The 80s revival going on right now in music warms WildnFree‘s child-of-the-80s heart. Radelaide’s Nakatomi have gone hardcore proper 80s synth mad with banging new track The Knife. Get your hair permed and pull on your fluorescent legwarmers and leotards people. Nakatomi and WildnFree will now go head-to-head on their Top 5 favourite 80s artists, and between us all, we’ve got some of the very best names in the late 20th century music biz listed below.
Over to you Nakatomi! …
….”Top 5 80’s acts…we struggle to pick our top 15! But if Top 5 is what you want…that’s what we’ll do.
This is our 80’s music Sophie’s Choice!
Anybody that can drape themselves in purple velvet, stand on high heels and shred a guitar like that whilst singing those silky smooth tones, doesn’t just deserve to be on this list, they deserve to run the damn country. Hell everyone would actually want to watch parliament debates if he was in there talking about tax in his high pitch squeal, while doing the splits and wearing a cravat. If you have not listened to the Purple Rain soundtrack then stop reading this and do it! If we were Doctors, this album is all we would prescribe… Also Purple Rain the movie is one of the most awesome 80’s rock films you’ll see. Poorly acted, weird story, very small man on a giant motorbike and one of the creepiest sex scenes you’ll ever see, but god damn if it isn’t amazing!
Tears For Fears
Tears for Fears song catalogue is one of the coolest and most diverse from the 80’s. Dramatic, dark, dancey and just plain awesome. You’d be hard pressed to find an act that looked so cheesy in their photos (excluding Spandau Ballet of course) but could write such damn good tunes. Hamish was lucky enough to score a free ticket to see them a year ago and thought it might be sad to see them now. He assumed it would be like watching The Golden Girls in a cover band but he was happily so wrong! These guys still put on a hell of a show and play their instruments like maniacs. One of the best live acts around, even 30 years past their prime. We can only imagine back in the 80’s they rode out onto stage on dragons and played their synths while they were jet packing around the stadium, because that’s the only way it could have been better.
There is a reason that every electro/dance/grunge/rock band you like probably references Depeche Mode as one of their key influences and it’s simply because they’re that good. Violator is one of the coolest albums of the 80’s and the way they bounce from brooding melancholy to just straight pop dance is amazing. If they were on Master Chef, and their music was the meal, then the judges would give straight 10’s, retire from their restaurants and all just spontaneously explode. This would also be the first episode of Master Chef Hamish would watch. We were lucky enough to have Jon Lemon master our track The Knife and he worked with Depeche Mode in the 80’s, so that was super cool. In conclusion listen to Depeche Mode and after you snap out of the 3 day joy coma, make sure to ring your mum, she worries about you.
If this needs an explanation about why it’s on this list then you haven’t listened to Bowie. There are so many weird stories about Bowie from the 80’s that he almost went from a being known as a musician to being thought of as a mythical creature, a Bowiecorn if you will… but regardless of the weirdness, his songs and albums were always amazing. He would constantly reinvent himself, change his sound and experiment with his performance, and with anything he did, his talent and music never faltered. Bowie is so cool you could build an igloo out of him. I mean the guy starred in The Labyrinth where he abducted babies while wearing a codpiece so he could marry an underage girl, and he still managed to come across as awesome. And on a side note, The Labyrinth soundtrack is also wicked!
That voice, those lyrics, those crazy interpretive dance moves and strange music videos… she was just completely ahead of her time in so many ways. There’s a real sense of drama and story in every song you hear from her, and she delivers it with the conviction of Paula Deen eating a cheesecake. Anyone that can literally sing an interpretive dogs ‘bark’ in a song and still make it melodically cool (aka Hounds Of Love and NOT Who Let The Dogs Out), is a genius in our book. Another way to truly appreciate how great she is, is to listen to her duet of Don’t Give Up with Peter Gabriel. Also if you haven’t seen the video for Violins where her back up dancers are dressed as giant violins, then you need to question what have you been doing with your life. Immediately go quit your job, lock yourself in your room and destroy your sim card, because you will want to have a solid two weeks of silence afterwards to absorb what you just witnessed.
Other notable mentions to Icehouse, The Cure, Queen, Blondie, NIIN, Faith No More and Peter Gabriel. Please forgive us, you were so close!….”
Right Nakatomi, you’ve had your very eloquent say. WildnFree would like to offer her 80s choices for the record:
My older sister got the Bad cassette for Christmas and my life changed forever. I had discovered ‘music’. I knew every hiccup, whoo and shamon on Man In The Mirror, in its perfect place and time. I could (almost) nail Siedah Garrett’s breathy duet vocal on I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. I spent many an hour practicing the dance moves on Smooth Criminal, except of course I could never do that part (you know the one) where he leans over towards the ground at that mad angle. I can still do the bit where he crosses his arms really quick though and tips his hat. #RIPMJ.
The drama-filled opening bars of Summer Rain. The crescending strings whipping up a frenzy. The evocative storytelling, ‘Somewhere in my heart I’m always dancing with you in the summer rain’, stoking my little girl imagination, thinking of myself dancing in the playground with all my little boyfriends, running back to Room 4 when the storms interrupted playlunch.
My favourite Madonna song always was, and always will be, Like A Prayer. Not the bullshit commercial radio dance-track version, the proper album version. Featuring the same Andrae Crouch choir as my other fave Man In The Mirror, I was immediately taken by that powerhouse of gospel/funk/rock. So much drama, so scary and dark for such a little girl, thrilled to bits listening to it, in the dark, on her cassette Walkman, when she should have been fast asleep.
Right, who doesn’t love Eternal Flame? No? Get out. Could there ever be a more tender love song tinged with the most hopeful longing? No. There cannot be. ‘ Do you understand, do you feel the same? Or am I only dreaming? Is this burning, an eternal flame? Even as a little girl, I was captivated by the melody and feel, all beautiful with its powerful call to love.
There surely was no little Melbourne girl of the 80s who did NOT love Kylie Minogue. Emerging from her overalls on Ramsay Street to make her debut performance on Hey Hey It’s Saturday (probably), Kylie was our icon. Those blonde curls. The Locomotion. I Should Be So Lucky. The romantic duet with Scott Robinson/Jason Donovan Especially For You. My very first album was her first album, bought in the Myer music department in a fit of ‘can’t believe Dad’s buying this for me and it’s not even my birthday’ excitement. Love ya Kyles.
Right now 80s lovers. Drag yourself back into the present to watch Nakatomi’s dystopian Robocop/Blade Runner style video clip, a perfectly dark visual treat directed by Aaron Schuppan. See dates below for your chance to get practice your moonwalking on the dancefloor at their next live show:
NAKATOMI SHOW DATES
FRI 30 OCT | ROCKET BAR, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
FRI 20 NOV | POW! @ MYNT LOUNGE, WERRIBEE VIC | 18+
SUN 22 NOV | THE TOFF IN TOWN, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
THUR 26 NOV | OXFORD ART GALLERY BAR, DARLINGHURST NSW | 18+