A Condensed History Pt. 3
As discussed in The Start of a Music Blog, this is Pt. 3 of a condensed history of my love of music as a fan. It covers the ’80’s.
You might want to start at A Condensed History Pt. 1
1980 – 1990
An Important Year
So, 1979 was an important year but it was 1980 that remains the most important for me as, this is where I met mu, who became and remains, my wife 🙂
Iron Maiden released “Iron Maiden”, The Clash released “Sandinista!”, Bowie released “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)”, Adam & the Ants released “Kings of the Wild Frontier”. This shows just four examples of the diversity in what was happening in popular culture. The most important album from my perspective was “Kings of the Wild Frontier”. It’s not a favourite album and I don’t think I’ve ever replayed it since those days in 1980. It will become apparent why it is so important in a moment.
Punk as an idea was still a force but evolution was inevitable as the music industry started to chase the next thing with even more fervency that it had done in the past. Before you knew it, the New Romantics would be here with a flamboyance. I had little to do with Prog at this point. Pink Floyd released “The Wall” in 1979 and I had of course heard “we don’t need no education…” played out across the airwaves but it didn’t mean anything much to me at the time. The release of the film in 1982 meant it was an ongoing force throughout that time but I had a filter on. I focused upon specific things. There was so much going on, you had to. More importantly, funds were, as they always have been and still are, limited.
And so, to Adam & the Ants.
We Were Kings of the Wild Frontier
I was living in Huddersfield, in my bedsit and I went up to the Poly Halls of Residence which were not very far. Just up the road, along a pathway and there they were. There was a disco on this particular evening, not a gig and it was here that I met mu for the first time. I was going to see Adam & the Ants at the Top Rank in Sheffield. Mu had noticed me, at some point leaving the Chemistry building previously. Someone told her I was going to get tickets and that she should ask that I get her one as well. She did, I did and we went to see them on the ‘Frontier’ tour along with her friend.
In Concert – Part III
- Adam & the Ants/God’s Toys
16 November 1980 at Top Rank Sheffield.
- I got the Neckerchief
I somehow left a jacket or jumper with mu and had to go back up and collect it the next day. The rest, as they say was history.
There was a spaghetti Bolognaise made with sprouts, 24 hrs spent together with a trip to Manchester and then, the rest of our lives…
After this initial meeting, we were an inseparable item. mu loved my stereo. We followed music from now onward, together. Music had been and would always continue to be an important force in my and now our lives.
The bands of interest in the 1980’s, in this post Punk era included Adam & the Ants (as previously mentioned), Spear of Destiny, Southern Death Cult/The Cult (a favourite band), The B52’s (style), The Cure (oh, so good), Echo & the Bunnymen, Gang of Four, XTC (more about them later) and New Order.
A New Order
New Order’s post Punk assault, hot on the back of Joy Division’s tragic demise, with the loss of Ian Curtis brought about the next change in my musical appreciation. New Order were the band that bridged Punk and Electronic music. For me, they brought the punk ethic and led it, Pied Piper-like into Dance music.
Initially, they were dark and brooding. Peter Saville’s artwork help build this aesthetic and with tracks like “Everything’s Gone Green” in 1981, the mystique made this a favourite band. I owned and still have FACT. 50c 1981 MOVEMENT on tape. I also owned Fact 100c & Fact 200c on tape. I still have Fact 100c but only the case for Fact 200c, the tapes were later stolen when our car was broken into 🙁
I got to see New Order live in 1984.
New Order were important to me then and I never fell out of love with them. As we moved into the 2019s-2020s, a further found love with them developed.
In Concert – Part IV
At the time of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and the track “1984”, 1984 seemed like a lifetime away. However, before I knew it, we were in 1984 and listening to different music.
- New Order
22 August 1984 at Golddiggers, Chippenham, England.
- I got the poster
- The Cult
13 Nov 1984 at Golddiggers, Chippenham, England.
- Setlist link
Albums – Two In Particular
In 1985 The Smiths were riding high on the back of “Meat is Murder” and The Cure released “The Head On The Door”. Two other albums were released that year but they were two I didn’t have any connection with, until much later. Those albums were: Iron Maiden – “Live After Death” and Marillion – “Misplaced Childhood”…
This would be a recurring factor throughout the coming years of the decade, there would be albums released that passed me by. Much later, I would come across a band or album (discovered anew or rediscovered) and take to it at that time. I see that as I look back, I consume music almost retrospectively. Not exclusively however, there were/are some things I jump on just prior to release (the power of hype?).
In 1986 my daughter was born and 1989 my son was born therefore the late ‘80’s and the early ‘90’s were a busy time. There would have been music in there and I’ll approach that, using the records and CDs I still own, to jog my memory.
1989 saw start of The Orb’s rise to fame as chill out room favourites and chart ‘successfuls’. Prince’s soundtrack to the Batman film was important. I still own this on tape (one of my few tapes that survived).
Here ends A Condensed History Pt. 3.
The next post – A Condensed History Pt. 4