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Was 80's music really that bad ?

GUEST,Hi Lo 01 Mar 15 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Mar 15 - 11:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Mar 15 - 11:55 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 01 Mar 15 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Dave 01 Mar 15 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Ed 01 Mar 15 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,HiLo 01 Mar 15 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper on the IPhone 01 Mar 15 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Mar 15 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Ed 01 Mar 15 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,matt milton 01 Mar 15 - 12:47 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 15 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Phil 01 Mar 15 - 03:17 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Mar 15 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 15 - 06:21 PM
Joe_F 01 Mar 15 - 06:28 PM
Phil Cooper 01 Mar 15 - 09:13 PM
Janie 01 Mar 15 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Desi C 02 Mar 15 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,HiLo 02 Mar 15 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Mar 15 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 02 Mar 15 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 02 Mar 15 - 03:19 PM
Harmonium Hero 02 Mar 15 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,RBerman 03 Mar 15 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Mar 15 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Mar 15 - 01:31 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 03 Mar 15 - 02:45 AM
Joe Offer 03 Mar 15 - 02:51 AM
Mr Red 03 Mar 15 - 03:26 AM
GUEST,Dave 03 Mar 15 - 04:54 AM
Musket 03 Mar 15 - 04:58 AM
Stu 03 Mar 15 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Mar 15 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,RBerman 03 Mar 15 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Mar 15 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 03 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 03 Mar 15 - 06:14 PM
Joe Offer 03 Mar 15 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 03 Mar 15 - 09:47 PM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 12:45 AM
Rumncoke 04 Mar 15 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,HiLo 04 Mar 15 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Mar 15 - 10:31 AM
pdq 04 Mar 15 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 04 Mar 15 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Ed 04 Mar 15 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Mar 15 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Mar 15 - 03:33 PM
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GUEST,kenny 06 Mar 15 - 11:51 AM
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Harmonium Hero 06 Mar 15 - 07:29 PM
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Mr Red 07 Mar 15 - 04:36 AM
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Subject: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Hi Lo
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 11:15 AM

We had a theme party at the w/end. The theme was eighties pop music. Many people think the 80's were a dreadful time for pop. But was it ? Our only rule was to try to stay away from the hugely popular, Dire straits and all that. Here is what we played;
Ktafwerk/Electric Café
Joni Mitchell/Chalk Mark In A Rainstorm
Kate Bush/ The Dreaming
The Waterboys/ Fishermans Blues
The Art of Noise/Art of Noise
World Party/ Goodbye Jumbo
XTC/ Oranges and Lemons
Bruce Cockburn/ Inner City Front
The Smiths The Queen is Dead
The Clash/ London Calling
Johnny Clegg and Jaluka/ Scatterlings

So, perhaps the eighties weren't that bad. Do you have some favourite pop music from that time.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 11:20 AM

nah.. the 90's were much worse...

.. as for the 2000's and today.. who know's ???

I stopped listening.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 11:55 AM

yeh
Rummenigge by Alan and Denise
Twilight Cafe by Susan Fassbender
War Baby by Tom Robinson
Right by your side by the Eurythmics
World Shut Your Mouth by Julian Cope
Story of the Blues by Wah
Give it Up by kc and the sunshine band
only you by Yazoo
brassin pocket by the pretenders


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:07 PM

The 80s was the last decade during which I was subjected to much pop music, that courtesy of a radio incessantly blaring the stuff at the place where I was working. I hated all of it with the exception of Dire Straits and Billy Joel. It's no accident that that slang term "cheesy" was coined during the same decade.

I have since changed my mind about Men at Work, due mainly to Colin Hay's solo work, much of which consists of acoustic reworkings of some of the same material he did with that band.

I also understand Boy George is making a comeback. I don't give a shit.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:17 PM

London Calling was released in the 1970s (just).


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:18 PM

The first 5 REM albums
The first 4 Echo and the Bunnymen albums
The rest of The Smiths output, beyond The Queen Is Dead

BTW 'London Calling' isn't an '80s album. It was released in '79.


