Spillyear 1984


You know the rules by now. This week’s year: 1984.

Now, I wasn’t really listening to much in 1984, being six years old at the time. However, this list suggests there was rather a lot of good music being released in amongst the 80s hair and synths. I think we can come up with a great playlist.

Listen here

Add your top 3 tunes here





108 thoughts on “Spillyear 1984

  1. I get to go first, with some obvious choices:

    The Go-Betweens – Part Company
    The Smiths – Reel Around the Fountain
    REM – So. Central Rain

  2. What a year!!

    Just left school, first job, money to buy ridiculous amount of albums, lots of heavy metal out and also starting to explore new genres without the confines of peer pressure at school, good times.

    Immediate thought is I listened to Nena 99 Red Balloons on the pub jukebox a lot, and I mean a lot.

    This was also the year Born in the USA was out 🙂

    Need to think about which three tunes really signify 1984 but definitely going with Nena, just need two others and I’m sure The Boss will figure.

  3. Oh now this really WAS a year! It was my first year at university; my first with lots of disposable income (relatively speaking – student grant plus overdraft); and my first with mass exposure to music that wasn’t just the classic rock that me and my schoolfriends had immersed ourselves in.
    Ignoring my core tastes, New Order, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins / This Mortal Coil, Bronski Beat and then massively, Spear Of Destiny all made a huge impact on me. I’ll have to think long and hard about which rock and which newtome I’ll include in my choice of three. But one I can give you as a dead cert immediately:
    Prince – When Doves Cry
    That’s having my name on it, thangyewverramuch!!!

    Back later.

  4. Back in 1984, I was still listening to the music of the previous few years, but there are a few things from that year that I enjoyed. It was the year that U2 released their last album that I can say I really liked, The Unforgettable Fire, but I don’t think I’ll have anything from it.

    Towards the end of the year Bronski Beat released The Age of Consent and I am picking a track from that.

    Prince released Purple Rain in 1984, so I would definitely have something off that one too, except it seems that Prince and YouTube don’t seem to get on very well.

    Big Bam Boom by Hall and Oates also came out towards the end of 1984, and I used to play that album a lot, but mostly in 1985, so I might have to give it a miss, sadly.

    Talking Heads released a live album, Stop Making Sense in 1984, and it is great, so my second track is from that.

    However, 1984 was also the year of Siouxsie and The Banshee’s Hyæna so that’s where my third choice will come from.

    1) Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
    2) Talking Heads – Crosseyed and Painless
    3) Siouxsie and The Banshees – Blow the House Down

  5. hmm, very difficult. I could easily have picked 2 of barbryn’s 3. maybe if I wait long enough my choices will become easier. looked through the SUE list and there at least 14 albums I could pick off.

  6. Eurythmics: Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty Four) – obvs!
    Depeche Mode: Blasphemous Rumours/Somebody – look, it was a double A-side, alright?!
    Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain – title track off of the greatest album ever recorded (or whatever Mac said)

    • Depeche Mode: Blasphemous Rumours/Somebody – look, it was a double A-side, alright?!

      Mine isn’t!!
      A-side (45rpm) – Blasphemous Rumours
      B-side (33rpm) – Somebody / Two Minute Warning / Ice Machine / Everything Counts
      All B-side songs recorded live at the Liverpool Empire on 29th September 1984.

      • Yeah, sorry Bish. I didn’t explain that very well. If you’ll pardon the innuendo, that’s because I’ve got a 12″. A split speed 12″? How odd. And recorded at the Empire too! That’s more why I bought it than the songs (funnily enough, bearing in mind recent conversations, from Probe if I recall. Buying this meant I wasn’t scared of having the staff take the piss – yes I’m thinking of Pete Burns again!)

