Category Archive: 80s

Catching up on forty years. 1989: She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals

Frontman Roland Gift was mr charisma, loving himself as much, if not probably more than his audience. The two bendy legged guitarists from The Beat – David Steele and Andy Cox – were irrepressible.

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Catching up on forty years. 1988: Always on my Mind – Pet Shop Boys

It’s difficult to make anything sound great in a black Nissan Cherry but in 1988 that was my mission. Always on My Mind cranked up to 11 and with the graphic equaliser settings (all three of them) turned up to max as well, you could feel like you’re almost flying.

Catching up on forty years. 1987: Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes – Paul Simon

Suitably fuelled with Fosters we started that conversation about the best album of the year. It was the 80’s hence it was Fosters. It was two men after beer so the conversation had to be list-based – whether of football teams, of cars, of Australian actresses or in this instance of music.

Catching up on forty years. 1986: Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others – The Smiths

The Queen Is Dead is probably the best album ever made and on that very short list to join me on a desert island. And for that reason there has to be only one place to go in search of a song.

Catching up on forty years. 1985: The Queen and The Soldier – Suzanne Vega

Never underestimate the power of the story in a song.

Catching up on forty years. 1984: Sixty Eight Guns – The Alarm

And now they’re trying to take my life away
Forever young I cannot stay

Catching up on forty years. 1983: Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

This is the year that MTV discovered that maybe black people made some half-decent music.

Catching up on forty years. 1982: Town Called Malice – The Jam

So why pick out The Jam?

Mainly because Town Called Malice has passed the test of time…and…it does give us the backdrop for that incredible dance scene in Billy Elliot.

Catching up on forty years. 1981: Souvenir – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

1981 was after all the year of Architecture and Morality…but also the year of AIDS, MS-DOS, the SDP and MTV.