And I do wish you people could learn how to use apostrophes with regards to years. But, hey...


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:30 PM

Yes, quite right about London calling . Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper on the IPhone
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:32 PM

I must admit that as much as I am a fan of folk music, that I have a secret fondness for The Bangles.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:33 PM

.. if the 'apostrophes' were a reference to me..

you missed out "know's".....


No defence, no excuses..
just my eyes, brain, and typing fingers communicate & coordinate in mysterious ways
since I reached my mid 50s''''''

must be all the cocktails I imbibed back in the 80s...


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:41 PM

Ha! I did indeed miss "know's"

Believe me, it's no fun being an apostrophe pedant.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:47 PM

hip-hop, electro, acid house

post-punk funk stuff in the early 80s.

Prince

bits of indie rock (smiths, Bogshed, the Fall, C86, My Bloody Valentine etc)

but 80s pop generally wasn't much cop in my humble opinion


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 03:16 PM

To me the Miami Vice series was the formative pop event of the decade (Jan Hammer and a cast of thousands.) Advert soundtracks never really looked back. Mike Nesmith gave us the movie (and soundtrack) Tapeheads as commentary. Best Roscoe's chicken & waffles commercial ev-er.

To the others mentioned above I would add:
The entire Doug & The Slugs catalog save Terminal City ('92)
Randy Newman – Trouble in Paradise (I Love LA = pop anthem) '83


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 03:17 PM

That's me bumping my guest nom-d'electron agin'


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM

I must admit that as much as I am a fan of folk music, that I have a secret fondness for The Bangles.

No problems, mate. Anyone in my vicinity who dares to utter a single word against Carly Simon is seriously risking a very painful nut-removing session....


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 03:54 PM

we were in Germany
the 80's was a great time - BAP's Kristallnacht album and Wolf Maahn's Direkt Inject Blut


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 06:21 PM

nah.. the 90's were much worse...

.. as for the 2000's and today.. who know's ???

I stopped listening.


I pretty much stopped in the early 80s. From there on what I heard pretty much depended on what I was "subjected to" either in work places or eg. pubs with jukeboxes I've drunk in.

A couple of I think 90s ones I enjoyed were.

Space: In My Neighbourhood.
Catationia: Strange Glue.

2000s on, I really haven't any clue. I watch Pointless most tea times and often find myself saying "I've never even heard of them" to answers to some pop questions. A supposedly banned remark on that program is "before my time". I sometimes feel with pop music questions I'd be more likley to want to say "after my time"...


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 06:28 PM

Well of my 700 or so favorite songs, 20 were composed in the 1980s:

All the Good People
The Ballad of Erica Levine
Bird on a Wing
A Chat with Your Mom
Christmas in the Trenches
Eat Bertha's Mussels
Eyes of Night Owls
Field behind the Plow
Heart of the Apaloosa
I Am Changing My Name to Chrysler
The Idiot
Julian of Norwich
Lies
Minnie the Freak
Ramblin' Rover
Reunion
Sailors' Rest
Snowing in Brooklyn
Waltzing with Bears
When Did We Have Sauerkraut?
White Squall

Not a negligible decade, I would say.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 09:13 PM

If I never heard All the Good People again, I could die happy. I just heard it too many times.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Janie
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 09:40 PM

I'm always a little unclear about what the definition of 'Pop" is. Looking at the Wikipedia list of hits of the 1980's, doesn't appear the 1980's were an absolute wasteland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_the_1980s


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:35 PM

If you're talking about the tripe played on the main media i.e radio & TV then from the mid 70's to now, YES it was bloody dreadful. Folk always has quality regardless


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:43 PM

Surely some of it had merit. I forgot to mention one of mu favourite LP,s of that era..though not strictly pop..The Storm by Moving Hearts, a truly great record!
I also think that a UK list of eighties "hits" would be quite different from a US one.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:58 PM

IMHO....

1980s music started off great, then from the mid 80s onwards got progressively worse...

1990s music was very uninspiring & uninteresting...