  7. About fifteen years ago I came across a bloke at a record fair who had a complete set of John Peel Festive Fifty quadruple-CD sets. These CD sets were £15 a pop, and were bootlegs of the original countdowns from the radio shows. I can tell you, the patience required to edit these together is pretty damned awesome. I would quite happily have splurged a decent three-figure sum that afternoon, but the record fair was a strictly cash-only affair, and I only had about £27-£28 on me. It took me about 40 minutes to whittle my choice down to two; The All-Time Festive Fifty, and 1984. But try as I might (and I REALLY did try), I couldn’t bargain him down by even that two-quid-plus-change to let me have both. I walked out of there with … 1984. THAT’S how much I’d loved my musical education from that 1983/4 first year at Uni.
    Here’s a link to the track-listing:

  8. I remember that festive 50 well, it may have been the first I listened to in full. I can recall him commenting on the very uneven geographical makeup of the membranes votes.

    • Yup! And I quote:

      There were a disproportionate number of votes for this next one which arrived in the same week and from the same county, but at the same time I’m far too trusting a bloke to suspect any kind of an organised campaign. This is at number six …

      • v good. and after the greenfields of france he said “it’s the barely suppressed anger that makes that such a great song for me”. i’m not recalling from 1984 exactly – I taped the top ten so had it for a while, maybe still do somewhere.

  9. I was 25 and living in a bedsit in a place called Totterdown. I’d just got a job sorting out motorway signalling supplies for the (new/under construction) M42. I worked in a department of around 100 people, 90% of whom were male engineers. It was … interesting … lots of drinking. Not at work, obviously. Joe Jackson, Talk Talk, Cyndi Lauper spring to mind but no albums in particular so I’ll go with the popular:

    The Cars: Drive
    The Weather Girls: It’s Raining Men
    Alison Moyet: All Cried Out

    • I could play those 3 over and over Ali. I break out in song and do a little dance when I hear the chorus to It’s Raining Men. Like, literally. Its a bit embarrassing to some if it happens in public, but joke em, I say.

      • My then boyfriend had the Cars album, we played it a lot. I was kind of on my own with the Weather Girls though, so it’s good to have someone who understands!

  10. To me 1984 was all about shiny music production-wise; rap/hip hop was starting to influence a lot of dance music, as heard in the Manu Dibango tune ‘Abele Dance’.
    Also there was the rise of the song from the post punk dissonance as you’ve all written about above, so I’ve included Aztec Camera’s version of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’, which to some of you will be sacrilege but I’m defending to the death – especially when Roddy started kickin’ out the jams live (Artist Against Apartheid at the Brixton Academy that spring).
    Finally a tune from a band I saw quite a lot of that year supporting Lloyd Cole & The Commotions and were always entertaining in a Thin White Duke kind of way – The Blow Monkeys with ‘He’s Shedding Skin’ and all the while outside things were getting ugly …

    • Abele Dance. Brilliant. Just listening to that and I’m reminded of Toure Kunda: another Celluloid records connection. And I see from the yt comments on Abele Dance that There’s a mention of LKJ who released the great “Making History” that year. And with LKJ there’s the Dennis Bovell link back to Orange Juice.

  11. Some singles not yet mentioned which have special places in my heart, but haven’t made my final three:

    Sandie Shaw – Hand In Glove
    Madonna – Borderline
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    – … any of those three No.1s!
    New Order – Thieves Like Us
    Toy Dolls – Nellie the Elephant
    The Smiths – How Soon Is Now
    The Icicle Works – Love Is A Wonderful Colour
    Van Halen – Panama
    I didn’t like Jump then, and I hate it now!
    Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Perfect Skin
    Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters
    Melle Mel – White Lines
    Kane Gang – Smalltown Creed

    Until I finally found a copy of The Pink Opaque on CD some years later, 1984’s the Cocteau Twins’ The Spangle Maker EP was one of my most treasured (no pun intended) records.

