By Jack Sharkey, September 29, 2017

 

1980

It's hard to describe just how weird some of the music released in 1980 sounded at the time. Punk spit out New Wave so record labels could make some money and  with the help of ever-more powerful synthesizers the table was set for what the 80s would sound like. Rock & Roll and country were still forces to be reckoned with, but it was the odd stuff that had everyone's attention.

 

Pop Muzik - M British musician Robin Scott's robotic and dystopically hip alter-ego M fired the first shot signaling the coming revolution in popular music. New Wave was about to change everything, and a year before it's launch, this video made the coming music video revolution inevitable - for better or worse.     

 

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen Punkers and New Wavers railed against Classic Rock dinosaurs like Queen, but as usual the band was out in front of the trends and scored a massive hit while helping set the look of the coming decade.     

 

Another Brick In the Wall, Part Two - Pink Floyd As the new decade dawned, things were bleak and dystopia was indeed the vibe of the day. Pink Floyd's brilliant (and beautifully produced) double-set The Wall captured the universal angst and fear of the time better than any other record had ever done.  

 

Cars - Gary Numan Numan captured the discomfort being felt over the encroaching technological changes to music and life in general. Detachment and ennui were the order of the day.

 

Ride Like the Wind - Christopher Cross Cross' eponymous 1979 album is a great record, and in its day it was a massive hit, but the scene was changing fast. The mellow California sound was losing favor to New Wave. Cross is a great songwriter and musician but he just didn't have the look the times were beginning to demand, and when MTV hit a year later, Cross' career was pretty much over.

 

 

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