Grunge and Brit-Pop, apart from a few rare highlights, were so over derivative and dull.

No surprise then that by the late 90s
so many aging punk rockers / New Wavers started getting into Alt Country & 'Folk'...???


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 02:07 PM

There have been a lot of great music during the whole time....it just depends what you listen to. I suppose if you're referring to 'Top 40 hits', you probably don't listen to very many good news sources as well!
Little things amuse little minds.

GfS


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 03:19 PM

No.

Buddy Guy "Blues At My Baby's House"
Neil Young "Rockin' In The Free World"
Stevie Wonder "That Girl"
Smiths "How Soon Is Now"
AC/DC "You Shook Me All Night Long"
Robin Gibb "Boys Do Fall In Love"
Dexys Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen"
Rick James "Super Freak (Part I)"
Billy Joel "You're Only Human (Second Wind)"
Elvis Costello "Battered Old Bird"
Van Halen "Panama"
Gap Band "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)"
Brian Eno and David Byrne "Help Me Somebody"
Lou Reed "Romeo Had Juliette"
John Lennon "Watching The Wheels"
Dream Syndicate "Tell Me When It's Over"
Eurythmics "Would I Lie To You"
Traveling Wilburys "Dirty World"
Wall Of Voodoo "Hands Of Love"
Black Flag "The Process Of Weeding Out"
Men Without Hats "Pop Goes The World"
XTC "That's Really Super, Supergirl"
Yes "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"
U2 "Sweetest Thing"
O.M.D. "Crush"
Toto "Africa"
Dire Straits "Industrial Disease"
Prince "When Doves Cry"
David Bowie "Let's Dance"
Run-D.M.C. "Walk This Way"
Paul Young "Come Back And Stay"
Tears For Fears "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"
Trio "Da Da Da"
The Clash "Rock The Casbah"
Joan Jett "I Love Rock 'N' Roll"
Michael Jackson "Human Nature"
...


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 03:19 PM

Thinking in terms of decades is unrealistic. It's just a convenient way of labelling an era.Things don't happen like that. The 60s, arguably, finished in 1967. One could argue, as a couple of people above have hinted, that, in pop music, the eighties finished in about '85. I would agree. However, as GfS says, it all depends what you listen to - in any era.
The 80s, however, are interesting for us, in that there was a generation of young people who did not get involved in folk song,, music or dance. They are, to all intents and purposes, a lost generation as far as Folk is concerned. One or two of them have commented on this forum, that they have discovered folk along the way, and wondered how they missed it before; from which it seems that it simply wasn't on their radar. Interesting question is: Why? Possible factors: it was the Yuppy generation; it was the 'rave' generation; and, possibly most significantly, it was the age of computer pop. The only period in the whole post-rock and roll era, in fact, when the guitar wasn't the main instrument of pop music. Fylde Guitars went bankrupt in the early 90s, because nobody was buying guitars. It was all electronic keyboards and drum machines. I suppose, then, that people playing 'natural' instruments was something alien to them.

Discuss -nicely!
John Kelly (Player of stuff tat doesn't have to be plugged in).


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,RBerman
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 12:41 AM

I grew up in the '80s listening to pop radio, and I still enjoy those songs very much-- Michael Jackson, Tears for Fears, REM, U2, Def Leppard, etc. I do find myself drawn to the first half of the decade much more than the second, but that may just be a puberty effect or something, as people younger or older than me have different halcyon days.

My interest in acoustic guitar led me to the singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s, many of whom had some folk music in their repertoires, but only as a small part, usually in the early part of their careers. I was at least 35 before I ever heard of a "Child Ballad." If my cousin hadn't sparked my interest in Kate Rusby ten years ago, I might never have heard of them. I have learned a lot since then, but only a fraction of what there is to know, and almost no one in my generation knows a fraction of what I know, because they have other interests.

