CD Review: ’80s British Gold

‘80s British Gold
By David Chiu

Superstars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Prince may have dominated the ‘80s, but for a while the British pop acts ruled the radio and MTV airwaves. Back then, it was the synthesizer that dominated the sound yielding quirky electronic sounds and beats. Not only that, but these British acts also sported the big hair, makeup and flashy clothes that became very trendy. British ‘80s offers a very satisfactory overview of that colorful period in music. Like it did for MTV’s first broadcast in 1981, the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” leads off this 2-CD set followed by acts that benefited from the exposure through the nascent music TV channel: Duran Duran (“Hungry Like the Wolf”), Culture Club (“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”), Psychedelic Furs (“Love My Way”), Tears for Fears (“Mad World”) and Spandau Ballet (the New Wave ballad “True). Some of the interesting cuts are from somewhat lesser-known acts with respect to American sensibilities such as Visage (“Fade to Grey”), Nik Kershaw the Style Council, and Peter Godwin. Most of the acts may have had a short shelf life but has since become an important part of ‘80s pop culture. (Naturally, there are some noticeable omissions, the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” being one of them). British ‘80s is a fantastic nostalgia trip for those who lived a time when music was actually fun.


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