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Which were proper gash.
The Bad Seeds,Butthole Surfers,Spacemen 3,Husker Du,Loop,Slayer,NWA,Loop,Throwing Muses,Public Enemy,Swans etc
Nah the 80's were pretty great....
The Fall's best work, Prince, New Order, The Wedding Present, The House of Love, Stone Roses, Galaxie 500, Dinosaur Jr, Metallica (pre-shit), Arthur Russell, Godflesh, Young Marble Giants, The Replacements, Fugazi not to mention all the emrging Techno and House sounds from Chicago and Detroit.
Pretty solid case for the BEST decade in music.
Why do you think they were?
the best decade for synth-pop. And I love me a bit of synth-pop.
Also: What, Martin, Down In The Subway, The Art Of Falling Apart, Sex Dwarf, Bedsitter, Mamamamamamamamamemorabilia... Lists Soft Cell song titles for several days...
version of Torch might be the greatest thing to have come out of Southport. I adore it.
The 80s saw major leaps forward in musical technology, gave birth to electronic music and much of modern dance music, as well as hip-hop and saw an explosion of DIY and indie music turning a few nascent roots from punk into a genuine and viable 'alternative' music scene. It also produced some brilliant songs. It clearly is not the worst decade for music.
I'm not even sure I believe in a 'worst' decade per se but, if I did, I'd probably say the 90s - even though I grew up in them and much of the music I love is from that time - lag far behind the 80s in terms of musical innovation and the number of brilliant songs.
we should all realise, in fact, the issue that Britpop was an abomination on all humanity. Not that it is all 90s music but still. An abomination. Fucking hell, I mean, Blur! What was that about?
"The 80s... gave birth to electronic music"??
The 90s was bigger in immediate stuff that blew you away but in terms of longevity, it is interesting how so much music that was essentially going back to simple ideas now sounds dated.
Anyway, it's also the question of popular vs. underground. What was popular in the 80s was often stuff that seems utterly stupid and/or novelty, more so than other decades where groups that were critically acclaimed seemed to get more interest.
Production in the 80s is a weird one too. You have some MASSIVE albums that sound great but you have a lot of stuff with really horrendous sounding drums or just plain crap sounds as a result of people deliberately fighting against the boring sameness of the previous decades.
Dunno, growing up in the 80s I tend to hate it kneejerk.
I cant believe they put this in the list let alone the top 10!
Awesome. good list, lots of stuff to check.
But that doesn't mean that the more traditional choices of records aren't as good/better.
Still, the fact that you can create 2 lists of alternative classics from the 80s with virtually no overlap (such as this one and P4K's) suggests that it really can't have been a bad decade for music.
The 60s and 70s had a better mainstream but the 80s had a whole culture that grew out of punk and post punk and new electronic technology and was nurtured by an incredibly vibrant culture of independent labels that had not existed before. It produced masses of brilliant and fabulously varied music, much name checked above.
On top of all the great guitar music and electronica mentioned you had Machester and acid house at the end of the decade.
In the 90s that spirit was co-opted by the record industry and you ende up with britpop - safe, backward looking and shallow.
Horrible gated reverb drum sounds. Eugh. Oh and big soft rock keyboard sounds. And stupid amounts of chorus used in places chorus shouldn't be (like bass).
And mainly very mainstream stuff.
Gated snares are a beautiful thing
I will kill you
Now I think it produced more exciting music (for me) than any other decade.
Even just looking at one label, 4AD, you can see how much interesting and innovative music was being made. Lot of newer acts would do well to delve into some of the hidden artists of the day.
I now realise it was the best.
So I came here to mention Sonic Youth, and saw how many replies there were, so I almost gave up. But then I did a page search, and noticed that nobody mentioned Sonic Youth.
what the fuck.
or probably anything. cheers.
I can listen to anything from the Thompson Twins, to George Michael, to Jacko, to MBV, OMD, Joy Division Chameleons and White Snake.
Absolutely magical world that seems to have captured and retained my imagination since as long as I can remember.
Every year a band or singer heavily influenced by the 80s is guaranteed to be in my top five albums.
that's all you need to know.
loads of great albums that are unlistenable now
Which albums do you mean?
was listening to stevie nicks yesterday and all her 80s albums are terrible drum machines and ear-rapingly bright synths
just think a lot of people got talked into 80s production
I know nothing of King Crimson beyond Red. You may well be right but they're a band I've never really considered to be an 80's act. This is an artistic choice though surely. Do you like New Order? They did fantastic things with drum machines and ear-rapingly bright synths.
