Saturday, 28 August 2010

The 80's

The 80's was the decade when I first discovered music. It has influenced my choices through the years and it has also set the trends for a lot of what we listen to now. The 60's and 70's had their moments but for me the 80's was the decade that set it all up, and to be honest is still a lot of the music I listen too today almost 20 years later.

The 80's was a decade of huge change. Thatcher came too power and changed many peoples lives, some good some bad. We had the boom and bust, England weren't that crap at football, hooliganism was at its peak, and the miners strike took place. A lot got packed into those 10 years. However for me I remember it for the music more than anything else.

I dressed like Adam Ant, I wanted to be in Duran Duran and I also listened to Rap and Soul music for the first time. Rap is rap I ain't calling it Hip, Hop bah no not me and as for calling soul music R and B yeah right go away. I listed to my first Rap album in the mid 80's called No Sleep Till Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys, I played it again recently and it still sounds good if I'm honest. I also liked Run DMC and the way they never tied their trainers up. Tried that once and fell over. I never did like NWA to be honest too hardcore for me. These guys influenced Enimen and others. The track where Run DMC teamed up with Aeorsmith for Walk This Way was a classic ( until Girls Aloud destroyed it).

How many decades can name bands such as these, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Wham, Beatsie Boys, Run DMC, Culture Club, Heaven 17, ABC, T'Pau, Bananarama, A-Ha, Huey Lewis And The News, or solo artists like Michael Jackson, Paul Young, Allison Moyet, Phil Collins, Luther Vandross, Alexander Oneal, Bobby Brown, Belinda Carlise, Prince, Madonna and Billy Idol. Bands and artists with real character and personality who wrote their own music and not manufactured. They earned their right to a number one by having to sell on average a million records not like now where 20,000 gets you a number one. You had to have real talent back then.

Soul music was another major influence for me. Luther Vandross was a legend and is sadly missed, he wrote and performed some of my favourite tracks ever, A House Is Not A Home, Here and Now, Dance With My Father Again, the list is endless. Alexander Oneal and that huge bed as well as Fake, Hearsay and  others still stand the test of time. We wouldn't have major artists like we do now without these guys. They influenced so many.

At the start of the decade we had punk and at the end we had the start of dance music. No other decade has changed the face of music as much as the 80's. It wasn't all great mind we had some shockers in there, Captain Sensible being one of them and Renee and Renata being another. It had the first ever charity record in Band Aid and also the first ever major charity concert in Live Aid. There hadn't been anything done before these and they have only been copied not bettered since.

It also produced my favourite album ever. Its A Kind Of Magic. There hasn't been in my opinion a more complete album since. Every track could have been a number one record. The music was used for the film Highlander and really put Queen on the map. This was their decade and they owned it. From the performance at Live Aid to the sad demise of Freddie Mercury a few years into the start of the 90's Queen were quite simply the best band on the planet for 10 years.

So yeah the fashion may have been a bit naff ( puffball skirts anyone? leg warmers? luminous socks?) The country may have gone through the wringer ( miners strike?, the boom and bust? the Falklands War?) but the music was first class  and set the trend for what has become the most influential decade of music ever created, a legacy that has lasted a lifetime, far more than any other decade before or since. The 80's simply rocked end of story.

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