The Best Band of the 80s
Who was the best band of the 80s? Back when I was growing up, my favourite act oscillated between Tears for Fears, Frankie Goes to Hollwood, Prince, the Pogues and the Housemartins. I’m sure you had your own preferences too, who would take pride of place on those all important compilation tapes.
But for a definitive answer, may I refer you to the many hundreds of thousands of readers of the magazine Smash Hits? Each year, they (and I) would vote by the sackload in the annual Readers’ Poll on everything from Most Fanciable Female (usually Kim Wilde) to Most Horrible Thing (Spiders in 1987). As part of the research for my book ‘Wired For Sound’, I collated the results from all the Readers’ Poll over the decade. For each year’s poll, I gave ten points to the group who were voted best band, down to one point for the act who were voted tenth. The best bands of the 80s, according to this Smash Hits poll of polls, are as follows:
1. Duran Duran – Perhaps no surprise, given that the band also boasted Smash Hits’ 80s Best Singer (Simon Le Bon) and 80s Most Fanciable Male (John Taylor)
2. Pet Shop Boys – Proof if proof were needed that Smash Hits readers knew their pop music (and former Smash Hits assistant editors too!)
3. Wham! – Make It Big was the name of their second album. Make it big they did.
4. a-ha – Their breakthough hit ‘Take On Me’ was originally called ‘The Juicyfruit Song’
5. U2 – In the days when Bono haircut resembles a small animal resting on his head.
6. Madness – Is it just me, or were they the best act by a country mile at the recent Jubilee concert?
7. Wet Wet Wet – The band’s name came from a Scritti Politti song.
8. Spandau Ballet – Their biggest hit, ‘True’ was inspired by Altered Images singer Clare Grogan.
9 = Five Star/ Bros – Some late 80s dross IMHO …
10= The Police/ The Jam/ Adam and the Ants – … and some early eighties class to bring up the rear.
‘Wired for Sound: Now That’s What I Call An 80s Music Childhood’ by Tom Bromley is out now.