The 80’s were rubbish. I never liked the whole decade very much. People look back on it now and they’ve got a rose tinted view of how they were, or they are too young to remember how crap it really was. Clothes were horrible, hairstyles were pretty horrific and most of the music of the day was asinine and dull. We were under the Tories, we’d had the Falklands and pretty soon we would be watching the police battering the miners on TV.
The New Romantics were everywhere, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Kaja-king-googoo and their like, strutting about with impossible barnets and frills. I never bought into the NR fashion, mainly because I wasn’t comfortable dressing like a ponce and makeup played havoc with my adolescent skin.
There was some good music out there. It was around this time I first got into electronic music. I’d heard Gary Numan ‘Cars’ at a mates house (his dad was a bit weird, into Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Can, while most dads were into the Beatles, Status Quo and Del Shannon) and thought it was a bit ‘dreary’, but I enjoyed the plinky plunky bits. The first record I brought (not ever, but of the genre.) was ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, second hand 7″
It was the Vince Clarke sound that caught my attention, I think, just so simple. The sort of thing you could get away with, one fingered on the piano and still the only thing I can play (badly, only when drunk). He continued the sound with Yazoo. One finger, in the dark. Piece of piss
Bear in mind that, at about the same time, raging with hormones I was getting into a bit of punk, some early metal and you can imagine what my bedroom sounded like. My folks must have thought there were three different people living with them. When they saw me. Us.
The life changer though was catching New Order on Top of the Pops performing Blue Monday in 1983. That properly blew me away. Here was a band that didn’t dress like a bunch of nobs, playing music that caught me immediately. It had drums, it had guitars, it had synths it had maudlin lyrics – it was fucking brilliant.
Have a listen to ‘Confusion’ which was released in 1983 (twenty seven years ago!!). Ground breaking stuff and still the foundation of everything I love about music.