Songs from The Amazing Early Eighties

By Russ

As Disco fell out of fashion in the decade’s early years, genres such as New Wave, Soft Rock, and Adult Contemporary became more popular. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 European participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored tune decade of the last 50 years.

A lot of Pop music of the 1980s can be characterized as relying on an increase in digital recording and synthesizers.

The invention of the relatively inexpensive Yamaha DX7  made digital synths widely available.  Pop and dance recordings often made use of these instruments to replace horn sections and for other ear-catching effects.

The 1980s saw the reinvention of Michael Jackson,

In addition to being the biggest selling artist of the decade, Jackson had nine number-one singles, more that any other act during the decade, and spent the longest time at number one (27 weeks), throughout the 1980s. He also won numerous awards, in retrospect such as “Artist of the Decade” and “Artist of the Century.” He was arguably the biggest star of the 1980s.

Madonna was the most successful female artist of the decade.

Her third studio album, True Blue, became the best-selling female album of the 1980s. Other Madonna albums from the decade include Like a Virgin, which became one of the best selling albums of all-time, and Like a Prayer, which was called “as close to art as pop music gets” by Rolling Stone. Madonna made music videos a marketing tool and was among the first to make them an art form. Many of her songs topped the Charts around the world, such as: “Like a Virgin”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, “La Isla Bonita” and “Like a Prayer”. After her Like a Prayer album release in 1989, Madonna was named artist of the decade by a number of magazines and awards

Other American artists that ruled the 80s charts included Bruce Springsteen, Kool & the Gang, The Pointer Sisters, Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Prince, Kenny Rogers and John Mellencamp (then known as John Cougar).

Things that came along with this era of music:

The Compact Disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982.

MTV was launched on August 1, 1981. This TV channel originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as “video jockeys” (VJs). MTV’s main target demographic was initially young adults.

This era is well covered in Wikipedia’s article, 1980s In Music; so to flesh it out, here are just a few of the songs that resonated with me during the early 1980s.

VIDEOS

1980 / Robbie Dupree / Steal Away / #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart

.

1981 / Human League / Don’t You Want Me / SynthPop – a subgenre of New Wave

.

1982 / Duran Duran / Hungry Like A Wolf

.

1982 / Michael Jackson / Billie Jean

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1982 / Little River Band / Reminiscing

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1982 / Michael Jackson / Thriller

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1982 / Culture Club / Boy George / Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

.

1982 / Toto / Africa

.

1983 / Cyndi Lauper / Girls Just Want To Have Fun

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1983 / Eurythmics  / Sweet Dreams

.

1983 / Police / Every Breath I Take

.

1983 / Yes / Owner Of A Lonely Heart

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1983 / David Bowie / China Girl

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1984 / Madonna / Like A Virgin

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1985 / A-Ha / Take On Me / Punk Rock

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1985 / Robert Palmer / Addicted To Your Love

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1985 / Tears For Fears / Everybody Wants To Rule The World

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1985 / Paul Young / Every Time You Go Away

.

Hope you enjoyed my brief blast from the early 1980s  – Russ

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7 responses to “Songs from The Amazing Early Eighties

  1. What;s with the Black Face Minstrel’s in the boy George video?……..I don’t recall ever seeing that in the MM Video broadcast.

  2. …..a great compilation of 80’s classics…..makes me feel like I’m Reminiscing……

  3. HUGH "BABE" O'DONNELL

    Russ and Gary”
    First of wishing you and your many followers a Happy and Safe EASTER.
    My famous 80’s era my stage name was DISCO BABE we had clubs called 2004 and the BACK STAGE.. I played at a HOLIDAY INN on Sunday night with 2 other girls who worked during the week. My music was always promo 12′ SINGLES sent from the top record companies and promotional. people I new or meet at the clubs. My name was DISCO BABE what great music for that era. Disco never died those singers are still alive. Rick James was my favorite singer also the MARY JANE GIRLS one of them was from PITTSBURGH. Pa.
    Thanks for the memories

    THE EMPEROR OF MUSIC
    HUGH “BABE” O’DONNELL

    russ and Gary:

    • Hi Disco Babe! I love the moniker.
      Yeah, Rick James was “out there” for sure.
      Interesting to read that you were featuring some of the great 12″ Promo singles of the day. That must have been a real blast to be on the forefront of the dance scene back then.
      Wow.
      – Russ

  4. I think Thriller may have been the best music video of all time. Nice selection.

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