All Time Biggest 80’s Music Hits and Why We Love Them So

The greatest decade of them all, the 80’s!! Once again, here we are at the start of another memory lane. Travel with me once more as I recall some of the biggest music hits from the big 80’s!! The hair was big, the music loud, and the hits never seem to end. Rock, pop, country, whatever the style, there is a certain favorite song for everyone. I find it amusing that the more commercials I see, the more I hear 80’s classic hit songs. Just goes to show the longevity of this great music and of this great era!80’s Music

So let’s get this gig started shall we? Let’s start with favorite pop hits. Everyone from Abba’s Dancing Queen, to Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know. Madonna’s Papa don’t Preach, to New Kids on the Block’s The Right Stuff. Quirky little gems to say the least. But somehow, they have a permanent spot in my memory. I think I can even still do the N.K.O.T.B. dance!! What about the ever popular band Genesis and all the great 80’s hits they had? Land of Confusion, No Reply at All, That’s All, just to name a few. Then you can’t mention the band Genesis without saying something about the ever popular, Phil Collins. Probably his biggest 80’s hit was In The Air Tonight. Does anyone else do the air drum solo near the end of the song like I do? Please, please, please, let there be someone else that does it!! I’ve almost wrecked cars trying to get it out!! But, hey, back to the subject here. Who can remember The Police and their stream of hits? Don’t Stand so Close To Me, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Every Breath You Take are just a very few of 80’s hits from this great band. Not to mention Sting and his solo career. Do you remember the mega hit from Dire Straits called Money for Nothing? Guess who was singing “I want my M.T.V.” in the beginning? You guessed it, Sting. There was a few big artists who kinda sorta crossed lines if you will in the 80’s. Eddie Van Halen crossed over and played guitar for Micheal Jackson on his great hit, Beat It, and then Micheal did background vocals for Rockwell and his hit Somebody’s Watching Me. Diversity is the name of the game here, with everyone in play.80’s Music

Next, let’s move over to the harder side of 80’s rock. There was plenty to be had in this arena wasn’t there? Everyone from Poison, to the thunder from down under, AC/DC. Who can’t forget the power ballads of the 80’s? I believe the biggest power ballad of all time has to be from Poison and Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. Stadium rock was alive and well with mega bands like Cinderella and their 80’s hit Save Me. Did anyone catch the Monsters of Rock concert from the 80’s? If you did, you saw mega stars like Van Halen, Scorpions, and Metallica. It seemed as though the hits that were coming out were bigger and louder than anything else everyone has ever seen. One of the biggest stage presences ever was from the band Def Leppard and their In The Round, In Your Face tour. Talk about something new!! For those not familiar with this kind of concert, the band was in the middle of the concert hall, and the crowd was seated around the band a full 360 degrees. Not that anyone was seated mind you!! This was from their mega album Hysteria. The hits go on and on.80’s Music

So there you have a few of the greatest 80’s rock and pop hits. Stay tuned as there will surely be more to follow. Thanks much for sharing your time with me. Rock On!!!80’s Music

The Wacky 70s – The Classic Songs & Genres That Defined an Era

The 70s were another memorable decade of classic songs from many legendary singers and bands with most of them following up with the innovations made in the 60s. As a result, new genres were invented in this decade, all of which are featured in the following article.Classic Songs

At the beginning of the 70s, progressive rock was certainly the order of the day as it followed on from the psychedelic rock movement from the mid to late 60s. Artists such as Pink Floyd and Genesis dominated this genre during this period with the most famous song being “Another Brick In The Wall” by Pink Floyd. Progressive rock was also sometimes referred to as art rock and one of its major exponents was the British band 10CC whose song “I’m Not In Love” is a must-listen timeless classic.

The punk movement also has its origins in the middle of the 70s with major bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash becoming idols for an entire generation. Punk music continues today and it’s largely due to these pioneers who continue to be held in high esteem by modern punk artists.

The 70s also saw many Southern and country rock bands have tremendous commercial success. The Eagles were the dominant band of this genre conjuring up 5 number 1 hit singles in the US during this period. Their signature song “Hotel California” remains one of the all time classic rock songs. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” also symbolizes the 70s for a whole generation while other bands such as America enthralled audiences with their simple yet catchy songs.

Hard rock and heavy metal truly arrived in its more well-known form in the 70s led by bands such as AC/DC, Queen and Led Zepellin. Songs such as “Highway To Hell” and “We Will Rock You” became anthems of hard rock fans the world over. Other rock bands chose a slightly different direction with their music. For example, Electric Light Orchestra mixed conventional rock with classical music with amazing results. Songs such as “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Livin’ Thing” are also emblematic of the rock genre of this era.

Disco is probably the genre which dominated the 70s and which best defines the decade. It seems as if the word ‘disco’ is intrinsically and eternally tied to the 70s. It was so dominant that at the height of its popularity in the late 70s, the only way that artists could have a hit was to sing a disco tune, which many of them did with varying levels of success. At the height of the disco movement, the Bee Gees and ABBA dominated the charts and worldwide sales. However, the most famous song from this era was probably “Y.M.C.A” by the Village People which has since become one of the most popular anthems for the gay community. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from the Bee Gees is essentially what symbolizes all things disco in the 70s.Classic Songs

There’s absolutely no doubt that the 70s will be remembered for its wide range of genres and classic songs that defined a generation.

