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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back from the 80s, into the "Noughties"

Welcome back big hair, frilly clothes, cowl necks, big socks, rolling up sleeves, shoulder pads, baggy pants, and Depeche Mode! Being a girl who can't get rid of her curls, it's a relief.

The 80s are everywhere, in true second hand fashion. 18 years olds wearing 2-tone ska inspired black and white check or mohawks with spikes hanging out in a group together made me wonder if it was 1985. High school students wear T-shirts for bands that my brother introduced me to: U2, Metallica, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Depeche Mode, The Pogues, The B-52s, The Ramones, Madness, the English Beat. 2008 ushered in the 2080s.

Some bands never left. They refused to go gentle into that good night that was the 1990s and beyond. Output became sporadic for some and members took time off, but now they are experiencing a resurgence in what Britain calls the "noughties". (Get it? Nought is the 0.)

Bands leading this group: U2, Van Halen, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Nine Inch Nails (!), Depeche Mode (Live on Jimmy Kimmel they were vocally top notch. The lyrics are to Wrong are stunning. I was impressed. If you find Personal Jesus offensive, I apologize.)

Some bands experienced brutal breakups, lawsuits, semi-stagnant solo careers or just disappeared.

Bands leading this class: B-52s, Yaz/Yazoo, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Echo and the Bunnymen (If you recognize Lips Like Sugar from Coldplay, this band did it better. The Bunnies were FIERCE.) And from 2-tone ska we have Madness and the Specials touring again.

(Spandau Ballet's new song is called Once More. Time doesn't seem to have passed for the B-52s. Duran Duran, still charging $35 yearly for their fan club, gives me the heebee jeebies.)

World famous LA station, KROQ, has even launched a web page honoring its 80s glory with links to the videos that rocked the 80s world. www.roqofthe80s.com

Sticking around is nothing new. In the 80s, Lou Reed was an "old" guy who still turned out some hits. Robert Palmer went on without Led Zeppelin. David Bowie officially became "old", turning 40 in 1987. People still walked on the wild side, then put on their red shoes and danced the blues under the serious moonlight. Let's not forget other guys who kept going: Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elton John, Micheal Jackson, Sting, and our American bard--John Denver, RIP...the list goes on.

We even have an "old girls" club with Celine Dion, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper who started in the 80s. But even then the original legends like Aretha Franklin, Donna Sommer and Diana Ross kept going into the 80s.

Johnny Cash scored a hit with 2002 Hurt--a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song--well into his 70s. The lesson here? Age is just a number. Rock on!

It just struck me that Van Halen, Aerosmith, Madness and the Specials are actually from the 70s. And Echo and the Bunnymen actually started in 1978. Well, guess what? If that's your era, even Fleetwood Mac, Kiss and Blondie are having a go. Time to dust off those old records.

I love comments!


tannen said...

Hvent been on yer blog in months and the first post I see is this one on the 80's revival going on among the kiddies. Man, I grew up in the 80's and the early 90's. Personally, I think some of the best most innovative music came out of the 80's...

Overjoyed to see you mentioning 2Tone bands the Beat, Specials, Madness... Seen them all live...amazing!! Funny, I always thought that when I would court my wife, I'd take her to a kickass Ska gig (Beat/Specials/Skatalites)gig and we'd dance our faces off together. If she'd be cool with that, right on; if not then time to part ways. Mirror in the Bathroom has one of the catchiest basslines anywhere.

I've gone back to school as an adult and yup, some of the kids are trying to kick that style...weird to see. Yet they've neve heard any of the music, just Jonas bros (ugh) ad nauseam thanks for the great post. Now back to Youtube to look for some Husker Du!

SavvyD said...

Rock on! Going to a 2Tone concert sounds like a great way to court a girl if you ask me!!! I've been doing alot of digging around in the 80s right now. Some of it's great stuff and some shocking. BTW, I put People are Strange by EATB in the Conspiracy Theories article.

It's a-ma-zing what you can find on You Tube. Take a look around for Joy Division and Gang of Four!!

tannen said...

Gosh Savvy, a woman after my own heart....if I'd known you back in the day I'd have asked you out to many killer gigs I'd seen....

Where were you, sniff! missed connections....the agony.... Joy Division's (RIP Ian Curtis) melancholia and the blackness of Peter Murphy are washing over me like a flood... No. Actually it's just a typical Vancouver downpour. Lame joke, sorry I couldn't resist.

Gang of Four, never got into them back then, but a wicked band nonetheless. I'll have to listen to more of their stuff, struck me a bit like Pere Ubu. Local fellas (my personal faves) Nomeansno are still kicking out the jams 28 years later. Shall I go on... Minutemen, DOA, Rites of Spring, Fugazi.........

Sadly, they're featured in department store muzak nowadays, but back then the Cure and New Order were out there too. And let's not forget PIL and Killing Joke ("Reqiuem" is just a brilliant song)

Funny (sad?) thing, Apropos Killing Joke etc. most if not all of these bands are very anti-christian, but the music is so good compared to anything CCMish, I'd say the same holds true now. I stopped listening to Christian music about 15yrs ago, mainstram stuff anyways, but there's some really good underground stuff out there if you can find it. From what I rmemeber, Portland had some great punk/indie bands who happened to be christians. They played almost exclusively in clubs/bars and all ages shows, even the odd church!

Cool to hear there's a christian who likes the Beat, very cool indeed!

SavvyD said...

Well, I was most likely at home with mom and dad. I was much too young to go to this stuff when it was happening. Alas, alas! I always feel like I'm from a different time.