Sunny Lancaster is not living up to it’s name at the moment. And what better to lift your spirits than a little bit of music atrocity? You know what I’m talking about. The most controversial decade in music – the Marmite generation so to speak – and that is my beloved 1980’s.To start you off on the right foot, I wanted to explain the origins of the New Wave and New Romantic movements – not that many of you care, but I’ll fill you in anyway.
Bored with the Garfunkel and Abba-esque disco dominated decade that was the 1970’s, a few enlightened souls decided that enough bland music was enough. As soon as the clock ticked twelve on the 31st of December 1979, brown suits were outlawed, bowl cuts illegal, and enormous bleach blond bouffants and red leather sports jackets came into play. It was the start of the New Wave and New Romantic movements. Many of you would think that this seismic shift was thanks to Duran Duran, but that’s where you’re wrong.
Enter Japan. Led by the charismatic baritone crooner with a ridiculous but inspired hair style, they were the first ‘true’ New Romantic band out there, and inspired many bands to follow their lead. Unfortunately they were only around from 1979 to 1982, but short lived as they were they had an irreversible effect on music throughout the decade.
Insanely catchy, this little gem will make you feel very guilty because you KNOW you shouldn’t like it. But you do. Embrace the hair and, well, er, lipstick.
I’ve always loved The Art of Parties for two reasons. The lyrics are fantastic. And second, the synthesisers are made to sound like different instruments, and likewise Karn’s fretless bass sounds like a synthesiser at times. Crazy, no?
As you might probably guess by their name, Japan were profoundly interested in the far east and many of their sounds allude to or contain references to communist china and the history of the orient. Don’t ask me why, but it adds a certain something to their aura – and it’s a major reason why I still listen to them now. Also, again, Karn’s fretless bass work is amazing, with it being nearly impossible to discern what is synthesised and what is not.
Moving on to some of my other favourite guilty pleasures, Yazoo always rates pretty highly. Just the one, to be honest. And that one is ‘Situation’. I have to admit I hadn’t known the name to this track until I watched ‘The Rules of Attraction’ but hey who cares. It’s a gem in the mud and not many people these days particularly like digging through the thousands of one-shot eighties bands, so it was a real pleasure to unearth this little beaut.
Finally, I thought that I’d unleash some mince on y’all. This one is called ‘L’amour’ by a very talented but extremely gay electronic duo known as… Erasure. So sit back, enjoy a nice glass of Rosé and listen to perhaps the catchiest song of the nineteen eighties.