Flairck were a Dutch chamber-folk/classical ensemble from Ulvenhout, Noord-Brabant, that released six albums on Polydor between 1978 and 1982, followed by four albums on EMI during the subsequent six-year period. Members: Erik Visser (guitar, tanbur, mandolin, sitar, koto, bouzouki, percussion, vocals), Anne van den Heuvel (cello), Ben van den Berg (accordion, organ, piano, guitar, percussion, […]

Mahavishnu Orchestra

The Mahavishnu Orchestra were a multinational jazz-rock ensemble that was active during the early-to-mid-1970s and again during the mid-1980s. Led through all phases by English guitarist John McLaughlin, the lineup underwent two incarnations between 1971 and 1976. The first incarnation was a five-piece band with Czech keyboardist Jan Hammer, Irish bassist Rick Laird, and two […]

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson (born Oct. 25, 1944) is an English singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Accrington, Lancashire, who rose to fame as the frontman of Yes, appearing on all but one of the band’s 17 proper studio albums between 1969 and 2001. During a break in the band’s activities in 1976, he self-recorded his debut solo […]

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin (born Jan. 4, 1942) is an English jazz-rock guitarist from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, active on the international jazz scene since the late 1960s. In 1969, he joined Tony Williams Lifetime for three albums and also appeared on the sessions for Miles Davis‘ seminal electrification releases In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew (1970). […]

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck (1944–2023) was an English rock guitarist who emerged as the lead soloist in the Yardbirds during the mid-1960s. In 1968, he formed the first edition of the Jeff Beck Group with vocalist Rod Stewart and bassist Ron Wood, releasing two albums on Columbia in 1968 and 1969. In 1971, Beck formed a second […]


Kalima were an English jazz-pop ensemble that released one EP, three singles, and three albums between 1984 and 1990. The band comprised alumni from earlier Mancunian acts A Certain Ratio and Swamp Children. Members: Martin Moscrop (drums), Tony Quigley (bass, saxophone), Andrew Connell (piano, synthesizer, vibraphone), Jez Kerr (bass guitar), Ann Quigley (vocals), Cliff Saffer […]

Simply Red

Simply Red are an English blue-eyed soul ensemble that emerged on the mid-eighties Manchester sophisti-pop scene. The name references ginger-haired frontman Mick Hucknall, whose impassioned vocals propelled them to transatlantic stardom with their debut album Picture Book. Simply Red’s biggest hits include “Holding Back the Years,” “Money’s Too Tight (to Mention),” and their cover of […]

It’s Immaterial

It’s Immaterial was an English sophisti-pop band from Liverpool that released five 1980–85 shortplayers and the 1986 album Life’s Hard and Then You Die, which contains the UK hit “Driving Away from Home.” Their second album, Song, appeared in 1990 on Virgin–Siren. Members: John J. Campbell (vocals), Martin Dempsey (guitar, 1980-84), Henry Priestman (keyboards, 1980-84), […]


IQ are an English symphonic-rock band that released the 1983 album Tales From the Lush Attic on The Major Record Company, followed by 1985’s The Wake on Sahara Records. After their 1986 single “Intelligence Quotient,” IQ released the 1987–89 Mercury albums Nomzamo and Are You Sitting Comfortably? Their 1993 comeback album Ever sparked a thirty-year […]

Immaculate Fools

Immaculate Fools were an English sophisti-pop band that released two albums with accompanying singles on A&M between 1985 and 1987, followed by four discs on assorted labels during the 1990s. Members: Kevin Weatherill (vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin), Paul Weatherill (bass, vocals), Andy Ross (guitar 1984-90), Peter Ross (drums 1984-90) Discography: Hearts of Fortune (1985) Dumb […]

Duran Duran

Duran Duran are an English electro/art-pop band from Birmingham that released three albums on EMI between 1981 and 1983: Duran Duran, Rio, and Seven and the Ragged Tiger. They scored multiple transatlantic hits, including “Planet Earth,” “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer,” “Is There Something I Should Know,” “New Moon on […]

