Miriodor are a Québécois avant-garde/art-rock band that released eight studio albums and one live disc on Cuneiform over a three-decade period, starting in 1986. Members: Pascal Globensky (keyboards, acoustic guitar), François Émond (violin, flute, keyboards, clarinet, 1980-87), Denis Robitaille (guitar, bass, vocals, ?-1984), Marc Petitclerc (keyboards, ?-1984), Sabin Hudon (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, […]


Dagger were a Québécois hard-rock/metal band that released the album Not Afraid of the Night on Attic-subsidiary Viper in 1985. Members: Danny Clout (bass), Frank Ross (guitar, vocal), Gil Heynemann (drums), Syd Brophy (guitar) Discography: Not Afraid of the Night (1985)

Leyden Zar

Leyden Zar were a Québécois modern-rock band that released a self-titled album on A&M in 1981, followed by a second eponymous title on Unidisc in 1985. Members: Serge Gratton (drums), Paul Grondin (lead vocals, bass), Pascal Mailloux (vocals, keyboards), Jacques Noel (rhythm guitar), Eddie Stevens (guitar), Brian Wilson (lead guitar) Discography: Leyden Zar (1981) Leyden […]

Rational Youth

Rational Youth were a Québécois coldwave/synthpop band that released the album Cold War Night Life on Yul in 1982, followed by an EP and a second album on Capitol in 1985. Members: Tracy Howe (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Mario Spezzo (keyboards, 1981), Bill Vorn (keyboards, vocoder, 1981-82, 1996-97), Kevin Komoda (keyboards, 1982-83), Denis Duran (bass, 1983), […]


Voïvod are a Québécois thrash-metal band that released several cassette only live and studio albums during the early 1980s, culminating with the album War and Pain on Metal Blade Records in 1984. Four albums followed on Noise International during the second half of the decade. Members: Away [Michel Langevin] (drums), Piggy [Denis D’Amour] (guitar, 1982-2005), […]

Wondeur Brass

Wondeur Brass were a Québécois avant-rock band that released two albums on RēR-subsidiary Ambiances Magnétiques between 1985 and 1987. The band morphed into Justine by the dawn of the following decade, releasing two AM discs under that name between 1990 and 1993. Members: Hélène Bédard (trombone, vocals), Ginette Bergeron (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, vocals), Joane […]


Tobruk were an English hard-rock band from Bedford that released the album Wild on the Run on Parlophone in 1985, followed by Pleasure and Pain on FM Revolver in 1987. Members: Snake [Stuart Neale] (vocals), Nigel Evans (guitar, vocals), Mick Newman (guitar), Jem Davis (keyboards), Steve Woodward (bass, 1981-83), Alan Vallance (drums, 1981-83), Mike Brown […]

Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby is an English keyboardist, songwriter, producer, and arranger who first appeared on the 1979 album English Garden by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club. After working for two years as a session musician (Foreigner, Jane Kennaway, Joan Armatrading, Thompson Twins), Lene Lovich charted with his song “New Toy.” Dolby launched his solo career […]

Then Jerico

Then Jerico were an English sophisti-pop band that released a clutch of shortplayers on London Records circa 1985/86, followed by two albums on the label between 1987 and 1989. Members: Mark Shaw (vocals), Jasper Stainthorpe (bass, 1983-89), Steve Wren (drums, 1983-89), Cliff Lawrence (guitar, 1983), Mark Sanderson (keyboards, 1983), Scott Taylor (guitar, 1984-89), Ben Angwin […]

The The

The The was an English art-pop band from London that released three albums on Epic between 1983 and 1989. The band was fronted by musician–songwriter Matt Johnson, who concurrently recorded in the avant–electro trio The Gadgets. Members: Matt Johnson (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Keith Laws (keyboards, 1979-81), Tom Johnston (bass, 1980), Peter Ashworth (drums, 1980), Colin […]

