This morning I dug into my record collection and pulled out Oingo Boingo’s album ‘Dead Man’s Party’. From the opening track titled ‘Just Another Day’, Danny Elfman’s vocals soar. The title track followed as I sung the chorus while making my morning coffee. Shortly after it was time to flip the record to side two where the ballad ‘Stay’ filled the lounge room. As it played I recalled the video clip in my head with its period costume and ghostly figures dancing around patrons at a show.
This was the 80s – a time that when Australians were into American bands like Devo, The Motels, Talking Heads and Oingo Boingo, while Americans were listening to Australia’s Air Supply ‘Making Love Out Of Nothing At All’.
Back then I used to enjoy sitting down with a new album (which cost me a fair bit of pocket money), playing it three times in a row on our Duel record player (with built in AM radio) while reading the lyrics printed on the cover. By the third listen I knew my favourite tracks which were played several more times before I returned the record back to its plastic sleeve with the care of a surgeon. After all, vinyl records are delicate creatures, especially if you want to keep the sound quality.
Another album I loved from the first play was Ultravox’s Vienna album. That electronic instrumental at the start led into the guitar riff of ‘New Europeans’ – a song I still sing along with as a reference to my parents’ heritage. By the end of the album I’m singing along to ‘All Stood Still’ with the immortal words “We stood still. Still stood still. We’re standing still.” Somehow the silly lyrics you loved as a teenager never sound silly as you get older.
Soon I found earlier Ultravox albums featuring John Foxx as the lead singer and still love the song ‘The Wild, The Beautiful and The Damned.’ John’s approach was different to Midge’s, but you could see the way the band moulded itself from its earlier days to its commercial success.
So what’s one of your favourite 80s albums? Please share this post and let’s get a conversation going. Share your comments with me below. Start a Twitter subject with #CoolAlbumsOfThe80s
It’s time to share our memories and rediscover some good music.
PS. The Stranglers ‘Aural Sculpture’ is also brilliant. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb-y5UNjtKY