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The 80s began 40 years ago

The end of the musical 70s

Even if the 80s began at the turn of the year 40 years ago, the musical 70s ended a few months earlier. Had in June 1979 Neil Young released the album "Rust Never Sleeps" and celebrated his desperation over this development with the cult song "Hey Hey, My My". The famous line "it's better to burn out than to fade away" referred to the drastic loss of meaning of rock music (and in 1994 it became the tragic farewell to Kurt Cobain in his suicide note). Neil Young felt the big changes: punk and especially new wave were the sound of the hour, even if Johnny Rotten of the Sex pistols in the text of "Hey Hey, My My" is sung about as a dying king - also with that Neil Young not correct. Because while rock music actually lost its popularity in the 80s, it could Johnny Rotten save well in the 80s. His project PiL has been 1983 very successful with the single "This Is Not A Love Song" and landed a top 10 hit in Germany. For Neil Young In contrast, the 80s were not an easy time. Trouble with the record company in 1983 even meant that the album "Everybody’s Rockin" was only 25 minutes long. First the Grunge-Wave and a cooperation with Pearl Jam saved Neil Young in the 90s. His video for the hit "Downtown" was played every hour by MTV during this time.


Every development also brings with it a countermovement. The loss of importance of rock music was the founding myth of one of the most successful bands of the decade. But Mötley Crüethat had explicitly set out to bring rock music into the 80s, were not released until January 1981 founded. 1980 played the future founderNikki Sixx still bass in his unsuccessful band London. The band London is considered a very special phenomenon because it was never successful. But many of the former members determined the fate of rock music over the years to come. For example it was Slash from the later Guns N ’Roses previously a guitarist London. Of course, rock songs also hit the charts in 1980. The big rock bands could still sell singles. REO Speedwagon went easily into the top 20 with "Keep On Loving You" and stayed in the charts for almost half a year. Trend-resistant could Queen With "Another one bites the dust"Deliver a top 10 hit in 1980. But it became increasingly tight for real rockers: One of the really great cult songs in rock music -" Ace Of Spades "by Motorhead- just made it to the top 100 in Germany: 96th place. The song stayed there Lemmy Kilmister and his band only for a short week. Even the big rock bands had to change to stay successful. A prominent example of this is "Another brick in the wall" of Pink Floyd. The from Roger Waters song was written by Bob Ezrin has been produced. Bob Ezrin was an avowed fan of the band Chic and felt inspired to a dance beat by their music. For Pink Floyd this sound was a radical break, but it paid off. Ever were Pink Floyd previously an album band, highly critical of single releases that would take a song out of context. But the 80s were a new time, and Bob Ezrin procured Pink Floyd so her only number-1 hit.

>> Attention rockers of the 80s: This is the way to the 80s80s rock radio.

Punk and post-punk

Punk and post-punk had paved the way into the 80s. But punk bands had to adapt. The clash sang courageously in their song "1977": "No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977". Now stood The clash even under pressure, they disbanded as early as the mid-80s. In 1980 punk began to show signs of fatigue. The scene had long since split into two currents. On the one hand, the commercial show punks who became fashion icons. On the other hand, the increasingly radicalizing political punks. In this context, only the representatives of post-punk were musically developed, such as bauhaus, Killing Joke, The Fall and The Birthday Party of Nick Cave. The punks lost their bite and relevance. The post-punk band Joy Division came to an abrupt end in 1980: the singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. After the suicide ofIan Curtis the remaining members wanted a clear break. They said goodbye to the somewhat problematic name Joy Division (a very controversial reference to structures in Nazi concentration camps) and were New orderNew order clearly broke with the style of the post-punk band Joy Division. After a short transition phase, in the partial material that is still with Ian Curtis was created, was recorded, the band got a much more modern sound. They became New wave-Band and epitome of 80s music.


Still hardly noticed by the mainstream, other wave bands had positioned themselves. The Cure released their first single in March 1980: "A forest". The song was written as early as 1979, the The Cure-Singer Robert Smith was still in the band at that time Siouxsie and the Banshees and wouldn't get on the side project until the 80s The Cure establish. With "A Forest" it was successful The Cure also to appear in the TV show "Top of the Pops", which was very important at the time. "A Forest" went to number 31 in England, in Germany it had The Cure first 1985 the first chart hit. Another protagonist of this scene founded an important band at the same time: In Leeds did something Andrew Eldritch with his friend Gary Marx together and called the project The Sisters of Mercy

The term New wave but goes to the manager of the Sex pistols back: Malcolm McLaren introduced the term into his work at the end of the 1970s and thus leaned on the French term Nouvelle Vague at. In 1980 the New Wave had clearly differentiated itself from Post Punk and became a genre. The first synth pop bands appeared and would rapidly gain in importance in the 80s. But at the beginning of the decade they were not yet commercially successful. Depeche Mode were founded in 1980 when Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher the singer Dave Gahan included in the band. Dave Gahan also had the idea to name the band after a French fashion magazine. The first album by Depeche Mode, "Speak & Spell", but was not released until 1981. The singer who died in 2015, too Steve Strange came from the punk scene. He had been a singer in various punk bands and had been with them during this time Malcom McLaren worked. The new wave band Visage was only planned as a side project, and after the first release "Tar" in 1979 was a total flop, wanted Midge Ure and Steve Strange end the whole thing again. But then played Steve Strange a small role in the video "Ashes To Ashes" of David Bowie. In the course of the recordings, Steve Strange completely the New Romantic- have prescribed movement. This inspiration helped with the next single: "Fade To Gray". Although" Fade To Gray "was made by Visage Released in Germany in 1981, but in England the song became a hit in 1980 - and a reference for the genre.

