15 May 2021

More Pop Picks from 1987 and 1986... Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent, With Or Without You, I Love To (Listen To Beethoven), Criticize, U Got The Look and Sometimes...


Lovely Gwen Guthrie from 1986 with Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent. This is the extended version. Another clattering, clumbering, clanging '80s dance track from the decade's huge stable of brilliance. I adored this. On the surface, it appeared to be a song about a hard-hearted woman looking for a free meal ticket, but watching Gwen on the video made it tremendously likeable to me. Slightly tongue in cheek, I fancy! Sadly, Gwen's no longer with us, but the music - and the happy memories of getting on the dance floor to this - remain.

With Or Without You - U2, 1987. The 1980s were so stuffed full of brilliant music, anything more would have been greedy...

Erasure's breakthrough hit Sometimes from 1986. This is fantabulously wonderful. Vince Clarke was straight and a synth wizard. Having been a founding member of Depeche Mode in 1980, he moved on to form Yazoo with Alison Moyet, and then Erasure with Andy Bell. Andy, gay, outgoing and with a fabulously soaring voice, was the perfect musical partner for Vince. Legends, the pair of 'em.

Gorgeous 80's clattering and clanging soul dance from Alexander O'Neal here. Criticize - oozin' style and big hair video from 1987, and the soundtrack to some fabulous nights out.

Here's the power house of creative talent that was the Eurythmics in 1987. It showcases a bit of Annie Lennox's marvellous acting talent as well as her wonderful voice. Here, we have a discontented English housewife, fancying herself oppressed by her husband, and slowly going crackers as she fantasises about naughty encounters and keeping herself thoroughly in check by not admitting what she REALLY likes - I love to (pause) Listen to (pause) Beethoven. So, she melds together the spoilt child and the masculine within her and goes off on the rampage. Genius. Sadly, Annie is a bit of a Feminist ideologue these days and I can't bear to listen to her one-sided, own-gender-adoring bilge whenever she's interviewed. But back in the 1980s she and Dave Stewart were often simply too brilliant for words.

Ooomph! The mighty Prince meets little Sheena Easton (whose baby took the morning train back in 1980) for a spot of slammin' (oower, missus!) in 1987. U Got The Look. LOVE THIS! 

The fabulous Blow Monkeys - with their very own sophisti-pop sound. To hear this drifting out of an open top car in the yuppie summer of 1986, one might think it was a gorgeously languid and happy song. But the lyrics say otherwise... 

"I just got your message, baby. So sad to see you fade away."

"What in the world is this feeling - catch a breath and leave me reeling." 

"It'll get you in the end it's God's revenge..." (as a vicar had recently said about AIDS). 

Enjoy the music - and listen to those lyrics.

A final visit to the pop charts of 1986 and 1987 will follow soon. I just want to publish this and listen to that music! xxxx

13 May 2021

Popping Back To 1986 and 1987 Again... Pump Up The Volume, No More I Love You's, Something Inside So Strong, I Can't Wait And E=MC2...

Wow - 1987 and M/A/R/R/S and Pump Up The Volume. Hugely influential early dance record. And I couldn't get enough. Still thrashing around (although now in my living room) to this brilliance today.

I adored this. Always had an ear for the quirky and the different, not to mention spine tinglingly beautiful... OK, Annie Lennox's cover in the '90s had a far larger cast and her great voice, but the original wins in this case for me, hands down. The Lover Speaks, No More I Love You's, 1986:

'I used to have demons in my room at night. Desire, despair, desire, despair - soooo many monsters...'

House Music had arrived. Year Zero was 1983 and by 1987 it was bursting out. House Nation by Housemaster Boyz and the Rude Boy of House. This sounded so different that at first I hated it. But after my second listen I was hooked. Had it on a compilation cassette and just kept rewinding and replaying it on my personal stereo. Then it was out in the clubs... 

Labi Siffre - 1987 - Something Inside So Strong... Just listen. Enough said. A beautiful and highly meaningful 1980s classic.

China in Your Hand - 1987. Wow. Carol Decker's voice is incredible, and watch the sad tale of a yuppie woman who falls in with a bad lad... There are power ballads and then there's this. In a class of its own.

Echoing across the summer of 1986, clonky, clanky and with that all-important '80s stutter. Nu Shooz. I Can't Wait. Dance at its best.

One of the best chart tracks of 1986 - with lyrics which bent my mind into many strange shapes. And made me dance. 'Blood lust, Greek god, go Discovery...' Big Audio Dynamite - E=MC2.

We'll be back in 1986 and 1987 for some more pop picks very soon. I just can't leave that decade alone...

02 May 2021

Some Prime Choons From 1986 and 1987... Luka, Making Lots of Money, Corrosion, Boops and Rumours...

Continuing our backwards countdown of some of our ultimate favourite 1980s pop tracks. Incredibly hard to select - so much must be left out!

Anyway, to 1987 and Suzanne Vega's sad and stirring song about child abuse - Luka

He lived upstairs from you. 

They only hit until you cry - after that you don't ask why.

A wonderful and moving song. Sadly as relevant today as it was back then.

1987 - Boops - he thinks he's got class, they think he's an ass...

You gotta get here to go...

Boops, my man, listen to the mighty Sly and Robbie.

This was - and is - incredible.

This Corrosion - The Sisters of Mercy from 1987. Rock/dance with a goth atmosphere and a background cast of what appeared to me at the time as New Romantics gone mouldy...

On days like this, in times like these, I feel an animal deep inside...

The Pet Shop Boys tend to be underappreciated - and they were certainly self deprecating - but they did a great deal to advance dance music in the 1980s. In 1986, my neon socks were blown off by this great thrashing, clanging beast of a song, which drew me immediately on to the dance floor every time it was played. This was the era of the remix, and this is the one that was closest to the UK single release - and it's from Top of the Pops.

Opportunities - Lets Make Lots Of Money has become a bit of a 1980s anthem. Can't think why...

The Timex Social Club - Rumors - from 1986. I loved this song so much I bought the twelve inch version - and it was even better! Listen to this and then seek it out. Fabulous. 

The incredible New Order. Substance 1987 is rarely far from my ears. Brilliant song. Brilliant video

I used to think that the day would never come when my life would depend on the morning sun...

We'll delve back into 1987 and 1986 again soon, as we became a H-H-H-H-House Nation... Jack it up out there!