NEW MUSIC EAR HISTORY - "PART 2 - PUNK CONFUSION AND A GIRL NAMED DEBBIE MEETS GREASE AND AN ANTS INVASION!"
1976 - 1982
Somehow I was listening to Radio Luxembourg in the kitchen for a couple of hours every other night and I was hearing a plethora of music sounds coming from Australia (Men At Work), USA (Diana Ross and Billy Joel) and even brand new artists from the UK. Queen and David Bowie were having a bit of resurgence in the music charts and I was listening to The Pretenders, Phil Collins and Sheena Easton. Then one night watching Top Of The Pops I saw this young band all with warrior clothes and makeup and two (!) drummers playing a sound I had never heard before. It was like African drums and lots of chanting and the lead singer, a guy called Adam was jumping around energetically singing a song called "Dog Eat Dog". Adam And The Ants became my new favourite band, I found out that a couple of friends at school also liked them so I borrowed some tapes of them and instantly sought out the back catalogue. Rock fans mocked us, Punk fans said Adam "sold out" and the Ska and Two Tone fans just weren't sure what to make of us. No matter, I always said I would never follow trends, one slogan that Adam stuck by too, I liked what I liked and that's that. I still have a lot of respect for Adam and still buy his records today.
During the three years of 1980, 1981 and 1982 I developed my own identity in music which of course would change but the core value would be the same, don't like an artist because it is the trend, listen because you think its different and unique to you. I remember in music class at school which was always very boring. All classical and talking about notes and keys and such like, and listening to "The Danse Macabre" every week! One less boring time we got the chance to write a project on our favourite music. I was heavily into the New Wave and New Romantic music that was around so I wrote little mini histories of Adam And The Ants, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet, Ultravox and an underrated band Classix Nouveaux fronted by the bald Sal Solo. This was what music was about, learning about different types of music not just being told what music is! I wanted to learn about new music not be told what I should listen to. I got to taping the Top 40 on the radio every Sunday during this time and continued until 1986, after that is when the real 80s were leaving us in my opinion, but more about that later. I loved the early sounds of such diverse artists as Kim Wilde (my early 80s schoolboy crush!), Human League, Shakin' Stevens, Soft Cell and Bucks Fizz. I was also listening to my brother's faint Rock bands from his room such as Rush and Thin Lizzy and lady on his poster covering his wall, Stevie Nicks! Both bands I sneaked the albums out of his room and played them to see what the fuss was about. If he reads this he will now know why some were out of place when he got home! Abba and Queen were hitting new heights and so many stars from the 70s and 60s were still hitting the charts. I was hearing the overseas artists such as Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Rick Springfield, Dolly Parton and Kool & The Gang. There was music everywhere and I just loved it all!