Music - 1980s

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Crack, The

In 1982, Cheltenham Oi! outfit The Crack won a televised Battle of the Bands competition (voted for by none other than Slade frontman Noddy...

BoDeans

BoDeans frontmen Kurt Newmann (aka Beau BoDean) and Sammy Llanas met in high school in 1977 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and worked together in a number...

Spizz

Midlander Kenneth Spiers, aka Spizz, is to many people largely identified by the one song, Where's Captain Kirk? (1980). But few artists can have gone to as...

Flesh For Lulu

Formed in Brixton, London, in 1982, Flesh For Lulu brought a warmer rock sound to Goth. No doomy vocals or icy guitar sound -...

Discharge

The Discharge album Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing (1982) contained the fiercest music ever heard when it was first released. Formed in 1977, their brutal assault...

Subhumans

Formed in 1980, Wiltshire anarcho-punk legends Subhumans raged against the Orwellian nightmare of Thatcher's Britain on classic albums like The Day The Country Died (1983) and From The...

Bad Brains

Widely regarded as pioneers of the whole US hardcore movement, the four Rastafarians from Washington DC known as Bad Brains may well have been...

Jesse Winchester

James Ridout "Jesse" Winchester was born on 17 May 1944 in Shreveport, Louisiana. His father, stationed there as an Air Force major at the...

Nena

Entering the Billboard Top 40 on 21 January 1984, 99 Luftballons - a single by Teutonic new wave group Nena sung entirely in their own language - put...

Stryper

Stryper - or Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement (and) Righteousness - formed in Orange County, California, in 1983, when brothers Michael Sweet (vocals...

Flaming Lips, The

From their obscure acid punk beginnings in Oklahoma City in 1983, through to critical acclaim in the 90s and mainstream success in the new...

Mandela Day Concert (1988)

The Mandela Day Concert staged on 11 June 1988 at London's Wembley Stadium was organised by Special AKA main man Jerry Dammers and Britain's...

Cinderella

In the late 80s, Cinderella had triple-platinum hits in the US with debut album Night Songs (1986) and follow-up Long Cold Winter (1988). Night Songs was released a year after the...

Dokken

There was never a better time to be a big-haired hard rock band from Los Angeles than in 1987. Mötley Crüe were riding high with the...

A Certain Ratio

A Certain Ratio (the name is a pointer to a Brian Eno song) formed in Manchester in 1977. The band's original members were Simon Topping, Martha Tilson,...

Club Ska

Pat Powell Vocals Stuart Crysell Guitar Phil Ayers Saxophone John Seehan Bass Peter McKenzie Drums

Fast Cars

Immediately after the demise of Fast Cars, bassist Fabian Byrne started new dance pop band Fiction Romance with Tracey Allen (keyboards), Prue Rheuben (vocals),...

Vanilla Chainsaws

Formed in August 1986, Sydney band Vanilla Chainsaws released their debut single, T.S. (Was It Really Me) b/w Everything on the local Phantom label in August the following...

Christie Allen

There was a time in 1980 when Christie Allen couldn't put a foot wrong. Her single, He's My Number One, claimed a spot in the Australian Top...

FEATURED 1980s MUSIC POSTS

Serious Young Insects

Peter Farnan  Guitar, vocals Mick Vallance  Bass, vocals Mark White  Drums, vocals

Erasure

Keyboard player and arranger Vince Clarke (born in 1960 in South Woodford, London) had already enjoyed success as a member of Depeche Mode and...

Santana

Born in 1947, Carlos Santana grew up mostly poor in a small Mexican town, Autlán de Navarro. His father, Jose, led a mariachi band...

Wet Wet Wet

Fronted by Marti Pellow (born Mark McLaughlin), Scottish band Wet Wet Wet had three Top 10 hits in 1987, and a #1 debut album...

Roxy Music

At the end of 1971, an embryonic Roxy Music, comprising David O'List (guitar) Brian Eno (synths), Andy Mackay (sax/oboe), Graham Simpson (bass), Paul Thompson...

Joan Armatrading

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Joan Armatrading was born in St Kitts in the West Indies on 9 December 1950 and raised in Birmingham, England, from the age...

Ratt

This American heavy rock band was formed in 1980 in Los Angeles by vocalist Stephen Pearcy and guitarist Robbin Crosby. Pearcy's first band had been...

Sigue Sigue Sputnik

Ex-Generation X bassist Tony James formed futuristic glam band Sigue Sigue Sputnik (allegedly named after a Russian street gang) as a kind of latter-day Monkees with cheekbones,...