Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Top Ten Lists - Artists/ Songs from the '80s

My next few Top Ten lists are a bit convoluted. Over the past couple of years, I've picked the ten favourite songs added to my USB over the course of the year. This past year, my wife, Jo, her sister, Sue and I (with sometimes additions from other friends on Facebook) have been picking favourite songs from individual years; starting with 1974. This was partly due to a couple of Facebook posts of mine decrying the quality of songs in that year. It kind of led to a bit of a competition (if you want to call it that) where each week we'd post favourite songs from a specific year. As of this week, we're pretty well finished; we're now at 2013.

Anyway, this little contest of ours has had me running through song lists from the years; checking out playlists on BBC Radio 2 from specific shows, like Songs of the '80s, the Jo Whiley show, etc. and also even the Virgin Radio playlists. This has helped me add to the quality of the music on my usb; I do enjoy listening to music as I drive to and from work and while Jo and I drive around town on our weekly errands.

So I've broken down my list of artists/ songs for this year's Top Ten List by decades. This post will cover the '80s and includes new songs to me that I've discovered this year and have become favourites. With that lengthy preamble here are my Top Ten songs from the '80s, as discovered this year.. :) (Click on the red link if you want to hear the song)

10. Visage - Fade to Grey - Visage were a British new wave band. The band was founded by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. Fade to Grey came out in 1980 and was their second single. I like the orchestral feel to the song and also kind of like the French monologue interspersed through the song.

9. Simple Minds - Promised You a Miracle - Simple Minds is another British band; this formed by Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill and Mel Gaynor. It's a band that I had heard about but only recently began to appreciate the excellence of their music. I love the soaring nature of their songs and the great vocals. Promised You a Miracle came out in 1982 from the album New Gold Dream

8. Swing Out Sister - Surrender  - Another of those bands that I've only recently discovered. I love the cool jazzy sound and the excellent vocals of Corinne Drewery. Surrender was a top ten hit for them in the UK and came out in 1987 off the album It's Better to Travel.

7. Orange Juice - Rip it Up - Orange Juice was a Scottish band fronted by Edwyn Collins. Rip it Up reached Number 8 on the UK charts in 1983. I love the punkish sound, great guitar and Collins has a wonderful voice.

6. JoBoxers - Just Got Lucky - This was a band I found by accident, I'm pretty sure either from Sara Cox's Sounds of the 80's or it made the charts on Canada's RPM listing in the 80's. JoBoxers are a British New Wave group formed in 1982. Just Got Lucky came out in 1983. I like the beat, the piano, the peppiness of the song. A great driving song.

5. Living Colour - Glamour Boys - Living Colour was an American funk band (for the life of me I would have sworn they were British) who formed in 1984. Their song Glamour Boys came out in 1989. Another song with a great beat, you'll find it difficult not to bob and weave with it. Just plain cool!

4. Donna Allen - Serious -  Donna Allen is an American dance-pop singer. I had a couple of choices of her songs, this one and Joy and Pain. I prefer Serious. She has a wonderful voice and the song is very evocative of the time, funky, great dance beat..

3. One 2 Many - Downtown - I'm heading off to Norway for my number 3 song, an excellent ballad from Norwegian band One 2 Many. I love the opening piano sequence, reminds me somewhat of Billy Joel's Angry Young Man opening segment. The tone of the song merges nicely into a very upbeat orchestral middle and continues to build perfectly. Dag Kolsrud provides the excellent piano and Camilla Griehsel sings beautifully.

2. Voice of the Beehive - Don't Call Me Baby - Voice of the Beehive is a quirky, catchy New Wave/ poppy group. It features two sisters from California who moved to England and formed Voice of the Beehive. Don't Call Me Baby came out in 1988 and was a hit in the UK. They remind me of The Bangles or maybe The Gogos. Another great driving song...

1. Alison Moyet - Love Resurrection or Is This Love? - Alison Moyet was a member of popular group Yazoo and afterwards went off on her own and had success as a solo artist. I've highlighted two songs from the '80s for my Number 1 choice. Love Resurrection was her first single and came out in 1984, reaching Number 10 in the UK. Is This Love? reached number 3 in the UK. I love her voice and the orchestration of both songs.

So there you go, my Top ten songs from the 1980s. I hope you enjoy. Next post will feature songs from the 90s.

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