Joe Zawinul

Joe Zawinul (July 7, 1932 — Sept. 11, 2007) was an Austrian keyboardist, composer, and bandleader who was active on the international jazz scene for half a century. Between 1971 and 1986, he co-headed the multi-national jazz-funk/ambient ensemble Weather Report with American saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Discography: To You With Love (1961 • Joe Zawinul Trio) […]


Аллегро (Allegro) were a Russian jazz-funk big band that was active for 11 years, staring in 1978. The band debuted with two tracks on the Джаз-78 compilation by Мелодия (Melodiya). Between 1980 and 1986, the band released four studio albums on the label. Members: Николай Левиновский [Nick Levinovsky] (keyboards), Владимир Коновальцев [Vladimir Konovaltsev] (saxophone, 1978-82), […]

Igor Nazaruk

Игорь Назарук — Igor Nazaruk (born Nov. 19, 1949) — is a Russian jazz-rock pianist and bandleader who released four albums on Мелодия (Melodiya) between 1978 and 1989. Discography: Утверждение (1978 • Igor Nazaruk, Aleksey Kuznetsov, Alexei Isplatovsky, Andrei Chernyshov) Коляда. Карпатское новогодье (The Carpathian New Year. Kolyada) (1983) И пробудился лес (Forest Is Awaken) […]


Автограф (Avtograf) were a Russian symphonic/hard-rock band formed in Moscow in 1979. The band recorded at least 70 minutes of music between 1980 and 1982, but only managed to release one three-song EP on Мелодия (Melodiya) during this period. The band self-issued a live set and a studio recording — Avtograf 1 and 2 — on […]


Арсенал (Arsenal) are a Russian jazz-rock big band from Moscow, started in 1973. Inspired by the U.S./U.K. brass rock sound, the band’s early set featured covers of material by Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears, as heard on the archival Live in Tallinn ’74 CD. In January 1977, Arsenal recorded its first album, released two […]

Peter Hammill

Peter Hammill (born Nov. 5, 1948) is an English singer–songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose musical career dates back to the late 1960s. He first rose to prominence as the frontman of Van der Graaf Generator, which he co-founded at Manchester University in 1967. Over the next eleven years, he recorded eight studio albums with the band. […]

The Blow Monkeys

The Blow Monkeys were an English sophisti-pop band from London that debuted with a single on small-press Parasol Records in 1982, followed by five albums on RCA between 1984 and 1990. Members: Dr. Robert (vocals, guitar, piano), Neville Henry (saxophone), Anthony Kiley (drums), Mick Anker (bass) The Blow Monkeys formed in London in 1981 after […]

The Big Sound Authority

The Big Sound Authority were an English sophisti-pop band from London that released the album An Inward Revolution with accompanying singles on MCA in 1985. Members: Tony Burke (guitar, lead vocals), Mace Carnochan (piano, organ, synthesizer), Julie Hadwen (lead vocals), Steve Martinez (drums), Martin Wilson (bass) Discography: An Inward Revolution (1985)

The Bible

The Bible was an English sophisti-pop band that charted with “Graceland” and “Mahalia” from their 1986 indie album Walking the Ghost Back Home. Steve Earle produced their acclaimed 1988 Chrysalis release Eureka, including the UK hit “Crystal Palace.” Members: Boo Hewerdine (vocals, guitar), Dave Larcombe (drums), Neill MacColl (guitar, mandolin), Tony Shepherd (keyboards, percussion), Leroy […]

Art Zoyd

Art Zoyd were a French avant-garde/chamber-rock ensemble that was active from the dawn of the 1970s through the early 21st century. Between 1976 and 1987, the band released seven albums of original material. During the 1990s, they sporadically issued soundtracks. Members: Rocco Fernandez (guitar, vocals, 1969-75), Patrick Zoltek (guitar, 1969-71), Jean-Paul Dulion (bass, 1969-71), Claude […]


ADX are a French speed-metal band from Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Picardie, formed in 1982. The band debuted with the 1985 album Execution on Devil’s Records, followed by two studio LPs and a live disc on Sydney between 1986 and 1988. After the 1990 Noise International release Weird Visions, the band broke for eight years, reconvening at the turn […]

