Madonna set the bar high for pop music in the 80s. Her live performance were and still are provocative and boundary-pushing. This year, Madonna launches her global “Celebration” Tour, highlighting her hits from every era of her career and we anticipate a plethora of '80s gems to be performed. So, in anticipation of her upcoming live shows we take a look back at some of her unforgettable performances from the decade that launched her into super stardom...and as Madonna quite plainly says in her hit song "Into The Groove," - "...and you can dance for inspiration."
Ann Wilson and Heart reached peak success in the ‘80s, with hits like “What About Love” and “Never.” Despite the success the band attained, lead singer Ann, later admitted that she felt the output lacked her own personal flair throughout this time period. Prompted by their record label (Capitol) to work with outside songwriters on their first full-length with the new label, Heart would go on to score huge success with such tracks like "Alone" (Billy Steinburg & Tom Kelly) and "These Dreams" (Bernie Taupin and Maritn Page).
From their more grassroot origins as a West Village New York band, to their evolution onto the big stages and screens, Talking Heads is a band definitely worth still talking about. Their emergence from the ashes of the post punk era allowed them to assume a leading role in the art-pop scene, blending R&B grooves, funk and more.
In celebration of Van Halen’s first live album, Van Halen (1978), we return to the glory day of the ‘80s and the band's unforgettable performances. Known for their eclectic and energy-oozing rock, legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen and Van Halen’s most memorable appearances still echo across pop culture today. However, they are not solely iconic musical performers but also superstars whose cameos always seemed to nod at their legendary talents. Yes, there were epic collaborations in the 1980's with this band.
The early 1980s marked a drastic shift in iconic record label Casablanca’s legacy and future. Neil Bogart, American music executive and founder of Casablanca, was pushed out in 1980 as a result of the label’s overspending and accounting irregularities. Meanwhile, the labels most prominent talents began to pursue other homes, like Donna Summers departing to Geffen Records due to creative direction disagreements. Although the label continued to represent talent, it never fully reached the peak of its disco glory days.
Although Bebe Buell’s legacy is mostly defined by her tumultuous love affairs, intimacy with the rock legends of her time, and daring modeling era, one must not cast her musical talents to the sidelines. Often thrust out of the limelight by an overly obsessed pop culture, Bebe asserted to host Lyndsey Parker on the latest episode of the podcast, that the public eye “will try to define you by who’s on your arm” how “they don’t do that to men” and her wish that her music defined her persona more so than her boyfriends.
“This is Jake: I command you to...GET...IN...SHAPE!”
These are the first words uttered on Body by Jake: Don’t Quit – Music from the Original Video Soundtrack, and never before have a mere ten words served as more definitive proof of an album’s status as an artifact of its time. Originally released in 1984, the album’s title aptly sets the stage for its contents – it’s the soundtrack to the VHS tape released by noted celebrity trainer Jake Steinfeld – but it’s notable for being the first original soundtrack to a workout album.
When it comes to hit songwriters of the ‘80s, it’s fair to say that there are plenty of big names who dominated the charts over the course of the decade, but if you had to pick one that particularly dominated the world of soundtrack singles, Giorgio Moroder would definitely be a major contender. Although Moroder was perhaps best known for dance music prior to the ‘80s, he definitely found a strong foothold in the world of rock during the ‘80s, as you’ll see from the below list.
Though he had spent more than a decade and a half as the drummer in Genesis, by 1985 Phil Collins was at the top of his game as a solo artist, having scored big with songs like “In the Air Tonight,” “Against All Odds,” and “One More Night.” The latter two were keyboard-driven ballads, equally at home on pop and adult contemporary radio, a streak he continued in 1985 with his hit duet with Marilyn Martin, “Separate Lives.”