Hey, who knew those 80s bands actually are/were good musicians?!?! :D

Discussion in 'Music' started by Carlo Medina, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I'm just "funnin'" with the title, but it's so easy to dismiss the 80s bands as "hair/synth" bands of all style and little substance.

    But I got to thinking a few weeks ago that two of my favorite modern artists, Aimee Mann & Neil Finn were from Til Tuesday and Crowded House, respectively.

    On the Garden State soundtrack, Colin Hay sings a very soulful vocal/guitar song called "I just don't think I'll ever get over you" which channels a Tom Waits-type vocal to go along with a great acoustic guitar track.

    Imagine my surprise to find that Colin Hay has quite a few recent albums, most of which are well reviewed if not well received, and imagine my even greater surprise that he's formerly the frontman for "Men at Work!" Yep, those guys from the land down under, with their vegemite sandwiches.

    No real point to this thread other than to say maybe the 80s didn't deserve such a big black eye with regards to music. [​IMG]

    Can anyone else think of some 80s bands or now-solo artists who might have been viewed as just a typical 80s performer but actually has some musical chops?
     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I just gotta say that Crowded House should never be lumped in with the "hair/synth" crowd. They were always critically respected, especially for their songwriting chops.

    Colin Hay is a bit of a surprise - I have the Garden State soundtrack but never made the connection. I always liked that first Men At Work album though - nothing wrong with a collection of peppy, tuneful pop songs when they're done that well.
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Hey, some of those hair bands had some smokin' players...the problem was just that they all looked like chicks. The only thing that ruined the illusion was the lack of boobs and the buldge in their trousers.[​IMG]

    I have a compilation that I have kept around since the days of cassettes (in its present incarnation, its on my iPod). All hair metal (Crue, Winger, Ratt, LA Guns...), and it rocks.

    BGL
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    all of the 80's ruled....

    i always thought there were some good bands...with real talent. bands like the outfield, the motels, simply red, heck ... even mr. mister had some great songs.

    it's just a shame that too many of them were one (or two hit) wonders. but them it wouldn't be the 80's otherwise!

    btw, this thread reminds me of an article my friend sent me. the author is bill simmons (from espn). funny stuff, especially some of the music comments...i cut off the sports stuff since it bored me. [​IMG]

    -----------------

     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Whoa, I got Theted to reply in my thread...am I someone now? [​IMG]

    All up to Hill Street Blues I can relate to (never got into that show).

    I haven't watched TV programming religiously since Cheers went off-air. That Thursday night lineup helped me get through childhood.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    don't worry carlo...you were always one of the cool cats!

    now i'm at home, looking at my collection...and i realize just how many great songs/artists there really was.

    duran duran - lonely in your nightmare
    tears for fears - the working hour, everybody wants to rule the world
    bryan ferry - avalon, slave to love
    the church - under the milky way
    the cure - just like heaven
    eurythmics - here comes the rain (i'm *so* tired of sweet dreams)
    george michaels - father figure (yep, you read it right...)

    and that's just a 1/4 down my cd rack...

    heck, no wonder i'm stuck in the 80's. today's music just blows... [​IMG]
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Anal Internet geek note: the dude's article about 1984 includes some things that didn't happen that year...
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    SuperTed you're hijacking this thread.

    As a musician I can assure you that there were many.

    Pat Mastelotto, the drummer for Mister Mister ("Take thexe broken wings, and learn to fly again...") now plays with Robert Fripp's band King Crimson. That's pretty hardcore musical talent there, my man.
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    ...seems like Black Flag's TV Party Tonight eptimizes the decade.[​IMG]
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    oops...guess you're kinda right. sorry about that...
     
  11. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    One example of fine '80's music makin' and excellent musical ability is to listen to Eliott Easton play on The Cars albums. The guy absolutly shreds on the guitar.
     
  12. AricB

    AricB Second Unit

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    stevie stevens of billy idol's band, released a cd called Flamenco A GoGo, that was quite different, sort of a flamenco/rock fusion. He's definitely talented and diverse, i have the dvd-audio version and the sound is spectacular. music not for everyone though.
     
  13. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Here, Here!

    His solo on the title track of Candy-O is incredible. Short, but totally sweet, and it fits the song perfectly.

    And Steve Stevens is no slouch either[​IMG]

    On a related note, I see that iTunes has a new Billy Idol track. I have no idea who plays on it, but after hearing the 30 sec sample, if someone had told me it was an outtake from Rebel Yell, I would have believed it.

    BGL
     
  14. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I was going to bring that up.

    Then there is Terry Bozzio, who used to play with Frank Zappa, among others, who had formed "Missing Persons" with his wife.

    Then there was "The Buggles", with Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. Both were briefly members of "Yes". Trevor Horn went on to join "Art Of Noise", and Geoff Downes went on to join "Asia".

    Jason
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I didn't even know that Pat Mastellotto was in Mr. Mister.

    Rush had their biggest popularity in the early '80s. There was also the Fish era of Marillion. Good times!