I've not heard much of anything Stevie Nicks did after Tusk that I care for. Not the production so much - are the songs there?
i suppose i'm talking more about bands who suffered at the hands of the 80s rather than came out of it
and i really dislike new order
why? how? why? (splutters)
I'm interested in what you dislike about New Order.
let's just not go there eh?
don't want to share this inexplicable hate, that's cool. I am only interested, as a (big, big, fucking ginoromous fan) what turns you off?
much less good natured than I meant.
i just don't like em, you'll have to make do with that
TUSK really is GREAT though, huh?
tusk is a bit bloated. if you only listen to one stevie album, make it bella donna.
I am going to do that.
it's a trap
you're out of your mind
They were goooood, real gooood.
not sure which was first Barbarism Begins at Home or this but it's ace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr3HCNIgv40
are generally the type of people that think Led Zep and The Beatles were the last great bands (apart from oasis obvs)
much 80s music beyond the usual top 40 of the time or w/e.
everybody I meet under the age of about 25 these days has this hilariously romantic idea of the 90s and obviously there's a big disco/70s thing at the moment... the poor 80s is caught in between... I guess because 80s pop was so bombastic and forceful then it seems particularly jarring and out of place during any period where its legacy is not being particularly felt in the mainstream... er, maybe!
in popular culture at least, have I missed something?
forgot to log in as marckee
... the Compact Disc. Signalled the music industry getting greedy. Nothing wrong with vinyl and selling albums you already owned again is a trick the industry eventually went to far on and fell on its own sword. Look at vinyl now and the esteem it is rightly regarded with. 80's greed in music format - no thanks.
True though ;)
Seriously, what's not to like?
Punk/post-punk had broken down a lot of barriers, technology was more affordable, the music press was at its peak in terms of quality and influence, & student grants/decent unemployment benefit meant that artists had a bit more comfort.
So you got music that would've been unthinkable or technically impossible in the 1970s - hip-hop, synthpop, house/techno, shoegaze & so on. And by the end of the decade many of these genres were cross-pollinating, so you amazing records like Run DMC's Walk this Way, the Young Gods' L'Amourir, or Happy Mondays' WFL, records with scant regard for pigeonholing, musical purism or the stupid "Keep Music Live" argument of the early 80s.
Sadly the 90s came around & things quickly regressed to the 1970s (grunge) & the 1960s (Britpop), and I think only now in this decade has the baton been picked up again.
As theguywithnousername says above, the kind of people who slag off the 1980s are invariably "classic rock" fans, who think being able to play 6 strings makes you artistically superior to someone playing a synth or programming a sampler, & who ramble tiresomely on about "real music". But how you can knock a decade in which The Smiths, New Order, the Bunnymen, the Cocteaus & The Cure were all putting out amazing records at the same time is beyond me.
and you Brits took to it like fish to water.
American bands were into blue jeans and scraggy hair, and Brit new wave was made for television. And it didn't hurt that you put forth a shitload of great bands.
So, even though the skew of things are more proportional to overall size... I still feel like Brits have been underachievers because you guys OWNED alt music in the 80s-- my formative years.
the 80s, more than any other era, is responsible for the modern music of today.
True, modern bands-- modern indie bands-- don't go for the 80s shiny, crisp production. But in terms of style and genre, in terms of experimental sounds and techniques-- many of which have been folded into the norm today-- the 80s set a collective standard not unlike the Beatles in the 60s.
Will Lady Gaga tracks be instantly recognizable on the dance floor 30 years from now like, say, the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" or NO's "Blue Monday?" Will history judge her work as a notable progression from Madonna in her heyday? Maybe, I don't know.
In some ways it's unfair. I somehow doubt Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire and other top tier indie acts will get elevated in the same way the Cure has.
Of course, I wouldn't have guessed that either! The Cure were all set to split due to lack of popularity until "Let's Go to Bed" charted. Which brings us back to MTV!
tl;dr. I know.
Let's not forget Felt amongst the list of great bands from the 80s
of money out of the new format...production was a reflection of that.
and loads of great music innovations, ideas, scenes, the building blocks or loads of other great music scenes... but overall it was pretty ropey. But mainly in terms of quantity really. As I surf through the 80s albums I own either the LP or mp3 of, some years have only about 5 or 6 actual albums. 1983 is really bare. I don't know how I would have coped back then, I get antsy if there isn't something new to listen to every couple of days.
that you havent looked into those years, like 1983, enough rather than there not being any albums from then
try here for example
Maybe I'm just kind of sick of hearing about the 90s. I grew up in the 90s and generally liked it (and would prefer even some of the third tier grunge acts to quite a bit of the current mainstream leaders), but the starry-eyed fawning over that era in music seems limited solely to a few dozen bands from around 1991-1994 or so.
Nirvana was way over-rated and is Indie music for people who hate Indie music.