The children of the 1980s and after simply didn't grow up hearing a lot of folk music. Their parents played other music. I agree that the unpopularity of guitar is a big factor in the lack of interest in folk music by the last two generations of American children. Music in general plays a smaller role in their lives as well; computers and electronics predominate.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 01:10 AM

For what it's worth: I used to belong to SRS, (Songwriters
Resources and Services) out of Hollywood. They had guidelines to assist with the promotion and marketing for musicians wishing to sell their material to established recording artists. The list of the people involved was a virtual who's who, of very well known and respected, successful people in the recording industry, and they covered about every type of music being done.
They would send out monthly bulletins, of recording artists, who were in search of material, with descriptions of the material and who would be interested.....(Some of you may wish to check them out)...
One of the fliers, which was more like a little booklet, to help writers and composers with their submissions, and what they were looking for, (and what they WEREN'T looking for) and the types of music that the producers pick from. Now this info was based on that time.....90% of all music submitted was of a 'religious' or spiritual in nature....7% was labelled 'meaningful'...3% was 'commercial'.....it was from that 3% that the music submitted, that was drawn from!!!!
So, if the music you listened to seemed...umm...'immature', it is because that same 3% (commercial), had their target audience at 13 to 17 years of age!!! ....and most of that crap was done by groups that sang about having problems surviving puberty!! (....and a lot of the 'artists' seemed to have that same problem).
...and that is what 'Top 40' is all about....teeny-boppers spending lots of money on junk, that also takes them a LONG time to outgrow!!!
...but eventually, some do....
I also had a close friend, Giorgio Tozzi, with his wife Monty, were vocal coaches....their clients included, Neal Diamond, Robert Plant, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand, among others..(you can Google him to get his bio...he just recently died, in Arizona, but I knew him when we lived in Malibu, California).....He had a great line:.." The sixties was a time when mediocrity was chic".
.....and other than a few artists and groups, he was dead on the money!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 01:31 AM

Harmonium Hero: " ...It was all electronic keyboards and drum machines. I suppose, then, that people playing 'natural' instruments was something alien to them.
Discuss -nicely!
John Kelly (Player of stuff tat doesn't have to be plugged in)."

Any musician worth his salt, is dealing with sound, any way he can get it....and while it is true, that the soul and emotions of that musician, is what ultimately is heard, electronics cannot replace the heart and soul of the artist....however, EVERYTHING you've ever heard recorded, broadcasted, oor performed in concert, 'live'...utilized electronics, and something was plugged into something else...even down to a simple microphone and everything that microphone cord went to. That being said, electronics can't seem to replace the heart and soul of the artist, no matter how many digital loops ya' got running!
The bottom line is, the artist is the one who ultimately has to 'contain the chaos', both within him/her self, using whatever means the technology of the day he/she can lay their hands on.....don't forget, even an acoustic piano was once 'new technology' for its day.
SOUND!!...it's all about sound...the crafting of that, any way one can get it, and striking a resonant node in the listener, is what it's all about!
I play both....so as you requested, ('discuss nicely')...and respect those who have the talent to do that, acoustically or with the use of electronics.....and just pray that the power stays on!

Warmest Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 02:45 AM

I think there was a lot of good stuff in the 1980s.In the pop arena there was the likes of Deacon Blue, Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, Simple Minds, The Proclaimers. A bit of a golden era for Scottish pop. On a UK wide basis there were brilliant pure pop albums being made. For example "Dare" by Human League and "Lexicon Of Love" by ABC. Not going to apologise for liking good pop music. Or in a less commercial vein "Eden" by Everything But The Girl whch imho is one of the most undervalued British albums. We still play those albums regularly and in fact my wife is a wee bit stuck in the 80s at times. Though I see nothing wrong with listening to Ewan and Peggy first then putting on maybe "Autoamerican" by Blondie on next!

On the more folky side or folk inspired side it maybe kind of depends where you were but here in Scotland in the late 80s it was far from uncool to be in to the likes of Capercaillie and Runrig. On a wider scale there was The Pogues and the like so I'd say it was one of those moments in time where youngsters veered a bit towards the folky side or were certainly prepared to listen to some music with heavy folk tinges.

