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Subject: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: sporty on 12/02/14 at 4:12 pm

While 1986-1989 had many gems, I think that 1981-1985 were all that when it comes to pop music. I think most of my favorite 80's songs and videos come from 1981-1985. Bryan Adams also had great songs around that time with "Summer of '69", "Run To You" and "Heaven". From Human League, Kim Wilde and Duran Duran to early Michael, and early Madonna. Cary Simon had an European hit with "Why" and I love the video as it's so DIY. Hair metal was still not that big. Heck, women's hair was NOT as big as it got later in the decade and men weren't into mullets yet! :)

In 1986 things started to turn for the worse and in 1987-1989 Stock Aitken Waterman ruled with their repetitive songs in Europe, while Debbie Gibson, hair metal bands and Tiffany tried to destroy music in America. Madonna decided to become even more controversial but that made her songs more manufactured,less real and rough like her first two albums. I don't mind manufactured music, but I'd take The Flirts, Lipps Inc, and Fun Fun to Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Neneh Cherry. Elton John's 1987 effort Nikita was a gem, but his comeback single from 1983 "I'm Still Standing" was a lot more energetic. And I'd rather listen to "Careless Whisper" than "Faith". While "Venus" was great in 1982-1984 Bananarama had a greater, more artistic output than later in the decade when they became too over the top. Anyone agree/disagree?

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: amjikloviet on 12/02/14 at 4:43 pm

Hi!

I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. The years from 1986 to 1989 also had great music...I remember that much!

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: sporty on 12/02/14 at 5:32 pm

Yes, I agree, but somehow 1981-1985 were more artistic or something. More rough around the edges. For some reason in 80's parties today the over-the-top late 80's look is more popular.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: yelimsexa on 12/03/14 at 9:06 am

I disagree with 1981 since that year had a lot of country crossovers, medleys, and conservative adult contemporary pop. Oak Boys' Elvira, Eddie Rabbitt's Step By Step, Ronnie Milsap's (There's) No Gettin' Over Me, Kim Carnes' Better Davis Eyes, Christopher Cross' Arthur's Theme, Air Supply's Every Woman In The World, the "Believe it or Not" theme song, Diana Ross/Lionel Richie's Endless Love, and Juice Newton's Queen of Hearts are all songs that sort of sound one dimensional and bland.  Not to mention it had the '80s most overplayed hit that people just don't want to hear today: Physical. MTV didn't start to gain any ground until sometime in 1982. 1987 beats 1981 by a lot. But 1982, 1983, and 1984 where clearly the best in terms of consistant quality and enjoyment, with 1985 not too far behind, though not quite as good due to a bit more adult contemporary that year. While the quality became more inconsistant later in the decade (and with a gradually more "urban" sound), I find 1987 to be a step above 1985 though not quite as good as 1982-84. New Jack Swing was born with Keith Sweat's I Want Her, the Hair Metal bands had their best outputs, most of the decade's big superstars had some big hits that year, U2 had its peak, and I akin that year to the '80s to what 1978 was to the '70s- lots of guilty pleasure that may not be liked by critics, yet fun hits that are enjoyable at retro parties.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: sporty on 12/03/14 at 9:33 am

I think it depends on our tastes. I think Physical and Bette Davis Eyes are quite nice. And I like A/C. I dislike new jack swing, hair metal and the urban influence later in the decade. And although I used to like Hi-NRG and eurobeat music like Kylie, Mel and Kim, now I find their songs annoying. These are not songs that can be enjoyed more than a few times.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/04/14 at 1:16 am

For me the latter years of the 1980s that are the better years, it is then that Enya started her solo career.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: winteriscoming on 12/05/14 at 4:16 am

1982, 1983 and 1984 are the key years for New Wave for sure. So I agree.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Jquar on 12/06/14 at 3:04 am

1980-81: Lots of disco, post-disco, yacht rock, country and smooth R&B. Not very distinctive from 1978-79 except for disco gradually flaming out.
1982: Obvious transition into MTV era with the first big push of New Wave and British acts, and the gradual death of '70s styled R&B and soft pop music
1983-85: Height of New Wave, synthpop, and 2nd British Invasion, also big time for AOR before it become virtually interchangeable with AC
1986-87: Transition away from New Wave and synthpop into freestyle, glam metal, and A/C
1988-89: Pretty distinctive from the rest of the decade with the hip-hop/new jack influence trickling in and the peak of glam metal ballads, also had tons of AC ballads

1983 and 1984 are my favorite years for '80s pop music. Tons of classic pop albums dominating the airwaves like Thriller, 1999, Purple Rain, Synchronicity, Born in the U.S.A, and She's So Unusual.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: sporty on 12/06/14 at 2:54 pm

1981 also had New Wave-inspired hits in Europe - Kids In America comes to mind. And Jukebox by the Flirts is also somewhat New Wave. I agree that 1983 and 1984 were probably peak years.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: ArcticFox on 01/12/15 at 3:48 pm


For me the latter years of the 1980s that are the better years, it is then that Enya started her solo career.


I thought you would like the earlier years the most, because your youth was primarily the '70s and the early '80s were most like them.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/13/15 at 7:32 am


I thought you would like the earlier years the most, because your youth was primarily the '70s and the early '80s were most like them.
I am much older than that, I was already an adult (happily working) in the early 1980s.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 01/13/15 at 2:43 pm

I was too young so I didn't care one way or the other.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/13/15 at 4:47 pm


I was too young so I didn't care one way or the other.
You must care for it was in 1981 that Duran Duran released their first album?

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 01/13/15 at 5:05 pm


You must care for it was in 1981 that Duran Duran released their first album?


I wasn't a fan of Duran Duran until I was 10.  I was only 5 in 1981.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: yelimsexa on 01/14/15 at 6:03 am

Even if you never lived through the '80s, you can still determine by virtue of listening which had the best tastes that you would enjoy. For example, nobody on this board is probably old enough to even remember the 1950s, but its pretty clear that 1956-58 were the best years for that decade with the Rock N' Roll music, Doo Wop, and Elvis at its peak, following the mainly easy listening/soft jazz/novelty songs in the first half of the decade and with 1959 not as good thanks to Elvis being drafted and numerous other rockers being affected (even if it is perhaps Jazz's best year of that decade). Yet in those years you could still find some music that was popular earlier in the decade (Perry Como's Catch a Falling Star and Round and Round along with some Frank Sinatra hits of that period), meaning that era of the fifties had the best variety and often the best, most memorable songs.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: robby76 on 01/14/15 at 9:00 am

Stuff like this is always relative - how old you were, which country you lived in, whether you had older siblings, what genres you're into etc.

I'd put my best years for music between 1983-1987, with the peak year at 1985! I love my pop/soul and 1985 was great for that... Five Star, The Jets, Debarge, Whitney Houston, Pointer Sisters all had amazing albums that year!

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Howard on 01/14/15 at 2:11 pm


You must care for it was in 1981 that Duran Duran released their first album?


and it was also the start of the electronic disco and funk sound.

Subject: Re: 1981-1985: The best years of music in the 80's?

Written By: Howard on 01/14/15 at 2:16 pm

Five Star, The Jets, Debarge, Whitney Houston, Pointer Sisters all had amazing albums that year!


and you can also add Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner and Rick James.

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