Few people could argue against 1984 being one of history’s finest years for pop music. Above all else, the mighty Frankie Goes To Hollywood came and gave pop a hefty kick up the arse with a combination of great tunes and greater controversy. They were the first band since the 60s to score three #1 hits in a row, but each one – ‘Relax’, ‘Two Tribes’ and ‘The Power of Love’ were deserving of their success. Each one sounds as good as ever and in the case of ‘Two Tribes’, there’s still a real edginess you’d think would be long gone.
Real Gone’s look at the year, understandably, champions their debut album ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’, using the thirteen minute version of the title track – featuring Yes man Steve Howe – to kick off this huge celebration.
As part of this leg of the journey, you’ll find all manner of gold, with album cuts from U2, Alison Moyet, R.E.M. and a youthful Bon Jovi. There are sounds from Icehouse, Honeymoon Suite and Strangeways; classic cuts from Midnight Oil, Rush and Solstice and even a huge hit from Julian Lennon.
Of all the 80s playlists, we think this is one of the most rewarding, but it isn’t complete. We’ve deliberately sidelined one of the year’s biggest albums and you won’t find anything from ‘Purple Rain’. It’s not that we don’t like it – we love it – it’s just that we feel the album works best when heard from end to end. Better yet, those songs really come to life when coupled with the film’s visual aspects and with Prince and company’s Oscar-worthy acting skills.
Until next time, we hope you enjoy this nostalgia and find something new along the way!