Metro Farce

Metro Farce were a Japanese New Wave band from Tokyo that released two EPs and an album on Kitchen Records in 1982, followed by two albums on Egg-Man and three on Captain Records between 1984 and 1988. Members: 伊藤ヨタロウ [Yotaro Ito] (keyboards, vocals), 光永”GUN”巌 [Gun Mitsunagwa] (guitar, vocals), バカボン鈴木 [Bakabon Suzuki, aka Vagabond Suzuki] (bass, […]

Pizzicato Five

Pizzicato Five were a Japanese art-pop/exotica band from Tokyo that released four albums on CBS/Sony between 1987 and 1990, followed by two on Seven Gods, 11 on Triad, and four on Readymade during the 1990s. Members: 小西康陽 [Yasuharu Konishi] (bass, keyboards, vocals), 高浪慶太郎 [aka 高浪敬太郎, Keitaro Takanami, K-taro Takanami] (guitar, vocals, 1979-94), 鴨宮諒 [Ryo Kamomiya] […]

The Style Council

The Style Council was an English sophisti-pop band fronted by ex-Jam leader Paul Weller. Starting in 1983, they placed twelve songs on the UK Top 20, including “Speak Like a Child,” “Long Hot Summer,” “My Ever Changing Moods,” “Shout to the Top!,” and “The Lodgers.” Their popularity peaked with the 1984–85 Polydor albums Café Bleu […]

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson is an English multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, producer, and photographer who rose to prominence as the guitarist–singer of Be-Bop Deluxe, which released five albums between 1974 and 1978 on EMI. He then formed the new wave band Red Noise for the 1979 album Sound-on-Sound. Since 1980, he’s issued vocal and instrumental titles on various […]


Stump was an English–Irish avant-rock band that released the 1985–86 zolo EPs Mud On a Colon and Quirk Out, followed by the 1988 Ensign album A Fierce Pancake. Bassist Kev Hopper launched a solo career. Members: Kev Hopper (bass), Robert McKahey (drums), Chris Salmon (guitar), Mick Lynch (vocals) Mud On a Colon In November 1985, […]

Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse are an English roots-reggae band from Birmingham that released three albums on Island Records between 1978 and 1980, followed by three 1982–85 titles on Elektra and four 1988–94 titles on MCA. Members: David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals), Ronnie McQueen (bass), Fonso Martin (vocals, percussion), Michael Riley (vocals), Selwyn […]

Vienna Art Orchestra

Vienna Art Orchestra were an Austrian avant-jazz big band from Wien that released the album Tango From Obango on Art Records in 1980, followed by five albums apiece on Hat Hut and Moers Music between 1981 and 1988. Members: Anna Lauvergnac (vocals), Tobias Weidinger (trumpet), Matthieu Michel (trumpet), Stephan Zimmermann (trumpet), Juraj Bartoš (trumpet), Adrian […]


Gandalf (born Dec. 4, 1952) is an Austrian New Age musician from Pressbaum, Niederösterreich, who released five albums on WEA between 1980 and 1984, followed by seven further titles on CBS and Seagull Music during the subsequent half-decade. Discography: Journey to an Imaginary Land (1980) To Another Horizon (1982) Visions (1982) Magic Theatre (1983) More […]

Robin Trower

Robin Trower (born March 9, 1945) is an English rock/blues guitarist with a musical career that dates back to the early 1960s. He first rose to prominence as a member of Procol Harum, with whom he played from 1967 to 1971. He made his solo debut with the 1973 release Twice Removed from Yesterday and […]


Fischer-Z was an English New Wave/electro-rock band that released three albums on UA/Liberty between 1979 and 1981, splitting thereafter so that frontman/songwriter John Watts could focus on his solo career. In 1987, he resurrected the Fischer-Z nameplate with a new lineup, releasing albums at sporadic intervals during the subsequent three decades. Members: John Watts (lead […]