    Two HUGE faves that are skirting right around the edge of topic-fit because they were released at either end of 1984:

    King Kurt – Destination Zululand. Spent all of 1984 elbow-dancing to it, but it was released in Dec 1983.
    The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary. Released Dec 1984, so spent all of 1985 dancing to it!

    • Donds for Frankie (any of the 3), Smiths, and VH. That made my life easier.

      My very first thought was to baggsie The Cult – but when i checked to be sure, it said that the single was released in 1985, so maybe that was over here.

      Anyhoo, dond of the whole thread.

      • D’OH! Amy, you were right; She Sells Sanctuary WAS 1985. It was Resurrection Joe released in December 1984.

        Barney? I’ve made a right mess of the Boombox list. Can you edit it, as the person who set it up?

        1. Delete She Sells Sanctuary. I’ll replace it with Resurrection Joe.
        2. Delete the duplicate of Spear Of Destiny’s Playground Of The Rich. I must’ve hit Enter twice.
        3. Delete Lorraine Ellison’s Stay With Me. Just ’cause I listened to it in 1984 doesn’t make it right for it to be in this list.

        Because none of us can find Prince tunes on YouTube, I’m putting in The Cult on the Boombox list. Because Lorraine is out of place, I’m putting in King Kurt’s Destination Zululand. That’s a three-fer that would have figured on many a night at Pickwicks in Bradford.

    • Don’t think I have any special editing powers, but never mind. The more songs the merrier, and we can always use the skip button.

      How’s the B00mbox list working out for everyone? Seems OK to me, but if anyone knows any better alternatives, let me know.

  12. So what’s my three choices then?

    1. Prince -When Doves Cry.
    2. Spear Of Destiny – Playground Of The Rich
    And for 3., I’m gonna cheat! A song from 1966.
    3. Lorraine Ellison – Stay With Me

    I arrived in Bradford to start Uni in October 1983. We soon settled into a nearby pub (the Black Swan, Frizinghall) as our local. One freezing cold evening in Jan 1984 (loads of snow, roads iced and frozen, etc., etc.) there were very few people in there, so when a song came on the jukebox I could hear it properly for once. I heard this rock ballad with a screaming voice and screaming guitar and thought it was ace. Turned out to be ex-Argent guitarist and Bradfordian John Verity, with his version of Stay With Me. A bit of asking around and I found it was a cover of a song by a woman I’d never heard of called Lorraine Ellison. A week or two after that, I found a re-release of Lorraine’s LP in HMV. Bought it. Absolutely blew me away. Then I got dumped by the girl I’d broken up with my long-term girlfriend for, and spent most of the remainder of my first year sulking and feeling sorry for myself. Played Stay With Me to death!!! Loved it ever since (and still like the Verity version too). Pleased to say it’s my name against it in The Marconium.

  13. 1984 the year Dead or Alive released You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), The Pointer Sisters like Van Halen had a song called Jump though they added “for my love” in brackets, both catchy!

    The Groover from Vancouver released Run To You off of Reckless, which spawned Heaven, It’s Only Love and Summer of ’69 the following year.

    It was also the year of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl and ZZ Top’s Legs!

    According to the Rolling Stone Top 100 list amylee linked to these tunes also figured in my listening that year:

    U2 – Pride
    Pat Benatar – Love Is A Battlefield.
    Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
    Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
    Don Henley – Boys of Summer

    Before I give you my top three an honourable mention for Human League’s Louise.

    There were also several tunes from the Boss’ Born in the USA in the top 100 but not this one: I’m on Fire, which is my No. 3

    My number 2 would have to be something from Bob Marley’s Legend – Buffalo Soldier.

    In at one – Marillion – Assassing

    • Before I give you my top three an honourable mention for Human League’s Louise.

      Donds for that thought. One of my all-time favourites in both the vocal performance and video categories.

