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Music In The 1980s - Lesser Known Hits

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  • #26
    ^

    Agreed - absolutely dire!


    The Record: Pk 15 (14 wks in chart)

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    • #27
      What a terrible record! It's almost an 80s parody.

      I do like looking up what became of these almost-forgotten (or in this case, to me "totally unknown" acts) and again there's something of a musical pedigree here. One member (Mark Smith) went on to work with George Michael, Waterboys and Van Morrison as well as working extensively with Robin Millar who is a well known record producer and music executive in the UK. The lead singer of Boys Don't Cry (Nick Richards) owned Maison Rouge Recording Studios in the mid to late 80s which is where all the band's records were recorded. The studio engineer who was responsible for engineering all of the band's releases including 'I Wanna Be A Cowboy' is Christopher Marc Potter who later became a renowned producer. His credits include all of The Verve's output (how can anyone who produced the wonderful 'Bittersweet Symphony' have engineered such rubbish in the 80s?) as well as front man Richard Ashcroft's solo output, tracks by the Rolling Stones, Blur and a whole host more.

      Comment


      • #28
        Wow, the song seems to be universally hated - just like that Sigue Sigue Sputnik one Yet it was such a hit in the US - for that time the most successful independently-released single, by the way. And it made all involved think that they had more to offer - they released two albums and several singles after this one! To no avail, as I'm sure anyone already guessed. Still, to me it's an interesting curio of that mid 1980s period, so rich in one/two-hit wonders, even though it still seems to be a bit too long and too repetitive and too flimsy as a joke. Though I always wanted to listen to at least one of their albums - maybe there was some musical genius overshadowed by this novelty (not much of a chance, but still ).

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        • #29
          It was the old town road of the 80s.

          it was just a fun novelty-esque song.

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          • #30
            Read More: When Lemmy Was in Boys Don't Cry's 'I Wanna Be a Cowboy' Video | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/boys...-cowboy-lemmy/

            "Basically, at that time 1986, I owned Bronze Records which were Motörhead’s record label," Richards tells us. "I was buying catalogs at the time [and] was convinced CDs were the next big thing. When I came up with the concept of the 'I Wanna Be a Cowboy' video I wanted a Lee Van Cleef bad boy in the video. Lemmy came to mind immediately! I rang him to say, 'Please be in the video and how much it would cost me!' He replied, 'Just make sure you have a bottle of vodka (Smirnoff) on set!' We started filming at 6AM on a freezing cold morning in London’s Hampstead Heath. He turned up on time and was the ultimate pro and gentleman. We had a fab time, I adored him."

            MTV hated the video, and Richards has said that VJ Martha Quinn told him they didn't like the video because it "wasn't rock and roll." But, he added, they had to play it because it was a Top 40 hit. In just one weekend the network had received 200,000 requests for the video.


            --
            2019: 472. @anpt 47 posts

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            • #31
              Very interesting, anpt, thank you very much for the link! Yes, the song seemed to take US's fancy for a while - though I'm surprised MTV tried to ignore it. Looks like there was a definite anti-"new Wave" backlash by 1986.

              Which makes the success of the next song a bit strange - but that was also a one-off. Admittedly it's a bad thing in this case as the performers seem to be held in high regard on the internets. The song's a great mix of technopop rhythms and country rock (?) with a hefty dose of sociopolitical commentary, quite unexpected but just the stuff I personally like very much. Still, it seemed to speak only to, ahem, English-speaking parts of the world, as the following chart stats show. And nothing after it, sadly. But it's better to be remembered as a one-hit wonder than not to be remembered as a no-hit nobody

              Comment


              • #32
                The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk 3


                Australia
                15 December 1986 - #18 - 21 weeks

                Canada
                RPM: 15 November 1986 - #15 - 20 weeks
                The Record: #18 - 9 weeks

                Ireland
                15 February 1987 - #11 - 3 weeks

                Israel
                11 January 1987 - #29 - 1 week

                New Zealand
                18 January 1987 - #29 - 8 weeks

                UK
                Music Week: 24 January 1987 - #21 - 8 weeks
                The Network Chart: 31 January 1987 - #18 - 7 weeks
                Melody Maker: 31 January 1987 - #18 - 6 weeks
                New Musical Express: 7 February 1987 - #19 - 5 weeks

                USA
                Billboard: 25 October 1986 - #19 - 16 weeks
                Cash Box: 25 October 1986 - #21 - 18 weeks
                Radio & Records: 14 November 1986 - #20 - 8 weeks
                Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sun May 3, 2020, 00:55.