Def Leppard

Def Leppard are an English hard rock/heavy metal band that has been active since the late 1970s. Thanks to a string of fist-pumping epics (“Bringing On the Heartache,” “Rock of Ages,” “Stagefright”) and singalong ditties (“Rocket,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me”), the band became one of the top-selling concert draws and radio/MTV fixtures during the […]

The Icicle Works

The Icicle Works are an English rock band led by guitarist–songwriter Ian McNabb. They emerged in Liverpool’s post-punk scene and released four albums between 1984 and 1988 on Beggars Banquet. Their self-titled first album spawned the UK hit “Love Is a Wonderful Colour” and the transatlantic staple “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream).” Members: Ian […]


ABC are an English new wave/soul-pop band that burst onto the scene with the 1982 Mercury album The Lexicon of Love, scoring hits with “The Look of Love” and “Poison Arrow.” In 1983, they took an edgier turn with Beauty Stab and the songs “That Was Then But This Is Now” and “Unzip.” Their third […]


Sky were an English/Australian classical-rock super-combo that released six albums on Ariola between 1979 and 1983, followed by two further titles on Epic and Mercury between 1985 and 1987. The band was assembled by renown Australian classical guitarist John Williams and veteran U.K. session bassist Herbie Flowers. The first two albums feature former Curved Air […]

The Leslie Drayton Orchestra

The Leslie Drayton Orchestra was an American jazz-funk big band led by trumpeter Leslie Drayton (born March 4, 1950), an original member of Earth Wind & Fire. He released three albums and an EP with his orchestra between 1980 and 1984, followed by two albums with his followup combo Fun, all on his own Family […]

Nuclear Assault

Nuclear Assault were an American metal band from Queens, NY, that issued two titles on Relativity-subsidiary Combat in 1986/87, followed by Survive on I.R.S. in 1988. Members: John Connelly (vocals, guitar), Mike Bogush (guitar, 1984), Scott DuBoys (drums, 1984), Glenn Evans (drums, 1984-2008), Anthony Bramante (guitar, 1985-91, 2001-02), Dan Lilker (bass, 1985-92, 2002-08), Dave DiPietro […]

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole (Feb. 6, 1950 — Dec. 31, 2015) was an American soul singer from Los Angeles. Discography: Inseparable (1975) Natalie (1976) Unpredictable (1977) Thankful (1977) I Love You So (1979) We’re the Best of Friends (1979 • Natalie Cole & Peabo Bryson) Don’t Look Back (1980) Happy Love (1981) I’m Ready (1983) Dangerous (1985) […]

Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard (born Oct. 14, 1940) is an English pop vocalist with a career that has spanned more than 60 years, starting in the late 1950s amid the U.K.’s initial wave of home-grown rock performers. Between 1958 and 1963, he enjoyed teen-idol fame and a series of hits with his backing band The Shadows. In […]

Claire Hamill

Claire Hamill is an English singer–songwriter who debuted at seventeen with the 1971 Island release One House Left Standing, followed in 1973 by October. She signed with Ray Davies’ Konk label for the 1974–75 albums Stage Door Johnnies and Abracadabra. Between 1979 and 1981, she sang for Yes guitarist Steve Howe and hard-rockers Wishbone Ash. […]


Opús are an Austrian art-rock/pop band from Graz that formed in 1973 and played the live circuit for seven years before releasing their first album, Daydreams, on Philips in 1980. The album Eleven followed on RCA in 1982, after which the band released three albums apiece on OK Musica on Polydor during the ensuing seven-year […]

Scritti Politti

Scritti Politti was an English art-pop band from Leeds that cut three EPs on self-press St. Pancras Records in 1978/79. The original trio disbanded in 1980 when vocalist/guitarist Green Gartside was waylaid due to health issues. The following year, he reactivated the nameplate for a trio of 1981/82 singles on Rough Trade that culminated in […]