      And that’s the Phil Oakey haircut I spent most of the 80s with. I was going to say the only time we’ve had the same barnet, but I think we’re the same right now! ;o}

  14. Lets see, 1984. Thirteen, going on fourteen. Pretty much a difficult age for anyone, I’d guess. An all UK Top 3 – Just worked out that way

    1) Icicle Works – Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)One of the most ferocious drum workouts on a pop song ever
    2) Style Council – Shout To The Top Will always love the punchy string arrangement and handclaps. Always sounded a little like a lost disco hit.
    3) Joe Jackson – You Can’t Get What You Want
    Say it in your best Don LaFontaine voice: “In a world where icy synths washed across the landscape, one man stands alone”

  15. 1984 – the Savage War to beware of for us was the Cold ‘un. And the war agains the poor. Ronnie won a second term.

    I had graduated college the year before, and a few of my friends and i were kicking around trying to decide what to do with ourselves. I remember taking a few grad classes, and dropping out of them before i flunked them. We were starting to realize that the state we lived in sucked and it was time to bail out. It was probably the next year that we made the move, it was to NYC for me. But i did listen to a lot of music.

    donds for The Smiths, REM, Prince, Born in the USA, VH, Thompson Twins, Frankie, the Cars, Bronski Beat. Bish didn’t mention Tracey Ullman, but that would have been a dond. No U2 donds this time around – i don’t much like that album, and even A Sort of Homecoming has to wait for the live Rattle and Hum version to make my list. She Sells Sanctuary was still the best rock tune of the 80’s. (At least until Appetite for Destruction came along. Or after Eight Miles High from 1983.) Zen Arcade came out in 1984, but i wasn’t listening at the time.

    So – one of mine is definitely going to be The Pretenders – 2000 Miles. My City Was Gone is a great one too.

    More females than usual make my shortlist here. Lots of tail-end-of disco to funk to smooth jazzish to pop.

    Sade – Smooth Operator or Your Love is King
    Shannon – Let the Music Play
    Bananarama – Cruel Summer
    Sheila E – Glamourous Life
    Go-Go’s – Head Over Heels
    Cherelle – I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
    Bangles – Hero Takes a Fall

    Lotta great funk that year. Tossup for me between The Time – Jungle Love (The Bird is great too) and Talking Heads – Girlfriend is Better from Stop Making Sense.

    Talk Talk – It’s My Life.

    Want to say that everyone else covered Prince, but Purple Rain was so great, i can’t leave it out. Tossup between Let’s Go Crazy and I Would Die 4U.

    Ok, final three then.

    1. Pretenders – 2000 Miles
    2. Talking Heads – Girlfriend is Better
    3. Prince – Let’s Go Crazy

      • And duh – another honorable mention for Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round. Back when poor Pete Burns was gorgeous. Couldn’t get away from that tune.

  16. 1984! What a year! From The Pogues to Hugh Masekela via the Blue Nile but I’ll go for:

    Cocteau Twins – Pearly Dewdrops Drops
    Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers – We Need Some Money
    Julian Cope – Head Hang Low

  17. 1984 was a great year. i was still at school but earning some money which i spent mainly on records, the odd gig, extremely drainpipe black trousers, pointy shoes, hair gel and hairspray! the year started well too with the Smiths touring the first album (my first gig!) we were into pretty much anything from the emerging indie scene as well as mainstream breakthrough acts, bunnymen, stranglers etc.

    i would definitely have picked an icicle works track if SHA hadn’t already, but to broaden the selection i’ve tried to think of some of my favourite but less obvious tracks/bands and gone for the CAPITALISED.

    you’ve got everything now – the smiths
    HANK TURNS BLUE/art ghetto – the folk devils
    sunlight bathed the golden glow – felt
    CUE FANFARE – prefab sprout
    not me – this mortal coil
    smalltown england/notice me – new model army
    nirvana/factory in the desert – icicle works
    DIG IT UP – hoodoo gurus
    flower in the desert – the cult
    rockville – rem
    thorn of crowns – bunnymen
    subterraneans – flesh for lulu
    hate on sight – shockheaded peters
    in power.. – dead can dance
    the ghost in you – psychedelic furs

    Scratch acid also released their first EP in 1984 though I didn’t hear that for another 20 years!

