The Band Aid band, Nov 25, 1984: most of the pop stars who performed, plus artist Peter Blake who created the record sleeve for Do They Know It’s Christmas?
◼︎ TODAY WAS THE DAY IN 1984 THEY RECORDED the song that became, for 13 years, the biggest selling UK single of all time. Do They Know It’s Christmas was released four days later, stayed at No 1 for five weeks, sold over three million copies and raised significant funds for famine relief in Africa. The project lead naturally the next year to Live Aid, the biggest globally televised rock concerts ever, viewed by two billion people in 60 countries, who coughed up still more dollars…/ Continued inside
❚ TO COMMEMORATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY of the web being made available free to all, the international physics laboratory CERN has recreated the world’s first website and posted it today, at its original address and this is it – http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html The home page provided an explanation of what the world wide web was, and how to use a browser and set up a web server.
The British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed an information management system in 1989 and had a working version of the web in Dec 1990. The first website built was at CERN within the borders of France and went online on August 6, 1991, but by 1993 some user groups were positioning themselves to try to monopolise the web as a commercial platform. So on April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the world wide web would be free to anyone, with no fees due.
The web’s first home page: click on the image to visit the site at CERN
➢ The World Wide Web Became Free 20 Years Ago Today – By Mark Fischetti, senior editor at Scientific American: “ You and I can access billions of web pages, post blogs, write code for our own killer apps – in short, do anything we want on the web – all free! And we’ve enjoyed free reign because 20 years ago, today, web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and his employer, the CERN physics lab in Geneva, published a statement that made the nascent “world wide web” technology available to every person, company and institution without royalty or restriction … ” / Continued online
Tim Berners-Lee at the Olympics opening ceremony (Photo: Getty)
❏ The internet is a global computer system that provides information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardised communication protocols. In contrast, the web is one of the services that runs on the internet. It is a collection of text documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs (addresses), usually accessed through web browsers from web servers. A browser is a so-called “graphical user interface” which simply means an accessible visual entry point into the arcane world of computer coding. Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularising the world wide web and today most popular browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) retain the characteristics of the original Mosaic.
In July 2012 Tim Berners-Lee was honoured as the “Inventor of the world wide web” during the Olympics opening ceremony in London where he appeared in person, working at a NeXT computer, the model on which he worked at CERN in 1989. He tweeted the message: “This is for everyone.”
The mighty tweet: Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world at the Olympics
➢ CERN’s original Public Domain document of April 30, 1993: “CERN’s decision to make the web foundations and protocols available on a royalty free basis, and without additional impediments, was crucial to the web’s existence. Without this commitment, the enormous individual and corporate investment in web technology simply would never have happened, and we wouldn’t have the web today.” – Tim Berners-Lee, Director, WWW Consortium
Britain’s infamous “winter of discontent” that brought down the Labour government in 1979: as public service workers went on strike, rubbish piled-up even in London’s Leicester Square
❚ AN “INVALUABLE WEBSITE” — this is the verdict on Shapersofthe80s by historian Dominic Sandbrook, author of the rich new cultural analysis, Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974–1979. It’s a doorstep of a book, yet highly readable, which reveals numerous upbeat aspects to the chaotic decade many write off as worthless.
Chapter 31 is especially inspirational! Sandbrook gives generous credit to key characters who Shapersofthe80s has long maintained deserve recognition as movers and shapers pivotal to the energy of the 80s. And, having quoted chunks from our own texts, the historian gives due acknowledgement in his extensive bibliography. Indeed, the scope of his research is more impressive than for much other contemporary history, as Sandbrook not only cites political and economic mandarins, but also sifts fine detail from popular culture and eye-witness reportage across the whole social spectrum.
Sandbrook writes: “Behind the lurid news stories, the late 1970s were the decisive point in our recent history. Across the country, a profound argument about the future of the nation was being played out, not just in families and schools but in everything from episodes of Doctor Who to singles by the Clash. These years marked the peak of trade union power and the apogee of an old working-class Britain – but they also saw the birth of home computers, the rise of the ready meal and the triumph of a Grantham grocer’s daughter who would change our history for ever”
Seasons in the Sun is the fourth title in Sandbrook’s survey of postwar Britain. His unstuffy combination of high and low life is behind the BBC2 series The Seventies currently viewable live and on iPlayer.