    Duran Duran had some good tracks too. "Rio" is one of the classics of the decade!

    There was a lot of semi-hidden talent in the hair metal bands, too. . .dig out a White Lion disc and check out some Vito Bratta soloing. Plus, there were the first couple of Yngwie Malmsteen records. Mind-blowing!
     
  16. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Carlos, here's my blog entry about Colin Hay, which I coincidentally wrote yesterday:

    Colin Hay
    Filed under: Personal — Will @ 8:32 pm edit this

    I have been listening lately to a lot of Colin Hay’s recordings. The former Men At Work lead singer continued as a singer/songwriter after that 80s band retired. He went rather unnoticed, at least by me, until turning up on the soundtrack of the tv series Scrubs and, more significantly, the soundtrack to the cute little film Garden State (a film made by a Scrubs-member).

    Most of Colin Hay’s solo albums are, in a word, innocuous. That’s not exactly high praise, but it really fits most of his work: personal songs, sung with sincerity, but not really meant to rattle anyone’s cages (other than presumably his own as he wrote them). Still he has a fine voice (I’m a sucker for Australian inflections, be them from Colin Hay or from the woman who plays Aeryn Sun on Farscape), and many of his albums are stripped down acoustic affairs which is often what I want playing in the background as I work.

    But my endorsement of his music is secondary to my wanting to mention that I’ve also been going back to listen to the original Men At Work material, to see if it holds up. And in a word, it does. In two words, it does kinda.

    The same vibe which caused Men At Work to spring forth in the 80s with songs of societies-gone-mad is now vibrating anew in the low 00s. The songs of Men At Work are again relevant today as they were in the 80s, due largely to the global threat that the current US administration has either responded to or elevated for their own purposes (I suspect the latter). Who could have imagined that years of peace would cause a band’s work to become less relevant – and that a would-be emperor would bring it back into style?

    One song in particular, has been in heavy rotation in my apartment: Overkill.

    I can’t get to sleep
    I think about the implications
    Of diving in too deep
    And possibly the complications

    Especially at night
    I worry over situations
    I know will be alright
    Perahaps it’s just my imagination

    Day after day it reappears
    Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
    Ghosts appear and fade away

    Alone between the sheets
    Only brings exasperation
    It’s time to walk the streets
    Smell the desperation

    At least there’s pretty lights
    And though there’s little variation
    It nullifies the night
    From overkill

    Though this particular Colin Hay-penned tune is probably about a personal situation rather than a fear of global war, the strong anti-nuke, anti-war themes which appear in the Men At Work albums infects this song by association, and certainly the fright level this song considers is spot-on. The Men At Work material has a more forceful edge than Colin Hay’s solo work (as a point of contrast, one of Hay’s solo songs has lyrics about how he enjoys making tea).

    So I’ve been checking out the earlier albums, and I say they hold up, kinda. The “kinda” is that the production style of the 80s - particularly what sounds to me like synthesized drums of some kind (?) - does not serve Men At Work in the same way that it serves new wave groups from the 80s. Men at Work was a pop/rock band, and the production needed a more authentic sound. So I was not too happy with the “Contraband: Best Of” CD that I picked up used for 9 bucks.

    But I was very much impressed by their live CD, Brazil. The song Overkill actually leads off this live album (after a brief instrumental fanfare), and the whole of the recording never lets down. I picked up my copy of Brazil for about $8 used.

    Thirdly, Colin Hay released one solo album in which he re-does Men at Work songs, and I’ve only given it a casual listen but it hasn’t caught my attention. This one is also easy to find used because evidently people don’t think it is too good.

    So I’d like to endorse the live album “Brazil” for anyone who may want to take my advice about revisiting Colin Hay and his Men at Work. And for his solo work, check out Going Somewhere. BTW his albums are impossible to find new in stores; you’ll need to order online from Amazon.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I think that was his sister.
     
  18. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Robyn Hitchcock's flirtation with pop in the 80s (remember the song Balloon Man?) has settled down into some nice folk affairs recently, with two standout new albums:

    The Soft Boys "Nextdoorland"

    and under his own name

    Robyn Hitchcock "Spooked"

    He was always very talented, but I wearied of both his pop material and his overtly psychedelic-esque material. His current material is neither of these things, while still being unique.
     
  19. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    No, it was his wife, Dale Bozzio.

    Re: Steve Stevens and Bozzio:
    Check out an album they did a few years ago called Black Light Syndrome with bass master Tony Levin. Excellent stuff.


    80s band with highest talent to crappy music ratio: Winger
    The guitarist was a protoge of classical violinist Itzhak Perlman. Drummer Morgenstein was in the Dixie Dregs, involved in a lot of intereting musical projects and is a professor at Berkley.
     
  20. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    my brother-in-law is a drummer (toured with the doobie bros). he always said that terry is one of the best drummers out there...period. i guess i can take his word for it...he's pretty critical. [​IMG]

    ps, this thread inspired me to revamp a lot of my 80's catalog. [​IMG]
     

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