Continuing my tour of critically-acclaimed albums of 1980, I arrive at yet another punk rock band, though this one hails from America. Dead Kennedys released four full-length albums between 1980 and 1986 before disbanding. They reformed in 2001 minus lead singer Jello Biafra, but only to tour.
Biafra has repeatedly accused his bandmates of selling out, for everything from releasing a greatest hits album to licensing their music to a Levis commercial and a Robert Rodriguez movie.
Like Bauhaus, yesterday’s featured artist, Siouxsie and the Banshees were an English “post-punk” band. That doesn’t bode well for my enjoyment of their music.
Kaleidoscope, released in 1980, was the band’s third album and their most successful. They released eight more studio albums over the next 15 years and have continued to tour. It’s nice to see some of these bands still making a go of it 35 years later.
Bauhaus is another band I’ve heard of but never heard. I assumed they were German, but they’re actually English. Described as a cross between punk and goth rock, they released their debut album in 1980, then three more albums over the following three years.
They reunited 25 years later to release an album that will likely be their last, as the group had a major falling out during its recording and agreed to disband.
I’m wading into less familiar territory this week as I continue to feature critically-acclaimed albums from 1980. I’ve heard of the next five bands but I can’t say I’ve heard anything by them.
English rock band Echo & the Bunnymen released their debut album, Crocodiles, in 1980, kicking off a career that’s still going 36 years later. A couple of the original band members died and the whole operation went on hiatus for a few years in the early 90s, but founding members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant released a new album just two years ago and continue to tour.
Ah, my favorite kind of Random Weekend — one that falls on the birthday of a loved one. This allows me to dedicate the song to the person — in this case my sister — sight unseen and then see what fate serves up.
So here we go… Happy Birthday, Amy! This mystery song is for you!
I have nothing meaningful to say about today’s Random Weekend selection so instead I will present, unedited, a YouTube comment about this song by one Keiosha Alieon:
“There’s a guy in my life that I feel is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. He’s caring and protective, sensitive but masculine, he’s funny and compassionate & I have so much love to give but he doesn’t want a commitment & I’m almost 100% sure his feelings for me are nowhere near those I have for him. And I want to leave to spare my self some heart ache but at the same time I want to stay on the off chances that he changes. He says he wants to take things slow but I feel that’s just a trap to keep me here but who knows. Only time will tell. ‘But, I been there and I done that & I promised never to get hurt again.'”
The Cure is one of those quintessential 80s bands that helped define the New Wave era, particularly in the mid to late part of the decade. They started their career in the late 70s in a gloomy goth mode that persisted — at least in the band’s appearance — even after they were writing far poppier material.
I’m familiar only with a few of The Cure’s hits, and I like those a lot. Whether that appreciation would carry over to a whole album is anybody’s guess.