The Legendary Pink Dots

The Legendary Pink Dots were an English-Dutch goth-psych band that issued two cassette-albums on self-press Mirrordot in 1981, followed by three proper studio albums on In Phaze Records between 1982 and 1984. A lengthy round of albums appeared during the subsequent 10-year period on Play It Again Sam Records amid side releases on Jarmusic and […]

The Housemartins

The Housemartins were an English pop-rock band from Kingston upon Hull that released two albums and assorted singles on Go! Discs Ltd. between 1986 and 1988. Members: Paul Heaton (vocals), Stan Cullimore (guitar, vocals), Ted Key (bass, 1984-85), Justin Patrick (drums, 1984), Chris Lang (drums, 1984), Hugh Whitaker (drums, 1984-87), Norman Cook (bass, 1985-88), David […]

The Communards

The Communards were an English electro/art-pop duo from London comprised of ex-Bronski Beat vocalist Jimmy Somerville and keyboardist/programmer Richard Coles. The pair issued an eponymous album on London Records in 1986, followed by Red in 1987 with accompanying shortplayers. Members: Jimmy Somerville (vocals, keyboards, programming), Richard Coles (piano, keyboards, organ, programming) Discography: Communards (1986) Red (1987) […]

The Colourfield

The Colourfield was an English sophisti-pop band that released the 1985–87 Chrysalis albums Virgins and Philistines and Deception. They featured ex-Specials and Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall and onetime Swinging Cats guitarist–keyboardist Toby Lyons. Members: Terry Hall (vocals, guitar), Karl Shale (bass), Toby Lyons (guitar, keyboards), Gary Dwyer (drums, 1986-87) Formation Terry Hall formed […]

The Chameleons

The Chameleons were an English post-punk band that released the 1983–85 albums Script of the Bridge and What Does Anything Mean? Basically on Statik Records. Their 1986 Geffen release Strange Times spawned the college radio staple “Swamp Thing.” Singer–bassist Mark Burgess and drummer John Lever carried on as The Sun and the Moon on the […]

The Danse Society

The Danse Society was an English goth-rock band that released the 1981 independent singles “Clock” and “There Is No Shame In Death,” followed by the 1982–83 albums Seduction and Heaven Is Waiting on Society Records. As Danse Society International, they concluded with the 1986 Society release Looking Through. Members: Steve Rawlings (vocals, 1980-87, 2009-10), Paul […]

The Cult

The Cult is an English hard-rock band that started in 1983 as the goth-inspired Death Cult, a name derived from singer Ian Astbury’s prior band the Southern Death Cult. As Death Cult they released two singles on the London indie Situation Two, then signed with Beggars Banquet as The Cult. After their 1984 album Dreamtime, […]

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath was an English hard-rock/metal band, originally from Birmingham, that released 19 studio albums between 1970 and 2013. , the band released 19 albums over the course of their career. The band’s “classic” lineup — comprised of Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward — was active from 1969 to 1978 and […]

Howard Jones

Howard Jones (born Feb. 23, 1955) is an English keyboardist, singer, and songwriter who released four albums on WEA between 1984 and 1989, charting first with “New Song” and “What Is Love?” He achieved transatlantic success with his 1985 release Dream Into Action, which spawned the hits “Things Can Only Get Better,” “Like to Get […]


Nómo were an American New Wave/modern-rock trio that released the album The Great Unknown on Atco in 1985. Vocalist David Batteau had recorded sporadically during the 1970s as a solo and collaborative singer/songwriter. Bassist Eric Pressly hailed from jazz-rockers the Landress / Hart Group. Members: David Batteau (vocals), Tony Humecke (drums, keyboards, vocals), Eric Pressly […]

The Power Station

The Power Station were an English-American modern-rock/R&B super-project that issued a self-titled album on Parlophone (UK) and Capitol (US) in 1985. Guitarist Andy Taylor and bassist John Taylor (no relation) were then-members of Duran Duran while drummer Tony Thompson had been part of Chic alongside the album’s producer, Bernard Edwards. Vocals were provided by Robert […]

Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper were an English hard-rock/metal band from Droitwich, Worcestershire, that self-released two demo cassettes circa 1981/82, followed by three albums on RCA between 1983 and 1987. Members: Nick Bowcott (guitar, 1979-88), Paul DeMercado (vocals, 1979-82), Kevin Neale (bass, 1979-81), Phil Matthews (bass, 1981), Dave Wanklin (bass, 1981-87), Adrian Jacques (drums, 1981-82), Steve Grimmett (vocals, […]


EPO (エポ) — aka Eiko Sato (佐藤榮子: born, May 12, 1960) — is a Japanese vocalist and songwriter from Tokyo who released four albums on RCA between 1980 and 1982, followed by six titles on Dear Heart during the ensuing five-year period and two further discs at decade’s end on Midi Inc. Discography: Down Town […]


Gerard were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released two albums and an EP on Nexus in 1984/85. A lengthier run of titles appeared on Trycle, Musea, and Avalon during the subsequent quarter-century. Members: Toshio Egawa (keyboards), Yukihiro Fujimura (vocals, guitar, 1983-92), Masaki Tanimoto (drums, 1983-84), Yasumasa Uotani (bass, 1983-84), Toshimi Nagai (bass, 1990-92), Kota Igarashi […]

After Dinner

After Dinner were a Japanese art-pop band from Osaka that released an eponymous single and the album Glass Tube on Kageroh/Kang-Gung between 1982 and 1984. In 1989, they issued Paradise of Replica on RecRec. The band was led by singer/composer Haco, who appears in Fred Frith’s musical travelogue Step Across the Border. Members: Haco (vocals) […]

Graham Parker

Graham Parker is an English New Wave/soul-rock singer and songwriter who released the popular 1976–79 albums Howlin’ Wind, Heat Treatment, Stick to Me, and Squeezing Out Sparks. His most popular songs include “Don’t Ask Me Questions,” “Heat Treatment,” “The Heat in Harlem,” “Local Girls,” and “Protection.” Up through his 1980 release The Up Escalator, he […]

The Woodentops

The Woodentops were an English art-pop band that released four 1984–85 maxi-singles compiled on Straight Eight Bush-Waker. On Rough Trade, they released the 1986–88 albums Giant and Wooden Foot Cops on the Highway and scored indie hits with “Good Thing,” “Give It Time,” and “Maybe It Won’t Last.” Members: Rolo McGinty (vocals, guitar), Simon Mawby […]

The Waterboys

The Waterboys are an English folk and rock band that released a self-titled album on Island/Chicken Jazz in 1983, followed by four albums on Ensign between 1984 and 1990. Bassist/keyboardist Karl Wallinger departed after the third album to launch World Party. Members: Mike Scott (vocals, guitar, piano, drums, bouzouki), Anthony Thistlethwaite (saxophone, bass, mandolin, 1982-91, […]


Whitesnake are an English hard-rock band that released seven albums and a live double-LP on UA/Liberty between 1978 and 1984, followed by two albums on EMI International during the late 1980s. The project originated from a namesake solo album by frontman David Coverdale, who previously sung in the mid-1970s lineup of Deep Purple. Members: David […]


Wham! was an English pop-soul duo from London that released four 1982–83 singles on Columbia–Inner Vision that formed the basis of their debut album Fantastic. The duo consisted of vocalist–songwriter George Michael and occasional guitarist Andrew Ridgeley, who functioned more as the act’s stylist and publicist. In the fall of 1984, Wham! broke globally with […]

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945) is American jazz pianist from Allentown, Penn., who released two albums on Vortex Records in 1968, followed by a string of ’70s-era albums on Atlantic, Impulse!, and finally ECM, his primary label for the ensuing four decades. Select discography: Restoration Ruin (1968) Life Between the Exit Signs (1968) Gary […]

Sheila E.