Established artists making great records like the string of glorious Van Morrison albums in that period. Sting going solo and making some good albums. Heavens there was "The Joshua Tree" by U2! Springsteen's "The River" "Nebraska" and "Born In The USA".

Plus of course the good thing about being 19 or 20 in 1980 was that as well as all the good music being made there was all the earlier stuff too. As it is so for every generation!


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 02:51 AM

My children "came of age" in the 1980s, so I got a constant diet of 1980s music at the time - the Cure, the Smiths, the Clash, Loverboy, Pat Benatar (whom I have always liked), and then moving into goth and punk music. Nowadays, I find I'm much more tolerant of the music my children enjoyed.

I recently proofed the "Millenials" chapter of the upcoming Rise Again Songbook, a task that I was dreading. It turned out that I liked many of the songs, and I found the lyrics to be very clever and interesting. Not all of the songs are from the 1980s, but I think it's an interesting selection:
    1234 (Feist)
    Ain't no rest for the wicked
    American idiot
    Anyone else but you
    Birdhouse in your soul
    Black horse & the cherry tree
    Boulevard of broken dreams
    Hey soul sister
    Hey there Delilah
    I and love and you
    I will wait
    I won't give up
    I'm yours
    If I Had a Million Dollars
    Live and die
    Naked as we came
    Old before your time
    Perfect
    Rolling in the deep
    Scientist, the
    Someone like you
    Time of Your Life
    Under the bridge
    Viva la Vida
    Way I am, the
    We are young
    You and I


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 03:26 AM

It depends on purpose. As a teenager, pop music is part of the right of passage but reviewed with the distance of time the "exciting" stuff looks decidedly dated. And some nuggets emerge.

Of course if you weren't a teenager in the 80's the equation looks very bare. Nuggets but rare. I guess this is all predicated on exposure. And a lot of personal choice.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 04:54 AM

Joe,

Is that the Ewan MaColl "You and I" from "Hot Blast". Its a shamefully neglected song, much better than "The First Time..." in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Musket
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 04:58 AM

If the '70s was my decade as a young impressionable lad then the '80s was as a discerning listener of music.

Ignoring the usual comparisons based on what hit the rigged charts, some bloody good music. Yes, Dire Straits amongst them.

OK, my possible favourite album of all time was from the '70s (Ziggy Stardust) but consistent good music by those who started in punk in the late '70s and turned it into good rock meant I could be at an Ian Dury gig on the Saturday and at my local folk club watching Martin Carthy on the Sunday.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Stu
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 06:56 AM

80's music I love:

British Heavy Metal esp. Iron Maiden
80's British Electronica and New Romantic
Two Tone
All that goth indie stuff: Sisters of Mercy etc
Laurie Anderson
Kate Bush
Anything involving Jeff Lynne esp. Wilburys.
AC/DC
Marillion (Fish era)
etc etc


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:39 AM

Musket - yeah.. fair to say "Ziggy Stardust" was our generation's "Sgt Pepper" ???

It's certainly consistently probably my favourite LP.

Would be interesting what the 1980s teenagers consider to be their decade's ultimate all time defining LP ???


I became 21 just a few months before the 1980s started.
At that cusp of decades my most favourite bands were [in no particular order]
Teardrop Explodes, Talking Heads, The Beat, XTC, The Clash, Gang of 4, The Mekons, The Au Pairs, OMD

I loved electric guitars and synths equally,
so was very happy with the next few evolutionary years of inspiring Hi Fi electro music bands.....

At the same time as loving deep roots reggae,
and the new experiences of early 80s WOMAD Afro & Latin dance music....

yeah the first half of the 80s was brilliant !!!

[though lurking hidden in the deepest darkest regions of my subconscious psyche
- like a dormantly ticking time bomb
was my inescapable encrusted early teens / early 70s love for Folk & Prog Rock...]


