108 acts who set the style for the new music of the 1980s

➤ The key acts who charted
during the first five formative
years of the decade

61 image bands and acts emerged from UK clubland – most of them new – plus 47 others in the clubbing slipstream. Listed here in chronological order of first appearance in the UK chart (sourced from the Guinness book of British Hit Singles). In terms of a British musical movement, for every one band listed here there were probably ten more carrying the torch and nibbling at the Independent charts but it would be impossible to identify them all

Visage in 1979, soundtrack to the Blitz Club: Rusty Egan, John McGeoch, Barry Adamson, Dave Formula, Billy Currie, Steve Strange, Midge Ure. Photographed © by Sheila Rock


56 ACTS CHARTING DURING THE FIRST WAVE 1980-1981

12 BLITZ-WORLD ACTS
John Foxx, Ultravox, Linx, Spandau Ballet, Visage, Landscape, Depeche Mode, Kid Creole, Soft Cell, Funkapolitan, Haircut100, Blue Rondo a la Turk.

14 CLUBLAND ACTS
Shalamar, Light of the World, OMD, The Human League, Freeez, Level42, Japan, Duran Duran, Heaven 17, Altered Images, Imagination, Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, ABC.

30 INDIE ROCK/ALT POP/DANCE ACTS
Simple Minds, Gary Numan, Specials, Madness, Tourists, Selecter, The Beat, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Bad Manners, Bodysnatchers, Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, Adam Ant, Hazel O’Connor, Teardrop Explodes, Toyah, Kim Wilde, Classix Nouveaux, The Polecats, New Order, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, Aneka, Modern Romance, The Creatures, Fun Boy Three, Orange Juice, Pigbag, Scritti Politti.

Animal Nightlife play Flick’s, Dartford: 1982 line-up with Leah Seresin, Andy Polaris and Chrysta Jones, just after releasing the single Love Is Just The Great Pretender. © Shapersofthe80s

52 ACTS CHARTING DURING THE SECOND WAVE 1982-1984

35 CLUBLAND ACTS
Techno Twins, Fashion, Bananarama, Blancmange, Yazoo, Junior, Talk Talk, Haysi Fantayzee, Culture Club, Wham!, Thompson Twins, Malcolm McLaren, Kajagoogoo, Aztec Camera, Matt Fretton, Jimmy the Hoover, Lotus Eaters, Animal Nightlife, Howard Jones, Tik and Tok, Limahl, Marilyn, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Matt Bianco, Colour Field, Sade, Dead or Alive, Helen Terry, Marc Almond, Bronski Beat, David Sylvian, Alison Moyet, George Michael, Dali’s Car, Art of Noise.

17 INDIE ROCK/ALT POP/DANCE ACTS
Rhoda Dakar, Theatre of Hate, The Associates, A Flock of Seagulls, Tears for Fears, The The, Wah!, The Style Council, Tracie Young, Spear of Destiny, Paul Young, Smiths, Nik Kershaw, Flying Pickets, Prefab Sprout, Aswad, Kane Gang.

◼ WHO’S MISSING? MAIL US AT: Contact [a t] shapersofthe80s.com

Spandau Ballet, 1980, Waldorf, Virginia Turbett

Young romantics: trendsetting but as-yet unsigned Spandau Ballet sport a mix of Willy Brown Modern Classics, the odd Simon Withers knee-breeches and crucial Chinese dancing slippers for the Waldorf Hotel shoot in August 1980 © Virginia Turbett

Back to the future 80s remixed
by Rusty Egan 2014


➢ Elsewhere at Shapersofthe80s: Crucial leaders who set the style in music and fashion

TAGS – Pop music, synth-pop, electro-disco, synthesisers, UK, alternative music, indie rock, image, gender-benders, pop chart, EMD, nightclubbing, New Romantics, Blitz Kids, fashion, social trends, youth culture, history, Swinging London, bands, tipping point

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