Music - 1980s

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Arcadia

During Duran Duran's "gap year" (1985), Arcadia was the girly yin to the macho yang of Power Station, and - surprise, surprise - thanks to hit...

Arctic Circles, The

1960s-influenced band The Arctic Circles played the Melbourne (Australia) independent scene in the mid-1980s. The band's sound fused garage-punk, psychedelia and tough R&B riffs. The...

Art of Noise

Before they helped Max Headroom to hit the charts (Paranoimia) or resurrected the careers of Tom Jones (Kiss) and Duane Eddy (Peter Gunn), Art Of Noise brought sampling...

Asia

John Wetton Vocals, bass Steve Howe Guitar, vocals Geoff Downes Keyboards, vocals Carl Palmer  Drums Greg Lake  Vocals, bass Armand 'Mandy' Meyer  Guitar 

Associates, The

Billy MacKenzie (most lyrics, all vocals, eventually everything) and Alan Rankine (most music and all instruments except drums) - once attempted brilliance, but later...

Aswad

Aswad - whose name means 'black' in Arabic - formed in 1975 in West London's Ladbroke Grove and built their early reputation on four...

Attila The Stockbroker

After graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in French, this performance poet (born John Baine on 21 October 1957) really was...

Au Pairs, The

Formed in Birmingham (England) in 1979, The Au Pairs matched driving, guitar-led rock to lyrics (mostly by Woods) that dissected the politics of sexual...

Australian Crawl

The members of Australian Crawl all hailed from the Mount Eliza area on the Mornington Peninsular in Victoria, Australia. The band came together in...

Avion

Outside a strong cult following, Sydney band Avion's brand of melodic, American-influenced AOR met with virtual indifference at home. RCA even issued the band's...

B-52’s, The

The B-52's formed in 1977 in Athens, Georgia. Kate Pierson had been playing in a folk protest band called The Sun Donuts while raising...

Bachelors From Prague

Melbourne-based Bachelors From Prague formed in 1985 and played an infectious blend of 1940s jazz, 1950s R&B, 1970s funk and salsa. The group became 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...

Bad Manners

Bad Manners - a nine-piece ska band from north London - were one of the many bands to take their inspiration from The Specials and the Ska...

Bad Religion

Blending old-school power chords with hardcore thrash, Bad Religion formed in Woodland Hills, California, in 1980. The debut album from these SoCal brats scarcely resembled...

Bam Balams, The

Singer/songwriter Brendan Kibble formed The Bam Balams in Sydney in August 1984. The line-up of Kibble, Brad Fitzpatrick (ex-Division 4), Steve Cole and Matt Manchester...

Bamboos, The

By the time this Perth (Australia) band's debut LP, Rarer Than Rocking Horse Shit, was released on vinyl it was already three years old -...

Bananarama

This British female dance-pop vocal trio, comprising Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin, came on the scene just as MTV was becoming an...

FEATURED 1980s MUSIC POSTS

10,000 Maniacs

10,000 Maniacs (named after the low-budget horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs) was formed in Jamestown, NY, in 1981 by singer Natalie Merchant and guitarist John Lombardo. The...

1927

1927 formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1987. Guitarist and keyboardist Garry Frost had left Moving Pictures after their second album, Matinée (Frost had co-written Moving Pictures'...

2 Tone

The independent 2 Tone Records label was founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials in 1979. Dedicated to dance-floor music performed by racially mixed...

20/20

20/20 was formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by high school friends Steve Allen (guitar, vocals) and Ron Flynt (bass,vocals). They relocated to Los Angeles in...

4 Skins, The

The undisputed heroes of the early 80s skinhead scene, The 4 Skins were one of the mainstays of the second-wave of British punk commonly known as Oi! They endured...

808 State

With their sample-driven dance music, the pioneering Manchester-based 808 State was one of the first house groups to release trance/ambient dance records. Formed in 1988...

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,...

A-ha

The trio at the heart of A-ha met in 1980 in Oslo, Norway, and decided to concentrate on producing a commercial form of music....