Redartz: Greetings all! For today's discussion, we tackle the first part of a planned two-part subject: New Wave music! And to honor the integral role UK acts had in originating and popularizing the trend, we will give them the first shot. Soon to follow: New Wave, US edition; so you can start formulating your lists.
And as to those lists: the term "best" is so subjective, and dependent upon many variables. So to keep it simpler, we will list our "favorite" acts. So if your favorite was Wham!, no further explanation is necessary.
My Fave Five, in random order :
1. Depeche Mode- producers of some of the most intense, dynamic, powerful synth music ever. The mind reels back and forth between their lyrical and melodic wonders. They bring to my mind the 'wall of sound' made famous by Phil Spector in the 60's. And the Mode can truly put on a SHOW. Saw them in Chicago; best concert I've ever seen. Phenomenal. Here: "Everything Counts"
2. The Police- One of the earliest tastes I had of the 'new music', when the meaning of "Regatta de Blanc" was a mystery. Sting was incredible; some of the most literate songwriting you can find. Loved the hints of World music in their repertoire. And they scored infinite points in my book with the lyrics to "King of Pain"; great imagery: "There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall". Ok, it appealed to the paleontologist within me. Here they are sending you a "Message in a Bottle":
3. ABC- The "New Romantic" appellation is most apt here. Their "Lexicon of Love" was a lush, sophisticated, heavy brew of musical richness. Martin Fry felt those emotions. No, he ached those emotions. That debut album will be on frequent rotation in my head forever. Check out "Poison Arrow"...
4. Thomas Dolby- Thomas Dolby might have made my list solely on the strength of his hit single "She Blinded Me With Science". I was hooked on the song from the first time I heard it. Buying the 45 wasn't enough, I picked up the lp "The Golden Age of Wireless" and heard many more reasons to love Mr. D. Imaginative , technological lyrics, very catchy tunes, great synth work, the album offered so much. And his follow up "The Flat Earth" was equally solid, from the manic "Hyperactive" to the picturesque, haunting "Mulu the Rain Forest". For your musical enjoyment: "Windpower"...
5. Duran Duran- They found great popular success in the USA. And deservedly so, imho. First encountered them on video screens at a new wave club in Indianapolis (they showed videos on Friday nights, still several years before MTV). Seeing "Girls on Film" and "Planet Earth" got me interested. By the time of "Rio", they were my favorite band. Pop music at its' best. And like Depeche Mode, they have shown some staying power, keeping active well into the 21st. Century. Here they are with "Save a Prayer", my favorite cut from "Rio".
Honorable Mention: Ultravox, Human League, Thompson Twins
Now the stage is yours- which acts were the 'top of the pops' for you?