PlaylistNovember 2012: The 1980s, Part I

NeilBy | posted on 1st November 2012

Ah, the 80s: that most magically neon of decades, that shiniest, glitteriest, poppiest of times. The decade in which, musically speaking at least, I was born, and found my ears, and found the dial, and used it to listen to Modern Romance and Wax. How much I had yet to learn!

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Track of the Day The Housemartins - Happy Hour I've decided November is to be 80s month, and although I'm a day late with the first video, this gives me a chance to dedicate the first track to office drones everywhere. >>
Track of the Day The Go-Betweens - Spring Rain Share In a world that fully embraces Crowded House (who might just crop up later this month, you never know...), it's mystifying that a band like the Go-Betweens should pass … >>
Track of the Day Crowded House - Don’t Dream It’s Over Share Having hinted at it yesterday, I did think I'd hold out for longer before pulling this one out, but perhaps I can use it as the start of a … >>
Track of the Day Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart Share TagsdeathgloomlovemanchesterIt's a pretty small jump from Crowded House to Joy Division. You just need to take a diversion via Paul Young, obviously. Not only did Young cover Don't Dream … >>
Track of the Day The Smiths - Shakespeare’s Sister Share TagslivemanchesterIt's too easy, really, to connect Joy Division to The Smiths. You could start in Salford, home of Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and the Salford Lads Club, which The … >>
Track of the Day Lightning Seeds - Pure Share August 1989: Shakespear's Sister are breaking into the top 10 with their debut single "You're History". At the same time, a man better known for his production work has … >>
Track of the Day Prince - Raspberry Beret Share Sometimes mishearing a lyric can leave you feeling bewildered - why is Madonna singing about a young girl with eyes like potatoes? - and sometimes it can give you … >>
Track of the Day Prefab Sprout - The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Share Another mondegreen for a name, or so some sources would have you believe, with singer-songrwiter Paddy McAloon supposedly mishearing a line from the song “Jackson” ("We got married in … >>
Track of the Day Kirsty MacColl - There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis Share So there I was, trying to figure out how to segue from The King of Rock "n" Roll, and at the same time thinking it was about time we … >>
Track of the Day Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind Share Tagscover versionThere’s a brilliance and a genius at the heart of the Pet Shop Boys that for whatever reason some people didn’t like to acknowledge. In the music, the … >>
Track of the Day Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al Share TagsChevy ChaseWhile this piece of lyrical wonder was settling into its top 10 berth, Nick Berry was number 1 with "Every Loser Wins", a song not even written for … >>
Track of the Day Bruce Hornsby & The Range - The Way It Is Share TagsbbcChevy ChasegrandstandpianoThe same week that Paul Simon's album Graceland, partly recorded in Apartheid-era South Africa and featuring South African musicians, entered the album charts, another new entry would include … >>
Track of the Day The Jam - Town Called Malice Share TagsPaul WellerpunkwokingSomewhere on the line from the straightforward three-piece of earlier-days Jam taking on the Eton Rifles to the soul gloss of The Style Council, messing about on the … >>
Track of the Day Eddy Grant - I Don’t Wanna Dance Share As it's the 60th birthday of the charts today, here's a super-special bonus post. The singles chart was invented by the NME in 1962 when they rang around a … >>
Track of the Day The Specials - Ghost Town Share Practically defining bleakness, in the summer of 1981 "Ghost Town" catalogued a disaffected and angry youth amid depressing and thoroughly depressed surrounds (in the words of Michael Bracewell: "the … >>
Track of the Day Modern Romance - Good Friday Share TagschintzglitterpopThis is more like it - disco lights! Fancy transition effects! Roller dancing! Glittery confetti raining down on coiffured hair! This is Modern Romance! By the end of 1982, … >>
Track of the Day Altered Images - Don’t Talk To Me About Love Share TagsTOTPNext year's Let's Rock The Moor promises a stellar lineup: Tony Hadley, Howard Jones, Bananarama, Midge Ure, Five Star, Rozalla, Imagination, and Brother Beyond are already all confirmed. Brother … >>
