This week it’s British ska band “The Beat” (known as The English Beat in North America). They had nine top forty hits in the late 70s, early 80s five of which went top ten. Some were covers and some self-penned. Here is one of each.
“Mirror in the Bathroom” reached number 4 in 1980
(Uploaded to YouTube by Ska200901)
“Can’t Get Used To Losing You” a cover of the 1963 Andy Williams’ hit, reached number 3 in 1983.
(Uploaded to YouTube by Isabellle87)
This week’s first choice is being used as trailer music for a channel 4 satirical TV programme on the EU referendum! I’d not heard this song in ages and it reminded me just what a great track it is! The Fun Boy Three were a break away group from The Specials who had a massive number one hit with Ghost Town in 1981.
“The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” by The Fun Boy Three from Nov 1981
(Uploaded to Youtube by tes74)
Continuing with the theme, many songs have had the word “crazy” in them, but this is my favourite “crazy” song from Glam rock act Mud. I love a tango rhythm and this uses it to great effect.
“Crazy” by Mud, reached no 12 in March 1973
(Uploaded to Youtube by The Sweet)
The new year kicks in and as the tree and decorations are put away for another year, we have two downbeat tunes from 1981! They come from two massive 80s new wave bands who were influenced by reggae and ska music.
First up is “Invisible Sun” by The Police from the album “Ghost in the Machine”
If you asked people to name a Police song I bet this wouldn’t feature highly. It’s album mate “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” is far more famous and popular, due to its light poppy lyrics, but for me the political, thought provoking “Invisible Sun” is far superior. It was banned by the BBC due to its lyrics and video being influenced by the troubles in Northern Ireland. It still managed to reach number 2 in the charts. I remember buying the single and placing it on the turntable and hearing the fabulous low key yet haunting counting intro leading into a bleak verse with a hard hitting more uplifting chorus. Andy Summer’s guitar riff and solo is fantastic and Stewart Copeland’s drums are brilliant, along with Sting’s strong vocal. A very underrated track.
(Uploaded to Youtube by Golden Eighties)
Next up is another famous band from the 80s, Madness. They are known for their ska sound and upbeat wacky songs (and even wackier videos!) sung in a talking style by lead singer Suggs. In keeping with the bleak theme from the Police, here is a lesser known song which is downbeat, for them anyway! Here is the official video of “Grey Day” by Madness
(Uploaded to Youtube by Metropolis Touring)