  18. An almost impossible choice but – quick before I change my mind – I’ll go – as Smalltown Boy is taken – for…

    Melle Mel – White Lines
    Special aka – Nelson Mandela
    Smiths – How Soon Is Now

  19. Ah, the disposable years! Stop Making Sense was a shaft of light and parts of The Unforgettable Fire were good but everyone seemed to have quite similar ideas about popular music….. Garcia’s heroin habit and Mydland’s blandness were turning the Dead into a pastiche of the Doobie Brothers….. Nothing to add to the list at all.
    George Orwell was right: 1984 was not a good year.

    • What’s wrong with disposable? *winky face*

      I would argue that 1984 was pretty much the last year in a golden age of interesting post-punk pop personalities and musical freshness before the dread hand of Stock, Aitken and Waterman laid waste to the pop charts (in the UK at least). But then, I was a 12-year-old (virgin) in 1984, so everything felt shiny and new…

      • (How very pleasing that that song was released in 1984. I love it when chance conspires to make me sound vaguely witty.)

      • Really? Dunno if you had MTV over there then. But after 1984, seems like British pop just kept getting better and better. And American punk started to get interesting too.

      • Chartpop was pretty terrible from the mid-80s through to, ooh, at least Madchester/acid house and possibly even until Britpop. It seemed to be completely dominated by generic pap produced out of the Stock-Aitken-Waterman stable: Kylie, Jason, Rick Astley, Sonia, Sinitta, rubbish versions of Bananarama and Donna Summer… In reality, there was (there must have been!) more going on than that, but it really felt like SAW had a monopoly on pop. A monopoply, if you will. (What’s that? You won’t? Oh fair enough.)

      • Dunno about the charts, but for those of us with MTV, we got shedloads of shimmery British pop – and they had to look good along with it for video. So we got the likes of Culture Club, Wham, and the Durans, but also Smiths, Cure, ABC, Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins, Eurythmics, Fine Young Cannibals, General Public, Furs, Simple Minds (sorry, Fuel and Wyngate, the poppy stuff), Brian Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Human League, the Cult, Aha (ok, not British) – and i could go on. Honestly don’t know if this stuff was on radio charts though. And you had good stuff that never really made it over here as well.

      • Our college rockers took note too. Later on in the 80s and early 90s, the Heads, REM, and B-52s released poppier albums – and good uns too (depending on who you talk too. I loved them).

      • You have a point, Amy, though Culture Club were pretty much a spent force by 1984 (The War Song, anyone?), Eurythmics were headed toward Revenge-era pop-rock blandness and The Human League were past their Dare prime. But yeah, there was still some fun stuff out there!

      • Ha! Amy, I like and can cope with Simple Minds from 1983 and 1984. SM from 1985 I sometimes smile along with, but mostly it makes me scowl. After that it’s just painful.

      • We may well have gotten Culture Club and Human League on delay, well after release there. So we missed the back catalogs of the likes of XTC, and Human League – but we got Don’t You Want Me, Fascination, and Human (and i’m not complaining about any of that.) Probably why we only know Simple Minds from the Breakfast Club era too. We got Squeeze. We missed the gothy Cure and Siouxie stuff too, but what pretty Cure we did get.

      • I have to say that i never liked Eurythmics, i always thought they were bland. Closest i get is Marilyn Manson’s cover.

      • Agree re 1984 Bish. You had everything – celtic punk, new wave, punk, power ballads, the first hint of indy, bits of disco and hip hop, funk, Latin. Scan the charts now and you see derivatives of 3 or 4 things.

        Pop music was breaking out of 70s pretention, and 1984 was the pinnacle of that.