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,RBerman
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 09:33 AM

I could answer "defining album of the 80s" in a couple of ways. If I think in terms of albums that culminate the trends of the past with excellence, I could argue for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" or Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

But if I think in terms of an album that defined the future of music, there is only on answer, and that answer is U2's "The Joshua Tree." It was a critical and commercial blockbuster, but more importantly, every aspect of it has proven incalculably influential in the thirty years since it was published. Vocalists everywhere have tried to imitate Bono's singing. Guitar players everywhere have picked up The Edge's jagged, echoing single note melodic lines to replace the power chords of hard rock. Rhythm sections everywhere have adopted Mullen and Clayton's steady eighth note techniques. In Britain, the most popular bands (e.g. Coldplay) and the most critically acclaimed bands (e.g. Radiohead) are unthinkable without U2.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 10:44 AM

no lists are ever complete.. but...

I mustn't neglect to mention The Thompson Twins... my first favourite 1980s band.

The debut 1981 LP was prime indie collective squat agit pop,
owing more to the best of the late 70s.

Then they suddenly went big time commercial sell-out corporate chart pop..
- and some of that was very good as well...

Now if my memory was up to it;
I'd argue the new romantic fashion magazine / Art / Culture scene ..
Blitz / Face / ID [if I remember correctly]
must shoulder much blame and responsibility for embracing the corporate yuppification sterilisation
of the music business of the later 1980s..


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM

Yeagh I'm not sure that the idea that the 80s was mostly not up to much with the lists above being exceptions. Or at least if that is so then it is so for all decades. I think it is mostly down to an age thing. Many people like the popular music of their era and can be dismissive of music that came afterwards and many perhaps don't really give it a fair hearing. Likewise youngsters can often initially be dismissive of older music but will often then give it a chance if their current favourites cite older music as influences.

Just out of interest I looked at the NME's 2013 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Compiled by their journalists past and present. So not exactly scientific but perhaps is somewhat in line with tastes through the years. The artist with most albums in the top 500 is Bowie with 10 then the Beatles and Dylan both with 7. However if you look at the top 20 then the 1960s and 1970s are represented less than the 1980s. In fact the 80s and 90s are the best represented with 5 each whilst the 60s and 70s both have only 3 each.

Of the 1960s albums only "Revolver" and "White Album" by the Beatles along with the Velvet Underground's first album make the top 20. On the other hand from the 1980s "The Queen Is Dead" by The Smiths; "Stone Roses" by Stone Roses; "Dolittle" by The Pixies; "Closer" by Joy Division; and "It Takes A Nation Of Millions" by Public Enemy all make the list.

So not saying that I'd agree with the said list but it shows that whether 80s music is good or not depends on who is being asked. People rooted in the 1960s may not appreciate it much but slightly younger people often do.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 06:14 PM

Another interesting point is "Sgt Peppers" only comes in at number 87. The higher rated Beatles albums are either before the psychedalia truly kicked in or the back to basics White Album. I kind of agree with that. I know recording wise it was ground breaking at the time; and I know it has several truly classic tracks and the fantastic "Day In A Life"; but on the whole it hasn't stood the test of time compared with some albums because it has too many average songs on it. I know some will strongly disagree with that but just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 07:14 PM

Hi, Dave -
The "You and I" in the songbook is definitely not by MacColl. It's by Ingrid Michaelson, and I think it was recorded in about 2008 (not in the 80s).

But it's a clever song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvMVCHhwTPs

You and I
(Ingrid Michaelson)

Don't you worry there, my honey
We might not have any money
But we've got our love to pay the bills
Maybe I think you're cute & funny
Maybe I wanna do what bunnies
Do - with you, if you know what I mean
C - / F - / Am - F - ://

Oh let's get rich & buy our parents
Homes in the south of France
Let's get rich & give everybody nice sweaters &
Teach them how to dance
Let's get rich & build a house
On a mtn making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you & I, you & I _
C E7 / F C / C E7 / F G / 1st / F D7 / C G C -

Well, you might be a bit confused
And you might be a little bit bruised
But baby how we spoon like no one else
So I will help you read those books
If you will soothe my worried looks
And we will put the lonesome on the shelf

Ingrid Michaelson


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 09:47 PM

Decdaes are false constructs people place on periods of time. Why should a decade be considered as, let's say, 1980-1989? Why not 1975-1985, or 2002-2012, etc.? Why the need to make these meaningless groupings of years simply because they share a digit? Another example: so-called "Pop Music" in 1969 had more in common with the same in 1971, than with the music of 1960. There are countless other examples. Anyway, that's this old curmudgeon's take on it.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 12:45 AM

well.. BigDaddy

You're kinda stating the obvious.

