Defining the Swinging Eighties at the Observer Music Monthly

2009 ➤ The ‘decade’ that actually
spanned six years

Posted on 4 October 2009

The Observer Music Magazine. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers

The Observer Music Monthly, Oct 4, 2009. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers


“If we recast the 80s as a subcultural timeline, the ‘decade’ actually spanned six years. They began in June 1978 when David Bowie’s world tour hit the UK – rallying dispossessed punks and kindred music-loving nomads who came to recognise they were not alone. These Eighties ended in Dec 1984 with what remained for 13 years the biggest-selling single in UK pop-chart history, Do They Know It’s Christmas?

“A music and fashion movement evolved in 1979 from a small club in London called The Blitz. It went on to dominate the international landscape of pop and put more British acts in the US Billboard charts than the 1960s ever achieved. Today in 2009, one insider recalls how London clubland led by Steve Strange, Spandau Ballet and their scores of dance-led followers revitalised UK nightlife. Its genesis was one aspect of a creative revolution that rejuvenated all of British youth culture and media for the 1980s.”

➢ Click here to read the full analysis, The Blitz Kids and the birth of
the New Romantics, at The Observer Music Monthly



TAGS – Observer Music Monthly, David Johnson, New Romantics, Blitz Kids, David Bowie, Steve Strange, Spandau Ballet, London, youth culture, nightlife, nightclubbing, chronology, history, Swinging 80s, social trends, media, fashion, photography, journalism, zeitgeist