top of page

80's music

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Last week, here in Chicago, I was enjoying my usual morning ritual of listening to WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback. They featured the year 1983.

That brought back memories of my youth. How wonderful a great deal of the new music coming out in early 1980’s had been.

It was called “New Age” exploding with bands like Eurythmics, INXS, Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen, Adrian Belew, Talking Heads. So much more.

Some of whom had started their careers just after the punk movement in '76, then

in the early eighties a change took place - they began embracing a whole new sound with a punk attitude, albeit a seemingly clean image.

It did, however, feel to me that there was something completely unique and original to grab a hold of -a movement, if you will. It felt like forward motion, artistically.

I especially enjoyed the sonic quality. It was clean and clear; you could really crank up your stereo and immerse yourself in the sound. Modern, cosmic with synthesizers and new recording techniques.

Around 17 years of age, I gathered up all my rock records, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple, RUSH. I took them up to the local record store. “Cruising Music” on Archer avenue.

I traded them all in for anything new and unknown to me.

One that stood out was Adrian Belew’s, Twang Bar King.

I became the odd ball in my southwest side neighborhood.

“He listens to weird music”

MTV was just getting started. We didn’t have cable or ONTV at my house, but you could get it in the evenings halfway between channel 46-50.

It would have a rainbow colored squiggle line down the middle of your screen, but you could listen and make out some of the imagery.

Later they began broadcasting on TV50 for a few hours a day. I was riveted.

Back then, they played music videos of bands actually playing their instruments.

Before the mini movie or story line. Most video of older bands in live concert performances.

I remember the Stones really getting on top of the video thing.

Of Madonna jumped right on board. One band I remember really enjoying was “The Art of Noise”. They were remarkabe, the imagery in their video's was really cool.

Then somewhere in the middle of all this came Stevie Ray Vaughn, a blues man.

He took the community by storm and revived a long dying art form nearly dead.

I had always loved blues. Lying in bed til early morning listening to

The Al Benson show and The Big Bill Collins Blues show.

I loved those old scratchy records, great songs filled with soul.

It was 1983 Stevie had just done his handy work on David Bowie’s- “Lets Dance” record.

I was in a band then and we played China Girl and Cat people.

I was in a band playing keyboards back then.

When I heard Stevie’s Texas Flood record. I realized that rock and guitar music will never die. That it was my true love and about two years later in 1985 I was living in San Diego California. While working at the Intercontinental hotel the band AC/DC was staying in the hotel. One afternoon while delivery tea to a room which turned out to be Cliff Williams.

He offered me tickets to that evening performance.

After that concert. I went and repurchased all the old rock records I once owned. Replentishing my record collection with great rock records.

Later in 1985, Gun’s and Roses and a whole slew of harder rocking bands came out.

Many of which I did not like. I didn't go for Spandex pants, Mullet haircuts and ridiculous looking guitars.

I was then introduced to Metallica. Whom I thought, along with Iron Maiden sounded like Black Sabbath on 78 speed incorporating lots of classical phrases.

I had been a fan of Scorpions, Judas Priest, and bands like that, until the late eighties when I embraced punk. It took me till the age of 27 to fully appreciate Metallica, Megadeath etc. Then Nirvana and the grunge thing saved us..... temporarily. That is for another blog.

While I still enjoy listening to those eighties years in music.

I am a purely a blues guitar loving rock’n roller till the end!

Nelson Strange


22 views0 comments


bottom of page