If you must choose an arbitrary pop decade structure,
a lot of folks are very much in agreement with
1957 -> 1967 -> 1977.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 08:12 AM

I think I missed the 1980s - married November 79 and with two young children - born 82 and 85 - it was all so busy.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 09:17 AM

Some truly great Van Morrison albums, also Tom Waits. I was never a big fan of Paul Simon but he put out two his best albums in the eighties..Graceland and Hearts and Bones.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 10:31 AM

.. my pet theory is that all popular musical evolution and progression,
all new ideas, innovation & excitement,
had been exhausted by the latter half of the 1980s... ???

Early 90s Brit Pop was the first indication of dire staleness...


Fortunately, even in this era of arch post modernist ironic retro recycling,
the occasional stunningly good joyous 'classic' pop record still emerges...

.. at least 3 in the last 12 months....


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: pdq
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 11:57 AM

...just a few minor observations:

Once a type of music is created, it never goes away. On any Saturday in the US, you can listen to live Western Swing, Doo Wop, Bluegrass, Rock'n'Roll, Trad Jazz, etc.

Most music critics want to elevate records that they feel changed music. The fact that most of these records changed it for the worse does not seem to matter. More profanity, more asinine politics, more sex, more drugs, more race hatred, more recording tricks. In short, these records are usually more full of crap.

Continuing, long-term artists such as Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Paul Simon and other did some of their best work in the 1980s. Most was an evolution, not a revolution.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 02:26 PM

...
Laurie Anderson "O Superman"
Zapp and Roger "Doo Wah Ditty"
Public Image Ltd. "Rise"
Yaz "Situation"
Talking Heads "Burning Down The House"
Pretenders "Middle Of The Road"
Howard Jones "No One Is To Blame"
Devo "Whip It"
Carl Carlton "She's A Bad Mama Jama"
Art Of Noise "Peter Gunn"
Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer"
Modern English "I'll Melt With You"
Billy Idol "White Wedding"
Dazz Band "Keep It Live"
The Police "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
Joe Jackson "Steppin' Out"
Depeche Mode "Fly On The Windscreen"
General Public "Tenderness"
Cherrelle "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On"
The Cars "Shake It Up"
...


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 02:32 PM

all new ideas, innovation & excitement,
had been exhausted by the latter half of the 1980s...


So punkfolkrocker, the Acid House of the early '90s doesn't count? It may not have been to your taste, but it was certainly new, innovative and exciting.

Curious as to what you consider the 3 stunningly good joyous 'classic' pop records in the last 12 months to be?


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 03:13 PM

"Acid House... new, innovative and exciting"...

errrrmmmm... Hot Butter - "Popcorn"

not to mention all the earlier 1960s electro synth experimentation..

.. and the boxes in my old mum's attic storing me and me dad's 1970s pioneering trancey spacey synth LPs..

etc.. etc... etc....


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 03:33 PM

.. and thanks.. while I'm now having fun fondly reminiscing my teenage days in a late 70s
cider dope and mushroom fueled underground punky hippy guitar and synth band..

I'm also truing to remember all the brilliant electro music I enjoyed back in the 80s....

I think I'll google "early proto acid techno music" and see what turns up...😜


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 02:42 PM

I just got an early techno album with works by Pierre Schaeffer (from the 1940s) and Karlheinz Stockhausen (from the 1950s) that set the stage for Revolution #9, Gershon Kingsley's "Pop Corn" (later covered by the cheekily named band "Hot Butter," Walter Carlos' "Switched-on Bach," Dickie Hyman's "The Minotaur," etc.