Samson was an English heavy metal band, formed in 1977 by namesake guitarist Paul Samson. They cut two 1978 singles on small-press Lightning Records, followed by the 1979 album Survivors on Laser. Drummer Thunderstick (aka Barry Graham Purkis) functioned as the band’s leather-masked mascot in photos and live shows, where he performed inside a metal […]


Sade are an English jazz–pop–soul band fronted by namesake Nigerian–British singer Sade Adu. They achieved fame with their 1983–85 singles “Your Love Is King,” “Hang On to Your Love,” “Smooth Operator,” and “Sweetest Taboo.” Their first two albums, Diamond Life and Promise, each topped global charts and sold ten million copies. After their 1988 release […]


Chain were an Australian revolving-door blues-rock band that released two live and two studio albums on Infinity, Festival, and Mushroom between 1970 and 1973, followed by a second round of albums during the mid-to-late 1980s. Members: Wendy Saddington (vocals, 1968-69), Phil Manning (vocals, guitar, 1968-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1982, 1983-86, 1991, 1995-present), Warren Morgan (piano, vocals, […]

Richard Clapton

Richard Clapton (born May 18, 1949) is an Australian singer-songwriter from Sydney who released eight albums on Infinity between 1973 and 1980, followed by another round of titles on WEA during the 1980s. Prior to launching his solo career, he did a brief stint as co-vocalist in the brass-rock/soul band Sun during the early 1970s. […]

Real Life

Real Life were an Australian New Wave/synthpop band from Melbourne that released five albums on Curb/Wheatley between 1983 and 1990. Members: David Sterry (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Alan Johnson (bass, 1981-98), Danny Simcic (drums, 1981-98), Richard Zatorski (violin, keyboards, 1981-86), Steve Williams (keyboards, 1986-91) Discography: Heartland (1983) Flame (1985) Down Comes the Hammer (1986) Let’s […]

Crowded House

Crowded House were an Australian pop-rock band that released four albums on Capitol between 1986 and 1993. The band was led by Kiwi guitarist/songwriter Neil Finn, who co-fronted Split Enz between 1978 and 1983 along with his older brother Tim Finn. Members: Neil Finn (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Nick Seymour (bass, backing vocals, 1985-89, 1989-present), […]

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen were an Australian New Wave band that released nine singles and two albums on Mushroom/White Label between 1983 and 1987. Members: Scott Carne (vocals), Greg Dorman (guitar, 1983-84), Bruce Curnow (drums, 1983-86), Craig Harnath (bass, 1983-87), Greg Woodhead (keyboards, 1983-84), Claude Carranza (guitar, 1984-88), Alistair Coia (keyboards, 1984-87), Scott Johnston (drums, […]

Alan Tarney

Alan Tarney (born Nov. 19, 1945) is an English-born musician and songwriter who first emerged in the Australian pop-psych band the James Taylor Move, which also included his long-time musical partner Trevor Spencer. The pair later emerged in Cliff Richard‘s backing band and formed their own namesake duo, recording three albums on Bradley’s and A&M […]


Cioccolata were a Japanese New Wave/art-pop band that released a cassette album on Tra Project in 1983, followed by an eponymous proper album on King Records in 1985. Members: かの香織 [Caoli Cano], 渋谷英広 [Hidehiro Sibuya], 岡野ハジメ [Hajime Okano], 渡辺蕗子 [Fuiquiko Watanabe], 塚野卓 [Taku Tsukano], 市川マサズミ [Masazumi Ichikawa], 寺師徹 [Toru Terashi], 塚原卓 [Taku Tsukahara], 棚沢雅樹 [Masaki […]

Bee Gees

The Bee Gees were a pop trio comprised of three English-born/Aussie-raised brothers — Barry (born 1946) and twins Robin and Maurice Gibb (born 1949). They were active as a recording unit from 1963 to 2001. Performing together since childhood, the brothers first recorded for the Australian market during the mid-1960s. Returning to their nation of […]