Sheila E. — aka Sheila Cecelia Escovedo (Dec. 12, 1957) — is an American soul-funk percussionist from Oakland, Calif., that released four albums on Warner Bros. between 1984 and 1991, the middle two on benefactor Prince‘s Paisley Park imprint. Earlier in her career, she cut two albums on Fantasy as part of the Latin-funk duo […]

Vicious Pink

Vicious Pink were an English electro-pop duo from Leeds consisting of keyboardist Brian Moss and vocalist Josie Warden. Originally dubbed the Vicious Pink Phenomena, the pair released a single apiece on the small-press labels Mobile Suit Corporation and Warehouse circa 1982/83. After shortening their name, the two released a trio of singles on Parlophone between […]


UB40 are an English reggae-pop band from Birmingham that debuted with the LP+EP release Signing Off on local small-press Graduate Records in 1980. After setting up their own DEP International imprint through a distribution deal with Virgin, the band released their second proper full-length, Present Arms, concurrent with a dub-version of the album in 1981. […]


Exciter were a Canadian hard-rock/metal trio from Ottawa, Ont., that released the album Heavy Metal Maniac on Shrapnel Records in 1983, followed by Violence & Force on Megaforce Records in 1984. A pair of 1985/86 albums on Combat and a fifth release on Maze Music in 1988 rounded out the decade while the following 20-year […]

White Wolf

White Wolf were a Canadian hard-rock/metal band from Edmonton, Alberta, that released two albums on RCA between 1984 and 1986. Members: Don Wolf [aka Don Wilk] (vocals), Cam Macleod (guitar, vocals), Rick Nelson (guitar), Martin Kronlund (guitar), Scott Webb (guitar, vocals), David J. Petovar (keyboards), Les Schwartz (bass), Richard Quist (bass, keyboards), Russ Bergquist (bass), […]

Working Week

Working Week were an English sophisti-pop trio that released three albums on Virgin between 1985 and 1987, followed by two 1989–91 titles on label-subsidiary Ten. The band revolved around the instrumental core of veteran jazz-saxophonist Larry Stabbins (Centipede/Keith Tippett’s Ark) and ex-Weekend guitarist Simon Booth, who chose the name “Working Week” as a spoof on […]

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Frankie Goes to Hollywood was an English musical extravaganza that was active during the mid-1980s. Comprised of Liverpudlian New Wave alumni, the band linked with producer Trevor Horn to craft the monumental double-set Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Bolstered with tie-in merchandise and provocative videos for the socio-political production anthems “Two Tribes,” “Relax,” and the album’s […]

Mike Oldfield

Mike Oldfield is an English composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist with a career in music dating back to the late 1960s. Musically, his output is comprised of lengthy (often side-length or album-length) instrumental works with the occasional vocal track. Stylistically, his music has evolved from the classical/Celt-tinged angle of his early recordings to the broadened, modernized […]

Hunk Ai

Hunk Ai were a Danish avant-jazz/rock band from Aarhus, Midtjylland, that released two albums on Olufsen Records between 1986 and 1988. Members: Cathrine Lervig (vocals), Morten Lervig (bass), Rasmus Louis Lunding (guitar), Bo Madsen (guitar), Carsten Orthmann (drums), Henrik Jespersen (saxophone) Discography: Hunk Ai (1986) Alene Hjemme (1988)

Fred Frith

Fred Frith (Feb. 17, 1949) is an English avant-rock/improv guitarist and composer from Heathfield who gained international cult renown as a member of Henry Cow, recording five studio albums with the band between 1973 and 1978. Over the following three-year period, he issued of trio of albums with Cow-spinoff The Art Bears. As a solo […]

Eyeless in Gaza

Eyeless in Gaza were an English ambient/experimental-rock duo from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, that released a string of albums and shortplayers on Cherry Red between 1981 and 1986. Members: Martyn Bates (guitar, vocals), Peter Becker (bass, keyboards, vocals) Discography: Kodak Ghosts Run Amok (EP, 1980) Invisibility (EP, 1981) Others (EP, 1981) Photographs as Memories (1981) Caught in […]

Everything but the Girl

Everything but the Girl was an English sophisti-pop duo from Kingston upon Hull that released four albums and assorted shortplayers on Blanco Y Negro between 1984 and 1988, followed by a string of titles on Atlantic during the early 1990s. Members: Ben Watt (vocals, guitar, piano, programming), Tracey Thorn (vocals, guitar) Everything but the Girl […]


