This Halloween we’re eschewing all levels of coolness and celebrating the classic and most fiendishly cheesy tracks we could think of with our ghoulish new playlist.
In case you haven’t heard, the ’80s are back… and in a big way. Arguably, they never really went anywhere. Neon has been highlighting student fancy-dress parties almost since the decade merged into the euphoric, heady days of the early ’90s, and the credible cheese of the decade’s chart hits has dominated speakers ever since. It’s easy to see why too. Not only are the songs themselves incredible catchy, often beautiful, and immeasurably distinctive, they draw a fine line between nostalgia and poignancy. A huge number of today’s hits owe more than a few nods to that synth heavy, unbridled, innovative decade.
With major 80s revivalist tours on the horizon, we’ve compiled some of the best tracks from the decade by some of the most exciting artists, all of which are still bringing it to the masses in 2017.
It’s time to lose those inhibitions all over again.
Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
One year before they dropped the ’80s retro club classic Karma Chameleon, Culture Club emerged with their reggae fusion on breakthrough smash Do You Really Want To Hurt Me. It shot to the No.1 spot in the UK, and teased the top of the charts stateside. Vocalist Boy George has remained an icon ever since. Catch Culture Club live at three very special open air shows this month, with tickets available here.
Suzi Quatro – Heart Of Stone
Celebrated as the first female bass player to break through as a rock and roll star, Quatro found fame in the early 70s that stretched into the turn of the decade. Heart Of Stone appeared on her eight studio album Main Attraction, largely regarded as her maturation into smoother sound. Quatro will be taking part in the Legends Live Tour this October. Tickets are available here.
Hot Chocolate – It Started With A Kiss
By the time Hot Chocolate released this classic, they’d already celebrated a decade of chart success. Alongside You Sexy Thing and UK No.1 single So You Win Again, this track has kept the band in the musical conscious of many generations since. They’ll join the likes of Suzi Quatro, David Essex, and The Osmonds on the Legends Live Tour.
Kim Wilde – Kids In America
Embodying the rebellious undercurrent of the decade, Kim Wilde dropped Kids In America as her debut single in January 1981. After serious chart success in the UK, the track also entered the US Billboard Top 30 the following year. With a fresh attitude and catchy melodies, Kim Wilde was here to stay. This year she’ll be appearing as part of Rewind Festival in Scotland, Stepback! at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, and Let’s Rock Christmas at London’s Wembley Arena. Find tickets for all three through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts
Towards the end of the decade, a fresh-faced heartthrob moved from TV screens across the nation to the airwaves. Scoring a No.1 hit single alongside fellow Neighbours actress Kylie Minogue with Especially For You, he cemented his own music career with follow-up single (and another No.1 smash) Too Many Broken Hearts. This year, you can catch Jason at Rewind Festival in Scotland, ’80s Into The ’90s in Bedford, and as part of Stepback! at Convetry’s Ricoh Arena. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Blondie – Call Me
Call Me remains iconic 27 years after first appearing on the soundtrack for 1980s movie, American Gigolo. Having already celebrated success throughout the latter half of the 1970s, it marked the first No.1 single of the 80s for American New Wave maestros Blondie. Having released their 11th studio album this year, Blondie will be returning to the UK in November for a string of live dates. Grab tickets through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Go West – We Close Our Eyes
British duo Go West emerged onto the scene with We Close Our Eyes in 1985. It introduced the masses to the pair’s iconic synth sound, which saw them release three studio albums before the decade was out. Come 2017, the band are set to appear at Rewind Festival Scotland and South, ’80s Into The ’90s, Icons Of The ’80s, Let’s Rock Christmas, Stepback!, and their own headline dates too. Phew! Grab tickets through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)
Following moderate success in various bands, Paul Young became a household name through a string of high-charting solo tracks in the early 80s. Mixing the distinctive synth sound of the decade with his soulful voice, he became part of a musical style nicknamed blue-eyed soul. You can catch him live in 2017 at Stepback! the 80s Concert at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena this October.
T’Pau – China In Your Hand
The most successful UK single release by British outfit T’Pau, China In Your Hand celebrates the accolade of being the 600th UK No.1 of all time. T’Pau released two studio albums in the 80s, Bridge of Spies and Rage, both of which were certified at least Platinum. They’ll be appearing at Rewind Festival Scotland, North and South, as well as Icons of the ’80s and Stepback! the ’80s Concert. Find out more on Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Spandau Ballet – True
True, the tenth single by the then Tony Hadley fronted Spandau Ballet, was their first and only to reach No.1 in the UK. Taken from the album of the same name, it joined equally memorable track Gold. Hadley recently announced he’d parted ways with Spandau Ballet, and will be playing solo shows throughout 2017. Fans can catch him at Icons Of The ’80s, Let’s Rock Christmas, Stepback!, and a handful of headline shows. Find out more and grab tickets at Ticketmaster.co.uk.
There you have it. The ’80s take on 2017, and we just can’t wait.