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                • #33
                  'The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades' was one of those songs that just did nothing for me when it was in the UK charts. The single (like the band) just seemed to appear from out of nowhere and both the song and band were gone as quick as they had arrived. It's quirky enough in its own way but it just didn't have that something that made it stand out to me back then. That said, I quite enjoyed the live performance on the video posted above. I think I sometimes have a better appreciation for a song from that era when I hear them now than what I actually had at the time.

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                  • #34
                    Agreed, Robbie. Pap thinly-disguised as something with more bite. I suppose I was as turned-off by what Passing describes as 'socio-political commentary' - i.e.being preached at usually from a left-wing standpoint - in pop records then as I am now, albeit that I understand a fair bit more about the political angle than I would've done in 1987. I disliked a lot of Jam and Style Council records for just that reason. Some would argue that it's preferable to have pop making some sort of meaningful statement about serious issues rather than always being predictable lightweight love songs or lyrics that sound intellectual but mean very little, but personally I generally like to keep social commentary and pop music separate, with a few exceptions. In this case it was hardly the politics that shone-through anyway, as plainly it was going for gimmickry, and all-told the plan backfired as this struggled to No 21 and then nothing more was heard.

                    All that being said though, I do still sometimes use the expression "the future's so bright I gotta wear shades", usually in response to some corporate bollocks they're spouting at work that purports to kid us into believing everything in our garden is rosy. I like it when people recognise the reference, but like it more when youngsters don't get it and credit me with coming up with the phrase as an original!
                    Last edited by Gambo; Mon April 20, 2020, 16:11.

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                    • #35
                      Also, satire is always tricky in the context of a pop song - it can easily go right over the head of casual listeners.

                      I remember many people taking The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades at face value - as a upbeat, optimistic record...

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                      • #36
                        Heh, so no-one's really a fan of the song Must say I too had trouble getting it, but now it grew on me and I'm even thinking of giving their album a spin!

                        Interesting how it was such a political time - though not really surprising, really, when you think of things that went on in the world. USSR too had its "political pop" (and rock) wave in late 1980s. But the amount of political songs during the presumably shallow and vapid 1980s is really unprecedented, when you think of it. Of course most of it is too simplistic, as is pretty much always with politics in pop music, but it seems to be the last time pop music was such a socially-minded thing.

                        Next one is from the political band, too, but rather surprising one - as they had a long list of singles that were in the chart but not in higher regions of it. And this one seemingly came out of nowhere - and also became a sizeable hit in quite a few countries abroad, which is even more surprising. I remember when I first heard it and couldn't make my mind up about it as it sounded so strange to me. Now of course I love it, it has this dramatic quality I like so much, and the parent album "Night time" is fantastic too! And I simply must mention it, Icehouse recorded a cover of this song which is simply gorgeous! Give it s listen.
                        Last edited by Passing_Strang; Wed April 22, 2020, 15:23.

