[Text revised Feb 14]
❚FLATTERING THOUGH IT IS to have Shapersofthe80s selected by Johnny Dee among his internet picks of the week (The Guardian, Feb 12), it was entirely counterproductive to illustrate it with an irrelevant as well as incorrectly captioned photograph. Once alerted that its choice of image was at odds with this slice of early 80s British life, The Guardian swiftly replaced the online picture with one that was relevant if anodyne, being chosen out of budgetary necessity.
Dee’s review acknowledges the “utter conviction” with which this site documents what some people might view as the lightweight theme of the New Romantic movement, and consequently Shapersofthe80s has proved to be a resource of growing interest to social historians. Sadly, he was disappointed to feel that “there’s not much” on the site to back up the claim that the children of The Blitz effected widespread cultural change, although the piece written for The Guardian’s sister paper The Observer in 2009 does outline this theme, and is well linked from here. This post on the significant collaboration in London’s clubland around 1980 tries to develop those thoughts, as does this one on the changed rhythm of the pop charts. Shapersofthe80s is a part-time commitment and a work constantly in progress, as is made clear on its many pages that remain incomplete, so let’s hope Johnny will return for a further inspection in the future.