I’ve been thinking about this for a while, ever since we’ve been doing the Picks of the Years thing. What got me really started on this was the way that the 1980s divides people. For some, it is the Decade That Taste Forgot and for others it is Pop Heaven. Personally, I reckon that the 80s were like all the other decades, there was good and bad.
One thing that is very 1980s is a kind of glossy slickness, perfect production and a big, wide-screen sound, but never fear, you won’t be hearing anything from the artists in the picture above.
Of course, there are other sides to ’80s music but it is the songwriting, production and general “bigness” of the whole thing that I have been thinking about. Even the intimate and emotionally-charged songs seem to have a sense of epic scale about them. OK, so sometimes it ends up being a musical equivalent of Top Gun, but that just screams out “1980s” anyway.
So, here is a playlist that showcases the glossy sound, the production, the soulful flourishes (without being soul music) and the all-round epic qualities. All of the artists are British, some are bigger names than others, one or two are probably not as well-known as they should be but all of the tracks I’ve picked show up at least one facet of what I’ve been rambling on about.
There was some discussion on the Guardian cricket blog (hey Deano from Oz, are you there?) about whether 1987 was a terrible or a great year for music.
Well, what do you reckon?
Listen to the playlist here
Add your top 3 tracks here
At the end of last week’s hugely enjoyable thread Fuel posted a link to a Guardian article that contained the line “1995 sits with 1967, 1977 and 1988 among pop culture’s true glory years”.
I’m sure the Guardian doesn’t go in for phone hacking, but I’m a little put out that I appear to have had my head hacked.
1988 it is (we’ll come to 1977) though there is some confusion about whether the “Second Summer of Love” was 1988 or 1989. Wikipedia hedges its bets:
The Second Summer of Love is a name given to the period in 1988–89 in Britain, during the rise of acid house music and the euphoric explosion of unlicensed MDMA-fuelled rave parties.The term generally refers to the summers of both 1988 and 1989 when electronic dance music and the prevalence of the drug MDMA fuelled an explosion in youth culture culminating in mass free parties and the era of the rave. LSD was also widely available and popular again. The music of this era fused dance beats with a psychedelic, 1960s flavour, and the dance culture drew parallels with the hedonism and freedom of the Summer of Love in San Francisco two decades earlier. Similarities with the Sixties included fashions such as Tie-dye. The smiley logo is synonymous with this period in the UK.
I have vague memories of repetitive beats coming from the hill a couple of miles away from our house, and smiley stickers made it as far as my primary school. But I also remember the charts: this was a time when Rick Astley was not an ironic internet meme, but a popular recording artist. Ye gods.
So, ‘Spillers: were you leaving an important part of your brain somewhere in a field in Hampshire, swallowing Stock, Aitken and Waterman, or celebrating the twilight of hair metal? Or none of the above?
Listen to the playlist here
Add your top 3 here
Nothing new to anyone on here, just a quick and cheap post I guess to try to convince Bish that pop didn’t suck after 1984, i think it got even better. More polished – probably peaking around 1987 for the swooniest pop for my money. (A monster year overall. We have our work cut out on that one.) Then it started to sort of unpolish itself, and started to go other places by the end of the decade. Which was all good.
You know the rules by now. This week’s year: 1984.
Now, I wasn’t really listening to much in 1984, being six years old at the time. However, this list suggests there was rather a lot of good music being released in amongst the 80s hair and synths. I think we can come up with a great playlist.
Add your top 3 tunes here
I’ve just been told that the friend I’m being Best Man for on Monday wants a glorified 1980s mixtape to play at the wedding reception when the band isn’t on. I’m going to see him over the weekend to put a CD-R together. We both have lots of 80s stuff, but we were both out-&-out metalheads back then. There’s a file in the ‘Box if anyone with DJ experience/sense wants to Drop anything more generally suitable than HM for a 25-85 year-olds (i.e. no kid, but lots of older folks) dancefloor.
Off to work; back later.
I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.
1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs