Thursday, January 8, 2009

80's Music and MTV

I recently got a request to write a post on 80's music. This is one subject I am an authority on. I could create an entire website devoted to this topic. As much as everyone makes fun of the poofy hair, tight Levis, and Miami Vice clothes you still have to admit the 80's were great. Especially the music.

I started watching MTV back in 1981 when it launched. Back then MTV actually played music videos. In fact that was all they did. The original hosts were J. J. Jackson, Martha Quin, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter. For the first year they played Billy Joel's Under Pressure, Peter Gabriel's Shock the Monkey, Saga on the Loose, Billy Idol's White Wedding, Joe Jackson's Steppin out, Quarterflash's Harden my Heart, A Flock of Seagulls' I Ran and a couple other videos in continual loops around the clock.

With time they featured more videos from Styx, The Clash, Big Country, Culture Club, John Cougar, Pat Benatar, Herbie Hancock, Adam Ant, Dire Straits, Golden Earring, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, The Cure, Cory Hart, Wham, Madness, Brian Adams, Aha, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Men at Work, Billy Squire, Rick Springfield, Berlin, Oingo Boingo, Kenny Loggins, Cameo,Wall of Vodoo, Modern English, The Tubes, The Police, Bruce Springstein, The Bangels, Mr. Mister, The J Geils Band, Heart, Bow Wow Wow, The Fixx, B52's, Talking Heads, The Stray Cats, Falco, INXS, and many others.

I'm not a fan of all of these groups but most of them bring back good memories. I have the equivalent of several zip drives full of 80's music in my brain which is kind of ironic since I could only name a handful of popular groups since 1990. There were a variety of groups that put out a lot of music in the 80's so I have further classified them in the following categories.

1) Classic Rock-Rush, Yes, Queen, Genesis, The Pretenders, Night Ranger, Journey, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Reo Speedwagon, Loverboy, Survivor, 38 Special, Asia, ZZ Top, and Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers.
2) Hard Rock and Hair Bands-Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Poison, Ozzy Ozbourne, Ratt, Twisted Sister, AC/DC, Quiot Riot, Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, Bon Jovi, The Scorpions, Guns and Roses, Cinderella, and Metallica.
3) Light Music-Air Supply, Alan Parsons Project, Billy Ocean, ELO, Richard Marx, Sade, The Dream Academy, Phil Collins, Toto, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, and Hall and Oats, and Spandeau Ballet.
4) Multi-Decade Artists-Billy Joel, Chicago, David Bowie, Elton John, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Who, U2, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, and Rod Stewart.
5) New Wave/Synth Music These are the groups that come to mind when I think of the 80's. The Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, Art of Noise , The Human League, Big Audio Dynomite, Information Society, Men Without Hats, Alphaville, Devo, Soft Cell, Psychadelic Furs, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Thompson Twins, Yaz, Erasure, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Howard Jones, Naked Eyes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Simple Minds, and ABC.
6) The One Hit Wonders- (I don't have time to address that now but it will definitely be a future topic)

If you are over 30 then just reading all the names of those groups probably brought back some memories. For the younger readers you will just have to trust me that 80's music rocked. It rocked you like a hurricane or like Amadeus. I feel kind of weird like I just did a time life music collection commercial.

1 comment:

MikkSolo said...

Did I see Thompson Twins in the New Wave Category?
They were one of my favorites! Played big time at our 7th grade dance back at Lakeridge Jr. Go Leopards!