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Archive for the ‘Music – Artists’ Category

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Posted by Big Boo on June 22nd, 2009

brosThink back about the band Bros. If you remember them then I bet you immediately think of Matt and Luke Goss, the blonde twins in ripped jeans and leather jackets. If you weren’t a fan then you may have forgotten that Bros actually consisted of a third member, that being Craig Logan. Well, I’d forgotten about him, anyway.

Bros formed in the late 1980’s, their first song being I Owe You Nothing in 1987, which only managed to chart at a measley position 80 in the UK charts. Their next release was When Will I Be Famous? the following year, which reached number two and started Bros mania among the teenage females of the country. Strangely enough, time has not treated this phenomenon well, as question a woman who was a Brosette in her youth today and she’ll probably look a little sheepish and try and skirt around the issue.

A re-release of I Owe You Nothing followed, which topped the charts this time, and they also enjoyed top 5 success with Drop the Boy, I Quit and Cat Among the Pigeons, the latter of which was a bit slower in tempo to their other hits which were a bit more pop/rock in nature. It’s fair to say that most of their well known songs had a bit of an angry sounding edge to them, like they were annoyed that everyone was poking fun at them, which of course the male teenage population were.

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Musical Youth

Posted by Big Boo on June 3rd, 2009

musical youthIn 1982 Musical Youth burst onto the charts with their first hit, Pass The Dutchie, a song which I still vividly remember to this day for its cool reggae beat and bizarre lyrics, especially the bom-bom-bom-bom-bom-bom-biddly-bom bit.  The fact that the song was sung by a group of kids, the youngest of which was around my age at the time, also helped them win popularity from me.

The band formed in 1979 and consisted of Michael and Kelvin Grant, Dennis Seaton and Patrick and Freddie “Junior” Waite.  After Pass The Dutchie put them on the map with a number one UK chart song they had further hits with Youth of Today and Never Gonna Give You Up (nothing to do with the Rick Astley song).

After these songs Musical Youth’s popularity started to wane, but they came back with a cover of Desmond Dekker’s 007, which led to their final hit Sixteen.  In 1985 they broke up when Dennis Seaton left the band, but both he and the Grant brothers have remained in the music industry.

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Bucks Fizz

Posted by Big Boo on May 5th, 2009

bucks fizzThe Eurovision Song Contest has had a lot to answer for over the years, but one thing I won’t hold against the contest is bring Bucks Fizz to the world.  OK, the band may be looked back on now as being a bit cheesey, but at the time they were very popular and whilst I wouldn’t consider myself a fan as such I still remember many of their songs today, and hearing them always conjures up happy childhood memories for me.

Bucks Fizz were a manufactured band, put together to perform a song written by Tony Danter and Andy Hill as a contender for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest.  That song was Making Your Mind Up, and the line up finally chosen to perform it were Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Mike Nolan and Bobby G (his surname is Gubby, so no wonder he shortened it to just “G”).

A dance routine was choreographed that featured the gimmick of the girls initially wearing long skirts which were then pulled off by the boys to reveal mini skirts underneath.  Apparently Baker favoured the longer skirts whilst Aston wanted something shorter, so this way both were satisfied, and who knows, if it were not for this gimmick maybe the song would not have done so well?

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Spandau Ballet

Posted by Big Boo on April 2nd, 2009

spandau-balletSpandau Ballet have recently announced that they are reforming to tour the UK in October this year, so let’s take a quick look at the band as they were back in the 1980’s.

The bands origins begin in 1976 when Gary Kemp and Steve Norman formed a band called The Cut whilst still at school.  John Keeble, Tony Hadley and Gary’s brother Martin joined over the following months, and the band started playing a few gigs and were moderately successful.  The band changed name to The Makers for a time, before finally settling on the name Spandau Ballet, which they did in fact pinch from another earlier band.

The band generated quite a following and were soon signed up by Chrysalis Records, and their first song, To Cut A Long Story Short, was rushed to market in 1980 and soon reached number 5 in the UK charts.  Their first album Journeys To Glory, was released the following year and also managed to reach position 5 in the UK album chart.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Dexys Midnight Runners

Posted by Big Boo on January 12th, 2009

dexys midnight runnersThe decade that was the 1980’s can lay claim to many distinctive bands in both musical and visual style, unlike many of todays indentikit groups.  One such band that had a string of hits during the early part of the decade were Dexys Midnight Runners.

