Anne Clark is probably the most famous non singer of the 80’s. Because she never sings but reads her poetry accompanied by atmospheric music.
Anne left school at the age of 16 and started working at the Warehouse Theatre, an independently-financed stage for bands, that was always low on cash. She arranged bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees, Paul Weller, Generation X, and The Damned.
In 1982, Anne Clark published her first album, The Sitting Room, with lyrics written by herself. Rosetti’s “Beata Beatrix” was used as the sleeve. Anne made a lot of albums after this and scored a worldwide hit with “Sleeper In Metropolis”.
The Sitting Room / Swimming / An Ordinary Life / Shades /Short Story - Party Mix / The Power Game / All We Have To Be Thankful For
You are just a tenant here, you say
Living in and out of this life
As cheaply as you can
I sit here in the darkness
Like an old woman
Thoughts knot and click like brittle bones
Doing too much
Trying to question all of this
Trying so hard to fade out
In the blackness
All of the fear
All of the tears that bring us to this
Sometimes it is better that we sit
Here in the silence
I don’t look at you
And you don’t seem to notice
And the reasons -
The reasons are impossible to see Converge
They gather like dust upon a shelf
You are just a tenant here, you say
Living in and out of this life
As cheaply as you can
Kraftwerk became an inspiration to many musicians like Joy Division and David Bowie. For that reason Bowie moved from LA to Berlin to record his new album “Station to Station” and another album for Iggy Pop. After Bowie’s “Station to Station” album from 1976 David Bowie wished to have Kraftwerk as a support act during his Station to station tour but they refused. However Kraftwerk was actually flathered and in favour they made it clear by incorporating a reference in the song “Trans Europe Express”. “From station to station, Back to Düsseldorf city, meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie”. Basically they were inspired by Bowie by making a song about trains.
The album kicks of with their wish on a Europe without borders referring to the Berlin wall. Many years later their wish came true. “Showroom Dummies” is a song about themselves becoming celebs and their static movements during their live performances. The title song is split into 2 or actually 3 parts. “Trans Europe Express”/”Metal on Metal”/”Abzug”. A tribute to classical music in “Franz Schubert”.
The album was released in German and English editions. On this album they moved to pop music and more lyrics in songs were introduced. To thank Kraftwerk for their reference on “Trans Europe Express” Bowie made a song as a tribute to Florian Schneider titled “V2 Schneider” on his album “Heroes”. .
Europe Endless / Hall Of Mirrors / Showroom Dummies / Trans-Europe Express / Metal On Metal (/ Abzug) / Frank Schubert / Endless Endless
In the 80’s we were introduced to the power of Jamaican ska fused with new wave. Particularly in the UK band like The Selecter, Madness and the Specials were big. While in Holland What Fun with “The Right Side Won” made their ska revival message. But of them all The Beat is my personal favourite or English Beat as they were called in the USA due to confusion with American band under the name The Beat.The debut album of The Beat titled “I Just Can’t Stop It” was just as the title suggests. Quick ska beats with high quality. There are african influences wich became clearer on their next albums. Their debut single “Tears Of A Clown” was released under the legendary 2 Tone label before moving to their own Go Feet label.
Their lead vocalist was Dave Wakeling with Ranking Roger adding toasting vocals, Everett Morton on drums together with Saxa on (guess?) who played with many ska legends like Desmond Dekker, Laurel Aitken and Prince Buster. They wrote about social issues like on “Big Shot” as well as politics on the anti Thatcher “Stand Down Margaret”. Sadly their last 2 albums didn’t reach the charts and was the reason for their split up. But we would hear again from bassist David Steele and guitarist Andy Cox who formed the Fine Young Cannibals together with Roland Gift from another 80’s ska band The Akrylykz. So it proved their skills.
Mirror in the bathroom / Hands off she’s mine / Two swords / Twist and crawl / Tears of a clown / Rough rider / Click click / Big shot / Whine & grind/stand down Margaret / Noise in this world / Can’t get used to losing you / Best friend / Jackpot
An album out of stock almost everywhere just like “Arc Of A Diver” was is “Talking Back To The Night”. The arc has now been finally re-released in remastered form. That doesn’t count for “Talking Back To The Night” from 1982. The album continued the success of it’s previous album reaching #6 in the UK, #9 in the Netherlands and #28 in the United States.
The big difference with Arc is that Steve played almost all instruments on the album made in his own home studio. The songs are overall better than on Arc but sound very raw. Which becomes clear by the time the compilation “Chronicles” was released in 1987 including 3 songs from “Talking Back To The Night” in remixed form which sound better than the originals. “Valerie” released as a single in this form became a hit while in 1982 it was only a mediocre hitsingle. In 2004 a sample from “Valerie” was used in the single “Call On Me” from Eric Prydz. All songs were cowritten by Will Jennings who was responsible for Steve’s success in the 80’s.
Valerie / Big Girls Walk Away / And I Go / While There’s A Candle Burning / Still In The Game / It Was Happiness / Help Me Angel / Talking Back To The Night / There’s A River
Music history introduced us to many so-called super bands which are in fact band based around already experienced and talented artists. Examples earlier discussed are Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Another one is Blind Faith with only one untitled album released in 1969 but unforgettable and charted #1 in the UK.
