Music Review Series: Looking Back On The 80’s Music | 1980 Then and Now
It was nineteen eighty. Pat Benatar was telling us to hit her with our best shot, DEVO wanted us to “Whip It” and The Cure was lost in “A Forrest”, while Squeeze were “Pulling Mussels”. I was in Jr. High and didn’t own much music, but was listening to my sister’s and brother’s records after school. Most of the music I discovered, was what DJs were pushing on the radio or what a friend was listening to. We didn’t have Amazon, iTunes, Spotify or Pandora. We had to wait for the radio, or the TV or friends to introduced us to new music. Of course there were record stores, but when you couldn’t drive yet, what good were they?
Come to think of it, my family is who introduced me in the beginning. It was those days after school, listening to “Rocket Man” or Boston’s, “Long Time” that did it. I knew I loved listening. If we didn’t have it on vinyl, I would sit, for what felt like hours, waiting for that one song to hit the airwaves. It wasn’t until I could drive and spend money that I really started to own cassettes or records. I only asked my mom to buy me one record when I was a kid. It was Rumors, by Fleetwood Mac. I was a sucker for the guitar in “Go Your Own Way”. Not sure why I didn’t ask for more records. I do remember my dad buying me a few cassettes though.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. It was nineteen eighty…. According to music experts everywhere (or some charts I found on the Interwebs), the best artists’ albums of 1980 were:
- Remain In Light ~Talking Heads
- Closer ~Joy Division
- Back In Black ~AC/DC
- Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables ~Dead Kennedys
- Scary Monsters ~David Bowie
- The River ~Bruce Springsteen
- Peter Gabriel III ~Peter Gabriel
- Seventeen Seconds ~The Cure
- Pretenders ~The Pretenders
- Sandinista ~The Clash
- Permanent Waves ~Rush
I post this chart merely as a reference point of some of the music of 1980. However, I’m only reviewing what I was listening to or rediscovered later. Looking at it now, the above list is a pretty strong list and makes me want to give most a listen.
Albums | Then and Now
Zenyatta Mondatta ~The Police
In the historical context of The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta stands well on its own legs, even 36 years later. It may not have made Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Albums of All Time, but it is still a Police album and these guys made great music. Zenyatta Mondatta reached #1 in both Australia and the U.K. In the U.S., the album spent almost three years on the charts and peaked at #5. It is an undeniably fun album to listen to. Though the band didn’t feel it was their best effort, most bands would to have loved to achieved what Sting and crew considered a disappointing record. Read more…
Permanent Waves ~Rush
Permanent Waves was my introduction to Rush. Actually, it was a couple of the singles released that were my introduction to Rush. If you know Rush, you already know which singles. For the sake of the two of you reading this blog, they were “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill”. Read more…
In 2003, the album was included at No. 417 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The magazine wrote, “Too ingenuous for punk, too unironic for new wave, U2 arrived on Boy as big-time dreamers with the ambition to back it up. Read more…
Colours ~Resurrection Band
Opening track, “Autograph” blasts out with a steady beat and blazing guitar solo. Beside a couple of slower tunes, the majority of Colours delivers solid rock n’ roll thru and thru. This is a far cry from the gospel music my dad was trying to push my way. Not only did the music grab my attention, the lyrics were as honest and arresting. First and foremost, the members of Resurrection Band are story tellers. Their stories are broken into two simple themes, evangelism and worship. For a kid of 13, I loved it. Read more…