As for terrific albums released in 2014, here are five suggestions:

U2 - Songs of Innocence (U2 style obviously)
Nickel Creek - A Dotted Line (Newgrass)
Imogen Heap - Sparks (Indie acoustic/electronica)
Beck Hansen - Morning Phase (won the best album Grammy, FWIW)
Betty Buckley and T-Bone Burnett - Ghostlight (acoustic standards)


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 11:51 AM

http://youtu.be/8qrriKcwvlY


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 01:44 PM

I too think that there has been a lot of really great music made in the 2000/s, especially by Women, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes} , Kate Bush, Florence And The Machine, P. . Harvey, Lily Allen. St Vincent, Joanna Newsome and others..


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 07:29 PM

Just replying to GfS on 3rd March (I have limited access to computers, hence the delay).
I would take issue with the contention that everything I ever heard or performed involved electronics. I suppose I must have been vaguely aware of music on the radio from an early age, but my earliest recollections of music, are of my mother playing the piano, and occasionally trying to pick out tunes on the mandoline, and of my grandad playing the flute and melodeon. No microphones. And later, of the piano in school, and the organ and what passed for a choir in church. I've been playing music in public - folk music and early music, for forty seven years. Most of it un-amplified. I do not own an electronic instrument - and I own a lot of instruments. Then there have been orchestral concerts, brass band concerts,...well, you get the picture. Of course, I have records and CDs, and I was into Rock and Roll and 60s pop. My comment about the electronics was about purely electronic sounds, not electronically amplified, or even electronically modified sounds. Sounds you couldn't make any other way. And I suspect that people who had their heads full of those sounds would find the sounds made by 'natural' instruments a bit odd, or just uninteresting. Can't say I'd agree with them.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 04:01 AM

Again though John I'd say the whole idea that the 80s was populated by only electronic bands. is not a true picture. Likewise I don't think I knew anyone at that time who only listened to electronic music to the exclusion of everything else. There is no conflict between listening to electronic music as well as amplified instruments as well as acoustic music. It is all music. Likewise rather than being a decade that forgot folk inspired music I'd say it was very much around. Most obvious example being The Pogues

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh5gtGk9XZ8

Then for a rock based sound but rooted in folk it is easy to forgot just how massive Runrig were here in Scotland particularly. This footage was from 1991 but they were prominent throughout the 80s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQ1pNfbe3Q

Then from The Tube which was one of the most popular UK music shows you had the likes of these guys appearing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnnyDDldRn8

Just several examples but of course there are countless examples


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 04:36 AM

don't forget Sturgeon's Law


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 05:42 AM

To the comments about eighties & electronics I would add Billy Joel's 52nd Street, first major on compact disc. Do you know where your "Sport" Walkman is?

The early Stevie Ray Vaughn catalog was eighties.
Donald Fagan's first solo album "Nightfly"
Joe Jackson's "Night and Day"

Let's not forget the soundtracks:
The Blues Brothers ('80)
Caddyshack ('80)
Fame ('80)
Nine to Five ('80)
Arthur ('81)
Chariots of Fire ('81)
Annie ('82)
Officer and a Gentleman ('82)
Rocky III ('82)
St. Elmo's Fire ('82)
The Big Chill ('83)
Flashdance ('83)
Amadeus ('84)
Beverly Hills Cop ('84)
Buckaroo Banzai ('84)
Footloose ('84)
This Is Spinal Tap ('84)
Ghostbusters ('84)
Breakfast Club ('85)
Vision Quest ('85)
Blue Velvet ('86)
Top Gun ('86)
Good Morning, Vietnam '(87)
Hairspray ('88)

+eleventeen James Bond themes.


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 10:01 AM

My mistake 'raggle taggle gypsy'is off the 1990 follow up to 1988's 'fishermans blues' but point stands that folk music was alive and kicking in mainstream 1980s youth culture


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 06:51 PM

Irish heartbeat. ...Van Morrison and the Chieftans, great album !


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Subject: RE: Was 80's music really that bad ?
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 08:38 PM

Bryan Adams released four albums in the 80s, with a number of decent singles that did well in the pop/ rock charts.


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