    • Chris, I loved music 1984. Disposable has rarely been better: Wham!; Madonna; Prince; Cameo were in the charts; Chaka Khan, Art of Noise, too, IIRC.

      Then there was the beginnings of rap being more than singles; Run DMC, though you could only buy the album on expensive import in the UK. But hearing some rap tunes like World’s Famous Supreme Team or Whodini was like something from another world. And there was electro-hip hop like Man Parrish (Street Sounds Electro was that era – my wine bar girlfriend had all those compilation).

      The Paisley Underground (Rainy Day; Rain Parade; The Droogs) was still Paisley and name-checking stuff that sent me back to find nuggets from the past.

      Womack and Womack (Bobby Womack, too) were hip. Also, Talking Heads as well as The Kane Gang and Orange Juice (Texas Fever – oh yes!) got me listening to The Staples Singers and other more obscure 1970’s soul acts.

      Then Talking Heads and others had got me into African music and Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade and his African Beats have releases from 1984, I should check that … And I’ve just found Barríngton Levy’s Here I Come, which was 1984 and is ace.

      And let’s not forget Jangling guitar pop from Hurrah! Julian Cope being Fried and down in the desert sounds from The Meat Puppets. Add in Sonic Youth, Swans and the first stirrings of JAMC and it’s an ace year for getting acquainted with noise, too.

      A fine year to be young, have disposable income and no cares in the world.

      Oh course you could look at all that and take the Vaselines view and say, “I hate the eighties cos the eighties were shit.” But 1984 – as a bridge between the past and what was to come – was perfect. 😉

      • It’s probably my age (32). Running through the artists you name only reinforces my opinion, folks. Some catchy tunes and great make-up, maybe, but it was a time of bland music, on the verge of being even more bland and more annoying (e.g. SAW).

      • Eh Chris, people like whaat they like and don’t like what they don’t, it’s all good and it’s what makes the world go around. Two genres i really didn’t like were the lion’s share of disco and hair metal. So New Wave here (or college rock) – Heads, Cars, REM, B-52’s, Devo – was very very welcome. And so was the 80’s British pop here too, but i like me some pretty pop anyway, i don’t always need a message or complexity. Sometimes i just need to smile. (can’t say that i ever heard of any of that other SAW stuff. Except for, unfortunately, Rick Astley.).

        I’m old now, and i loathe the screeching synth pop that’s all over our radios now. But it makes me smile to go into an art college bookstore and hear the Smiths playing.

  20. Another bumper year:

    23 Skidoo – Language
    Shriekback – Hand On My Heart
    Orange Juice – What Presence?!

    Spangle Maker, Green Fields & Boys From County Hell just losing out on a whim.

  21. I remember 1984 for three things musically: 1) his Purpleness 2) Trevor Horn (‘The Man Who Invented The 80s’), and 3) The Replacements. Wish I coulda said The Smiths but they had barely troubled North American shores.

    And so:
    Replacements – Answering Machine. Never a commercial success, Paul Westerberg and enemies (alcohol-fueled tension drove the band) nonetheless had a fervent cult following that continues to grow (or balloon might be a better word given the middle-aged midriffs at their reunion shows.) Interestingly, alt-country rebel Ryan Adams paid homage to The Replacements with last year’s album 1984. Dated? Passe? Ha!
    Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Trevor Horn said everything he had been trying to do with his other projects (Buggles, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Art of Noise) came to perfect pop fruition in this one song.
    Prince – Purple Rain. Like Robbie Robertson’s Last Waltz suite and Genesis’ Suppers Ready, I go “aha. Now I get what you’ve been trying to do here.”

    * No accident two of these are from Minnesota. Often called ‘Canada’s other province’ because its terrain, climate and social mores mirrors that of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north, like Canada the state has always punched above its weight musically. Prince-Replacements-Dylan vs Young-Cohen-Mitchell? Tough to call. (Also, to complete the comparison, Canada has afflicted the world with Bryan Adams, Nickleback, Celine and Shania). Minnesota had Yanni. Call it a draw.)