Track of the Day Orange Juice - Rip It Up Share TagsPostcard2nd April 1983, and "Don't Talk To Me About Love" reaches its highest chart position at number 7. One place below, also reaching its peak is "Rip It Up", … >>
Track of the Day Kajagoogoo - Too Shy Share Never say I can't be topical. As you watch this video, Limahl (real name Chris Hamill, anagram fans), the man, the hair, is over in the Australian jungle raising … >>
Track of the Day The Cure - In Between Days Share TagsgothToday's video is brought to you by Goths Against Motion Sickness (GAMS). Goths just can't stand motion sickness (I think it's the motion aspect that they find troubling), abhorring … >>
Track of the Day Suzanne Vega - Knight Moves Share TagsliveWhile casting around the murkier waters of youtube for 80s tracks, I received a message from the numbskulls that simply said: "Knight Moves". I remembered this was a song … >>
Track of the Day Dire Straits - Private Investigations Share Right, can't sit here in the corner all night. I need to start work on MY INVESTIGATION. Blinds on the window. And by the window. And a pain behind … >>
Track of the Day The Sundays - Can’t Be Sure Share Sublime took the day off yesterday, but it’s back. Just about sneaking in by virtue of having released this, their debut single, in 1989, The Sundays recorded only three … >>
Track of the Day The House of Love - I Don’t Know Why I Love You Share So much music, so little time. So without further ado, I present The House of Love guide to blowing it: Place an ad, form a band, give it a … >>
Track of the Day The Jesus and Mary Chain - Some Candy Talking Share From a band torn apart by drugs to songs about drugs, starting with a 1986 EP from The Jesus And Mary Chain, featuring Bobby Gillespie in his final appearance … >>
Track of the Day The Stranglers - Golden Brown Share "Golden Brown" works on two levels. It's about heroin and also about a girl - Hugh Cornwell A candidate for the best number two hit of all time, "Golden … >>
Track of the Day Talk Talk - I Believe In You Share TagsminimalismHaving started out with the new romantics, by the end of the 1980s Talk Talk had grown into something startlingly different. Gradually self-deconstructing, the band completed their transition from … >>
Track of the Day Billy Bragg - Between The Wars Share TagspoliticsprotestTOTPHere’s a man who knows a thing or two about protest songs, and mixing music with politics. Released just before the end of the 84-85 Miner’s strike, the proceeds … >>
Track of the Day Billy Bragg - It Says Here Share Tagspoliticsprotestsmash the systemBragg's not a fan of nostalgia, by the way, so I hope you enjoyed that on a historical level, and not with misty-eyed thoughts of Thatcher et … >>
Track of the Day World Party - Ship Of Fools Share TagsprotestEco protest time, with Greenpeace favourite “Ship of Fools”, taken from World Party’s debut album “Private Revolution”. Its a bouncy number, the jollity of the melody and backing vocals … >>
Track of the Day Madness - Our House Share And now to a section that I was going to call "I love 1982", before I remembered that one of the cuts was from a whole year earlier. So … >>
Track of the Day Duran Duran - Save a Prayer Share As much as subsequent single “Rio” has come to symbolise the excess of the music industry, the extravagance of expensive video shoots and the empty show of wealth that … >>
Track of the Day You Drive Me Crazy Shakin' Stevens - You Drive Me Crazy Share Here the former stage Elvis and biggest selling singles artist of the decade shows a darker (not to mention hammier) side, a-breaking and entering in a coat he borrowed … >>
Track of the Day Party Fears Two Associates - Party Fears Two Share Not a title that makes much sense, until you opt for the less common meaning of "party", where the party in question is Billy MacKenzie, the lead singer with … >>
Track of the Day Pixies - Where Is My Mind? Share From Peter, Paul and Mary to Nirvana in a few simple hops and skips? Easier than you think. Early in 1986, Kim Deal answered the following ad placed by … >>
Track of the Day R.E.M. - It’s The End Of The World As We Know It Share Finish on a high. I’m not saying this was the best song of the 80s. (It wasn’t even the best REM song of the 80s). I’m definitely not offering … >>
Track of the Day The Stone Roses - Fool’s Gold Share TagsbaggyHome Taping is Killing Music That’s what they told us in the 80s. They were, of course, so very wrong. What they meant to say was: “Unfeasibly one-sided and … >>