Eurythmics were an English electro-pop duo that released seven studio albums and a soundtrack between 1981 and 1989 on RCA. They scored multiple 1983–85 hits, including “Sweet Dreams,” “Who’s That Girl?” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” and “Would I Lie to You?” The duo consisted of vocalist Annie Lennox and multi-instrumentalist David Stewart. They recorded […]


Demon were an English hard-rock/metal band from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, that released the album Night of the Demon on Carrere in 1981, followed by five further albums on Clay between 1982 and 1987. Members: Dave Hill (vocals), John Wright (drums, 1979-87), Mal Spooner (guitar, 1979-84), Paul Riley (bass, 1979-81), Clive Cook (guitar, 1979-81), Chris Ellis (bass, […]


Tröjan were an English hard-rock/metal band from Wigan, Lancashire, that released the album Chasing the Storm on Roadrunner in 1985. Vocalist Graeme Wyatt and guitarist Pete Wadeson regrouped with a different rhythm section under the name Taliön for the album Killing the World in 1989. Members: Graeme Wyatt (vocals), Pete Wadeson (guitar, vocals), Eddy Martin […]


Data were an English synthpop trio that released two albums on Illuminated between 1981 and 1983, followed by a third on Sire in 1985. The band was headed by Norwegian-born musician Georg Kajanus, best known as the frontman of Sailor during the mid-1970s. Members: Georg Kajanus (keyboards, vocals, guitar), Frankie Boulter (vocals), Phil Boulter (vocals) […]

Jane Siberry

Jane Siberry (born Oct. 12, 1955) is a Canadian art-pop musician, songwriter, and vocalist who released a self-titled album on Street Records in 1981, followed by four further titles on Duke Street between 1984 and 1989. Discography: Jane Siberry (1981) No Borders Here (1984) The Speckless Sky (1985) The Walking (1987) Bound by the Beauty […]


Dalbello — aka Lisa Dal Bello (born May 22, 1959) — is a Canadian vocalist and performer who released two albums on MCA and Talisman in 1977 and 1978, followed by three albums on Capitol between 1981 and 1987. Her first three albums bear her full name, after which she adopted the more recognized “Dalbello” […]

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell (born Nov. 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer–songwriter from Fort Macleod, Alberta, with a musical career that spanned nearly five decades, starting in the mid-1960s. Between 1968 and 1971, she released four albums on Reprise Records, followed by six studio albums and two live double-LPs on Asylum between 1972 and 1980. Four further […]

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite were a Canadian modern-rock band that issued four albums on WEA between 1984 and 1991, scoring internationally with their sophomoric 1985 release The Big Prize. Members: Johnnie Dee [Johnnie Degiuli] (lead vocals, guitar), Derry Grehan (guitar), Dave Betts (drums, 1982-89, 2007-present), Ray Coburn (keyboards, 1983-86, 1989-94, 2007-09), Gary Lalonde (bass, 1983-90, 2007-present), Rob […]

Glass Tiger

Glass Tiger were a Canadian modern-rock band that released three albums on Capitol between 1986 and 1990. Members: Alan Frew (vocals), Sam Reid (keyboards), Al Connelly (guitar), Wayne Parker (bass), Michael Hanson (drums, 1980-88) Discography: The Thin Red Line (1986) Diamond Sun (1988) Simple Mission (1990)


Lawrence Henry Gowan (born Nov. 22, 1956) is a Scottish-born Canadian vocalist known professionally by his surname. He debuted with an eponymous album on CBS in 1982, followed by three albums on Columbia between 1985 and 1990. Discography: Gowan (1982) Strange Animal (1985) Great Dirty World (1987) Lost Brotherhood (1990)

Men Without Hats

Men Without Hats were a Québécois New Wave/synthpop band that debuted with an EP on self-press H.A.T.S. Inc. in 1980, followed by two albums on Statik/MCA between 1982 and 1984. A further round of titles appeared on Mercury during the late 1980s. Members: Ivan Doroschuk [Ivan] (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Dave Hill (bass, 1977-78), John Gurin […]