    You can hear these songs plus one from Adams here:

    • dond for Yes, that was quite a decent comeback tune. The Huskers were out of Minnesota too. I was hearing about the Replacements and Husker Du at the time, but i never got around to checking them out until many years later. I’d kind of stopped listening to college radio in favor of MTV.

      All i knew of the Art of Noise was Close to the Edit, which has to be one of the best videos ever.

    • I have to say that Owner Of A Lonely Heart was the antithesis of everything I liked about Yes. I feel the same way about the Trevor Horn and Trevor Rabin period of Yes as I do about Genesis post the Trick Of The Tail album.

  22. So Nena‘s armpit hair – to Wham’s! still perfect pop (my dad WAS driven crazy by the bubblegum of wake me up before you go go (hilarious) – Frankie Says ‘Come’ and Electro destroys the old peoples nerves quicker than mustard gas: I ♥︎ 1984 – I thought it was a joyous and experimental time for music – but I don’t need musical perfection, I like people to have fun, or shout, or write interesting poetry to a girl in Luxembourg… pop faced up to the threat of Nuclear destruction and Bauhaus members released records as Dali’s Car and Tones on Tail!
    Prince, the Time and Sheila E all could be in my top 3. The Paisley Underground stalwarts The Dream Syndicate’s Medicine Show wasn’t quite up to the days of wine and roses and Romeo Void left us with A Girl in Trouble (is a Temporary Thing). Nena and Frankie should be in. This Mortal Coil’s it’ll End in Tears had two of my fav songs ever in Kangaroo and Holocaust.

    But I’m picking:
    War Tones on Tail (because I had a Double A side 12″ in electric blue.
    N E P A (Never Expect Power Always) Tony Allen(because I told my nan it was a Band called NEPA so it got filed incorrectly in her record section of the shop she worked in – not sold so heavily discounted TO ME!
    Breaker’s Revenge Athur Baker listening to this type of music nearly broke my dad! I loved it.

    • Electro annoyed even me at times. But if you liked New Order’s “Confusion” and PC&L then it was daft to argue that an indie kid shouldn’t be listening to electro. Just listening to Street Sounds 5 and Breaker’s Revenge is on that but I always had a soft spot for Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde’s ”Fast Life”. Ha! People writing on youtube that the new sounds don’t match the glory days music of the Street Sounds Electro series.

      “Medicine Show” wasn’t as good but that and Violent Femmes’ “Hallowed Ground” helped in the forming of that Americana template… If it’s a 1984 “Holocaust” then it has to be Kendra Smith singing the song for the Rainy Day project much as I love Devoto.

      Oh! Fela’s Army Arrangement was from 1984; Bill Laswell and Celluloid. and KSA’s Aura was ’84 too. That Tony Allen track is ace. There were some pearlers that year.

      • Electro is incredibly annoying at times – all the more fun to annoy my guitar obsessed dad – I was 13/14 in ’84 – annoying my parents was a skill perfected with harsh electronic ‘non musical instruments.

        If ‘days of wine and roses’ wasn’t in my top 1 of all albums of all time (as of tonight at 22.16) then Medicine Show would be mighty fine… (and it is) but it’s not DoWaR….. too true about the template.

        I detested Band Aid and Live Aid (not the helping starving people bit; the arsehole coke addled rock royalty demanding every last penny from poor people while destroying the planet flying concorde across the world bit – if they donated their drug bill/ plane fuel costs instead of subjecting me to the horrors of dad rock etc etc etc ….)
        but it made me think of, and discover, the music coming out of the continent at a very early age.

      • Live Aid! I worked all that day – 12 hours. Went straight to the pubs and clubs. Missed all the bloated dad rock.

