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hit singles Music music videos new wave photography Singers The 80s vocalists

Hit Singles of the 80s: A Primer, of Sorts.

An introduction to some of the musical goings-on way back in the 1980s. We have: The Vapors, Falco, Eddy Grant, Dead or Alive, XTC, Pete Shelley, Lene Lovich, Echo and the Bunnymen, Fiction Factory, Crowded House, Split Enz, Squeeze, Tears for Fears, The Housemartins, and Gang of Four. Some of these performances are not, strictly speaking, from the 80s, but that decade claims all of the hits above during the time it held sway.

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David Byrne Eno Geniuses hit singles Music music videos new wave performers photography Singers Talking Heads videos vocalists

Talking Heads: The Mad Professor-ism of David Byrne.

Mind. Montreux, 1982.

A few comments on our selections {NOT all of them!!}: Cities {1983, 1982, *and* 1980 versions} *might* be David Byrne’s high-water mark as an “umm, what???” (followed by audible hysteria, in my case…) vocalist. The Impossible writ upon a landscape. Pulled Up and Mind, at the very least, are looking uneasily over their shoulders. The “He’s come undone” staggerings/lurchings in Psycho Killer {1983} are also enough to keep one alive for several epochs; the 1979 Mudd Club version is electrifying, mystique-laden; ridiculously brilliant. Both versions of Drugs have an eerie, haunting element all of their own; Dollette McDonald and Adrian B contribute mightily. Crosseyed is simply a collective singe-fest.

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Andy Partridge Geniuses Music music videos performers photography Singers videos vocalists XTC

XTC, featuring Andy Partridge.

Few bands can match XTC’s accomplishments as far as writing/performing memorably quirky, intellectual, and, yes, catchy songs. Lead vocalist Andy Partridge provides the oddball genius charisma to generate a potent cocktail of aural nirvana.

Most of these are live performances, with the Rockpalast Senses being fairly rare.

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Audio Geniuses Lene Lovich Music music videos performers photography Singers videos vocalists

The Lene Lovich.

Lili-Marlene Premilovich, later known as Lene Lovich, preternaturally idiosyncratic—and gifted—songstress, happens to play saxophone, is an animal rights activist, and initially wore her hair in braids to keep the locks from the clay, when in art school, studying sculpture. And, damn, she can deliver a tune. With octaves to spare {hear: Momentary Breakdown}.

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Audio Elvis Costello hit singles Music music videos performers photography Singers videos vocalists

The Elvis Costello.

Elvis Costello III

{Revised: 7/6/2019}

“Bowing, and squawking, Running after tidbits; Bopping and squinting, Just like a nitwit…”

Mr. Elvis Costello: One of the very greatest, most idiosyncratic performers and composers. Of this, or any, century/epoch. We will not see his likes again.