80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ (Much More Than) One-Hit Wonders

It’s time to go on a rant about extraordinarily gifted artists and bands who were unfairly labeled “one-hit wonders.” Oftentimes, these artists were not properly promoted after charting; although they continued producing incredible music, the powers that be at the record companies and radio stations turned a deaf ear in order to promote the next flavor of the month. We, the listeners, were the big losers.

So much fantastic music from the 80’s has since been unearthed, that it’s not even necessary to listen to the contemporary repetitive swill out there. My iPod has 10 days’ worth of obscure 80’s listening gems. Each week, when I listen to the champions of the little guys, David Marsden and Ed-FM, I am treated to even more music that wasn’t promoted, that should have been, and that absolutely rocks.

This week will showcase three wrongly identified “one-hit wonders.” I urge you, if you haven’t already done so, to explore and enjoy their music. You will discover music your ears have been longing for, that will soothe your soul, and make you fall in love with your speakers all over again.

Gary Numan

Numan’s first group, Tubeway Army, scored big hits with “Cars” and “Are Friends Electric” back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Since then, Gary Numan has been a very busy man, working hard to reinvent himself and finally finding success with a move to a decidedly Goth/Industrial/Dark Wave genre. Starting in the mid-90’s, Numan hit his stride with the albums Sacrifice, Exile, Pure, Hybrid, Jagged, and the latest, Dead Son Rising (sheduled to be released later in 2010). Never heard of them? If you enjoy Dark Wave, do yourself a huge favor and check them out. Both Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson have cited Numan as an influence. Exile and Hybrid are personal favorites of mine. Gary Numan has transcended Tubeway Army in a huge way and deserves much more than the limited success of the past 15 years.

 

“Absolution” via YouTube user Patrickingham21:

“Exile” via YouTube user MollyClark4430:

“Haunted” via YouTube user Industrial82:

Modern English

Modern English scored a big hit in the 80’s with “I Melt With You.” If you haven’t taken the time to listen to any other of their eclectic 80’s tunes, you are cheating your ears out of pure pleasure in a big way. Their four 80’s LPs were Mesh and Lace (1981), After the Snow (1982), Ricochet Days (1984), and Stop Start (1986). My personal favorite is “Someone’s Calling” from the After The Snow LP. Definitely take the time to go back and check out any Modern English music you may not have heard the first time around. This band deserved to be more than a “don’t blink or you’ll miss them” phenomenon.

“Someone’s Calling” via YouTube user ealdrett:

“Ink and Paper” via YouTube user delahuerta:

Blue Peter

Virtually unknown outside of Canada, Blue Peter enjoyed a couple of hits with “Don’t Walk Past” and “Radio Silence.” The band, led by Paul Humphrey, continues to play in and around Toronto to this day. If you like the style of David Byrne, front man of Talking Heads, you’ll love Blue Peter. Humphrey embodies all that is great about Byrne, with a little David Bowie and Bryan Ferry thrown in for fun. Criminally underrated doesn’t even begin to describe Blue Peter’s talent. Even if you were lucky enough to have heard either of their hits back in the 80’s, chances are you missed out on gems such as “Falling,” “Take Me to War.” “All Your Time,” “Unchained Heart,” and “Video Verite.”

 

“Don’t Walk Past” via YouTube user johnmcboston:

“I Walk Alone” via YouTube user orbitalpopdog:

“Video Verite” via YouTube user orbitalpopdog:

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6 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ (Much More Than) One-Hit Wonders

  1. Ahhhhh Video Verite…one of my very fave 80’s songs. I was lucky enough to see Blue Peter back in the 80’s when this music was all fresh when they were playing the college circuit. I am proud that my darling 5 year old daughter nearly knows all the words to Don’t Walk Past as it is on regular rotation on my car player.

    I was also listening to modern english back in the day…did they not gain recognition when Melt with you was on the soundtrack for Valley Girl? I might be wrong but I think I recall hearing it.

    Happy Easter!

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  2. (((((((((((Moezy)))))))))))

    Yes, Modern English were noted for “Melt With You” – that’s the point though. They have so many other songs that deserved to be promoted and weren’t, thus the misnomer one-hit wonders…..

    Happy Easter back at you! 🙂 And thanks for stopping by.

    Cheers,
    MissP
    xo

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  3. Three excellent calls.

    Gary Numan has been very sadly overlooked in the USA. I think even “Cars” is largely out of popular perception. Very few songs can pull me back to 79/80 as quickly as “Cars” can, though, and Numan had about twenty SMASHINGLY FANTASTIC songs. You’ve offered some of his best, because you are awesome.

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  4. Awwwww….thanks (((((Joey))))). Numan’s definitely a personal favorite. Wish he was appearing in more locations than just California this month….maybe he will be inspired to stay and tour a bit before he goes back home.

    Hugs,
    MissP
    xo

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