fri 03/04/2020

1980s

Album: The Weeknd - After Hours

Let’s talk about “Blinding Lights”. What a sleek single, like an escapee from the acclaimed soundtrack to the film Drive, a polished riff on mid-Eighties synth-pop, ripe for 21st century dancefloors, one of the songs of the year so far, all topped...

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Album: The Boomtown Rats - Citizens of Boomtown

The new Boomtown Rats album – their first for 36 years! – is both preposterous and rather wonderful. This is as it should be. The Irish band surfed the so-called “New Wave” after punk rock to brief chart-topping stardom. They had some cracking...

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Pete Paphides: Broken Greek review - top of the pop memoirs

Think of the phrase “music memoir”, and you might conjure images of wild nights and heavy mornings. You’re unlikely to think of suburban West Bromwich and tributes to Mike Batt’s Wombles back catalogue. But then, Pete Paphides’s story is comprised...

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Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the latest in the BBC’s often-excellent, always-forensic Classic Albums series. “I agree, I agree, it sounds great,” says Orzabal. He...

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Album: Huey Lewis and the News - Weather

Huey Lewis and the News were an unlikely mid-Eighties phenomenon. Their Sports album was a mega-success for a band already approaching early middle age. Their Fifties feel, given a contemporary polish and boosted by association with cinematic...

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Album: La Roux - Supervision

10 years ago, a wave of exciting femme-pop was cresting, women taking the reins with singular visions; the results were shiny, personally honest, inventive and ebullient, from Gaga to Adele and beyond. A leading light was La Roux, a duo fronted by...

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Madonna, London Palladium review - a fiesta of the surreal and the fiercely fabulous

The first time I heard Madonna, I was 8 years old at a school disco. Horrified parents, who came to pick us up as we jumped up and down yelling along to “Like A Virgin” in a fluorescent flurry of topknots, puffer skirts and lace gloves, subsequently...

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Robert Henke CBM 8032, Barbican - a vision of possibilities from 40 years ago

Robert Henke is to techno fans as Leo Fender and Les Paul are to rock lovers. The Ableton Live software which he co-created is every bit as influential as any guitar they built, and probably more used. However, of course, being just a piece of code...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beloved - Where It Is

Commercially, The Beloved’s peak years kicked off in autumn 1989 when their electro house-pop began its chart run. The band called it a day in 1996 after the X album and its attendant singles. Throughout the period, they dealt in a form of house...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

When Sight & Sound compiled its “Greatest Documentaries of All Time” list five years ago, Kazuo Hara’s The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On came in at number 23 – proof, some three decades on from its 1987 release, that this remarkable film had...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Buddies

The acclaim of being the first to represent the mid-1980s AIDS pandemic in cultural form was a plaudit that none of those concerned would ever have wished for. With New York as its epicentre, and almost nothing known about the disease that was...

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