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We love 80s Music

Written by on 26th May 2016

”Remembering the words to every song from the 80’s but forgetting why you walked into the next room” – Unknown

By Jeannette New

I was born in 1979 .Bright Eyes from Watership Down was number one, apparently. I was a child in the 80’s. Music wasn’t really marketed to the under tens. We didn’t have any money. On the upside my mind was a young sponge. Yesterday I listened to an 80’s playlist and was amazed that I’d retained the lyrics to each and every track. From Belinda Carlisle- Circle in the sand to Billy Idol-White Wedding. When did I listen to Billy Idol? Vapid lyrics had all penetrated my tiny brain and cemented themselves alongside  humiliating toilet incidents. It’s a miracle there was any available storage space left for numbers and shapes.

Most of my 80’s music experience was gleaned through the tastes of a teenage brother and my dad. My mum was a mobile DJ in the late 60’s and played tunes as well as dancing in front of the lights in a white dress.

In musical terms it was actually rather special. If you listen to a playlist from this decade every song is a “banger”. I personally believe the songs are so good that they would be as hit worthy in 2019 as they were over three decades ago.

Let me begin with the car journeys to Lincoln which was when my dad became Disc Jockey John and my brother James, mostly listened to his Walkman in protest. I recall my brother being rather moody and it makes sense in hindsight.  Firstly he was having to sit in the back of the car with an annoying little sister whilst listening to Depeche Mode, Joy Division and all the depressing intellectual stuff that I only grew to love in 2010. James was into the British New Wave scene. Little did I realize that James was actually very cool at 16. A closed book, I only got to know him by snooping through his stuff on stealth thieving missions while he was outside !

As a child I think I was supposed to like Kylie and Jason, Sonia and Mel and Kim but I felt I was above anything the powerhouse music making machine, Stock Aiken and Waterman threw at me on an almost bi weekly basis. I never owned a Kylie Minogue or Jason Donovan T -shirt.

However, I was caught in a dilemma when Rick Astley blew up with his debut hit, “Never gonna give you up.” My values were thrown almost immediately thrown out the window and I fully boarded that bandwagon.

After we often paid the usual exciting visit to Fleet Services on a family holiday (still a highlight of any trip up North) and stopped for an “extortionate” meal at The Granary, Dad would change Paul Young for the Eurythmics, Alison Moyet, Tears for Fears, Fine Young Cannibals or my least favourite, Level 42. I still can’t listen to Running in the Family without wanting to stab myself in the face. If Dad was in good temper I’d worm some  for Rick Astley, Wham or Curiosity Killed the Cat into the tape player but I never got my Bros cassette even close. Dad couldn’t tolerate Bros. he had his limits. He’s lucky I never liked Brother Beyond or Big Fun.

So how do I include all the other music in brief. I can’t just write a top 10 list. I’ll do it in order of who I fancied the most. For a young child I had quite a desire for men in their twenties. Josephine was branded the man eater but I fear I was the one they really needed to watch.

  1. Aha. (Have you seen Morten Harket recently? He was on the One Show. He’s still as painfully good looking.  I just google image searched him and came over all weird. The yearning is just as painful now as 34 years ago)
  2. Bros. (I fancied all of them)
  3. New Kids on the Block (I fancied Joey. I always liked the shortest one. Mark Owen got the same adulation and poster snogs in the 90’s)
  4. Curiosity Killed the Cat.( I just watched a video. They were good and the lead singer Ben was hot! The guitarist wasn’t bad either. Oh and the drummer, how did I miss him as a 9 year old? My brother got me into them. He really did have good taste. James bought a beret with a peak a la Ben the singer, which I immediately stole and hid in my cabin bed.
  5. Climie Fisher(Just dreamy in his ribbed back vest and belted mum jeans).
  6. Johnny from Johnny Hates Jazz. (It was a fling. He only did one good song)
  7. The Thompson Twins.(Both although I think one was a girl)
  8. Boy George. (?)
  9. Nick Kamen. (They don’t make them like that anymore) Madonna wrote his debut single.
  10. Duran Duran. (All of them but it was subject to change on a daily basis)
  11.  The Pet Shop Boys ( The quiet one intrigued me and thus fancying ensued)
  12. Paul Weller from the Style council. (Who didn’t and doesn’t)
  13. Steve Davis. (Are we not doing snookers players of the eighties?)
  14. Prince.(Josephine’s big sister let us watch the Purple Rain film and two nine year olds were introduced to eroticism)
  15. Robert Palmer. (That’s slightly disturbing as he was in his 30’s)

In terms of girl groups these were a few of my favourites.

  1. Bananarama
  2. The Bangles (Strange girl crush on the lead singer)
  3. The Pointer Sisters
  4. Wilson Phillips

I wasn’t overly concerned with the females you may notice.

To wrap up this educational and critical review of music, I’d like to strongly recommend the 80’s as the best decade in music. It was fun and experimental decade. When your Walkman had new batteries you could get in plenty of bangers. Unfortunately the 90’s then came along and chucked a huge bucket of water over the party.


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