Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: K is for Kids in the Kitchen.

kids-in-the-kitchenIf I was having a tough time coming up with band names for last month, it’s nothing compared to this months challenge for the letter K. I could only come up with one – yes, one! – that really stood out. And they are once again, another Aussie band.

Kids in the Kitchen were formed in Melbourne in 1983 and their debut single ‘Change in Mood’ reached No.10 in Australia later that same year. The following year, they were nominated for ‘Most Promising New Talent’, as well as ‘Best Debut Single’ at the Countdown Music and Video Awards. In 1985, they released their debut album Shine, where the single ‘Current Stand’ became a hit overseas and reached No.12 in Australia. Their second album, Terrain was released in 1987, which failed to chart. Unfortunately the group could not emulate their earlier success and broke up in 1988.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter K include:- Kajagoogoo, Kraftwerk, Kool and the Gang.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter K can you think of?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: J is for The Jam.

The JamWe’re back to the 80s again this month, and this one had me a bit stumped. I was racking my brains trying to come up with bands starting with the letter J, which is why I’ve cheated a bit as this month’s band starts with ‘The’ (yeah, real naughty of me). The Jam happened to be one of those bands that I was fortunate to discover back in the 80s as my sister worked in a record store at the time, and as she was introduced to new bands, so was I. 🙂

The Jam were formed in England in 1972, and were influenced by the Mod music and lifestyle. They gained a small following on the punk scene and incorporated 1960s rock and R&B influences within their music, which would later have them tagged as ‘revivalists’. In 1977, they signed with Polydor Records and released their debut album. A second album was released later that same year and it was around this time that the bands lead singer, Paul Weller, became the chief songwriter.

In the years that followed, they released three more albums, including Sound Affects in 1980, which included the song ‘That’s Entertainment’; one of the bands most celebrated songs. Their next album, Start! reached No.2 in the U.K and would become their most successful album in America. The album The Gift released in 1982, not only reached No.1 in the U.K, but also became their final album. It featured ‘Town Called Malice’, which had become a No.1 hit. The Jam played a farewell tour of the U.K before disbanding in 1982.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter J include:- Joy Division, Japan, Judas Priest.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter J can you think of? How have you discovered new music?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: H is for Hunters & Collectors.

Hunters & CollectorsFor the challenge this month I’ll be featuring another Aussie band. Hunters & Collectors are one of my favourites and I recall back in the early 80s, one of my friends saying ‘You like them?’, as if there was something seriously wrong with me (eh, I guess even back then I was being an individual). Years later, she eventually learned to change her mind, though. 😉

Back in the early 90s, my husband and I saw them live at the State Theatre in Sydney. It was a good concert, and we both found it amusing to watch the teeny-boppers at the front of the stage, particularly when the band began playing some of their earlier stuff. There was a highlight that we have not forgotten. Standing next to us was Australian television personality Andrew Denton, who my husband began talking to. When the band began playing their iconic song ‘The Slab’, or ‘Betty’s Worry’, the teeny-boppers looked bemused and sat down, however my husband and Andrew Denton got right into it and yelled the lyrics into each others faces. Priceless!

Hunters & Collectors were formed in Melbourne in 1981. They released two albums in the early 1980s, neither one reaching the Top 50 in Australia and the band briefly disbanded. They soon reformed and released another album, Human Frailty in 1986, which became their first Top 10 album. The song ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’, would eventually become one of their most popular songs. They went on to release another half a dozen albums, were nominated in six categories at the ARIA Music Awards in 1990, and supported Midnight Oil’s tour of the U.S. during the same year. Internal tensions grew within the band a few years later and they would eventually disband in 1998, undertaking their final Australian tours in the same year. In 2005, Hunters & Collectors were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter H include:- Huey Lewis and the News, (The) Human League, Hoodoo Gurus, Haircut 100.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter H can you think of? What bands do you like that make you a ‘little different’ to your friends? Do you have some memorable moments at concerts you’ve been to?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: G is for Goanna.

GoannaJanuary is quickly coming to its end already this year and this month for the start of 2016, we’re kicking off with the letter G, featuring another Aussie band.

