Category Archives: 80’s music.

5 Reasons the 80s were better than today(pt IV)

This is the Rocky IV of 80s music as far as I’m concerned.  Not to take anything away from the previous fifteen bands, but we’re gonna go out guns blazing on this one, although I have some heavy hitters saved for future installments.  All beating around the bush aside:

The Police

#5 The Violent Femmes

Give a band an acoustic guitar, a bass and a snare drum and this is what happens.  These Milwaukee upstarts may not have achieved global fame, but they had a great decade pumping out numbers like this here gem.

#4 Pet Shop Boys

If you’ve been paying attention to these lists at all, you’ll know that British Electro-pop from the 1980s is easily the genre that gets the most mention in this here compilation, and the Pet Shop Boys will continue that streak.

#3 The B-52s

Athens Georgia’s very own B-52s may have started dropping amazing tunes like ‘Rock Lobster’ and ‘Planet Claire’ in the late 70s, but rose to fame in the MTV decade of the 1980s.

#2 Blondie

Like their previously listed cohorts, the Talking Heads, Blondie was at the forefront of the late 70s punk scene in New York City.  Luckily, they released a couple albums in the early 80s before breaking up for an extended period of time.  Plus Debbie Harry was a fox, so they got that going for them.

#1 The Police

At the forefront of the British punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s were Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers and some guy named Sting and for 5 albums between 1978 and 1983, you really couldn’t ask for a much better offering from any band.

That’s all for today, but I assure this isn’t the last tirade of 80s music you’ll get out of me so keep your eyes open for rounds five and six.

5 reasons the 80’s were better than today(pt 3):

Alright, now that I’ve knocked off ten bands (Pulp, New Order, Duran Duran, the Psychedelic Furs, Yaz, The Cure, Oingo Boingo, INXS, Echo & the Bunnymen and XTC) it is going to be a struggle to continue onward with this topic.  Luckily for me, I got a couple saved away for the future and that is now.

one of the best bands of all time.

Now on with the list:

#5. The Dead Milkmen

From the city of brotherly love came a band not like any before it with their odd satirical punk rock themes.

#4. The Human League

Back to Britain for some old fashioned synth pop.  Songs like this and ‘Don’t You Want Me’ kept them popular and kicking out the hits throughout the 80’s and further.

#3. Devo

These Americans whipped their way into the mind of the young MTV generation in 1980 with ‘Whip It’ and have garnered a strong cult following ever since.

#2. Depeche Mode

Back to the 80’s Britain Electronica with the band who probably did it the best.  Starting off as a band influenced by the likes of the Cure, Depeche Mode skyrocketed into their own niche with songs like this.

#1. The Talking Heads

Although they started gaining recognition in the late 70’s with Psycho Killer, they blew up in the MTV forcefed 80’s and were pretty much the frontrunner for the best band of the decade.  Although they broke up in 1991, they pumped out eight albums and toured extensively in the 80’s.  Which means, if you’ve been living under a rock and have never seen ‘Stop Making Sense’ go out and buy it right now, you will forever be in my debt.

That’s it for now, I’ve been posting less lately since it’s the Summer and like you all, I’d rather be out doing shit too, but fear not, I’ll still check in with all my minions periodically.

5 more reasons the 80s were better than today:

The Cure

Back to the golden age of music videos for this week’s top five list.  Last time we had Pulp. New Order, Duran Duran, the Psychedelic Furs and Yaz, so without any repeats, here are five more reasons the 80s were better than the modern mainstream music world:

#5.  XTC- Making Plans for Nigel

XTC was one of the English bands at the forefront of the New Wave era and although they had very few hits, they released many albums and withstood the test of time lasting until their breakup in 2006.

#4. Echo and the Bunnymen- Killing Moon

Led by lead singer Ian McCulloch,  this also British post-punk band received popularity worldwide in the early 1980’s and rightfully so.  Their songwriting was top-notch for that era and they continue to perform and release music to this day.

#3. INXS- Need You Tonight

Traveling now to Australia, these rockers were huge in the 1980s and rightfully so.  INXS was in every way a better band than U2 on their best day, but the lads from Ireland got all the fame and recognition while Michael Hutchence committed suicide in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.  Would’ve rathered it have been Bono.

