ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lesser Known Bands From The 80s That I Love

Updated on July 23, 2015

In my MP3 collection I have an odd assortment of bands in a folder called "Various Artists". In that folder is a handful of mainly 80's bands that I still enjoy listening to today. In this hub I'd like to introduce to you my "various artisst" folder with bands that include: Go West, The La's, The English Beat, The Lemonheads and Squeeze.

Go West

Go West is a English band that I didn't listen to until after their fame had risen and fallen. They are known primarily for their 1990s hit, "King of Wishful Thinking", which was featured on the Pretty Woman movie soundtrack. The duo consists of Peter Cox on drums and Richard Drummie on guitar with Peter being the primary vocalist.. My favorite song was their 1985 release, "We Close Our Eyes", which made the UK's Top 5 but failed to reach Billboard's Top 40 in the US.

"We Close Our Eyes" became an MTV video hit back in the days when MTV stood for Music Television and they actually played music videos. After Go West scored their hit "King of Wishful Thinking", the bands popularity mainly remained in the UK market. However, the band is still active today and throughout 2010 the band plans to release "3D" which is a series of three studio recorded EPs. The first of the these three was released in April, 2010.

The La's

The La's are basically a one hit wonder English band. They are listed as currently active with front man, lead singer and songwriter Lee Mavers being the only active member from the original group. The band has had several incarnations, reunions and album recording stops and starts. The band was formed in 1984 by Mike Badger who cites that its creation came to him in a dream. It was the 1990 hit "There She Goes" that put The La's on the map. Even then, a small map by US standards. Still, I really enjoy their hit song as it is so upbeat and rhythmic that you just can't help but smile while your foot taps or your head bobs to the catchy albeit brief tune.  There she goes!

English Beat

The Beat, or as they are more well known in the US, The English Beat, is another UK band from the 1980s I greatly enjoyed. Less obscure than the other bands I've listed in this hub, The English Beat formed in the late 1970s and had several UK hits that crossed over well to the US market. Its sound is a unique blend of ska, reggae, pop, punk and jazz rock. The Beat became The English Beat (which is the group I listen to) when Dave Wakeling joined the band. Wakeling is also known for his contributions to the group General Public, a band he left The English Beat for in 1983. In the past decade several reformation of the UK's The Beat and the US's The English Beat have toured both countries and the band(s) are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary.

The Lemonheads

Not all the bands I like from the 80's hail from the UK either, case in point - The Lemonheads. I guess it could be argued this band isn't an 80s band at all since their popularity was at its height in the early 90s, but why quibble? The Lemonheads are an alternative rock band which formed in 1983 and hail from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed by lead singer and guitarist Evan Dando, who is the bands only constant member. Much like The La's, The Lemonheads have had several members in various reformations; including a breakup in 1997 and a break from music until 2005. In 2006 they released their self-titled album, "The Lemonheads" and they just released "Varshons" in June of 2009. My favorite Lemonhead song is "It's a Shame about Ray" but their cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" was a success, as well. Possibly more of an early 90's band, I still consider them one of my favs from the 80s.  In the video, "It's a Shame About Ray", I'm not sure if he's playing "Ray" but Johnny Depp appears in the video.


Alright, back to England!  Squeeze is a UK band that formed in the late 1970s but enjoyed most of their success throughout the 1980s and early 90s.  As is common for most 80s bands, Squeeze too has reformed, probably as a result of the VH1 "where are they now" rockumentaries.  The band is associated with the formation of a sound called "new wave" and featured a different kind of sound and a variety of vocal tones and styles.  This group has had more hits and is probably the least obscure on my list of favorites here.  The Squeeze songs that stand out to me are "Black Coffee In Bed" and "Tempted".  Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are responsible for all of Squeeze's hits, which include well over 50 songs. "Cool For Cats" is featured on Rock Band 2, although I can't play it on Hard (YET!).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Karen Lawrence And The Pinz had an excellent album out. Also The Rings had good songs out like "Opposites Attract" "Too Much Of Nothing" "I Need Strange" "Watch You Break" and more.

    • DaveysRecipeRead profile image


      7 years ago

      Although it was kinda weird and unintended I think that the best "video" for English Beat's "Mirror in the Bathroom" was the Hilarious scene in John Cusack's "Point Blank" film, really captured the spirit of the times. Great hub!

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      Well I'm glad my hub could take you back to such wonderful memories! If you are from Boston you might know and be a fan of Guster? They pop up a lot in my hubs. Thanks for the comments MM.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      My goodness! What a find! I love English Beat. And Squeeze -- well, I still remember the first time I heard "Pulling Mussels" on the radio, and it was ON. They came to Boston where I lived and I went over to the meet-and-greet at a local bookstore (also the concert that night). Chris Difford said to me, "You're the prettiest girl of the day." Only thing that could have made the moment even more superlative would be if the comment came from GT instead. Still, it gives me goosebumps to this day!

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for the comment music messenger and I certainly will check out your hubs!

    • music messenger profile image

      music messenger 

      8 years ago

      Good hub. The LA's are a band that very few people know about. The whole album is great. Thanks for telling more music fans about them! I voted and I have music reviews and info on my hubs. Check it out.

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      I think it was, giltemp1. My daughter recognized it but she thought from a movie she'd seen before. I think quite a few bands have covered it as well - like maybe The Pixies even?

    • giltemp1 profile image


      8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Wasn't that in "I Marred An Axe Murderer" or something like that? With Mike Meyers, Nancy Travis and Amanda Plummer?

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for the comments Joyful Pamela. If you are truly "joyful" you'd probably like The La's "There She Goes" (if you bypassed it) - that one always brightens up my day.

    • Joyful Pamela profile image

      Joyful Pamela 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What fun music! I hadn't heard of some of the groups before, but I'm glad you introduced them to me. :)

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      A lesser known band from the 80s I followed in 1980 was an Irish band known as U2. Although, they are no longer lesser known. Bonus video from that era below!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)