Best Alternative 80s Songs
Alternative 80s Music
Thanks first go to Cogerson for setting me down this nostalgic track. For me the 80s was a magical decade. I turned 18 in June 1981 and I was a singer and guitarist in a band - thankfully, none of the tapes we made still exist, listening to them would be savage amusement.
Cogerson and I were reminiscing about the 80s and some of the fab music that was around at the time.
I have very eclectic tastes, so some days I was listening to Human League and Duran Duran, I danced along to Billie Jean when I went clubbing and on my heavier days I was happy to 'pour some sugar on me' with Def Leppard or let my hair down to 'Livin' On A Prayer' BUT...I was actually a bit of a music anorak back in the 80s so most of the time I was listening to the other stuff - the more underground stuff, 'alternative' we called it (mainly cos not many people were listening to it).
I had a good mate called Tanya who had THE most amazing record collection, we used to sit in her bedroom on Sunday afternoons with a hangover and drink loads of tea whilst eating her mam's home-made butterfly cakes with butter cream and smoking cigarettes in between.
So here I am folks, with Tanya, the worse for wear and here's the stuff we were listening to.... hope you like it. Some of this is 30 years old and it still sounds great.
And some we never heard of again, I give you....'Carmel'
Carmel was a British singer who performed live a lot around Manchester before Manchester started to get famous as 'Madchester' late in the 1980s.
Carmel was around in about 1982/83 and she never made it big. I used to listen to this on a 12" single, amazing voice. She also had a song called 'Willow Weep', go check her out on You Tube.
B52s - Dirty Back Road
I always feel a bit agrieved for the B52s who will forever and ever be known for 'Love Shack'.
In the 80s, they made some of the best alternative music in the USA and I owned all of their albums on vinyl.
'Dirty Back Roads' was always my favourite of their songs. The B52s seem to split people into 2 camps - you either love em or hate em, I loved em!
Siouxsie and The Banshees
I could have picked any one of her songs, Tanya and I adored her but 'Spellbound' was always my favourite. Robert Smith of The Cure spent quite an extended period as their guitarist as a favour to Siouxsie when their own guitarist went AWOL. Some of their best stuff came out of this period.
Siouxsie also did a great cover of The Beatles 'Dear Prudence' and another good song was 'Happy House'. I had hair just like her, except it was dyed blonde; it took me hours to get it spiky!
The Smiths - started off 'alternative' but then they got popular
Well, I could have picked any of their songs really; I just loved them, so it came down to a toss-up between this one,'Please Let Me Get What I Want' and 'Still Ill'. Go to You Tube to see them do a brilliant live version of 'Still Ill' on Top of The Pops but just close your eyes and listen to this one - still gives me chills.
The Cure - A Forest
I could have chosen once of their crowd-pleasers, 'Friday I'm In Love' or 'Boys Don't Cry' but I wanted to give you a taste of just how alternative they were to begin with, back in the 80s.
Robert Smith is an amazing songwriter; if you don't believe me, just listen to his wonderful song 'Love Song' on Adele's album 21 - timeless.
Cocteau Twins -Aikea Guinea
Cocteau Twins were the ultimate 'shoegazers' band and I adored them in the 80s, 90s, 00s and I still listen to them every day now.
Elizabeth Fraser, their lead vocalist has one of the most amazing voices, she can go anywhere with her voice and you will follow.
Aikea Guinea is from about 1982 and is one of their gentler numbers - perfect for a Sunday afternoon hangover.
Cocteau Twins - An Alternative Frosty The Snowman
Alternative 80s - who else did we listen to?
Echo and The Bunnymen
Dead Can Dance
Tears For Fears
The Lotus Eaters
I could go on and on but I won't - needless to say, I welcome comments from any other shoegazers out there and 80s aficionados. Hope you enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane.