In response to a friend’s Top 5 Bands of the 80’s post, here are mine:
‘s Top 5 Bands of the 80’s
Note: these are simply my favorites… bands whose work from the 80’s I still listen to on purpose. I’m not saying they are the greatest bands of this period. I am saying they are my favorites. Also I was very literal. Bands only- no individual artists.
1. XTC. Skylarking, 1986. Need I say more? Seriously. Their great work is certainly not limited to the 80’s, but much of their best can be found in that period. Andy Partridge is a god. Probably.
2. Duran Duran. Yes, I still listen to Rio. I really feel that this band was special in their time, and though they were marketed in a way that made them an easy target for disrespect, they could have been (and perhaps still might be one day) one of the great, enduring bands of our lifetime.
3. Def Leppard. I listened to my copy of Pyromania until the grooves were worn down. Beautiful, huge sound. They are a band I still enjoy in my old age.
4. U2. Because. Yeah. Everyone loved The Joshua Tree, but for me it was The Unforgettable Fire that really stuck in my heart. It still does.
5. The Smiths. I know, I know… but their 1987 album Strangeways Here We Come still slays me (yes, I re-purchased it on CD), and one of the songs from that album, “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” will forever be a part of my life’s soundtrack.
Honorable mentions… and these are in this category not because they are lesser bands (and in fact they are some of my dearly beloved) but because though they produced a large volume of work in the 80’s (and are often referred to as 80’s bands), the work of theirs I love best was from other periods.
The Cars Their albums from ’78 and ’79 (The Cars and Candy-O) are my favorites from this band, and I honestly think they kick serious ass.
Depeche Mode. One of my favorite bands of all time- rose to popularity (such as it was) in the 80’s, but produced my favorite work of theirs in the 90’s. Martin Gore is still brilliant (see above re: Andy Partridge) and their current work as a band continues to be so as well.
Chicago. Yeah, I bought Chicago 16. Still, give me Chicago V any day.