Well....I had my poll on "What's Your Best Year in the 80's".....and the winner...... 1984.
1984....wow...I am writing from the top of my head....this was a book by George Orwell, a song by the Eurythmics and an album by Van Halen!
Off the Top of My Head
What stands out in my head are the likes of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer". When I saw that 1984 had won, this was the 1st song that came to mind. I remember thinking this song had a great rock feel to it....it was sad as well as reminescent of someone who has loved and lost. I was rooting for this song to hit #1, but I believe it only made it to #4.
Another act that comes to mind is Sheila E's "The Glamourous Life"...I loved the video and look of Sheila E....and she was a kick ass drummer too! I loved looking at this on MTV baby!
I am not sure why the above two comes to mind the most, because I am more influenced by the New Wave of the era...so searching the deeper recesses of my memories....who could forget two of the Top Gay Bands of that era....BRONSKI BEAT and FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD! Which brings us to the Gay Contributors.
The Gay Contributors....some of our pioneers
I blogged about these two bands in one of my previous posts - The Age of Consent
All I can say at this point about these two bands are:
1) Bronski's Beat debut album "The Age of Consent" is about the age of consent of "homosexuality" in many countries around the world, and the inside cover of the album lists the legal ages of consent (albeit 25 years ago).
2) The video for "Small Town Boy" is about a boy coming to terms with his homosexuality . It has many sensitive topics in there like the pain of trying to tell loved ones; and also the hate that many gays of youth has to go through.
3) Frankie's video I think was 20+ years ahead of its time. It is set with Holly Johnson walking into a gay leather bar, and all of the guys are well...you know. This video was banned on MTV and initially in the UK but then it was eventually re-made for American TV (as a live music video). Too risque at that time I guess.
I hope you can read the post I wrote and also take a look at the music videos for Small Town Boy and Relax.
1984 also had some super rock classic albums - "Born In The USA" (Bruce Springsteen) and "Reckless" (Bryan Adams).
"Born in the USA" had 7 (yes 7) Top 10 singles (which is comparable to MJ's "Thriller" which also had 7 Top 10 singles).
I voted this album as my second favorite album cover of all time (see link Top Album Covers)
The album stayed more than 80 weeks in the Top 10. I like "Glory Days" and "I'm On Fire" the best.
Then we move on Canadian rocker ...."Bryan Adams".
HEAVEN" and of course that song we still hear at any 80's memorabilia....SUMMER of '69.
And of course who can forget "Madonna's"....Like a Virgin has set the standard for female popsters from Britney to Lady Ga-Ga. And....
Prince's "Purple Rain", which had "When Doves Cry" which was one of the 1st songs to cross so many genre's....it was big on the pop charts; R&B; with new wavers and it broke across on rock radio too!
The New Wavers
Well, 1984 saw the break through of "Depeche Mode" with their first Top 20 single..."People Are People". Depeche Mode is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I have had the benefit of seeing them in July 2009 in Boston and they stand as my favorite rock concert that I have ever seen....and for me...they were better than U2 whom I also saw in 2009 and the bands have been around for a similar time.
(See my concert post Depeche Mode Concert_Boston)
There were a whole slew of British bands setting the new wave era of the 80's.....I already mentioned Bronski Beat and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Here's a few more:
- Echo and the Bunnymen;
Post on "Echo & the Bunnymen"
- Alphaville (remember "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young");
- Dead or Alive ("You Spin Me Round");
- Howard Jones;
- Nik Kershaw;
- The Cars (love this band). In one of my posts I mentioned that my favorite album cover of all time was Candy-O
(see link Top album covers);
- Wang Chung (Dance Hall Days);
- Thompson Twins
to name a few.
And of course ..... Duran Duran. This is also one of my fave bands of all time. In 1984 they had their first US#1 single with "The Reflex".... any child of the 80's would love this. These guys had that avant garde dance rock, and they were all so cute too !
See link to a post I wrote on the band (Duran Duran post).
Other Memorable Things
1984 saw U2 having their first Top 40 in the US with the rock classic "Pride (In The Name of Love)",
And what about the band whom I think wrote of the catchiest and best pop songs of all time .....WHAM!
I think they were both cuties!
Yes - this band came out in 1982/83 and were big in the UK before crossing over to the US. The album aptly titled "Make It Big" did make the band a supergroup Internationally - it had four Top 10 hits, three of which were #1's.
That catchy pop number I was referring to is ....."Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)...which when I listen to it still...I reach the same conclusion..."What a great pop song!" Of course the tracks which followed even proved better...."Careless Whisper" was the ballad for me of the 80's, and it was the #1 song in 1985.
So, in conclusion, I have only mentioned a few of 1984's finest in music and there is so much to mention, so forgive me if I have forgotten something...but in conclusion here is my top 10 songs and albums from 1984.
Top 10 Songs from 1984:
10. Small Town Boy - Bronski Beat
9. The Reflex - Duran Duran
8. Heaven - Bryan Adams
7. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
6. Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung
5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - WHAM!
4. People are People - Depeche Mode
3. Pride (in the Name of Love) - U2
2. When Doves Cry - Prince
1. Careless Whisper - Wham!
Top 10 Albums from 1984:
10. Age of Consent - Bronski Beat
9. Heartbeat City - The Cars
8. Welcome to the Pleasure Dome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Isn't this album cover just "gay". I have the white version of the album cover, but this one must be an alternate print.
7. Under A Blood Red Sky - U2
6. Into the Gap - Thompson Twins
5. Like A Virgin - Madonna
4. Some Great Reward - Depeche Mode
3. Make it Big - Wham!
2. Reckless - Bryan Adams
1. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen
Thanks Peeps - and hope you season is merry thus far!