Okay…I admit to being a UK-pop-o-phile of the 80s sort. What can I say, that was the decade of my youth so naturally I’m going have a special place in my musical heart for songs from that decade. Nothing wrong with that really, but I try not to get stuck in a particular era — even though I tend to stuck from time to time.
Since I’m currently stuck on 80s UK pop, I might as well get some mileage out of this and drag you along. Some of these songs you’ll probably know. Others? Maybe not so much. But one thing’s for sure: they are all in the key of “pop,” so get ready for hooks ‘o plenty.
“View From a Bridge” Kim Wilde I had such a mad crush on Kim Wilde in high school. It was 1982, my parents took me on a trip to jolly old England to visit with family and to vacation in both the UK and France. Well, we were watching “Top of the Pops,” and there was Kim singing this song, and I was smitten. It didn’t help matter much that the BBC was playing the crap out of this song and I heard it on the radio almost everyday I was there. I bought the LP before leaving England and then proceeded to buy everything else she released until “Another Step.” Sure, she’s known for “Kids in America, ” and the cover of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” but this song just brings back certain memories like driving up to Scotland with my folks in 1982 in a crappy rental car, blasting this song and really annoying my aunt — who was in the back seat. 🙂
“Highly Strung” Spandau Ballet I have to admit to not understanding the appeal of this band, but oh boy, was it there! “True” was their biggest hit in the US, but they quite the hit makers in their native UK — with 15 singles breaking into the top 40s. This single peaked at #15 back in 1983.
“My Ever Changing Moods” The Style Council When I first started working in radio, this song was released in the US with a resounding dud. The station I worked for played it, and I really liked it. I just heard it on the radio the other day and I thought “This has to go in a mix.” And look! It did.
“Fantastic Day” Haircut 100 What the hell is up with the name of this group? Nick Heyward must have been smoking something wicked ’cause “Haircut 100” is kind of stupid sounding. And truth be told, telling people that you were in “Haircut 100” would probably get you beaten up — especially if you said all snotty and pouty like: “I’m in a baaaaaaaaaaaand. And they’re called Haircut 100.”
“House of Fun” Madness I always wonder why some Brit bands make it in the US (i.e., Duran Duran and Culture Club) and others just kind of languish in “One Hit Wonder” hell? Madness is one of those bands that certainly had the chops to churn out the hits… but not in the US.
“Agadoo” Black Lace To be honest, I’ve only recently heard of this song. I don’t know how I stumbled upon it, but I included it because 1. It was a huge hit in the UK, and 2. It kind of looks like my last name. It’s a stupid tune that gets stuck in your head in the most blissfully annoying way. 😉