Sandbrook’s Seasons in the Sun forms the basis of the current BBC2 TV series The Seventies
REVIEWS OF SEASONS IN THE SUN
❏ “The first three volumesof Dominic Sandbrook’s epic history of Britain between 1956 and 1979 were exceptionally good. The fourth, Seasons in the Sun, is magnificent … marked by its pace, style, wit, narrative and characterisation as by its exhaustive research.” — Roger Hutchinson, Scotsman
❏ “Sandbrook has createda specific style of narrative history, blending high politics, social change and popular culture … his books are always readable and assured, and Seasons in the Sun is no exception … Anyone who genuinely believes we have never been so badly governed should read this splendid book.” — Stephen Robinson, Sunday Times
August 1977: Jayaben Desai, treasurer of the strike committee at the Grunwick photo-processing plant, had been picketing for a year, supported by white, male trade unionists while postmen blocked the company’s mail. (Photograph by Graham Wood/Getty)
EVEN WIDER PERSPECTIVE FROM LEADING PLAYWRIGHT
➢ Playwright David Edgar draws together the Sandbrook quartet in The Guardian, May 9, 2012:“ The 1970s was the moment when our century arrived… As Sandbrook insists, the women’s liberation movement was as much about Hull’s fishermen’s wives and female machinists at Ford Dagenham as feminist activists disrupting Miss World. In 1971, workers campaigning against the closure of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders borrowed the student tactic of the sit-in. As 1970s chronicler Andy Beckett argues, the gay groups who stood shoulder to shoulder with trade unionists outside Grunwick prefigured an alliance which “would become commonplace in the decade to come”. The identity politics that were to become such a satirised feature of the left of the 1970s arose not just out of campus and culture but class war… ” / continued at Guardian online
❚ NO REALLY POPTASTIC SURPRISES in the annual Sunday Times Rich List for the UK and Ireland, published today. Adele, inevitably, tops the Richest Young Musicians after the past year’s runaway success that more than tripled her estimated wealth from £6m to £20m ($33m). There are only five newcomers each worth £5m ($8m) in the top 20 millionaires aged 30 and under. One is Jessie J, 24, the former Brit School student who has sold close to 1m copies of her album Who You Are and is currently mentoring on the television show The Voice UK. The others are all four members of JLS (short for Jack the Lad Swing), the UK’s coolest boy band, who came to fame on The X Factor and released their third album, Jukebox, last November.
The under-30s millionaire list is nowhere in the same stratosphere as the main Sunday Times Music Millionaires Top 50. These are the grandees from the headier days of British rock who have had a lifetime in which to amass royalties — ex-Beatles, Stones and assorted moguls. Among pop performers, the 70s are still represented by David Bowie (today valued at £100m, $163m); the Swinging 80s only by George Michael (up this year to £100m); the 90s by Robbie Williams (£100m), as a new entry the joint husband-and-wife wealth of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow (£72m), plus Take That’s Gary Barlow (£50m).
The same trio as last year head the Young Entertainers Rich List, led by Daniel Radcliffe, aged 22, who starred in eight Harry Potter films and has increased his wealth by £6m in a year to £54m ($88m), helped by the success of his latest movie, the gothic thriller The Woman in Black. At No 2, Twilight star Robert Pattinson has added £8m in a year to his fortune and is now worth £40m. Keira Knightley is the third top-earning movie star, still worth £30m.
“ Viewers of the 2012 Grammys awards last month watched Adele, the 23-year old girl from Tottenham, north London, walk away with six awards, but the top-earning act from the UK in America last year was an artist who fans back home have to some extent forgotten.
BILLBOARD’S TOP EARNERS
1 Taylor Swift: $35.7m
2 U2: $32.1m
3 Kenny Chesney: $29.8m
4 Lady Gaga: $25.4m
5 Lil Wayne: $23.2m
6 Sade $16.4m
7 Bon Jovi: $15.8m
8 Celine Dion: $14.3m
9 Jason Aldean: $13.4m
10 Adele: $13.1m
[Touring and record sales 2011]
Sade raked in $16.4m (£10.5m) in 2011 on the back of her first tour in North America for a decade and the release of The Ultimate Collection. The 53-year-old singer came sixth on a list of the biggest-earning acts of last year, compiled by the American trade publication Billboard, eclipsing Adele, the only other Brit in the top 10, who earned $13.1m.