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                        • #37
                          Love Like Blood by Killing Joke


                          Australia
                          20 May 1985 - #83 - 1 week

                          Belgium
                          Het Belgisch Hitboek: 16 March 1985 - #8 - 10 weeks
                          BRT Top 30: 30 March 1985 - #8 - 8 weeks

                          West Germany
                          8 April 1985 - #24 - 10 weeks

                          Ireland
                          17 February 1985 - #30 - 1 week

                          Israel
                          17 March 1985 - #23 - 3 weeks

                          Netherlands
                          Nationale Hitparade: 9 March 1985 - #5 - 10 weeks
                          De Nederlandse Top 40: 9 March 1985 - #8 - 9 weeks

                          New Zealand
                          5 May 1985 - #6 - 12 weeks

                          UK
                          Melody Maker: 2 February 1985 - #12 - 8 weeks
                          New Musical Express: 2 February 1985 - #13 - 8 weeks
                          Music Week: 2 February 1985 - #16 - 9 weeks
                          The Network Chart: 2 February 1985 - #17 - 9 weeks
                          Last edited by Passing_Strang; Wed April 22, 2020, 15:17.

                          Comment


                          • #38
                            Yeah this is much more like it to my ears! Although regarded as a rock act, there was a definite new waveyness to some of their output, which is certainly effervescently-evident on 'Love Like Blood'. Brooding, serious and muscular yet somehow still infectious, melodic and what could be defined then as good pop. This is exactly the kind of record that is perhaps still being attempted by some current artists, but can simply get nowhere near the charts thanks to the blackout of urban genres favoured by streaming. I sometimes get accused of not having properly-grown-up given I still listen to a lot of the same Top 40 pop I listened to in the '80s, but when I hear this and set it alongside what occupies 2010s Top 40 charts it is immediately obvious why I'm still stuck there!

                            Comment


                            • #39
                              ^
                              'Love Like Blood' is a brilliant record. When the record was in the (UK) charts in February 1985 I saw the band in concert in Newcastle (in the north east of England for those outside of the UK!). They were excellent. Needless to say, I've always been a massive Killing Joke fan. I'm surprised but glad to read this single did well in a number of countries.

                              I didn't think many people outside of the UK would have known much about Killing Joke. That said, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, certainly knew about the band, at least enough at the time in 1992 to have reservations about wanting the band to release 'Come As You Are' as a single as he was worried Nirvana could be accused of plagiarism given there are similarities between 'Come As You Are' and 'Eighties', a 1984 single by Killing Joke...

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_a..._(Nirvana_song)

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighti...t_with_Nirvana

                              Last edited by Robbie; Wed April 22, 2020, 16:46.

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                              • #40
                                Yes, great stuff.....and Killing Joke is surely one of the best band names ever...

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                                • #41
                                  Interesting comparison and I can't believe I hadn't spotted it before. Judging by more recent precedents, if 'Come As You Are' were being released for the first time now and it proved to be a big hit, chances are Cobain & Co would've very quickly faced a lawsuit on plagiarism grounds and likely lost, in the way that 'Uptown Funk', 'Blurred Lines' and various Ed Sheeran compositions did during the '10s. I see that they came close but it never came to anything formally. Plainly we live in a more litigious society now, but I've sometimes been surprised at how conclusively courts in the US have ruled that a song almost certainly knowingly copied elements of a previous recording, when in fact there is to my ears room for reasonable doubt that it was just a genuine musical overlap that could've been made unwittingly at the time of writing and initial release. In this case though, it seems Nirvana were pretty aware that their composition was too similar for comfort and presumably that realisation dawned on them as they were writing and recording it. They have been lucky not to have been subject of a successful Killing Joke legal challenge.

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                                  • #42
                                    Nirvana stole the riff from Killing Joke; Killing Joke stole the riff from Damned; Damned stole the riff from the Moody Blues; Moody Blues stole the riff from Chuck Berry; Chuck Berry stole the riff from Glen Miller; Glen Miller stole the riff from Gershwin; Gershwin stole the riff from an Irish folk song.(...)


