Music - 1980s

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Black Flag

Napalming its way onto the often violent California punk scene of the early 1980s, Damaged (1981) is one of the angriest and most confronting albums ever. Although...

Black Rose

By the time Cher appeared as the frontwoman in a New Wave-style band called Black Rose, many people were not taking the concept - or her -...

Black Sorrows, The

Joe Camilleri formed The Black Sorrows in 1983 after dissolving Aussie New Wave/R&B band, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons. Taking a year off to clear his...

Blancmange

A duo consisting of singer and guitarist Neil Arthur from Lancashire and keyboard player Stephen Luscombe from Middlesex, Blancmange released a non-charting EP in...

Blondie

It was in 1973, at New York's Boburn Tavern, that former Playboy bunny waitress Deborah Harry met Chris Stein. She was performing as one-third of The Stilettos,...

Blow Monkeys, The

Moving in to fill the vapid-soul vacancy left by Culture Club during that band's terminal creative drought, England's Blow Monkeys whipped up a disturbingly familiar-sounding bit...

Blue Aeroplanes, The

This unlikely answer to the Velvet Underground formed in Bristol, England, in the early 80s and endured endless line-up changes. Their original aim -...

Blue Nile, The

Paul Buchanan, Robert Bell and PJ Moore first combined at Glasgow University in the very early 80s. Paul and PJ had known each other...

Blue Ox Babes, The

Kevin Archer, a key player in Geno-era Dexys Midnight Runners, changed his name to Al because Kevin Rowland would not countenance two Kevins in the...

Blue Rondo a la Turk

It shows you how far and fast New Wave travelled. Five years earlier, Chris Sullivan might have been screaming lyrics in a punk band;...

Bluebells, The

From the same new Scottish pop scene that begat Aztec Camera came The Bluebells - a bookish-looking quintet of Merseybeat revisionists. Their self-titled debut mini-album...

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...

Bodysnatchers, The

Seven-piece all-girl reggae band, The Bodysnatchers, were brought together by bass player Nicky - then a part-time veg seller in Berwick Street market -...

Bon Jovi

Frozen in the collective memory as poodle-haired pretend cowboys, Bon Jovi released their self-titled debut album in 1984. They went on to play over 2,000...

Boom Crash Opera

Australian band Boom Crash Opera played heavy drum-driven dance-oriented rock, much in the manner of INXS, but with just enough angst and bombast to live...

Boomtown Rats, The

The Boomtown Rats were formed in Dun Laoghaire (near Dublin), Ireland in 1975 by former NME journalist Bob Geldof, and were originally called The Nightlife Thugs...

Boston

Boston leader and guitarist Tom Scholz got a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a researcher and...

Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow was born when the remaining members of Adam and the Ants, Leigh Gorman, Dave Barbarossa and Matthew Ashman, sought the advice of Sex...

Box The Jesuit

Sydney-based Box The Jesuit formed in October 1986 from the ashes of underground angst merchants Madroom. Box The Jesuit was headed up by the infamous...

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....