Sade [say it “Zhah-Day”] is the most successful solo female artist Britain has ever produced, selling more than 50m records in a career that stretches back to her 1984 hit Your Love Is King. Famously reclusive — nicknamed Howie by her friends, after millionaire hermit Howard Hughes — she toured the world for eight months last year, but the bulk of the tour was devoted to North America, where she played 59 shows. The tour started 18 months after the release of her US No 1 album Soldier of Love, a record that reached No 4 in the UK… ” / continued at Guardian Online
Rolling Stone described Sade’s studio album, Soldier of Love, as “unimpeachably excellent” … Billboard said: “It’s been 10 years since Sade released an album, but be forewarned – the giant has awoken” … People magazine said Sade’s enduring appeal was as “the voice of comfort to the wounded heart”
❏ In her American fan forums black guys are besotted with Sade, and here in an audience for a live TV performance we see doting female fans for whom she is a role model. On Jimmy Kimmel’s show in February 2010 (above), Sade performed Soldier of Love live as her eponymous album hit No 1 in the US (502,000 copies sold there in its first week — the best sales week for an album by a group since AC/DC in October 2008). Susan Boyle, the finalist from the Britain’s Got Talent contest, was holding steady at No 9.
❏ Backstage video interview with Sade by The Insider, June 2011 (above) — “I’m really a country girl. I don’t give too much of myself away. When I go in a studio I lose all my shyness.”
➢ Read Sade: The Billboard Cover Story by Mitchell Peters, August 19, 2011 — Preparing for a 100-plus-date international concert tour is daunting for even the most seasoned musical acts… “I do the opposite and pretend it’s not going to happen, immersing myself in the details of production as a way of distracting myself from reality,” says English singer Sade Adu. “When the time comes, I don’t test the waters — I just jump straight in.”
❏ Listen toThe Moon and the Sky (remix featuring Jay Z):
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MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984
They didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did.
“I’d find people at the Blitz who were possible only in my imagination. But they were real” — Stephen Jones, hatmaker, 1983. (Illustration courtesy Iain R Webb, 1983)
“The truth about those Blitz club people was more interesting than most people’s fantasies” — Steve Dagger, pop group manager, 1983
“See David Johnson’s fabulously detailed website Shapers of the 80s to which I am hugely indebted” – Political historian Dominic Sandbrook, in his book Who Dares Wins, 2019
“The (velvet) goldmine that is Shapers of the 80s” – Verdict of Chris O’Leary, respected author and blogger who analyses Bowie song by song at Pushing Ahead of the Dame
“The rather brilliant Shapers of the 80s website” – Dylan Jones in his Sweet Dreams paperback, 2021
A UNIQUE HISTORY
➢ WELCOME to the Swinging 80s ➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates ➢ ROLL OVER THE MENU at page top to go deeper into the past ➢ FOR NEWS & MONTH BY MONTH SEARCH scroll down this sidebar
❏ Header artwork by Kat Starchild shows Blitz Kids Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise Brazier, Judi Frankland and Steve Strange, with David Bowie at centre in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes
VINCENT ON AIR 2022
✱ Deejay legend Robbie Vincent returned to JazzFM on Sundays 1-3pm in 2021… Catch Robbie’s JazzFM August Bank Holiday 2020 session thanks to AhhhhhSoul with four hours of “nothing but essential rhythms of soul, jazz and funk”.
SEARCH our 800 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
UNTOLD BLITZ STORIES
✱ If you thought there was no more to know about the birth of Blitz culture in 1980 then get your hands on a sensational book by an obsessive music fan called David Barrat. It is gripping, original and epic – a spooky tale of coincidence and parallel lives as mind-tingling as a Sherlock Holmes yarn. Titled both New Romantics Who Never Were and The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet! Sample this initial taster here at Shapers of the 80s
CHEWING THE FAT
✱ Jawing at Soho Radio on the 80s clubland revolution (from 32 mins) and on art (@55 mins) is probably the most influential shaper of the 80s, former Wag-club director Chris Sullivan (pictured) with editor of this website David Johnson
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