like A Prayer" used by Coca Cola in their advertising campaign in 1989. She also enjoyed film success starring in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985 and had many more roles later. I wont write too much about it, but sadly Madonna's last TV come back appearance didn't (Go Down) so well!
When it comes to beautiful, flawless, big voices, the late great Whitney Houston came into her own. Also like Madonna enjoying so many chart hits and film appearances.Janet Jackson was also storming the charts, although sadly she seems to be very unsung nowadays. The trio of Madonna, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson were the most successful female artists during the 1980s. Their videos became a permanent fixture on MTV and gained a worldwide mass audience.
You may wonder why I have not written a huge amount on Michael Jackson, after all he owned the 1980s and the charts with pretty much every song he released. He was the King of Pop! I know that and you know that, but for me to just touch on a percentage of what MJ achieved in the 1980s; that in itself would be a completely new Blog. But so you fans don't get too upset let me mention a few things about MJ in the 1980s decade. Come to think of it, this may be useful if you ever get asked it in a quiz!
What was the first song MJ released in the 1980s? Answer "She's Out Of My Life" Not one of the most popular ones but still almost hitting the top of the UK chart, with its highest position of number 3. It was even lower in the U.S chart only reaching number 10. So what was the last song he released in the 1980s? Again not another popular one "Liberian Girl" in 1989, this only reaching number 13 in the UK chart and not even getting in the U.S top 50!
With regards to between the beginning and the end of the 1980s, "Beat it", "Thriller", "I just Can't Stop Loving You" "Billie Jean", "Bad" well you know all about those don't you? Or do you? Do you remember that "Thriller" only reached number 10 in the UK chart? In fact MJ only had three UK Number 1s in the 1980s! "One Day In Your Life" (1981) "Billie Jean" (1982) and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in early 1987.
Looking at everyone else in the 1980s, Again as I said at the start of this Blog, where do I begin? Lets go for some of the more well known names. But on saying that, what is well known to one may not be as well loved by the next person.
Phil Collins enjoyed his best spell as a solo artist as did the likes of Shakin Stevens, Rick Astley and Adam Ant now who could forget them? What about the brilliant Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Blondie, Irena Cara, Boy George and his Culture Club? Tiffany and "I Think We're Alone Now" what a girl's hairbrush favourite.
There were many 1970s stars still in the charts. Abba, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart, Cliff Richard, The Bee Gees, The Police and giants Queen.
Other bands or duos, the fantastic list goes on. Lets start with my personal favourite Duran Duran! Then Dexys Midnight Runners, Human League, Soft Cell, Survivor, Musical Youth, Aswad, Chaka Khan, The Bangles, Bananarama and Euro Vision Great Bucks Fizz. What with Ska style bands like Madness and The Specials having a great time in the 1980s and still a (Dad's) wedding preference to this day!
Artists and bands who would enjoy more success in the 1990s were now on the scene. Wet Wet Wet, Bros, New Kids on the block, Yazz and Lisa Stansfield for example..
The 1980s also saw the idea that well loved soap stars could quite possibly take the charts by storm both in their own countries and abroad. A certain Jason Donovan had a good go at this with a new pop princess wanting to be (So Lucky) too in 1988. She had a duo with Jason and then completely left him behind wondering what might have been? As she continued to be a huge star, Mr Donovan was left asking the question "Why didn't she treat him the same as she did on neighbours"?
You should know who that was? If it helps, we named our first cat after her!
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST MEMORY OF THE 1980S MUSIC ERA OR IS THERE ANYTHING MAJOR I HAVE FORGOT?