I came of age in the 80s and got into music around the mid-80s when the charts were full of over-produced white-boy soul (Johnny Hates Jazz, Hue & Cry, Level 42, Climie Fisher), power ballads (T'Pau, Heart), hair rock (Bon Jovi, Poison) and SAW and their ilk. Radio 1 was dominated by middle-aged men who clearly hated anything new and innovative. It was a truly dreadful time for pop music - a Coke ad theme made it no 1, FFS.
There was a lot of good stuff but with a few exceptions, it was completely under the radar - thank God for Peely as he was my salvation.
if you were born later than 1980. But from knowing people who liked them around Bleach they were genuinely seen as another awesome and exciting band out of the Sub Pop/ Seattle scene who were pretty much second to none live at the time.
I don't dislike Nirvana, but I really just don't get how anyone younger can get that excited over them. They didn't really break any new sonic ground (outside of the mainstream), their musical influence basically ends at about 1996 or so, and I guess I really can't see anyone under the age of 20 getting the excitement over the revelation of grunge to the masses.
My theory is that Nirvana is the modern equivalent of the Doors or Led Zeppelin* in that they're a band teens namedrop when they figure out modern pop music sucks and "discover" their own taste, but want to impress other by namedropping easily recognisable bands. (Yes I am aware that this sounds snobby as fuck.)
*for what it's worth I like all these bands, though I think Nirvana's "legacy" is way more overblown than the other 2 bands.
Got better towards the end but even in John Peel's tracklistings and sessions it was prog, folk, prog, folk, british heavy metal... (from the shows I have from 1978 onwards, the music got a lot more exciting).
Things got so bad at one point there was an orchestra on Top Of The Pops doing classical music! They tried to look cool by wearing leather jackets and polo necks. Sigh.
The 80's was a tremendous leap forwards from there, I think that's taken for granted a lot because the mainstream hasn't moved on a huge amount since. Gaga is of course recycling Madge and Kylie's best bits, Kanye hasn't done anything nearly as revolutionary as "Let's Dance" or "Fame", the Killers would have not sounded out of place in 1985, and Broooce, Mick n' Keef and Lionel Ritchie are still headlining names for big events.
Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk, Cluster/Harmonia, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Duul II, Popul Vuh, Faust...
Yep, the roots of so much experimental and Psychedelic head music.
I reckon I would have listened to reggae back then and little else, loads of that was being pumped out at the time.
So no glam, reggae, punk, funk, krautrock or disco then?
You must be remembering a different 70s
Melody Maker's top 10 singles from 1988:
1. The Mercy Seat - Nick Cave
2. You Made Me Realise - My Bloody Valentine
3. Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.
4. Gigantic - Pixies
5. Destroy The Heart - The House Of Love
6. L'amourir - The Young Gods
7. Christine - The House Of Love
8. Sidewalking - Jesus And Mary Chain
9. Feed Me With Your Kiss - My Bloody Valentine
10. Martha's Harbour - All About Eve
Pretty narrow scope. I mean, weren't Don't Believe the Hype and Voodoo Ray realesed in 88?
Eric B & Rakim were at 11, Prince at 12, if that makes you feel better :)
were a good few years behind the curve when it came to acid house and rap.
I didn't even know it in the first place
neither magazine really gave the scene that much coverage.
They did make Nation of Millions their #1 album so maybe they weren't that far behind the curve on rap.
and Three Feet High And Rising took top spot in 1989. All three of those were a couple of years after the so-called 'hip-hop' wars at NME when a lot of the hip-hop friendly writers were forced out of the magazine in favour of those who wanted to focus more on the white-boys with guitars kind of stuff.
SOMETIMES I THINK I'LL KILL YOU
JUST DON'T LET ME FUCK UP WILL YOU
'COZ WHEN I NEED A FRIEND IT'S STILL YOU
every decade sees several genres come and go, but the 80's spawned a whole new fucking PARADIGM.
Two with hip hop as well. as has already been said.
but, Metal. Set the world on fire.
Was trying to avoid a tl;dr so didn't want to expand on the shift from Uriah Heep type 'heavy metal' to Iron Maiden, though they arguably mixed 70's punk AND prog elements to great effect.
The big four of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax ARE 80's bands, you are right!
there was the whole decade to come:
and industrial stuff like Godflesh, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails
all of those and more.
Even Meshuggah formed near the end of the 80's.
Had to google when Wolverine Blues and Heartwork were released... 93... duh...
Went slightly off tangent to read that Carcass were originally called 'Disattack'. So, er, there we go... <kills self>
Even The Cure used one on A Night Like This. Why Robert why?
One of their best tracks no?
Shit decade for drum sounds, I`ll tell you that.