Music – 1980s

Weather Report

Weather Report was among the earliest and most influential of all jazz-rock bands. The original unit was co-founded by Wayne Shorter (saxophone) and Josef Zawinul (keyboards) in 1970, and they remained the core nucleus with side-men coming and going. Shorter and Zawinul (who had emigrated to the United States in 1959) had learned from years of playing(…)

Wedding Present, The

This rapid-fire band of jangly punk/poppers formed in Leeds in 1984. Outside of the hermetic world of John Peel‘s Festive 50 (where they were forever kings), The Wedding Present rarely received their critical due in their late 80’s heydey. Snobbery dictated that they were routinely derided as grey, provincial and ordinaire, perennially churning out dirges about adolescent infatuations(…)

Weddings Parties Anything

Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1985, Weddings Parties Anything were a gritty folk-rock band with distinct Pogues leanings and a very strong Australian colloquial flavour. Fronted by songwriter Michael Thomas, the band released their first single in 1986 – the independently released Go! Move! Shift! This was followed early in 1987 by the single Away, Away and their(…)

Weird Al Yankovic


Westworld (named after the 1973 film in which androids go on a rampage at a futuristic theme park) was founded by former Generation X guitarist Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews and fronted by American vocalist Elizabeth Westwood.   Debut album Rockulator spawned Top 20 hit Sonic Boom Boy, although follow-up single Ba-Na-Na-Bam-Boo just scraped into the Top 40. Visually the band were styled in(…)

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 (Popped In Souled Out). The following year they were at #1 again with a charity song – a cover of The Beatles‘ With A Little Help From My Friends. Perhaps too wholesome for their own good(…)


Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael (real name Georgios Panayiotou) met at school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, in the 1970s and played together in a ska band called The Executive for a while. As Wham! they became huge stars and churned out disposable pop such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – as well as 1984’s ultimate fashion(…)

White Sister

Dennis Churchill-Dries Vocals, bass Rick Chadock Guitar Gary Brandon Vocals, keyboards Gus Moratinos Drums Richard Wright Drums


After recording two solo albums, former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale formed Whitesnake around 1977. In the glut of hard rock and heavy metal bands of the late 70s, their first albums got somewhat lost in the shuffle, although they were quite popular in Europe and Japan. During 1982, Coverdale took time off to take care of his sick(…)

Who, The

The Detours formed in Shepherd’s Bush in 1964 as a local youth club band. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle (who originally called himself John Allison) founded the band, and having jettisoned Colin Dawson (vocals) and Doug Sandom (drums), recruited Keith Moon as a replacement for the latter. The restructured quartet was adopted by manager(…)


Steve Bridges Vocals Montalo Guitar Andro Coulton Bass Pete Surgery Bass Gra Scoresby Drums

Wonder Stuff, The

Formed in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in 1986, The Wonder Stuff amassed a sizeable local following and released an EP, It’s A Wonderful Day, in 1987. Along with other Midlands hopefuls Pop Will Eat Itself, Crazyhead and Gaye Bykers On Acid, The Wonder Stuff were lumped in under the banner of ‘grebo rock’ by the music press. But(…)

Woodentops, The

Taking punk’s DIY ideal and applying it to stripped-down acoustic pop, South London five-piece The Woodentops achieved a great deal of critical success in the short time they were together. Formed in 1983 in Northhampton, England – and named after the vintage family of Watch With Mother TV puppets – the band released their debut single Plenty(…)

World Party

World Party was basically a one-man project from singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger. Formerly of the popular British band The Waterboys, Wallinger’s albums were always fascinating, unapologetic exercises in pop self-referentialism. His 1987 debut Private Revolution scored a Top 40 hit with the infectious single Ship Of Fools. After a long lay-off (during which time Wallinger aided Sinead O’Connor(…)

X (Australia)

X was one of the most notorious bands ever to emerge from the Sydney (Australia) inner-city music scene and among the leading lights of the original Sydney punk movement. Driven by the ferocious bass lines of Ian Rilen, the raucous bawling of lead singer Steve Lucas and a melange of screaming guitars, X played rock ‘n’(…)

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