80s Pop Music
Modern Rock or Alternative Rock as we know it today began in the 80s with many bands that were considered one-hit wonders or had very short careers. After the implosion of disco music in the late 1970s, music fans were confused and had no one single music style that they could call their own. Straight rock music was in a period of big hair bands that played arenas like AC/DC and Judas Priest. This music did not appeal to many people who wanted more melodic pop and rock as opposed to heavy metal music.
One of the first bands to emerge in the 1980s was Tears for Fears. This pop rock duo became instantly famous for their soaring pop melodies like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” a song which is still played today all over the globe. They followed up this mammoth hit with “Shout” and “Mad World” and then sort of faded away from the limelight a few years later.
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The Pet Shop Boys cashed in on the 80s pop music phenomenon with their huge worldwide hit “East End Boys”. Also in the same mode was Modern English with “Melt With You”, a really dancy tune that is played all over the world to this day. The Simple Minds dominated 80s pop music scene with their gigantic hit “Don’t You Forget About Me”.
Most music experts agree that Alternative Rock or Modern Rock as we know it today began with bands like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and their catchy dance hit “Relax” or Level 42 (another one of those hit wonders) with “Something About You”. The Fixx had many great songs during the 80s and started it with “Stand of Fall” and “Red Skies at Night”. Wang Chung gave us “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” and “To Live and Die in L.A.” while Duran Duran rocked concert arenas around the world with hits like “Save a Prayer” and “Rio”.
The late eighties pop music scene brought us Squeeze and their big hit “Tempted” as well as U2, who kept rocking with “With or Without You”, “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and many other enormous hits. Prince continued rocking with “Raspberry Beret” while the Human League brought us “Don’t You Want Me (Baby)”. Another one hit wonder, Til Tuesday came out with the moody “Voices Carry”, a favorite of the Modern Rock FM radio stations.
One of the very best real bands to emerge from eighties pop music was Midnight Oil. These Aussies carried through into the early 90s with their big hit “Beds are Burning” and later “Blue Sky Mining”, among others. Another critically acclaimed singer/songwriter of eighties pop music (and rock) scene was Peter Gabriel of Journey fame with his hit “In Your Eyes”.
All in all, eighties pop music was wonderful for people who really loved original, melodic songs and spawned a whole new generation of musicians and a style of music that we continue to listen to until this very day. As a matter-of-fact, today’s Alternative Rock musicians owe their musical lives to the pop and rock bands of the 80s who were not afraid to be different and independent.