Continuing on with the Top 50 New Wave Artists - we see a number of gay icon bands - Bronski Beat, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Erasure, making the list.
Some classic and critically acclaimed bands are also in here - Ultravox and XTC and we also see some pop 80's superstars like Thompson Twins, Simple Minds and Howard Jones.
I've also made some references to Howard's blog "Soundtrack to My Day" where you can get much more insight into some of the mentioned bands - so I am hoping you can pop across and lend some support to Howie's blog as well!
Hope you enjoy!
30. Bronski Beat
The openly gay trio - they talked about "The Age of Consent" (of consensual homosexual sex) in 1984 on their debut
Here's a band who did not hide their sexual orientation - all band members were openly gay. Their music, sound, videos and even album names were all influenced by their sexual identity. Unlike the other bands of the 80's who bender/gendered - Bronski were plain looking lads who did not need to do that to reflect their sexuality, their openess and their music.
Their debut album "Age of Consent" "came out" in 1984, and was a blend of synth-pop, new wave, classic 70's disco, dance and electronica - it was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Along with Frankie Goes to Hollywood, these bands had some very daring videos expressing without fear who they were!
Eventually lead singer Jimmy Sommerville left the band and was replaced with Marc Almond (from Soft Cell - see #48 on the list).
Classic tracks: Small Town Boy, Never Can Say Goodbye, Tell Me Why
29. Howard Jones
Howard and his synthesizer seemed like a one-man show. Together they produced some of the most memorable new wave tracks of the 80's
Ho-Jo was a one man new wave machine. In 1984, he came out with "Human's Lib", which was a hit in the US and the UK, with the lead singles "New Song" and "What is Love".
I remember reading back in the 80's that Ho-Jo taught himself how to play the keyboards as a teen - however it was he learned - it paid off big time. Ho-Jo's second album "Dream Into Action" was also a major hit, giving him two of his biggest singles - "Things Can Only Get Better" and"No One Is To Blame". During the 80's Ho-Jo remained active and had a successful string of singles.
Classic Tracks: New Song, What Is Love, Things Can Only Get Better
28. The Fixx
One Thing Leads to Another - this band were an MTV staple
The Fixx were the opening act for "A Flock of Seagulls" back in 1982. I remember my sister seeing them in concert and commenting that she preferred The Fixx, then we proceeded to get the band's debut album "Shuttered Room" with classic new wave tracks "Red Skies" and "Stand or Fall".
The sound on the band's second album "Reach the Beach" was a different slant from their debut - it showed a mature sound, tight and confident. This opened them up to pop stardom as "Saved by Zero" cracked Top 20, followed by their biggest hit "One Thing Leads to Another" hitting #4.
I love The Fixx - they were especially huge on MTV which was a big part of them being played on mainstream rock radio. The band was consistent with their Top 40 deliveries throughout the 80's and remain as one of the best to come out of the decade.
Also check out "Howie's blog" for a post he did on The Fixx.
Classic Tracks: Saved by Zero, One Thing Leads to Another, Sign of Fire (my fave)
Midge Ure - the band's lead singer was a major part of Live Aid and organising "Band Aid" in 1984 along with Bob Geldof.
Now when we talk leading acts of New Wave this band is one of the forerunners. The band explored the darker side of new wave, much like Depeche Mode did, but their sound was more rock oriented. The band were massive in the UK but not so much so in the US. But regardless their contribution to new wave and alternative is evidenced by their amazing repertoire of music.
The band were a major influence on British new wave music and Brit-rock as a whole. Midge Ure continued music as a solo artist, and was heavily involved in Live Aid and Band Aid in the 80's.
Howie is a huge fan as well of this band - check out the link to his site "Soundtrack to My Day" and the post he did on lead singer of Ultravox - Midge Ure!.
Classic Tracks: Hymn, Reap the Wild Wind, Vienna
26. Simple Minds
Take a listen to "Belfast Child" from the band - it will take you to another world!
John Hugh's classic movie "The Breakfast Club" launched Simple Minds into super stardom with the theme song from the movie "Don't You (Forget About Me)". I remember when this song was working it's way up the Top 100, I was happy that such an underground band with such a classic new wave sound could make it to the Top.
Simple Minds hail from Glasgow, and were big in the UK a few years before their success in the US. The band's music was very political and social at the time. They continued to have success with their follow up "Alive and Kicking" and the band scored a few Top 40 tracks during the mid-80's off the classic album "Once Upon A Time".
Here's a tidbit - Jim Kerr - the band's lead singer was married to Chrissie Hynde of "The Pretenders".
Classic tracks: Don't You (Forget About Me); Sanctify Yourself, Belfast Child
25. Adam and the Ants
Adam and the Ants was one of Princess Di's favourite bands. When "the Ants" came out in the early 80's their was the war-painted face of Adam as frontman and also the futuristic, yet retro army shin-dig that Adam wore. The band was part of the modern romantics - and Adam sure had a couple of interested young girls romanticising!
Classic tracks: Stand and Deliver; Strip, Goody Two Shoes (latter two as a solo artist)
24. Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Did you have one of these?
FGTH (like Bronski Beat) were an openly gay band whose mark on music was a song on "masturbation" called "Relax". They then took the political arena on the follow up "Two Tribes".
The song's title had set a fashion trend with "Frankie Says" - such a fashion statement from the 80's. The song's video caused sparks where it was banned in the U.K. and the video that aired on MTV was one featuring the band in live footage (much more subtle for TV at the time).
Classic tracks: Relax, Two Tribes, Rage Hard
23. Thompson Twins
Tom Bailey (singer) is still quite active producing for various bands and involved in a number of self help projects. The trio were MTV staples and were one of the most successful bands out of the 80's.
Despite the name the band was a trio that had some of the most danceable new wave music on their first album, with tracks like "Lies" and "Love On Your Side". Withe the release of "Into the Gap" the band had switched styles, making one of the most memorable ballads out of the 80's with "Hold Me Now".
The band were staples on MTV and had a number of Top 10 hits up until the mid-80's.
Classic Tracks: Lies, Love on Your Side, Hold Me Now
XTC are better known for their critical successes rather than making hit records. In 1986 the band released "Dear God" a song whose lyrics were controversial at the time as it depicted suffering and despair in a letter to God. There was a backlash as some radio stations refused to play it and some record stores also refused to sell the album.
Despite this, the song and the band are well respected in the new wave and rock arena.
Classic tracks: Dear God, Senses Working Overtime, Making Plans for Nigel
Classic dance music from one of the most successful new wave bands of all time
This band is HUGE in the UK, having 16 Top 10 hits and 32 Top 40 hits. In the US they had only 3 Top 20 hits, but despite this they are well loved on both sides of the Atlantic.
Vince Clarke and Andy Bell comprise Erausre. Vince Clark was formerly with Depeche Mode and then later with Yaz (#32 in the countdown). The band has been inspiring many on the dance floor and were a major artist on the evolution of early modern rock stations.
Classic Tracks: Sometimes, A Little Respect, Always.
OK cuties, we are almost there - #'s 20-11 are coming soon.