For today’s blog playlist entries, I thought I’d focus on a sub-genre of 80’s New Wave music. New Wave was popularized in the late 70’s and 80’s as a post-punk rock catch-all for almost anything that wasn’t classic rock, progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, or punk. Techno-pop, also known as Synth-pop, short for synthesizer pop is a subgenre of new wave of that era as well. Less guitar oriented in nature, it featured synthesizer as the most dominant musical instrument. Synthesizer use had become more common in progressive rock with bands such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, and Yes, as well as in disco. It later gave way to true Techno and House Music in the late 80’s. But not before creating some incredible, memorable music that was part of the fabric of the 80’s. Who can forget stepping into the storybook to “Take On Me”:
“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer included in this playlist, would be a major influence on the later sound of Techno-pop. David Bowie’s sound of the late 70’s adopted was also influential. Early acts including Kraftwerk, Ultravox, and Gary Numan paved the way for later groups such as Flock of Seagulls, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, with many New Wave bands such as The Cars, Duran Duran, The Fixx, INXS, Talking Heads, and Tears for Fears incorporating synth sound in a more accessible rock or pop presentation. It was an international phenomenon, though dominated by Western Europe, with Kraftwerk, Alphaville (German), Telex (Belgian), Yello (Switzerland), A-Ha (Norwegian), Blancmange, Bronski Beat, Erasure, Flock of Seagulls, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell, Thompson Twins, Ultravox (British), Howard Jones (Welsh), with fewer popular North American counterparts such as Men Without Hats (Canadian) and Devo (American).
Of course several of these acts performed at Live Aid, including Duran Duran, Howard Jones, Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins, and Ultravox. When it comes to Techno-pop, perhaps I just can’t get enough!
Also included today is a compilation of some 80’s moody new wave faves of mine from college, that likely defies classification as a true genre, but is perhaps more an expansion of John Hughes’ “Pretty In Pink” Soundtrack, if you will, somewhat of an 80’s post-punk mood music. It includes a bands with intriguing names, especially “The The,” reportedly decided upon to have a name even more detached than “The Band” (Robbie Robertson’s band that started out and gained fame as Bob Dylan’s backup band, feeling most band names childish, and choosing what most fans called them when backing Dylan – the band, pretty anonymous…). “This Is The Day” even spawned an M&M Commercial in 2007:
Interesting band names perhaps should be the theme, with “Boomtown Rats” (a gang from Woody Guthrie’s fictionalized autobiography “Bound for Glory”), “The Church” (shortened from “The Church of Men”), “Echo & The Bunnymen” (just a name “as stupid as the rest” of the suggestions by one of their mates), “The Psychedelic Furs” (from The Velvet Underground song “Venus in Furs”). I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.
Comments are not only welcomed but encouraged. Let’s dialogue about great music.
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment
Enjoy the moment
Love the moment
Listen to the MUSIC!