Goanna were formed in Melbourne in 1977 and with their increasing popularity, signed with WEA Australia in 1982. They released their first single ‘Solid Rock’ during the same year after some reluctance due to its political subject. It went on to reach No.2 in Australia and remained in the Top 50 for 26 weeks. Months later, they released their debut album Spirit of Place, which also reached No.2 in the album charts. A year later, the band won three awards including Best Debut Album, Best Debut Single and Best New Talent. In 1985, they released their second album, but during this time there were band changes and issues with their record label. Eventually the band disbanded, with their final tour in 1986.

Unfortunately, the political subject in ‘Solid Rock’ is controversial to this day, but one that is still worth thinking about. Given that we celebrate Australia Day on the 26th of January, I feel it is an appropriate choice this month.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter G include:- (The) Go-Go’s, Guns N’ Roses, Genesis, GANG Gajang, Go West, (The) Go-Betweens.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter G can you think of? What are your plans for Australia Day? How do you celebrate your national day?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: F is for Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Frankie Goes to HollywoodIt’s hard to believe that we’ve almost reached the end of the year and thinking about Christmas. With my Back to the 80s challenge, after an absence last month due to NaNoWriMo, we’ve reached the letter F.

My band of choice this time around wasn’t too difficult, for one of their songs in particular I think, should reflect the mood around this time every year (besides, I’m just not all that into Christmas carols).

Formed in 1980, Frankie Goes to Hollywood released their debut single ‘Relax’ in 1983, which was banned by the BBC a year later for being too controversial. It quickly shot to No.1 in the UK charts, where it stayed for five weeks. The BBC lifted their ban towards the end of 1984. By this time, they had released two other singles ‘Two Tribes’ and ‘The Power of Love’, which also went on to become chart toppers. Their album ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome’ was released in 1985, with the title track reaching No.2 in the charts. Another album was released in 1986, but by then problems had arisen within the band, leading to the departure of lead singer Holly Johnson.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter F include:- Foreigner, Fine Young Cannibals, Fiction Factory.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter F can you think of? What are your plans over the Christmas break this year?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: E is for Eurythmics.

EurythmicsThis month we’re diving into the letter E and with this band I sometimes wonder if I ever saw them live or not – hey, I saw a lot of bands in the 80s and that decade is known for being one big party! In all honesty though, I really don’t think I did, but at the time, they were a band that I did consider going to see.

Eurythmics were a British band formed in 1980, consisting of Annie Lennox and David Stewart. In 1983, their commercial breakthrough came with their second album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) . The title song reached No.2 in the UK and later topped the US charts. Later that same year, they released another album, which became their first No.1 album in the UK and included three hit singles. Throughout the 1980s, they released a total of eight albums and collaborated with various other musicians. In the early 1990s, after strenuous years of touring and recording, they disbanded; each going on to begin their solo careers.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter E include:-Eurogliders, (The) Escape Club, Echo and the Bunnymen.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter E can you think of? What bands did you wish to see, but didn’t?

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Back to the 80s

Back to the 80s: D is for Divinyls.

DivinylsGoing back to the 80s and rediscovering the music of that decade, it was certainly a time when Aussie music came into its own. There was an abundance of Australian talent, which became recognised both nationally and internationally (and as an Aussie, it’s only natural that with this challenge I’ll be highlighting some of that talent). 😉 This month, we’re diving into the letter D with another Aussie band, which unfortunately came to a sad end.

Formed in Sydney in 1980, Divinyls played in pubs and clubs and it was during this time that they signed with record label WEA. They provided the soundtrack for the movie Monkey Grip in 1982, which included the songs ‘Boys in Town’ and ‘Only Lonely’. As well as the Monkey Grip EP, Divinyls released another three albums during the 1980s. They released another album in 1991, which included the single ‘I Touch Myself’, and despite its controversy, became a success in the US and UK and reached No.1 in Australia.

By the end of 1996, there was a falling out between some band members, yet the band did not officially break up. In 2006, they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and reformed shortly afterwards. In 2007, lead singer Chrissy Amphlett revealed she had multiple sclerosis and the band disbanded in 2009. In 2010 Chrissy was diagnosed with breast cancer and died in 2013. May she rest in peace.

Other bands formed or who had hits in the 1980s starting with the letter D include:- Duran Duran, Dire Straits, Depeche Mode, Dragon, Do-Re-Mi, Def Leppard, Devo, Dead or Alive, Dear Enemy.

What other bands of the 1980s that begin with the letter D can you think of? Do you worry if a band’s music becomes controversial?

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