A Journey Through 1980s Music

Arts & EntertainmentBooks & Music

  • Author Tanya Fillbrook
  • Published October 13, 2022
  • Word count 706

A Journey Through 1980s Music

By Tanya Fillbrook.

Silly ’soppy poppy’ sounds running through your brain?


I, a listener to the top ’40’ since the early 1980s, remember, and still listen to the best performing talent around.

From the early synthesizer sound and disco vibes in between, to a plethora of amazing one or two - hit wonders, to the new wave revolution, and the trilling of new American rock bands, to the beginnings of hip hop.

Everything opened up in this decade and musicians dipped their toes into ever-expanding forms, like shape-shifters.

Also, the many artists then were extremely versatile.

At the beginning of the decade, the disco scene continued as we all hit the dance floors, [Saturday Night Fever craze continued].

Donna Summer thrilled us, even now with her hypnotic tracks - still addictive in flavour today.

A few punk bands were hanging around just like the Stranglers, and the Ramones, and now Irish rock bands like U2 were performing: out came their debut album, ‘Boy’ in 1980.

Along came the start of electric pop, and ‘the new romantics.’

The Human League’s experimental synthesiser sound opened up to other variants to the likes of Gary Numan, and the German band, Kraftwerk.

Also at the start of the decade, reggae, ska; the blending of sweet Caribbean - Calypso, and American jazz played centre stage.

Think, UB40, Madness, and Bo Selecta.

The boy band admiration continued with the ’new romantics’ - bands like Spandau Ballet, Adam And The Ants and Duran Duran.

I would like to add here that Adam And The Ants, and Duran Duran [Planet Earth] made a massive impact on my life, and character.

In 1982’ ’Shakin Stevens’ pulled out from Top Of The Pops.

The band named Culture Club took the stage with their first hit ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,’ blowing its gentle breezy sound up the charts, and hitting the sweet no 1 spot.

A wave of fashion-fearing fans took to pairs of scissors, fabric paint, and make-up to feel that little closer to their hero.

Then came the first controversial awakening of a Liverpudlian band calling themselves Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

The dance floors went mad!

Parents everywhere were burning up in the face of this new generation of music.

The middle part of the decade opened with the Gothic, darker undercurrents of bands like The Cure, The Mission, and who could forget the breathtaking deep bass of The Sisters Of Mercy’s ’Lucretia’ [My Reflection]?

I will add the rise of a new inventory, a versatile American musician going by the name of Prince to this abundance of 1980s supremacy.

His music style consists of many themes

touched just about everybody on the planet, selling over 100 million records, he remains one of the most celebrated today.

My favourite performer of all time, David Bowie was still sounding as fresh as his first recordings in the late sixties, his notoriety blossoming in the early seventies with ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust,’ then to the fabulous flamboyancy of ‘Ashes To Ashes’ to one of my favourite Bowie albums, Scary Monsters And Super Creeps.’

He continued to gather fans in the strangest of places, and hit singles were still being churned out throughout the decade, with a few collaborations added to his collection.

We are still on this amazing journey through the 1980s not forgetting the American rappers and hip-hop artists of the latter half of the decade that exploded into our obsessive heads: The brilliant Beast Boys, and Run DMC, for example.

They blew the lid off everything that got in their way.

Then the harder, yet more exciting American rock bands continued, or started to break new ground during this time, bands like ‘The Cult, Gun’s And Roses,’ The Damned’ before them - listening to them still.

The female Fatales like Kate Bush, Blondie, and Madonna adding punch to the sweet high notes.

Just fab!

Were the 1980s a boring, prissy, squeaky clean mismatch of musical madness?


The music of the 1980s evolved into something far more imaginative; a colourful journey through all musical styles, voice ranges, and personalities.

This journey is one that must continue as it was the start of all the things1980.

Tanya Fillbrook is a published author of both fiction and nonfiction. She also writes poetry.

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