The Most Memorable 70s Songs

When one looks back at 70s Songs, one thinks about many things. I personally never lived in that decade but from I’ve seen and heard people always talk about 2 main genres: disco and classic rock. It’s fair to say that some great rock songs originated in this period and that the disco movement took the world over from the mid to late 1970s.

Nevertheless there were a couple of songs which literally defined this decade and will always be associated as anthems from this classic era of music. This short article will outline just 3 of them.

Staying Alive – The Bee Gees

What do you think when you hear this song? Saturday Night Fever? John Travolta? Ultimately, you think disco and everything that was great about it. Released at the peak of the disco movement in 1978 from the masters of disco, The Bees Gees, this song never ceases to be exciting and fun to dance to. Barry Gibb’s falsetto voice is what makes this song what it is. It’s one of the 70s Songs that will forever be associated with disco.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Quite simply one of the most innovative and incredible rock songs in the history of music. This song cemented Freddie Mercury’s status as a musical genius as well as an incredible live entertainer. The fact that he had the whole song worked out in his head even they started recording is simply amazing. There arguably has not been a better rock song since.

Hotel California – The Eagles

This song is really about the last 2 minutes. That’s not to say that the first 4 minutes is not excellent, because it is. However, if you love guitar solos like me, then the last 2 minutes is pure magic and genius at the same time. The song is also very catchy and the lyrics are very memorable. It is a song that cannot be left out of any classic rock compilation.

These 3 songs are just a taste of the most memorable songs from this great period of music. There are many more 70s Songs that deserve to be included in such a list.

The Song That Sounded Disco’s Death Knell

The disco era reached a fever pitch in the mid-1970s; the charts were crowded with hits by KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, the Village People, Donna Summer and Chic. The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever featured five hits by the Bee Gees; their success encouraged rockers like Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones to release disco tracks.record companies

But in the summer of 1979 a straight-out rocker reminiscent of the British Invasion was released that would introduce “new wave” to America; its sound was so addictive that it became the most popular record of the year… and would break disco’s stranglehold on the charts. That song was “My Sharona” by the Knack.

The band was assembled in Los Angeles in 1977-1978 by singer Doug Fieger: lead guitarist Berton Averre, Bruce Gary on drums and bassist Prescott Niles. The group’s name came from a film by A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester called The Knack… and How To Get It.

The Knack recorded a series of demos but got zero interest from record companies. But the band played everywhere, often for free, and established a local reputation, packing LA clubs like the Troubadour. The turning point came when the rock elite began to show up at their performances.

First to come was keyboardist Ray Manzarek of the Doors, who asked to sit in for a few shows, followed by Eddie Money, Tom Petty and Stephen Stills, But it was an appearance by Bruce Springsteen that changed the band’s fortunes.

“Bruce got up with us on a Friday night at the Troubadour and on Monday we suddenly had fourteen offers!” said Fieger. “I’m not sure but I think it was the fact that Bruce Springsteen got up with us that suddenly made all these record companies think we were cool.”

One of the demos turned down by so many record companies was “My Sharona.” The song’s inspiration was a beautiful 17-year-old high school senior, Sharona Alperin. Fieger, then 26, first saw Sharona at the clothing store where she worked. It was love at first sight, but only for Fieger.

Turned down at first by Sharona, Fieger wrote his most successful song for her in fifteen minutes; the lyrics were crafted around a riff that guitarist Averre had written years before. Fieger and Sharona became a couple; that’s Sharona on the picture sleeve of the single.

Capitol Records won a bidding war for the Knack and put the group together with producer Mike Chapman, who’d had hits with Blondie and Nick Gilder. The Knack’s debut album, Get The Knack, was recorded at MCA Whitney in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. The production of “My Sharona” and the rest of the album was quick; seven days to record and four days for mixing.

“My Sharona” would go platinum in seven weeks and became Billboard’s number one record of 1979; the group was the template for power pop bands like Cheap Trick and the Romantics in the 1980s. The Knack had some chart action with a follow-up single, “Good Girls Don’t” and a second album, but the group was never able to repeat the success of “My Sharona.”

Smokey Robinson – The King of Motown

William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. has earned the title “King of Motown” for making countless hits and consistent contributions to the label that he helped to get started.

Robinson was born on February 19, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised in the same place’s North End. His nickname was originally “Smokey Joe”, given by his uncle because of Robinson’s love of cowboy movies, and this was later shortened to “Smokey” when he was teenager.

Smokey Robinson established and made a name as an American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, record producer, and record executive. He was one of the men behind Motown Records who gave success to the company in collaboration with the company’s founder Berry Gordy.

