I feel obligated to throw my two cents in on the 80’s music discussion.

I spent the past few hours walking around thinking about music from the 80’s that doesn’t suck. I narrowed it down to a small list of musicians and bands that really deserve a mention.

In no specific order: The Pixies, Elvis Costello, They Might Be Giants, The Replacements, Violent Femmes and Camper Van Bethoven.

(I could also add to that list a number of Cleveland-area bands like The Mice, The Revelers and Boogieman Smash.)

My wife would surely insist I add REM (agree) and Duran Duran (disagree) to that list. I’ll even throw Huey Lewis and The Cars on there for good measure.

But as far as videos go, I can quickly narrow down the list.

1. The Replacements, Bastards Of Young

Nothing happens for 3 minutes then some kid smashes the shit out of his stereo. Classic!
Replacements – Bastards Of YoungThe best bloopers are a click away

2. Pixies, Veloria

This is one of the simplest videos ever made for one of the best Pixies songs ever. This song inspired me to fight, and subsequently lose, a battle over naming rights for one of my daughters (yes, I STILL think Veloria is an AWESOME name for a girl).

3. They Might Be Giants, Don’t Let’s Start

I remember the exact configuration of my parents’ living room the day I first saw the video for this song.

The location of the TV and the couch, the color of the carpet, the VHS recorder and random books sitting on the inexpensive white shelves below the TV. This song changed the way I viewed music. And to this day I still find this one of the best lyrics ever: “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

 
  • Great stuff. See what we started with this little spat? Agree fully with TMBG. Still one of my favorites. I'm a fan of that particular lyric as well. Didn't really get into them until I DJ'd a college radio station at West Point. People would call in and request it and guess what I'd do. I'D PLAY IT! Novel idea.

    I discovered The Pixies way late, but like them quite a bit. REM still tends to annoy me. Same with most Elvis Costello. Violent Femmes and Camper are great. Sidebar: Violent Femmes bass player Brian Ritchie is now a shakuhachi player/teacher.

    If you pressed me on the greatest band of the 80s though (for me) I'd have to answer Jane's Addiction. The first time I saw the cover to the album Nothing's Shocking in the studio at West Point I knew right away I'd play it sight unheard. I set the needle to it and did not stop it until the entire thing was done. Risky business playing an album you haven't ever heard on live radio like that. Pulling it right out of the bag of goodies a buddy had brought back from a music show and placing it on the turntable. I had planned to stop it after the first song, but “Up The Beach” ended up an introduction to a Jane's Addiction “heard it here first” marathon.

    A couple of Army officers even called in to complain but by then there was no stopping it. By the time we got to “Mountain Song” there was simply no turning back. From zero to one of my favorite bands of all time to this day. Introduced them to my brother a couple years later and it was the impetus for him to take his guitar playing to the next level (His first born son's middle name is Navarro) and our forming a band and kicking Nashville's ass.

    I got turned on to a ton of new music during my time there. A squad leader was a HUGE Smith's fan and had us memorize lyrics as part of his hazing. I hated it at first, but gained an appreciation for it. Another guy had a big thing for The Cure. I still remember buying an extra copy of Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me at the PX and giving him one. Saved my ass a month of hazing. 😉

  • mvirenicus

    i remember that replacements vid. paul westerberg is awesome. recently had a discussion with a guy at the grocery store wearing a pixies patch on his jacket. i told him i'm surprised anybody in this area knows the pixies. he said, “i know. i'm from california. my wife dragged me here.” moral of story? ohio sux and i need to get my arse back to minneapolis and paul westerberg and bob mould (husker du)! hehe

  • Amber

    Now I have Don't Let's Start stuck in my head…but I'm NOT complaining!

  • Great stuff. See what we started with this little spat? Agree fully with TMBG. Still one of my favorites. I'm a fan of that particular lyric as well. Didn't really get into them until I DJ'd a college radio station at West Point. People would call in and request it and guess what I'd do. I'D PLAY IT! Novel idea.

    I discovered The Pixies way late, but like them quite a bit. REM still tends to annoy me. Same with most Elvis Costello. Violent Femmes and Camper are great. Sidebar: Violent Femmes bass player Brian Ritchie is now a shakuhachi player/teacher.

    If you pressed me on the greatest band of the 80s though (for me) I'd have to answer Jane's Addiction. The first time I saw the cover to the album Nothing's Shocking in the studio at West Point I knew right away I'd play it sight unheard. I set the needle to it and did not stop it until the entire thing was done. Risky business playing an album you haven't ever heard on live radio like that. Pulling it right out of the bag of goodies a buddy had brought back from a music show and placing it on the turntable. I had planned to stop it after the first song, but “Up The Beach” ended up an introduction to a Jane's Addiction “heard it here first” marathon.

    A couple of Army officers even called in to complain but by then there was no stopping it. By the time we got to “Mountain Song” there was simply no turning back. From zero to one of my favorite bands of all time to this day. Introduced them to my brother a couple years later and it was the impetus for him to take his guitar playing to the next level (His first born son's middle name is Navarro) and our forming a band and kicking Nashville's ass.

    I got turned on to a ton of new music during my time there. A squad leader was a HUGE Smith's fan and had us memorize lyrics as part of his hazing. I hated it at first, but gained an appreciation for it. Another guy had a big thing for The Cure. I still remember buying an extra copy of Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me at the PX and giving him one. Saved my ass a month of hazing. 😉

  • mvirenicus

    i remember that replacements vid. paul westerberg is awesome. recently had a discussion with a guy at the grocery store wearing a pixies patch on his jacket. i told him i'm surprised anybody in this area knows the pixies. he said, “i know. i'm from california. my wife dragged me here.” moral of story? ohio sux and i need to get my arse back to minneapolis and paul westerberg and bob mould (husker du)! hehe

  • Amber

    Now I have Don't Let's Start stuck in my head…but I'm NOT complaining!

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