80’s Music Rules ~ Angelic 80’s Voices ~ Part Two

In August 2009, I featured five of what I considered “angelic voices” from the 80’s – Morten Harket, Bryan Ferry, Iva Davies, David Sylvian, and Freddie Mercury. Continuing that theme, I would like to add five more singers to that list, with a slight twist.

This list is purely subjective, 100% male, and comprised of singers that I feel should be showcased for their power, range, and creativity. One singer is not from the 80’s era, but encompasses all that made David Bowie and Iva Davies outstanding 80’s vocalists, and whose music is definitely retro. Let’s start with him.

Colin Troy – I have previously featured his group, Slave To The SQUAREwave, along with manager and keyboardist, Rob Stuart. Colin’s voice has incredible range. Bowie-esque and emotive, Colin far surpasses Bowie in style and technique. S2TSW, as a whole, is a formidable contemporary group, and Colin’s voice catapults them out of the park and into the stratosphere.

Sinners of Saint Avenue” via YouTube user Sparksmusic:

Peter Murphy – Known for his work with 80’s goth band Bauhaus, Peter Murphy struck out on his own and established himself as an extraordinary vocalist. Love Hysteria is a solid collection of Peter Murphy songs and a great primer for those not familiar with his music. When work is overwhelming, Murphy is a favorite iPod selection to take me away from harsh reality and into more bearable surroundings.

Indigo Eyes” via YouTube user sweating fretboards:

Rude Van Steenes – Frontman for the criminally underrated and heartbreakingly short-lived Canadian band Vis-A-Vis, Rude’s voice is a strong and compelling instrument. Both of my fave Djs, David Marsden and Ed-FM have done their best to keep this important sound alive on the airways. Check out the very few Vis-A-Vis offerings on YouTube and you, too, will fall under Rude’s spell.

Shadow Play” via YouTube user RudeVanSteenes:

Darryl Kromm – Lead singer for another criminally underrated Canadian band, Strange Advance, Kromm provides vocals that are soothing, lush, and a treat for your ears. In addition to a backing band that nails every Strange Advance song we were lucky to hear, Kromm’s voice set an 80’s standard that most heavily-rotated singers could only aspire to.

Worlds Away” via YouTube user mysweeteventhorizon:

Paul Humphrey – Blue Peter is one of my all-time favorite criminally underrated Canadian bands. Humphrey gave (and still gives) a first-rate performance somewhat reminiscent of David Byrne on steroids. As with all the bands and artists that never received the recognition they were due, it makes me wonder what Byrne had that Humphrey did not. In my mind, the answer is, “Nothing.”

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

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Strange Advance

SA_aStrange Advance was another uniquely talented band to begin life in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Recognized as Canada’s west coast hotbed of talent, Vancouver boasts a solid play list of musicians from the 80’s and beyond. Strange Advance is no exception.


One of Strange Advance’s identifying traits is the ethereal, otherworldly use of synthesizers to enhance their sound. My favorite track is “Worlds Away” from their 1983 album of the same name. It reminds me of the background music from the PBS series “Cosmos” starring the late Dr. Carl Sagan.SA_c I have such fond memories of being mesmerized by the hourly show, and “Worlds Away” transports me straight back to that captivating, yet comforting time.


The band began as Drew Arnott (keyboards, percussion, vocals), Darryl Kromm (lead vocals, guitars), and Paul Iverson (bass). Ric deGroot (keyboards), Ian Cameron (guitar, violin), Joey Alvero (bass), and David Quinton (drums) were brought on board to tour in support of Strange Advance’s first two albums.


As with many of the bands I feature here, I only learned of this group in recent years after being bowled over by “Worlds Away.” The band is also known for a hit single “We Run,” a vocally emotive 80’s anthem song. In all, this was a solid band that had everything necessary to take the world by storm, but instead was relatively short-lived. The music world can be a completely mystifying and unfair environment. Strange Advance’s limited success underscores what a tough world it truly is.

“We Run” via YouTube user wormguy119:

“Worlds Away” via YouTube user Michael Aalgaard:

“Love Becomes Electric” via YouTube user wormguy119:

“Love Games” via YouTube user wormguy119:

Purchase Strange Advance music here.

 80’s Discography

sa_1Worlds Away (1982)

sa_22WO (1985)

sa_3Over 60 Minutes With…Strange Advance (1987)

sa_4The Distance Between (1988)