I was recently at a 40th birthday party, my mum’s 40th birthday party infact. Picture the scene- a village hall, around 80 40 somethings, close to nobody dancing. THEN, Gary Numan- ‘Cars’ is played …
The scene changes and the dance floor is filled(ish). This got me thinking, why? What is it that makes 80’s music so loveable, even today. I wasn’t even alive during the 1980’s and I know most of the words to all the hits!
So, I wrote the following blog for http://www.hopfarmfestival.com/blog.aspx . Here is the edited, (extra-special) version …
Recently I have been reminiscing and seems I have a guilty pleasure- 1980’s music! The 1980’s are a decade remembered for Margaret Thatcher, legwarmers and E.T. What is it that makes 80’s music so loveable though? I think that the following hits might have had something to do with it…
As you may know, 1984 saw the first ever Band Aid single, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. I was astounded by the enormous impact of this one song. The collaboration involved a massive 45 artists, including Sting, Paul McCartney and Paul Weller. The track became the biggest selling single in UK chart history and held the number one spot for five consecutive weeks!
Moving on… Madonna. If anyone hasn’t heard of Madonna then the chances are that they have been hiding under a rock for the past 30 years. She may have changed a lot since her first single in 1982, but perhaps that’s the reason her music has stood the toll of time. The 1980’s saw Madonna releasing countless hits, including ‘Material Girl’, ‘Like a Virgin’ and ‘Lucky Star’. A flawless mix of Pop, controversy and unforgettable fashion statements. In the words of our favourite TV spinster, Bridget Jones, “After all, Madonna is nothing, if not a perfectionist.”
Whatever your opinion is of Michael Jackson it is indisputable that he embraced the 1980’s with his signature moon walk and a pocket bursting with hits. 1982 saw the release of ‘Thriller’, which still remains the best selling album of all time! That wasn’t enough for Jackson thought and he went on to release ‘Bad’ in 1987. Although this album may not be as well remembered, it still included hits like ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’.
Other bands like Wham! may not have lasted anywhere near as long as Madonna and MJ. Nevertheless, when I think of the 1980’s I instantly remember ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, ‘I’m Your Man’ and ‘Last Christmas’. Can you believe that Wham! had one platinum and three gold singles in just one decade?
There are countless other 1980’s hits which still leave the dance floor crammed, even today. Such as ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ from synth-Pop duo, The Eurythmics. In our eyes The Eurythmics were The Ting Tings of the 80’s, laying the path for many other groups to follow. What about Cyndi Lauper and her Grammy award nominated hit ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’? Or Dead or Alive’s number one single ‘You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). Not forgetting Whitney Huston’s Pop classic ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody, an anthem which is adored to this day.
Whether you were alive during the 80’s or not, I reckon that you know the words to each and every one of the songs I mentioned. So many singles, so little time! Who doesn’t secretly adore Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran?
After all, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, (AKA Baby), had the time of their life so how could you not love the 1980’s?