The Miracles as a group was formed in the latter part 1958, but its members were seasoned performers, working for many years under different names. In 1955, Robinson founded the Five Chimes together with Ronald White his best friend, Peter Moore, Clarence Dawson, and James Grice, his former high school classmates. The group’s name was changed to the Matadors in 1957 with Emerson and Bobby Rogers (his cousins) replacing Dawson and Grice. Eventually in 1958, Emerson was replaced by his sister Claudette Rogers and Marv Tarplin joined the group as guitarist.

The newly founded Matadors started a tour in Detroit with Robinson as lead singer. In 1958, his work with Berry Gordy started when the two wrote the song “Got a Job”. Later they decided to change the group’s name to the Miracles and with this name they recorded for End Records and Chess Records. Not long after, Robinson suggested to Gordy that the latter should start his own label.

Thus started Tamla Records in 1959 founded by Gordy and later reincorporated it as Motown. With Robinson and Gordy working together, The Miracles had a good start when they signed in. They complemented each other’s talents and the hit-making power of Robinson made Gordy a more effective mentor.

On the business side, Gordy chose Robinson as vice-president of Motown records. The two continued serving their positions until Gordy left Motown. The Miracles had their first big hit in 1960 with the song titled “Shop Around”. It was also Motown’s first number one hit on the R&B chart and its first million selling hit single. A milestone for the label and for Smokey Robinson himself.

Robinson also wrote and produced music for other artists, most of them under Motown. He wrote “My Guy” for Mary Wells in 1964 which was a massive world-wide hit that year. For The Temptations, he not only wrote but also produced hit songs including “The Way You Do The Things You Do”, “My Girl”, “Twice I Lost My Baby”, and “Get Ready” between 1962 to 1966. He also composed “Still Water (Love)” for the Four Tops, “Don’t Miss with Bill” and “My Baby Must Be A Magician” for The Marvelettes, “When I’m Gone” for Brenda Holloway, “Ain’t That Peculiar” and “I’ll Be Doggone” for Marvin Gaye, and “First I Look at the Purse” for the Contours.

Smokey Robinson was much admired by other singers of the stature of John Lennon of The Beatles, who admitted that Smokey’s music also influenced his own. In fact, The Beatles recorded Robinson and The Miracles “You Really Got a Hold on Me”. Bob Dylan gave him the title “America’s greatest living poet”. With over 4,000 songs that made big hit because of his talent, he was honored as “America’s poet laureate of love”.

Motown had also made such an impact on Smokey’s personal life that he named his son Berry, the company’s founder, and his daughter Tamla, after the label for which they earlier recorded as a group. His wife was Claudette Rogers, his co-member in the Matadors who replaced her brother Emerson Rogers.

By 1969, Robinson had given his family such top priority that he considered leaving the Miracles. It was also during this time that the group’s popularity went downhill, and when the band stopped recording Robinson thought that it was finally time to leave. The turn of events however gave them a little hope when their 1969 recording “Baby Baby Don’t Cry” was well received, putting it to the National Billboard Pop Top 10. The future became even more promising when their 1970 release of “The Tears Of A Clown” was a hit in both the US and the UK charts.

This changed Robinson’s mind about leaving the band short term, but in 1972 he finally made the decision to move out of The Miracles and go solo. His solo career did not get off to a good start, and his work as vice-president of Motown took up most of his time. However, the release of his first solo LP in 1973 titled “Smokey” achieved partial success, and contained the song “Sweet Harmony” which he dedicated to The Miracles.

That was the start of a solo career that was continue with his 1975 “Baby That’s Backatcha” in the R&B genre. His other solo hits include “Cruisin'” (1979), “Being With You” (1981), “Tell Me Tomorrow” (1982), and “Ebony Eyes” (1983), a duet with Rick James. What almost never came to be was eventually a resounding success.

By the middle of the 1980s Robinson became addicted to cocaine and divorced Claudette in 1986. His work suffered and it was his friend Leon Kennedy who helped him out of his miserable situation. He eventually recovered from his “bankruptcy”, giving his career another good tune.

He won a Grammy award for “Just to See Her” in 1988 and published his autobiography “Smokey” in 1988, and in the same year was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”.

Robinson’s days with Motown as vice-president ended with the label’s sale to MCA in 1988, so he left the company in 1990. He won a “Soul Train Music Award for Career Achievement” in 1991, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Since 2000, Robinson had some periodic performances and other activities. He served as guest judge in American Idol in 2003 and in 2004, his SFGL Foods Company marketed “Smokey Robinson’s ‘The Soul Is in the Bowl’ Gumbo”. He also spends time as spokesperson of the “Great American Smokeout”.

Some of his more recent performances include his appearance at the Apollo Theater to record a TV special. In March 2009, he was again seen on American Idol Season 8 as mentor and coach of the top 10 contestants, and on May 9, 2009, he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree at Berkley College of Music.

Truly an R&B great, Smokey Robinson has seen it all, and his career is a tale that most boys would regard as no less than heroic, although it was based around the phenomenon of the 1960s and 70s that was Tamla Motown – eventually to become just Motown.