#2. Oingo Boingo- Dead Man’s Party

Our only American band of the list and it’s a good one.  Oingo Boingo started as a New Wave band in the late 70’s and achieved fame with their songs Weird Science and Dead Man’s Party.  They were known for playing kickass Halloween shows, so when you get decked out to the nines this year to hit up a concert on Halloween, thank Oingo Boingo for making it such a great night to see live music.

#1. The Cure- Lovesong

Closing out with the best of the English rock bands of the 1980s, The Cure led by lead singer Robert Smith were influential on so many levels to the way kids dressed to the future songwriters of the 1990s and the 21st century.  So here’s to you Robert Smith, you made it cool to be a brooding teenager in gothic clothes and without you, there’d be no Hot Topic.

That’s it for this week folks, have a good weekend and I’ll have some stuff ready for next week.

The highly controversial question:

And it isn’t pro-choice or pro-life?  This is a simple one I’ve asked many people for years, and I encourage everyone who reads this to comment with their own answers.  Without further ado, what’s your 5 favorite David Bowie songs?

The King of Cool

Sounds like an easy question at first, but when you really get down to it, how do you narrow it down to five?  What about Suffragette City?  How can I leave off Space Oddity?  It’s a hair-pulling experience.  Being the team player that I am, I’ll get it started.  Feel free to judge my answers freely and make your own picks and see how they compare.

#5. Oh!  You Pretty Things

This was tough considering the songs I had to leave out for it to be in there, but I stand by my story.  This is #5 material.

#4. Modern Love

I know when to go out, when to stay in.  Get things done.  The eighties still carried strong for the former White Duke,

#3. Life on Mars?

Bet you thought this was gonna be higher, didn’t ya?  This is my ultimate sing-along song.  Anytime I hear assholes singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ or ‘Tiny Dancer’ I think how much cooler it would be if it were this song instead.

#2. Ashes to Ashes

Ahh, the Scary Monsters hit that put Major Tom to bed.  What a song, what a bassline, what a singer.

#1. John, I’m Only Dancing

Yeah, I went there.  You wouldn’t, but this is my right up my alley.  The instrumentation, the nefarious sexuality and the feedback ending makes for Bowie at it’s best.

Well, there it is.  I’m curious to hear your personal favorites, so comment away.  Maybe next time I’ll amend my list or lengthen it to 10 to make it more fair.

5 reasons the 80’s were better than today:

Let’s face it, the music industry is a fickle dying breed.  Bands that you do hear on the radio mostly suck, and bands that are mostly good you don’t hear on the radio.  Unless of course, you subscribe to Siruis/XM and have the good channels locked in.  So let’s look back at the golden age of the music video and what amazing music was being played out there at the time in this week’s top 5:

#5. Yaz- Only You

You want something pure?  Well then you want a Yaz record. Songs like this are few and far between these days and should be cherished because the future is doubtful.

#4. Duran Duran- Hungry Like the Wolf

Yeah, it’s a little mainstream, and they have plenty more hits but this song is perfection.  Not a wasted note or breath when they laid down this beauty.  So just because of their over popularity and I’m forced to leave out several prime candidates, they hold down the four spot.

#3. Psychedelic Furs- Love My Way

This song is butter.  Smooth, sensual, ecstatic butter, and it will easily hold down the three spot and was easily capable of slipping into the top 2.

#2. New Order- Temptation

Does it get better than this?  I was even nice enough to post a short version for you ADD heads out there.  What rose from the ashes of Joy Division came to be one of the premiere bands of the 1980’s and kept up the fame deep into the 90’s with the use of this song on the ‘Trainspotting’ soundtrack.  Yet still, as badass as that may be, it wasn’t enough to capture the #1 spot from:

#1. Pulp- Common People

What a band, what a video, what a song.  The total package holding down the top spot, and deservedly so.  Music this pure and energetic just doesn’t exist anymore.  It gives you a primal feeling to get out on the 80’s dance floor and dance your ass off like there’s no tomorrow.

Alright folks, thats it.  Honorary mentions to Oingo Boingo and Echo and the Bunnymen, but you just couldn’t make the cut.  And for you Cure fans out there, well, they’re deserving of their own Top 5, so look forward to that.

