Yes it really is 40 years since the 80s began and to celebrate, here is a collection of hits from that year, a great one for pop culture if not the best.
But they're not from the usual suspects such as Blondie or Madness etc but a collection which demonstrates that pop as it entered the Me decade (or was that the 70s?) was in fine fettle as a well as a dip into some of the events and pop culture of that year, from Tiswas to Who Shot J.R.?
Featuring performances from Joe Jackson, The Buggles, Martha and the Muffins, Peter Gabriel, Jona Lewie, Nick Straker Band, Split Enz, Robert Palmer and The Stray Cats. Now where's that Rubik's Cube...
If you thought we live in politicized times today, that was nothing compared to the 80s!
The Thatcher revolution had its fair share of critics in the pop world, some from surprising places as you'll see. When the Iron Lady increased her grip in the aftermath of the Falklands War, attention shifted to other causes such as Apartheid in South Africa. I post this as the left in the UK find themselves pondering another decade in the wilderness.
Will there be a similar musical response in the 20s?
Featuring performances from The Jam, The Gang of Four, Buck Fizz, The Beat, Robert Wyatt, The Special AKA, The Redskins, Billy Bragg, Steven Van Zandt and The The.
Release the Bats AKA the Halloween Goth Rock Special!
Goth was one of the more unique subcultures in 1980s pop. Evolving from Post-punk, Gothic rock took inspiration from the darker end of 1960s rock (The Doors, The Velvet Underground) as well as the more arty, theatrical side of Glam. It's aesthetics from fashion to club culture still resonates to this day. Everyone knows a Goth!
Featuring performances from Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Birthday Party, The Cure, Bauhaus, The Damned, Killing Joke, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cult, All About Eve and The Mission.
The last in the series. Post-Grunge, US alternative rock was more eclectic, with the angsty power pop of Weezer and Garbage, the lo-fi of Pavement, the experimental Wilco and the more psychedelic approach of 80s veterans Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips amongst others as we reach the Millennium in fine style.
Featuring performances from Weezer, Hole, Garbage, Eels, Foo Fighters, Wilco, Mercury Rev, Pavement and The Flaming Lips.
Towards the end of the 90s, dance orientated music moved away from the fields and back into the clubs again and sprouted ever more diverse styles - electronica, drum and bass, jungle etc, etc. It was the era of the "Superstar DJ" although most artists kept a low profile compared to conventional rock acts with the emphasis very much on the music...
Featuring performances from Leftfield, Robert Miles, Sneaker Pimps, Roni Size/Reprazent, Faithless, Air, Armand Van Helden, Underworld and the Chemical Brothers.
The UK indie scene as the Millennium approaches and the New Labour era dawns. Many of the acts featured sat on the Britpop side-lines but soon made strides when the scene faded from popularity, heralded by Radiohead's epochal OK Computer album, released in 1997.
Featuring performances from Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals, Travis, Radiohead, Embrace, Catatonia, Spiritualized, the Verve and Gomez.
The Golden Age of Hip hop. The genre continued it's irresistible rise to the top of pop culture, with plenty of great tunes, characters but also controversy and tragedy. It was an era defined by the East Coast/West Coast rivalry and intra-label feuds, most notably between 2Pac and Biggie Smalls (AKA Notorious B.I.G.). But arguably the key figure was Dr. Dre, whose collaborations with Snoop Dogg and later Eminem propelled both to superstardom. I'm only scratching the surface here...
Featuring performances from Ice-T, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Coolio, The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z.
Whereas todays music scene is dominated by solo artists, the 90s was somewhat more low key in the era of guitar bands and manufactured groups. Alanis Morissette was an exception in terms of mass appeal, although even that was short-lived. Instead, the solo artists were held in greater critical regard than commercial, with some of the selection here sadly only giving us a glimpse of their potential...
Featuring performances from Sinead O'Connor, Tori Amos, Bjork, Beck, Jeff Buckley, PJ Harvey, Alanis Morissette, Beth Orton and Elliott Smith.
Note: This a lower quality re-load after the previous one failed to publish!
The titanic chart battle in August 1995 between Blur and Oasis capped perhaps the defining period in British music in the 1990s as Britpop, albeit briefly reigned supreme. In their wake a plethora of bands managed to gain success and capture the zeitgeist and other clichés, although some would argue the movement moved away from its original iconoclastic roots in the quest for stardom. Still, it was fun while it lasted...
Featuring The Boo Radleys, Oasis, Supergrass, Sleeper, Echobelly, Ocean Colour Scene, Cast, Shed Seven and The Bluetones.
Mainstream R&B retained its constant presence in pop music during the 90s but not without adapting. With some acts it was a back to the future approach with the rise of acapella groups. With others it was engaging with the rising force of Hip hop, with frequent collaborations.
Featuring performances from Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, En Vogue, Toni Braxton, All-4-One, Mark Morrison, Fugees, Mary J. Blige and Blackstreet.
Boy bands and girl groups have always been around but the formula was arguably perfected in the 90s. Sparked by the massive success of US band New Kids On The Block, UK record labels responded in style, with a succession of teen-targeted bands.
Featuring performances from Take That, East 17, Eternal, Boyzone, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, All Saints, 5ive and Steps.
Time to chill out. Trip hop was one of the more innovative music strands in the decade. Originating in the main from Bristol, the genre appealed to chin-strokers as well as the mass public. Also popular was acid jazz where rhythms were also high but pulses low...
Featuring performances from Massive Attack, Gary Clail On-U Sound System, Bomb the Bass, Young Disciples, Stereo MC's, Jamiroquai, The Brand New Heavies, Portishead and Tricky.
The roots of Britpop. The scene at the centrepiece of the UK music scene in the 90s evolved from various other strands, including baggy, shoe-gazing and a sort-of 60s/70s revivalism.
Featuring performances from World of Twist, Curve, Blur, Ride, Suede, Denim, Saint Etienne, Pulp and the Auteurs.
One of the themes of 90s music was the breakthrough of alternative music into mainstream pop culture. Grunge proved to be the spark for US bands, spearheaded by Nirvana's best-selling Nevermind album.
Featuring performances by Pixies, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Sugar, L7, Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains.
The rise of rave music was arguably the most significant UK youth culture development after punk. This edition tracks the phenomenon and its associated genres entering the mainstream.
Featuring performances from Orbital, The KLF, The Shamen, 808 State, Bizarre Inc, Moby, Oceanic, Altern-8, The Prodigy and The Future Sound of London.
Baggy, Madchester, Indie-dance, call it what you will. 1990 saw the emergence of a loosely linked crop of alternative bands in Britain, inspired in part by the music and culture of the Acid House explosion of the late 80s.
Featuring performances by Inspiral Carpets, Primal Scream, James, The Soup Dragons, The Charlatans, The Farm, Happy Mondays, The La's and EMF.