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Author: Subject: Any artists from the 70s whose music got better in the 80s?

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 06:53 PM
I was listening to some artists recently who were really big in the 70's from Elton John to The Ramones to the Bee Gees to Paul McCartney. I notice that as soon as the 80s kicked in, their music generally took a noticeable step down in quality. (My opinion of course). Once they and others added synthesizers, loud drums with programming and other cheesy 80s embellishments, things went wrong.

What do you think? Were there any major artists whose music got better during the 80s?

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 08:49 PM
Boy that's a tough question, I can only think of the Scorpions. ZZ Top became more famous but not a better band in the 80's.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 08:58 PM
Tom Petty and John Melloencamp come to mind.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 09:17 PM
quote:
Tom Petty and John Melloencamp come to mind.


about the only two I can think of

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 09:34 PM

That's a fun question. The Talking Heads certainly evolved to a fuller sound and arguably better band from 1980 to 1983, but then touch and go.

U2, Cray and Vaughan come to mind, but I guess they were barely up and running in the '70s.

Hmm...I guess it's safe to say most went downhill, huh? Thank goodness for a few germinating seeds at the end of the decade that brought us some good music again in the early '90s.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 09:46 PM
I have a friend of mine over right now who mentioned Bruce. Either he remained consistent, or went slightly downhill. After raw masterpieces such as THE WILD THE INNOCENT & THE E STREET SHUFFLE (1973) BORN TO RUN (1975) and DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN (1978), he achieved 80s superstardom with THE RIVER (1980) and BORN IN THE USA (1984). Those 80s LPs saw a more commercialized Bruce, especially Born In the USA. That itself might be a problem. However they do remain outstanding and classic records.

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[Edited on 1/28/2010 by BarrySmith]

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 09:53 PM


[Edited on 3/16/2010 by MyInnerEyeMike]

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 09:55 PM
quote:

That's a fun question. The Talking Heads certainly evolved to a fuller sound and arguably better band from 1980 to 1983, but then touch and go.
___________________________________________________________________________ __________________________

great thread, but a hard one to answer too. not to many.
The Talking Heads album " Fear Of Music " was released on 8/3/79, then came " Remain In Light " released on 10/8/80, these are by far there best albums. " Speaking In Tongues " was released on 5/31/83. so yes, there creative peak was late 79 till 83.


 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 10:14 PM
It's a good question and the answer has a few dimensions to it:

-some of my favorite 60s/70s bands had changed line-ups by the 80s, not always for the better

-as mentioned, recording technology and musical trends moved away from the more organic sound and structure I prefer

-most bands/ artists only have so many "great works" in their blood before they start losing some of their uniqueness; they are bound to go downhill - like I did once I turned 30! The related question to this thread is "Who is an artist who stayed consistently great even later in life?"

I think the 1980s King Crimson was almost as bad-ass as they had been; "Discipline" is right up there with "Red" and "Lark's Tongue" for me, and live they were ferocious.

Here's one I may get killed for, but Eric Clapton seemed pretty uninteresting from the mid-70s into the early 80s. However, even though his 1980s output remained poppy, he seemed to catch fire as a blazing lead guitarist again, especially live. A cheesy tune like "Forever Man" has that disposable 1980s Phil Collins sound, but the very brief guitar solo BURNS, as an example. I would rather see EC in 1985 than 1975, I think.

Most of my faves fell pretty damned hard though. Jimmy Page, Genesis, The Who - yikes.

I think Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" was a very good comeback album; I prefer it to "Burn" and "Stormbringer."

 

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  posted on 1/27/2010 at 11:50 PM
John Mellancamp
U2
Tom Petty
Alabama
George Strait
Bonnie Rait
Allman Brothers Band (hey, much better in 1989 than they were in 1979)

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 04:21 AM
quote:

Allman Brothers Band (hey, much better in 1989 than they were in 1979)



I was waiting for someone to mention the Allmans. I mostly don't agree with that pick, put I do see your point. A lot of things could happen within ten yerars. But for them, the 80s were basically the dark ages. They sunk quite low after unprecedented influence in the 70s. This is when comparing the Duane era music to REACH FROM THE SKY and BROTHERS OF THE ROAD. Unfortunately, those Arista albums are considered some of their worst. Thank you Mike and Keytar!!