The only woman that matters in the music industry:

And it ain’t Lady Gaga.  First of all, nothing but praise to the past greats like Janis Joplin, Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell amongst others who’ve paved the way to great female musicians today(can’t leave out Dusty Springfield for that matter).  There are tons of up and comers out there making it cool again to be a woman singer such as Adele and Grace Potter, but there is one true queen of musical artistry:

were you expecting any less?

That’s right, the Icelandic goddess herself holds the throne and ain’t about to give it up anytime soon.  She’s pushing 45 and has more talent in her left pinky than the all the top charting Divas combined.  Even from her days from the Sugarcubes, she was a breath of fresh air to the music world.

And on her own, she broke all the rules of music and pushed it to boundaries so ahead of her time that she influenced many great bands of modern days.

And that’s not even mentioning her live work.  Live, she is backed by full orchestras, homeless drummers, pretty much anythng you can think of.  And she certainly doesn’t need to lip-synch like the American shit that gets pumped on the radio nowadays.

see the 2:12 moment for what I’m talking about.  Let’s see that one, Britney.

Yeah, I know I’m getting ‘Post’ heavy, but there’s no denying the greatness in those performances.  Also. If you haven’t seen ‘Dancer in the Dark’ WATCH IT.  She can act too, and its a great flick as far as cinematography is concerned.

Fortunately for us, she ain’t close to done yet.  She’s got multiple things in the works as well as a six night run in Manchester. England to promote Biophilia.  Do I smell a new tour coming?  I certainly hope so.

Top 5 Songs from 80’s movies:

Here’s a post everyone can appreciate.  Whats better than the 1980’s, the golden age of cinema?  I’ll tell you; the music from the golden age of cinema.  Why 5 songs?  For one, 3 isn’t enough, and 5 is just enough to provide controversy for leaving songs out.  Now I was gonna just jump right into it, but I have to lay down a few groundrules first.

Rule #1- No Kenny Loggins, that would be just wrong.

Rule #2- No songs off the Scarface soundtrack, lets face it, they aren’t the best songs to begin with, but they do get sentimental votes, so we’re axing them alltogether.  Finally:

Rule #3- No songs from the Purple Rain Soundtrack, I could easily choose 3 Prince songs, Jungle Love and Modernaire and fill out an easy top 5, but that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the movies.  So without further ado:

#5 Holiday Road- Lindsey Buckingham

What better way to celebrate the Griswold’s treks across the globe than with a watered down synth song by one of the top West Coast guitarists from the 70s.  This cheesy anthem is the perfect soundtrack for the wacky trips of Chevy Chase and co.

#4 Up Where We Belong- Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

How could I leave this off?  Any man with a soul can’t not get a little teary when Richard Gere carried Debra Winger out of that factory in the final scene.  Hell, I wouldn’t know what love is if it wasn’t for this movie.

#3 St. Elmo’s Fire(Man in Motion)- John Parr

As the great Rob Lowe once said: “It ain’t a party til something gets broken.”  I have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ve seen from the brat pack.

#2 You’re the Best- Joe Esposito

When you think of montage, you think of two movies.  Rocky and The Karate Kid and this montage had a hell of a backing track.  How else was Daniel LaRusso gonna take out the entire Cobra Kai without some kickass background music?  He wouldn’t have.  Thats why Joe Esposito gets such a high rank for powering Ralph Macchio’s rise into domination.  and finally:

#1 Don’t You Forget About Me- Simple Minds

Judd fuckjn’ Nelson, we’ll overlook the whole earring thing, but you walking through the football field with your arm in the air like a black man in the olympics will forever be etched into my memory.  They don’t make badasses like you anymore, and the song just puts that scene over the edge as best of the 80’s.

BONUS FEATURE

Best Instrumental- Axel F- Harold Faltermeyer

Not just any version either, the long version.  Build it up slowly and break it down for me.  Eddie Murphy struck gold on Beverly Hills Cop, but the movie wouldn’t have been half of what it was had this song not been looming in the background the whole time.

Alright folks there you have it, the best of the best.  Disagree?  Feel free to comment with your choices and I’ll take them into consideration when I make a full top 10 list some day.