                                    GoodTimeTraveler


                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1U1Ue_5kq8

                                    https://www.whosampled.com/sample/15...Joke-Eighties/
                                    --
                                    2019: 472. @anpt 47 posts

                                    Comment


                                    • #43
                                      Nice one, anpt, never knew there was such a long history to that riff! But I agree with Gambo, it's always tricky to judge if anything has been stolen intently. I like what John Foxx once said - once you get your ideas out in the world, they're everyone's, not yours. And it's only natural that multiple writers can be inspired by one muse The current litigious climate, in music at least, must be because there's increasingly little money in the business and everyone has to earn their pay somehow. Neglecting the truth that there are only seven notes and only so much can be composed out of them. In fact I have doubts there can be real plagiarism at all - each author brings something of his own even in case of copying, whereas if we talk of influences then we can leave allegations of plagiarism completely out. It's much harder to copy, especially faithfully, than to do your own thing - and is there really a point in copying? Discuss

                                      Meanwhile, next one. Interesting Canadian band with their biggest hit - which can show how much trouble New Wave had getting into charts outside the main countries (UK and US then). In this case it a real pity - such a great song, which deserved a lot more recognition worldwide than it got in its time (thankfully the situation seems to be reversed reptospectively).
                                      Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sun April 26, 2020, 10:44.

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                                      • #44
                                        Echo Beach by Martha & The Muffins


                                        Australia
                                        25 August 1980 - #6 - 22 weeks

                                        Canada
                                        RPM: 3 May 1980 - #5 - 26 weeks
                                        CBC: #6 - 8 weeks

                                        France
                                        14 September 1980 - #54 - 3 weeks

                                        Ireland
                                        30 March 1980 - #11 - 6 weeks

                                        Israel
                                        28 April 1980 - #21 - 4 weeks

                                        Netherlands
                                        De Nederlandse Tipparade: #12 - 4 weeks

                                        Portugal
                                        Jule 1980 - #3 - 5 months

                                        UK
                                        Record Business: 18 February 1980 - #11 - 12 weeks
                                        Music Week: 1 March 1980 - #10 - 10 weeks
                                        Melody Maker: 15 March 1980 - #6 - 6 weeks
                                        New Musical Express: 15 March 1980 - #6 - 6 weeks
                                        Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sun May 3, 2020, 00:55.

                                        Comment


                                        • #45
                                          I love 'Echo Beach'. It takes me back to my mid teens. In fact it was in the charts the week I turned 16 in March 1980 - it's a brilliant song.

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                                          • #46
                                            Sue Wilkinson - You Gotta Be A Hustler (If You Wanna Get On) (1980) (UK # 25)

                                            My celebrity crushes : Monika Sedziuviene, Kristina Ivanova (YVA).
                                            In my head I like to imagine LastDreamer in the land of Lithuania right now with a suitcase of simcards, a box of chocolates and a wedding ring. It would be a great base for an epic Eurovision fan fiction.

                                            Comment


                                            • Passing_Strang
                                              Passing_Strang commented
                                              Editing a comment
                                              Very interesting and unusual (not to mention humorous) song - but didn't chart anywhere else, sadly, Even sadder is that Sue is long dead now :(

                                          • #47
                                            ^
                                            it's a great song. I just love that piano...

                                            Comment


                                            • Passing_Strang
                                              Passing_Strang commented
                                              Editing a comment
                                              ARP synth is a very nice feature too

                                          • #48
                                            Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                                            I love 'Echo Beach'. It takes me back to my mid teens. In fact it was in the charts the week I turned 16 in March 1980 - it's a brilliant song.
                                            Agree - Echo Beach seems to be one of those tracks that everybody likes!

                                            Nanda Lwin gives 8 weeks in the CBC charts peaking at 6.




                                            Comment


                                            • #49
                                              Originally posted by Metalweb View Post

                                              Agree - Echo Beach seems to be one of those tracks that everybody likes!

                                              Nanda Lwin gives 8 weeks in the CBC charts peaking at 6.



                                              Nanda Lwin used to post at both here and Dotmusic back in the day! I remember his chart commentary on the old canoe.ca music website. He's not posted here for years though.

                                              Comment


                                              • #50
                                                I prefer the original but i also remember the cover by Toyah in 1987 but it was only No. 54 in the UK Singles Chart.
                                                --
                                                2019: 472. @anpt 47 posts

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