Music – 1980s

Adventures, The

Formed in 1984, The Adventures were a melodic six-piece group from Belfast. Founder member Terry Sharpe had previously been the lead vocalist and guitarist in the excellent punk/power pop band Starjets. They released their debut single, Another Silent Day (1984), on Chrysalis, and their self-titled debut album in 1985 (the album would be re-titled Theodore and Friends for the US(...)


Aerosmith was one of the most popular hard rock bands of the 1970s, setting the style and sound of American hard rock for the next two decades with their raunchy, bluesy swagger. The Boston-based quintet found the middle ground between the menace of The Rolling Stones and the campy flamboyance of The New York Dolls, developing a lean,(...)

Affections, The

The story of Australian power pop band The Affections began in Sydney in the mid 70's when school friends Rob Smith, Rob Risio and George Ellis discovered each other's passion for 60's pop and bubblegum and decided to form a band of their own. While still on the lookout for a drummer, the trio jammed and listened(...)

Afghan Whigs

Formed in 1987 in Cincinnati, these neomope rockers released their first album, Big Top Halloween, on their own Ultrasuede label in 1988. Their major label debut, Gentlemen (1993) was released on Elektra. Greg Dulli Vocals, guitar Rick McCollum Guitar John Curley Bass Steve Earle Drums

Age Of Chance

Age Of Chance were most notable for their cover of Prince's Kiss, but there was a plank-like quality to their version that served as an adequate summary of their approach. Titles like Shut Up and Listen! and Be Fast Be Clean Be Cheap were typical of a band high on spittle but with little real musical muscle. In 1987 they sounded(...)

Agent Orange

This trio from Fullerton in Orange County, California, specialised in the unlikely combination of punk and surf music. Led by vocalist/guitarist Mike Palm, the band lost its original bass player Steve Soto (he left to form The Adolescents), picked up James Levesque and released its debut album (Living In Darkness) in 1981 amid the California(...)

Air Supply

Formed in Australia around the partnership of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell, soft-rockers Air Supply turned out a solid string of seven US Top 5 singles. The duo first came together in Sydney, Australia (originally with Chrissie Hammond, later of Cheetah) during 1976 while performing in a production of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber(...)


Before Alabama, bands were usually relegated to a supporting role in country music - nearly every popular recording country artist was a vocalist, not a group.  Alabama was the group that made country bands popular again. Emerging in the late '70s, the band had roots in both country and rock. In fact, many of their(...)

Alarm, The

After playing together for four years in Rhyl, Wales, first as a punk band called The Toilets, and then as a mod group called 17, the quartet of Mike Peters, Dave Sharp, Eddie MacDonald and Nigel Twist made a fresh start as The Alarm after Dexys Midnight Runners fired them as a support band on a(...)

Alien Sex Fiend

The tabloid idea of what Goths are supposed to look like, Alien Sex Fiend were the demented brain-spawn of flamboyant Batcave employee Nik Fiend (real name Nick Wade) and his nicely named wife, Mrs Fiend (Christine Wade). Formed in 1982 with a line-up featuring David James (guitar), Christine Wade (keyboards), and Johnny "Ha Ha" Freshwater(...)

Aliens, The

The Aliens were one of the first Australian bands of the late 70s to adopt the New Wave "uniform" of black clothes and skinny ties. Originally known as Riff Raff, The Aliens' hailed from Adelaide and played guitar-rich pop-rock with the influence on 1960's melodies. The band relocated to Melbourne in 1978, but Graham Lewis and(...)

Alison Moyet

Having spent much of the 1990s in legal wrangles with her then record company Sony, Alison's fortunes were subsequently buoyed by, of all things, the theatre. In 2001 she appeared in Chicago in London's West End, and in 2006 she starred alongside Dawn French in Smaller.

All About Eve

This London quartet featured the rather lovely - and often multi-tracked - voice of Coventry-born music journalist Julianne Regan (an early bassist in Gene Loves Jezebel) and utilised, of all people, former Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith in the producer's chair. With dreamy-looking cover art and songs about children, angels and clouds, one might have expected lots of wispy,(...)

Allniters, The

During the late 70s/early 80s a small pub in downtown Sydney, called the Sussex Hotel, was the birthplace of the Australian mod revival. When the 2 Tone movement erupted in Britain (with Madness, The Specials, The Selecter etc) it was inevitable that Ska too would end up there. One of Australia's first ska bands, The(...)

Altered Images

Formed in 1979, this Glasgow band centred around 17 year old Clare Grogan who appeared in the film Gregory's Girl (1981) directed by Bill Forsyth. In 1980 Altered Images toured with Siouxsie & The Banshees and subsequently employed the services of their bassist, Steve Severin, as producer. Another champion of their work was the influential UK disc jockey John(...)

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