After they broke up in 1982 nothing happened till 1989. Things certainly looked good when Warren and Woody came aboard, but they did not record any music. Just a tour.
But that tour was the sign that things would only get better in the 90s.

[Edited on 1/28/2010 by BarrySmith]

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 09:04 AM
Springsteen was better in the 70s, IMO.

U2 was only in their infancy in the 70s when no one had heard of them, but I'd agree they were better in the 80s.

Petty released some amazing music in the final years of the 70s. Not sure he ever topped Damn the Torpedoes (1979)

And Van Halen did not get better in the 80s, IMO. Some of their most embarrasing music to longtime fans (Jump and more) came out in the 80s. VHI and VHII might have been equaled with Fair Warning but never topped.

Judas Priest to me was better 1980-1983 than they were in any other time. Unfortunately, they succumbed to the 80s production/synth trend as well though after that.

Was there a band that the 80s ('80-82 to be exact) had a worse influence on than the Allman Brothers??

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 10:48 AM
Bananarama
 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 11:01 AM
U2's first album release, Boy, didn't come out until 1980. Even though they were a band in the 70's, it is hard to count them in this group.



How about The Clash?

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 11:04 AM
quote:
Was there a band that the 80s ('80-82 to be exact) had a worse influence on than the Allman Brothers??


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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:16 PM
Police
Talking Heads
Michael Jackson

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:20 PM
Iron Maiden

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:27 PM
"Was there a band that the 80s ('80-82 to be exact) had a worse influence on than the Allman Brothers??"

Yes, Genesis, The Who, and Jimmy Page are contenders.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:47 PM
Journey

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:54 PM
quote:

I agree with the Scorpions. I was gonna write the same thing.

Possibly Van Halen, even though it all came crashing down in '85 when D.L.R. split.
They were actually more commercially successful with Hagar, but who cares?
I never listened to them again after '85. That was a band that really blew it as far as I was concerned.

Though it's not necessarily my opinion, I think some people might think bands like Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Rainbow, Genesis, were better in the 80's but I think it depends on what you look for in a band. Alot of the bands became watered down, and more palatable in order to appeal to the MTV generation.



Early 80's Van Halen, particularly the album Fair Warning, was killer stuff. And while I'm not a huge fan of the Hagar material, they recorded some decent tunes with him. Some of the music from Van Hagar is great. It's just the crappy Hagar lyrics that ruin it. Not necessarily the 'hit singles," but some of the deeper cuts.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 12:55 PM
Iron Maiden's first album came out in 1980 (were around with a rotating cast prior to that)

They Who at least had some good songs in the 80s - Another Tricky Day, You, Emminence Front, You Better You Bet even if those two albums didn't live up to previous standards. The 1982 Farewell Tour was pretty epic. I think the early 80s impacted The ABB even more. I can't think of a tour like that or a list of 4 songs I'd still listen to from those years.

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 01:10 PM
I don't think any self respecting Genesis fan could defend a song like Invsible Touch (and some others of it's type from the 80s), but Duke, Abacab and Three Sides Live rank among my favorite Genesis albums. The 80s definitely began having a major negative affect on them after that however, I would agree.

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 01:21 PM
How about the Grateful Dead.



LOL. Just kidding.

 

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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 02:12 PM
This is a really hard question, for two main reasons. One, the eighties generally sucked for beautiful popular music. And Two, most artists don't get better, they get worse!
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/28/2010 at 03:49 PM
quote:

Alot of the bands became watered down, and more palatable in order to appeal to the MTV generation.



This is a great statement....going for mass appeal made many more popular but were they "better"? ZZ Top fits this category perfectly. REM also, though maybe not from 70s to 80s.

 

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