Eric Clapton played in bands like Rick Mayall, The Yard Birds (which later became Led Zeppelin) and Cream. Steve Winwood at a young age also played in famous bands like the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. Ginger Baker played in Cream as well and the Graham Baker Organisation. Finally Rick Grech who played in Family. They were produced by Jimmy Miller who mostly produced the Rolling Stones in the 60’s.
“Had To Cry” is a song which shows all skills of the band at large, “Can’t Find My Way Home” is a typical Winwood ballad which was covered later by Joe Cocker that appeared in the movie Benny & Joon starring Johnny Depp. “Well All Right” was probably the best cover version of this song from Buddy Holly. “Presence Of The Lord” is Claptons big offer for the album. The album contains blues rock and jamming. I’m not really into blues but this combination of progressive rock and blues is working for me. Lately I’m exploring Winwoods pre solo work.
There was a lot of controversy about the album cover which displayed a young half naked girl holding a modell of a spaceship. In many countries the cover was replaced with a picture of the band instead. It is said the girl was Ginger’s daughter.
Had to Cry Today / Can’t Find My Way Home / Well All Right / Presence Of The Lord / Sea Of Joy / Do What You Like
Born as the fourth of five children of a British (Barbadian / Belgian) mother and a Nigerian father, Labi Siffre was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at a Catholic monastery school, St Benedict’s School, in Ealing. Then became interested in jazz and blues and did some backing vocals and played in bands.
In 1969, while Labi was working in Amsterdam, friends sent a tape of his songs to the DJ, Dave Cash and music publishers MAM. This led to a contract with Festival Records, and his recording debut in 1970 which was released in the UK on the Pye International division of Pye Records.
By the time his third album was released he had a big breakthrough with his album “Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying” which was released in 1972 and contained the hits “It Must Be Love” UK#14 (later covered by Madness), the title song UK#11. His music was soulful, pure and very accoustic in sound.
Labi had more hits later with “I got the…” from 1975 which was used by Eminem on his “My Name Is” and in 1987 with “(Something inside) So strong” and “Nothing’s Gonna Change”.
Saved / Cannock Chase / Fool Me A Goodnight / It Must Be Love / Gimme Some More / Blue Lady / Love Oh Love Oh Love / Crying Laughing Loving Lying / Hotel Room Song / My Song / Till Forever / Come On Michael
Highlights: Cannock Chase / It Must Be Love/ Crying Laughing Loving Lying / My Song / Till Forever
Labi Sifre - Something inside so strong
UB40 - Sing our own song
Peter Gabriel - Biko
Artists United Against Apartheid - Sun City
Simple Minds - Mandela Day
The Special AKA - Nelson Mandela
Tracey Chapman - Freedom now
“Mott” from 1973 was their concept album about rock’n’roll success that was their masterpiece. It includes some nostalgic glam rock songs like “All The Way From Memphis” and “Hoonaloochie Boogie”. On the second half they became more experimental with “I’m a Cadillac/El Camino Dolo Roso”. Overall all songs are great on this one. Sadly the cover for the CD edtion holds only the later band image of the band instead of the much artful edition with Roman head which in design fits more with their next album “The Hoople”.
After “Mott” guitarist Ralphs quit to found Bad Company with Paul Rodgers. So the remaining three members recruited a new lead guitarist and keyboard player.
Ian Hunter became the front man and on the next album from 1974 “The Hoople” their sound remained a bit the same. It includes rockers like “Crash Street Kiddds” and “Roll Away The Stone”. The orchestrated “Through The Looking Glass” and theatrical “Marionette”. Andy MacKay from Roxy Music contributed his saxophone play on “The Golden Age Of Rock’n’Roll” and “Pearl’n’ Roy (England)”, a political statement toward British Prime Minister of that time, Ted Heath. Although the glam rock was already fading away on the album. After the album Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson replaced Bender for a single “The Saturday Gig”. Finally Ian Hunter decided to go solo while the remaining members continued as Mott but without success for both.
The 70’s were the days of glam rock bands like The Sweet, T-Rex, Mud and Cockney Rebel. But the best glam rock band in my opinion is Mott The Hoople with lead singer Ian Hunter.
They started as Silvence in 1968 with singer Stan Tippens who couldn’t perform anymore after an accident . They replaced him with Ian Hunter and changed their name to “Mott The Hoople” named after a book from Willard Manus. After 4 albums and a very disappointing gig in Zurich in 1972 the band decided to quit but long time fan David Bowie pursuaded them to continue and offered his “Suffragette City” which they rejected. So David wrote another song for them and offered to produce their next album. The result was “All The Young Dudes” which became a worldwide hit.
Bowie played Saxophone on the album while his Ziggy Stardust guitarist Mick Ronson arranged and conducted orchestrations for some songs. The album starts with a Velvet Underground cover “Sweet Jane” which is best cover version done of this song ever. “Momma’s Little Jewel” has great riffs just like “Sucker”. Highlights are of course “All The Young dudes”, “One Of The Boys”, “Ready For Love” and the ballad at the end “Sea Diver”.
The album finally gave the band the success they deserved and paved the way for their best album “Mott” that followed.
Sweet Jane / Momma’s Little Jewel / All the Young Dudes / Sucker / Jerkin’ Crocus / One of the Boys / Soft Ground / Ready for Love / After Lights / Sea Diver