Friday, December 21, 2018

Primal Alt Rock Favorites


I’ve been listening to a lot of 80s alt rock and 1st Wave alt rock lately and I decided to create a list of my favorite early alt rock bands or songs. Some of these bands were basically one hit wonders and some of them turned into superstars, and some are still actively making new music and touring. I’ve seen other similar lists with other bands, but those other bands simply never struck a chord with me. There might even be a few on here you haven’t heard.

I ended up with 67. Why 67? Well, this is how many I found that met my criteria, of being considered alt rock by someone or on a band comparison to someone else on this list, was before 1995 and wasn’t obviously conventional pop. Some of these songs border on pop or more conventional rock. It was hard to differentiate where to draw the line. Many of these bands have multiple songs that I dig, but I just picked one that I really love by that band. The first on this list is a perfect example. This is also not representative of all of the music I listened to back then. I love metal and straight up rock as well as some bluegrass and some country music, but it is very representative of great alternative rock music from that era. There is some incredible alternative music being made today, but these bands set the stage of what would follow, and it is a pretty diverse set. All of these songs are awesome! Links provided for a YouTube song. There are lots of versions for most of these songs.

U2 – Stories for Boys - I found a really old version of this maybe their first video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE7sw7WcLqc
The Smiths – How Soon is Now? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OztC_7nkAd8
The Cure – In Between Days https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDMDb8unsIA
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Cities in Dust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOHvP1XnRg
Pet Shop Boys – Two divided by Zero https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ht9xsdrcoM
The Clash – Rock the Casbah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9r8LMU9bQ
Echo and the Bunnymen – The Cutter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMplIrSlg8E
Violent Femmes -Blister in the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rswiq4Hi-tc
The English Beat – Mirror in the Bathroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHWrmIzgB5A
Eurythmics – Missionary Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Q3cp3cp88
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WZ33w3B8Hw
Still makes me want to get up and dance!
Modern English – I Melt with You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuN6gs0AJls
Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UbGtjnluyY
Psychodelic Furs - Love My Way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGD9i718kBU
Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0AKJMGxwpE
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCOSPtyZAPA
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNIZofPB8ZM
Talk Talk – It’s My Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ixRWvrkUHo
The Call – The Walls Came Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAxg8nuvPKM
The B-52s – Private Idaho https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXmnmvDl-ao
Naked Eyes – Always Something There to Remind Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVrELhxOFnM
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTaW5qHMRNw
Billy Idol – White Wedding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAZQaYKZMTI
The Godfathers – Birth School Work Death https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO5dcW0P75M
General Public – Tenderness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XegL32Btzs
Yaz (Yazoo in Britain) – Situation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D3udbawA1Q
They Might Be Giants – Don’t Let’s Start https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJQnZZ-Wmao
Simple Minds – Don’t You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A
Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejorQVy3m8E
Hoodoo Gurus – Miss Freelove ’69 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_UCks8O0FA
Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST86JM1RPl0
A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIpfWORQWhU
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me with Science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJxSwxexZYo
The Pursuit of Happiness – Hard to Laugh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVQ_er14oIA
The Human League – Don’t You Want Me? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPudE8nDog0
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Grey Cell Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqGzBqPnNBk
Big Country – In a Big Country https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657TZDHZqj4
Haircut 100 – Love Plus One https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_msHpEa3_Y
The Tubes – She’s a Beauty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ_k_VG6Syc
Howard Jones – What is Love? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w34vnz_LEX4
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNiXGX2nLU
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88sARuFu-tc
Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoXu6QmxpJE
Gene Loves Jezebel – 20 Killer Hurts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NWkSFKArpw
After the Fire -Der Kommissar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBfFDTPPlaM
Real Life - Send Me an Angel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R6WIbx8ysE
 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Riding the 1st Wave



 Birth School Work Death
     I was in the car the other day, listening to Siruis/XM radio, channel 33, 1st Wave, which I adore. The song that come on the radio was Birth, School, Work, Death by The Godfathers. It brought back some good memories. I used to own that album on cassette. Here is the YouTube video: Birth School Work Death
     I was really into music in the mid 80s, I even DJed for a brief time in the spring and summer of 1987. It was the end of the first wave of alternative rock, but there was still great music coming out. This album was just one example.
     Sherman, set the wayback machine for 1988. It was early summer and I had just bought the tape maybe a week before, after seeing The Godfathers on an MTV video; they actually played videos back then. My roommate was from Chicago and we were driving up for the weekend to see what we could get into, two young and single dudes. He was in the driver’s seat as I read a paper which he had acquired earlier that detailed all the entertainment that week in Chicago, and we had just gotten into range to listen to his favorite radio station. Birth, School, Work, Death came on the radio and I mused that it would be cool if we could see somebody like The Godfathers that weekend. I turned the page and voilà, like magic they were playing at the Metro that very night. It was an awesome show and a really cool venue.
     We made a lot of trips to Chicago that summer, but nothing topped the serendipity of that concert. St. Elmo’s Fire had been released a few years before that, and were felt like we were living a little bit like those twenty-something’s in the big city. Within a little more than a year, though, we would both be married and our lives would settle into a different trajectory, but the summer of 1988 was my introduction into adulthood in many ways.
     Thanks Sirius/XM 1st Wave for the trip down memory lane and well done!.