The band was formed in 1978 by Kevin Rowland and Kevin Archer and took its name from a drug called Dexedrine, a brand of dextroamphetamine (try saying that three times fast) which gave you a massive boost of energy that allowed you to dance all night (where the Midnight Runners part of the name came from).

Dexys had a unique fashion style, which is often referred to as being taken from Romany Gypsies.  Red spotted neckerchiefs and denim dungarees with no shirt underneath were the order of the day, which coupled with the unruly mop of hair sported by Rowland made the band look, dare I say it, a little tramp like.

The bands first song was released in 1979 and was called Dance Stance.  It only managed to reach number 40 in the UK charts but their next song, Geno, shot to number one when it came out in April 1980.  The song was a homage to Geno Washington, an American R&B singer.

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Posted by Big Boo on July 15th, 2008

Wham!Wham! were undoubtedly one of the biggest bands of the 1980’s, with George Michael (real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) and Andrew Ridgley becoming household names for a large proportion of the decade. Whilst most of the credit (and fans adoration) for the band generally goes to George, being main vocalist and song writer, it was Andrew who kept the style of the band fresh, adapting their look to match the songs they created.

However, whilst it might seem amazing now, Wham! very nearly may not have taken the UK by storm in the way they did if it wasn’t for Top of the Pops. The boys first started a band called The Executive in 1981, but soon changed the name to Wham! and their first single Wham Rap was released. You might be surprised to learn it tanked at the time, mainly due to a UK ban as it was a double A-side single containing two versions of the song, the social mix and the anti-social mix, the latter version attracting the ban. In the summer of 1982 they released Young Guns, which was struggling outside of the top 40 when the band appeared on Top of the Pops thanks to another act dropping out, but in the end made it to number 3.

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Rick Astley

Posted by Big Boo on June 17th, 2008

Rick AstleyFor music the 1980’s was a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst the early 1980’s saw a ton of originality from bands such as Culture Club, Duran Duran and Adam and the Ants, the late 1980’s suffered from an explosion of manufactured pop music, most notably the output from “The Hit Factory” team, as they called themselves, of Stock Aitken Waterman. At their height they dominated the UK music industry, churning out songs for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bananarama and the subject of todays post, Rick Astley.

Rick was originally discovered when he was just 19 by Pete Waterman, but he was at first reluctant to leave his current band, FBI.  Eventually he was enticed away, and hit it big in 1987 with his first solo single Never Gonna Give You Up, the song for which he will probably always be best remembered.

His non-threatening good looks and the lyrics for the song itself instantly scooped him a gaggle of adoring teenage girls as fans.  After all, he told them that he was never gonna let them down, lie or say goodbye, and more importantly seemed fairly honest about it at the same time.  Personally I always thought he looked a little bit like the Harry Enfield character Tim Nice-But-Dim, as the accompanying picture I think shows (sorry Rick).  Rick also only seemed to have a single dance routine, called the Rick Astley Shuffle by many, which involved sidling side to side waving your arms up slightly at the extremes of the shuffle.

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Posted by Big Boo on May 19th, 2008

a-ha Take on MeNorwegian band a-ha formed in 1982 and comprised lead vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar and keyboard player Magne Furuholmen. The band are still together today, and have been throughout apart from a period of four years between 1994 and 1998. The band took their name from the exclamation a-ha, like you say when you suddenly realise the solution to a problem.

It was in 1985 that the band really hit the big time with the release of their biggest hit, Take On Me. Not only was it a great song but it also had an exceptional video to go along with it. The video centred around a young girl reading a comic in a cafe. She ends up being literally pulled into the comic, and the video then becomes a mix of live action and animation. There’s one particularly memorable part where there is a kind of window in the comic book world. When the animated version of Harket moves behind this window he becomes real. It’s hard to explain, but check out the video at the end of this post to see what I mean.

Take On Me topped the charts in several countries including the US, Australia, Japan and the bands home Norway. It only managed to get to number 2 in the UK charts on it’s original release, which given the amount it was played at the time I’m really surprised about.

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