||DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: 30 years ago today in pop
by Marc 'Moose' Moder
This article shared 2407 times since Wed Jun 11, 2014
When music writers look back on key years in the industry, 1955 ( Birth of Rock ), 1967 ( The Summer of Love ), 1977 ( the birth of punk/rise of disco ), and 1992 ( the rise of Nirvana/grunge ) are the usual defaults. Now maybe it just because this writer was a budding fourteen-year-old at the time, but 1984 rings the loudest and most underrated.
The year opened with The Police and Michael Jackson continuing their hold on the pop charts with the former's "Every Breath You Take" having been the biggest song the past year, and the latter's Thriller breaking album-sales and Grammy-wins records unsurpassed. But by 1984, The Police called it quits and Jacko's hair caught fire, introducing him to the crazy world of wigs and bad plastic surgery. The stage was set for a new king, or prince.
With MJ not yet releasing a new solo album, but the public clamoring for one, logic would dictate that The Jacksons could fill the void, but talk about a hard act to follow. Their album Victory had Michael and his brothers contributing songs meant mainly for solo projects, and the Gloved One not even making time to be in the main video for "Torture." And that wasn't its only issue. Just three days after Victory, a little man from Minneapolis with just two hit singles under his belt blew the family off the stage for the rest of the decade with Prince & The Revolution's Purple Rain. Prince's album, along with accompanying movie Purple Rain, went onto not only change the notion of what R&B was, but to sell twenty million copies to Victory's two. Despite Jackson's successful follow up later with Bad, it was never an even playing field after that.
Prince wasn't the only one on the rise in 1984 who would still be relevant today. Cyndi Lauper rode the whole year high on her debut, She's So Unusual, with four top-ten singles. Madonna proved to some of us she wasn't a flash in the pan with her giant artistic and commercial leap forward with Like a Virgin. Bob Geldof created Band Aid and the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," spawning "We Are the World" and Live Aid the following year.
Finally, "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen released his ultimate album ( and the best-selling one of the year with 15 million copies ), Born in the USA. Not only important for the epic sales and bucket load of hit singles, but Born In the USA also became the first album to be printed on a brand new format on September 21 called the "compact disc."
Stay tuned for Part II ...
Follow Moose's writing and DJ work on twitter at @moosesicman
This article shared 2407 times since Wed Jun 11, 2014
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