>> Attention wave fans, this is the way to the 80s80s wave radio

hip hop

After in November 1979 with "Rapper's Delight" the Sugarhill Gang One of the most formative early hip-hop songs was released and the hit became one of the first ever commercial successes of hip-hop, the 80s started with a real bang in terms of rap: with "Autoamerican" released Blondie At the end of 1980 an album that contained another milestone: the hit "Rapture" is still considered the first rap song by a white artist. The hit landed at the top of the American Billboard charts - including the relatively long rap part of Debbie Harry. Music experts agree that this song ensured that hip hop could establish itself more and more in the music industry. Also in 1980 the album "The Adventures Of The Wheels Of Steel" by Grandmaster Flash and his Furious Five. It was a great success for the Sugarhill label, which had already made Rapper's Delight so successful. The 1980s album is now practically the first hip-hop album. The new hype from the New York Bronx spread like wildfire around the world in 1980. Other 1980s releases were: "The Breaks" by Curtis Blow, "Zulu Nation Throwdown" by Africa Bambaataa and "Freedom" by Grandmaster Flash. Precisely with the new decade, hip hop had also come to the surface from the underground.


1980 was the wedding of the dance floors. It is not for nothing that the period from 1977 to 1983 is referred to by relevant DJs as the obscure and experimental epoch of disco sound. From the mostly Phillie-Sound based, hand-played sound of dance music (McFadden & Whitehead "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now",Chic "Everybody Dance, Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive" andDan Hartman "Relight My Fire") became more and more electronically generated disco tracks. The first amalgamations of electronics and classic dance sound are already on the agenda in the late 70's. The undercooled attitude in the course of the emerging electronic age and the cool anonymity of advancing digital technology has also paved bizarre ways in the presentation and self-portrayal of various disco / dance projects. Aloofness, coolness and an almost dehumanized show presence was the result. Good examples of this were Space who already drew attention to themselves in 1977 with "Magic Fly",Ganymede frightened with their mask disco at "It Takes Me Higher",Cerrone glittered and sweated partly under animal masks, Donna Summer Already in 1977 fell into a kind of vocal stakato to that of the first so-called "rolling bassline" Giorgio Moroders and almost looked like a sample of itself. The encounter with modern technology in the form of bizarre space attitudes slowly gave way in 1980 to a certain normality. Electronic aids were still extremely expensive, but they became more and more the standard for new dance projects. So disco got a new boost as it did too HiNRG has been. In some cases the classic song character was abandoned and the so-called "track" was generated. A catchy moment on the dance floor, and dance anthem of 1980: was Steven Greenberg with the projectLipps Inc: "Funkytown". The track, which was produced in 1979, rose to the top of the dance and sales charts worldwide in the spring of 1980. One track is reduced to a repetitive line "Want You Take Me To Funkytown". So repressed Lips Inc even the disco queens Diana Ross with "Upside Down" from the top of the dance charts. Other hits in 1980 were Kano with "It's A War", Stevie Wonder "Master Blaster", Joe Bataan "Rap-O Clap-O", Brothers Johnson "Stomp" andThe Jacksons "Can you feel it".

The discotheque should also be highlighted Warehouse in the already 1980 Frankie Knuckles began to mix electronic EBM music from Europe with more classic disco tracks from the USA to create a completely new sound. From this the legendary (goods) -House-Sound of Chicago. At the same time, producers formed in 1980 who had initiated the start of the new Discoaera of the early 80s. At the forefront of this is the later and first producer Pet Shop Boys: Bobby Orlando "The bass makes the hit. And thanks to the latest studio technology I produce hundreds of tracks a year," he announced. On his record label O-Records, founded in 1980, appeared with "Just a Gigolo" by Barbi & The Kens as well as "Change of Life" by I play Songs that became hits in New York nightclubs. 1980 also registered the first songs of the laterItalo disco - a new burgeoning cell of dance sound on an electronic basis - but much more oriented towards melody and pop songs. 1980 was an exciting year in the development of dance music and an important moment in the rebirth and further development of disco. A time of transition, when computers still sounded hand-played - circuit boards and sweat united in the discos around the world.

Newcomer of the year

Child prodigy of 1980 was by the way Christopher Cross, his single "Ride Like The Wind" was the first really big international hit of the new decade in the spring of 1980, the 80s would be his decade. However, things went for Christopher Cross then quite different, read the full story here.