Music - 1980s

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Band Aid

Bob Geldof (ex-Boomtown Rats) was watching television in October 1984 when he saw the news reports on the famine crisis in Ethiopia. Driven to...

Bangles, The

In 1981, a folk-rock singer named Susanna Hoffs rang up a couple of garage-rocking sisters, from Northridge on the northern rim of the San...

Barracudas, The

Despite a cheerfully self-deprecating stance, London's Barracudas offered quite an enjoyable sentimental journey through assorted American traditions on Drop Out. Some tunes plunged headlong into dense,...

Bauhaus

Bauhaus were the founding fathers of Goth-rock, creating a minimalist, gloomy style of post-punk, driven by jagged guitars and cold, metallic synthesizers. Throughout their brief career,...

BB Steal

Craig Csongrady Vocals, guitar Kevin Pratt Guitar, vocals Warren Mason Guitar Peter Waterank Bass Peter Heckenberg Drums Richard Grant Bass Craig Rosevear Drums

Beargarden

As Virgin Records' first Australian signing, Beargarden were briefly big big news. Their first single, Finer Things, was released in 1984 and promoted via mega tours...

Beastie Boys, The

Coming from white, middle-class, Jewish families, New York rappers Adam "Ad Rock" Horovitz, Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "MCA" Yauch were always going...

Beat, The (UK)

Ska revivalists The Beat were formed in Handsworth (a racially mixed area of Birmingham immortalised by reggae band Steel Pulse with their Handsworth Revolution album)...

Beautiful South, The

The brainchild of former Housemartins Paul Heaton and Dave Hemmingway, The Beautiful South smuggled political lyrics into jaunty, singalong tunes and acerbic commentary on...

Belle Stars, The

London's Belle Stars came together in 1981 from the ashes of 2 Tone act, The Bodysnatchers, when it was Rhoda Dakar, not Jennie McKeown fronting the band. They...

Bette Bright & The Illuminations

Criminally underused in Deaf School, Bette Bright blossomed into an exciting performer on Rhythm Breaks The Ice, thanks partly to the help of clever friends. The album was...

Big Audio Dynamite

Big Audio Dynamite were formed in London in 1984 by ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones, who was still under contract with CBS. He recruited Dan...

Big Bam Boo

This duo formed in the UK with Brit Simon Tedd and Canadian 'Shark'. They had minor hits for MCA with Shooting From My Heart and Fell Off A...

Big Black

Chicago's noise autocrats Big Black were always a contrary outfit. The three-piece of Steve Albini (guitar, vocals), Santiago Durango (guitarist) and Dave Riley (bass) split...

Big Country

Scottish band Big Country - with their big guitars and heroic, anthemic rock - were the polar opposite of the predominant synthesizer groups of...

Big Pig

Although technically an Australian group, Big Pig began in London around 1985. Lead singer Sherine had a dark alto that complemented the often depressing...

Billy Bragg

Looking back on all the pop star excess of the decade, the 80s needed Steven William Bragg more than anyone could have imagined at...

Billy Idol

Billy Idol was born William Michael Albert Broad on 30 November 1955 at Stanmore, Middlesex, England. While studying English Literature at Sussex University, Broad became...

Billy Joel

William Martin Joel was born on 9 May 1949 in the Bronx, New York. He fought as a welterweight boxer during his teenage years...

Birthday Party, The

The Birthday Party hailed from the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in 1978. They had originally been The Boys Next Door and set tales of death, bats...

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....