Each week Mike will look back to the decade of decadence and provide a list of eight things – from movies to music to memorable moments and everything in-between. Keep in mind, this isn’t a TOP 8 list and any numerical notations are included to merely designate one item from another. Because, frankly, how can you rate one thing over another when it came from a decade as totally tubular as the 80s?
A quick note for those of you not blessed to have been around in the 80s:
In a nutshell, New Wave music followed the punk rock movement in the UK in the latter half of the 70s. “Arena rock” (think KISS, etc) had proven a success in the United States and disco was dying. Abandoning a lot of traidtional instruments and styles, New Wave leaned heavily on synthesizers and pop stylings, and if you watch most any John Hughes from the 80s (such as Pretty in Pink which you’ll see mentioned in this list) you’ll identify the style right away. Additionally, there’s been a bit of a resurgance of the style over the past few years, so you may have been listening to music heavily influenced by New Wave bands. Check out the videos in our list – you’ll probably recognize the style in seconds flat.
8. Psychedelic Furs
Starting in 1977, the Psychedelic Furs were at the forefront of the New Wave genre. Despite being successful in their native U.K. and getting airplay on college radio stations through the early 80s, it wasn’t until their re-recorded ‘Pretty in Pink’ was featured in the John Hughes film of the same name in 1986 that they shot to the mainstream.
7. Roxy Music
Formed by Bryan Ferry in 1971, Roxy Music refined their musical style a handful of times until their final album in 1982 when they were pretty solidly a New Wave band. With hits like “Avalon”, “More Than This” and “Love is the Drug, it’s surprising they never gained much of a foothold outside of the U.K.
6. New Order
Following the death Joy Division’s lead singer, Ian Curtis, the band re-christened itself New Order. “Blue Monday”, arguably their biggest hit, was released in 1983 which was followed a few years later with an appearance of ‘Shellshock’ on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack.
5. The Cure
Formed in 1976, The Cure was just as much a part of the Goth rock scene as they were the New Wave one. It wasn’t until the mid to later 80s when their sound lightened and they struck U.S. success with the single “Just Like Heaven” from their album “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.”
4. Echo & The Bunnymen
Although they had a single (Bring on the Dancing Horses), on the – what else – Pretty in Pink soundtrack, Echo & The Bunnymen never really achieved more than cult status in the United States, despite hits like “The Killing Moon” and “Lips Like Sugar.”
3. Duran Duran
This group, with their one hit wond – oh, who can we kid? Duran Duran was EVERYWHERE in the 80s and could pretty much be considered, for better or worse, poster boys of the New Wave genre and by the mid 80s the were a worldwide phenomenon. Not bad for a band named after a character in a kitschy B-Movie.
The “grandfather” of New Wave, Devo was formed in 1973 although it wasn’t until 1980’s “Whip It” that they became well known. More influential than they might be given credit for and having their music in movies, TV and other mediums, they are still considered by many to be a one-hit wonder.
1. Oingo Boingo
From their humble beginning on The Gong Show to annual Halloween performances at LA’s Universal Amphitheater until their final show in 1995, Oingo Boingo had songs appear in over a dozen movies, including appearing as themselves in Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School in 1986.
Next Week: Something funny