        I have a good friend who’s written papers about voluntary fundraisers and charity records/celebrities trying to raise awareness for good causes. Basically, she’d say: ‘If those celebrities don’t connect the audience to the cause then all they’ve done is create a short-term boost and a long-term vacuum. But if they do believe in the cause and connect people to it they can be of great benefit.’

        Still, it’s hard to donate when you know there are well-known tax exiles, Sun City rockers and coke-heads creating more myth for themselves, while letting the state off the hook for not doing the job it should have been.

  23. Feeling completely out of synch with the rest of the Spill, because Nena’s ‘99 Luftballons‘ was 1983 for me. It felt like the song was following me from country to country as I jobbed my way through Europe, and it irritated me beyond measure.

    1984 was the year I officially ran away to Germany, never to return. At every party I went to we danced to Jasper van’t Hof’s Pili Pili and everything else seemed to be a throwback to the 70s or even the 60s (I remember hearing the Doors played a lot).

  24. Einstürzende Neubauten – “Negativ Nein” (first released in 1982 but I only became aware of it via the ‘Strategies Against Architecture’ compilation which came out in 1984)
    Test Dept – Total State Machine
    Swans – Your Property

  25. I’m feeling quite left out here. Glad you’re all having fun though.

    Beyond the three bands I chose here, I have very few records from the 80s. Looking forward to having a chance to listen to some of these.

  26. Mmm, now I was still at school in 1984 and looking at things released in that year, I hadn’t heard of quite a few of the things I listen to now, that came out then. So should I choose what my early teenage self liked or what I’ve since discovered?

    Going for the former, I bought David Sylvian’s Red Guitar on single because I liked Ghosts by Japan so much when I saw it on TOTPs and I felt he was part of a world I didn’t know about yet.

    For my sins, I loved Queen’s I Want To Break Free (and still do), had the biggest ever crush on Roger, especially when dressed as a schoolgirl, this probably explains some of my boyfriends at the time.

    Bowie’s Blue Jean would have to be my third as I had an abiding love of the man in 1984 which hasn’t dimmed yet.

    If I were to chose stuff from then I like now then yes, SIouxsie, maybe the Cure, Julian Cope, Marc Almond, The Danse Society and the first album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but that all came later…

  27. Help, I’m watching the slidebomb thing and it’s stuck on Spear of Destiny, it’s played it 5 times in a row, any clue how to make it get past it?

  28. Late again, as I was stuck on a windy hill last week. I was heavily into music by 1984, although with limited knowledge and even more limited pocket money. I was becoming more aware of the existence of alternative music, and I was just beginning to dip my toe into late 70s punk as I bought Best Ofs…Banshees & Buzzcocks. My main contemporary listening though was Bunnymen and U2 and my favourite single of the year at the time was the Mighty Wah – Come Back. Not a bad choice I don’t think. I also listened to a bit of Spear Of Destiny .. and the Human League as well, which seems a bit stranger now. My taste was considered ridiculously obscure by mates at school ( U2 – who’d ever heard of them?) who generally liked Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Micheal Jackson, and Queen.
    Of course none of this features in my Top 3 from 84 now

    Sisters Of Mercy – Afterhours
    I got into them about 4 years later, Body & Soul (this was from the 12″) and Walk Away would have been my favourites from 84 a the time,but this has grown on me over the years. More atmosphere than actual song, but that’s fine

    Varukers – Led To The Slaughter
    Got into these much later. I first saw them live at an all dayer in a big venue in 96. Mates had been impressing on me how tight they were live. They played this first and halfway through the guitarist fell over and they had to start again, although unlike the Edge he at least remained on stage. This neatly demonstrates where a lot of punk was heading in 84, ie somewhere fast heavy and metally. I didn’t like this at first but the riff worked it’s way into my brain and has stuck there

    English Dogs – Invasion Of The Porky Men
    Also on the punk to metal path, but before they careered off down that road they did this. Apparently the drugs do work

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