With the summer riots of last year still fresh in our mind, every increasing joblessness, and the Conservative Government delivering a budget that once again sees them feathering the nest of their rich cronies, it’s as if we have collectively jumped in a time machine and found ourselves back in 1980’s Thatcher’s domain.
Of course that era wasn’t all doom and gloom, there was the fashion that could not be ignored, our TV screens were awash with classic trash programs like Dallas and Dynasty but best of all was the music that made this particular time in history so memorable. 1981 saw the launch of MTV, were the visual impact was as important as the sound itself, and without a whiff of irony the first ever video to be played was Video Killed the Radio Star, by the Buggles
Looking back perhaps the monster the 80’s created is to blame for so much of the manufactured, over hyped pap churned out by the modern-day that is not to say that the 1980’s had its own fair share of forgettable tunes. Of course only time will tell when in twenty years time we will still be bopping around to Alicia Keys, New York State of Mind? (Yes definitely), Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, (probably) or how about anything by Justin Bieber? (Hopefully not).
The true test to any pop stars career will be partly down to image, but the thing that gives them longevity will always be well crafted music with lyrics that say more than, “Baby, baby, baby”, and yes Justin, that means you.
This month Brighton Dome saw the brilliant band The Stranglers take to the stage and remind us all just what make a great band. Memories came flooding back as they played hit after hit including their seminal single Golden Brown. Of course it helped that this particular song was wrapped up in mystery over what the lyrics were actually about, was it heroin use, a sunset or just a piece of toast.
June 3rd 2012, sees the Brighton Dome opening its doors to another 80’s music legend when Gary Numan will be performing all of his classic hits including his famous electro-pop style hits Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars.
Later in the year, two very different styles of 80’s pop will be coming to Brighton. On the 12th November 2012, Joan Armatrading will be reminding us all, not only how beautiful her voice is, but also what perfect pop songs sound like. Armatrading back catalogue is filled with songs that would get even the most jaded pop junkie tapping their feet with her songs, Drop the Pilot (was that song really directed at straight women to give same-sex loving a try?) I Love It When You Call Me Names (never has S&M sex sounded so much fun), to the more heart wrenching ballads, Love and Affection and Down To Zero.
A final treat for 80’s pop fans see Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley came together as the Human League at the Brighton Concert Hall, 23rd Novemeber 2o12. No matter how many years have passed, this trio still manage to look as give moody looks that would make Victoria Beckham come across as the laughing Cow. Once again, this band’s music stands testament to just how good the 80’s were and that there lyrical talents told great stories: Don’t You Want Me?, Mirror Man, and the political song, The Lebanon which stands as being just as relevant today.
The 80’s maybe remembered for many a disastrous hair cut, or dodgy shoulder pad, but as this list goes to show the music in the 80’s is something to be truly proud of.