Music - 1980s

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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 group gigged extensively and recorded independently before signing with Elektra and...

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' 1981 #1 hit What About Me? ) and was writing songs for...

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 bands, the label released The Special's own Gangsters in 1979. Signing an...

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 1977, after fellow Tulsa natives Phil Seymour and Dwight Twilley met...

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 major line-up changes, going through four lead singers including, at one...

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 during the biggest youth movement since punk, the trio of Martin...

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, Jeremy Kerr, Martin Moscrop, Donald Johnson and Pete Terrell, though the...

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. Travelling to England in 1982, Waaktaar and Furuholmen tried (unsuccessfully) to...

ABC

Sheffield band ABC revolved around Martin Fry (a onetime fanzine editor of a rag called Modern Drugs) and rose from the ashes of post-punk group Vice Versa. On their first album, The Lexicon Of Love (1982), Fry set his own Bryan...

Abrasive Wheels

Despite initially forming in 1976 with a line up centred around vocalist Phil "Shonna" Rzonca and guitarist Dave Ryan, the Abrasive Wheels (the name was inspired by Shonna's engineering apprenticeship) were quintessentially a 1980s punk...

AC/DC

AC/DC was formed in Sydney, Australia, by ex-patriot Scotsmen Malcolm and Angus Young (brothers of George Young - one of the mainstays of 60s Aussie supergroup, The Easybeats). Their sister suggested Angus should wear his school uniform...

Accelerators, The

One of the numerous Southeastern bands nurtured in the Mitch Easter/Don Dixon pop bosom (both men played on the ban's first album; Dixon also produced the first and two cuts on the second), North Carolina's...

Action Pact

Fronted by exuberant vocalist Alison 'George Cheex' Roberts, Action Pact originated from Essex and took their musical cues from the likes of The Ramones, The Saints, X-Ray Spex and Penetration. They also wrote about what...

Adam & The Ants

Adam & The Ants started off in early 1977, one of a dozen bands trying to keep up in the wake of The Sex Pistols What turned them into a top-of-the-bill band was the bondage routines -...

Adicts, The

The Adicts were a British punk quartet founded in Ipswich, Suffolk, in the late '70s by lead singer Monkey (Keith Warren), guitarist Pete Davison, bassist Mel Ellis, and drummer Kid Dee (Michael Davison). The group affected...

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...

Aerosmith

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...

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...

Afghan Whigs

Formed in 1987 in Cincinnati and rising up around the grunge movement, these neomope rockers released their first album, Big Top Halloween, on their own Ultrasuede label in 1988. 1992's Uptown Avondale EP signalled the band's...

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...

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“5” Royales, The

The "5" Royales began life in the 1940s as a gospel group called The Royal Sons Quintet but rechristened themselves The Royals after going secular and signing to New York's Apollo label in 1952. But Hank...

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 group gigged extensively and recorded independently before signing with Elektra and...

101’ers, The

Primarily known as the band Joe Strummer was in before he joined The Clash, The 101'ers were part of the last wave of British pub rock bands of the mid-'70s. The group never released any recordings...

10cc

Vocalist/guitarist Graham Gouldman was a songwriter of pop hits during the 1960s. Amongst his many compositions are some pure classics: For Your Love (The Yardbirds), No Milk Today (Herman's Hermits), Look Through Any Window (The Hollies) - chart pop at its most...

13th Floor Elevators

Featuring the yelping vocals and visionary - occasionally demented - lyrics of Roky Erickson, The 13th Floor Elevators were one of the original acid-rock bands. Formed in Texas in the mid-60s, The Elevators started as a...

1910 Fruitgum Company

The 1910 Fruitgum Company began life as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey in 1965. They signed to Buddah Records in 1967 and released five LPs under their own name (plus a number of singles)...

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' 1981 #1 hit What About Me? ) and was writing songs for...