Deja-Vu were a Japanese symphonic-rock band from Tokyo that released the album Baroque in the Future on Made In Japan in 1988. Keyboardist/arranger Motoi Sakuraba subsequently played in Pazzo Fanfano di Musica and became a prolific soundtrack composer. Members: Motoi Sakuraba (keyboards), Genta Kudo (drums), Tetsuya Nagatsuma (bass, vocals) Discography: Baroque in the Future (1988)


Hikashu (ヒカシュ) were a Japanese New Wave band from Tokyo that released three albums on Eastworld in 1980/81, followed by another trio of titles on Eggman and Balcony in 1984/85. Members: 巻上公一 [Koichi Makigami] (bass, vocals, cornet), Freeman Mita (guitar), 泉水敏郎 [Toshiro Sensui] (percussion), Masami Sakaide (bass), 大友良英 [Otomo Yoshihide] (turntables), Yasushi Yamashita (keyboards, drum […]

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson (born Aug. 11, 1954) is an English pianist, songwriter, vocalist, author, and occasional bandleader, active since the late 1970s. Emerging on London’s New Wave scene, he achieved fame with the 1979/80 albums Look Sharp!, I’m the Man, and Beat Crazy. Over the years, his music has incorporated rock, reggae, salsa, jump blues, Tin […]

Anthony Phillips

Anthony Phillips is an English multi-instrumentalist and composer with a career dating back to the late 1960s. As a solo artist, he’s recorded more than thirty albums. Phillips entered the scene as a member of Genesis, which he co-founded in 1967 with fellow pupils at Charterhouse boarding school. He serves as their primary guitarist on […]

Hiroko Taniyama

Hiroko Taniyama — 谷山浩子 (born Aug. 29, 1956) — is a Japanese singer/songwriter from Yokohama, Kanagawa, who debuted with an album on King Records in 1972, followed by 14 albums on the Aard-Vark and Canyon labels between 1977 and 1990. Discography: 静かでいいな 〜谷山浩子15の世界〜 (Shizukade ī na 〜 Taniyama Hiroko 15 no sekai 〜) (1972) ねこの森には帰れない […]

Chris Rea

Chris Rea is an English singer, guitarist, and songwriter who released nine albums between 1978 and 1987 on Magnet, followed by further titles on WEA, EastWest, and Jazzee Blue over the subsequent three decades. Rea’s 1989–91 albums The Road to Hell and Auberge both topped the UK Albums Chart and spawned Top 20 title singles. […]

China Crisis

China Crisis are an English art-pop band from Kirkby, Merseyside, that released five albums on Virgin between 1982 and 1989. Members: Gary Daly (vocals, keyboards), Eddie Lundon (guitar, vocals), Dave Reilly (percussion, 1982), Gazza Johnson (bass, 1982-95), Kevin Wilkinson (drums, 1983-95), Brian McNeill (keyboards, 1983-84) China Crisis was formed in Kirkby, near Liverpool, in 1979 […]

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel is an English singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and activist with a career in music dating back to the late 1960s. He rose to prominence as the vocalist of Genesis, which he fronted for six albums between 1969 and 1974. As a solo artist, he issued four self-titled albums on Charisma between 1977 and 1982. […]

Roger Hodgson

Roger Hodgson (born March 21, 1950) is an English musician, vocalist, and songwriter from Portsmouth, Hampshire, who cut a single apiece with the 1969 one-offs People Like Us and Argosy, the latter featuring a then-unknown Elton John. That same year, Hodgson began a 14-year, seven-album stint with Supertramp, in which he split most of the […]

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart (born Jan. 10, 1945) is an English rock vocalist from London who fronted several R&B/beat combos during the mid-1960s before rising to prominence as the frontman of the Jeff Beck Group on the 1968/69 albums Truth and Beck-Ola. In 1969, Stewart left the group along with bassist/guitarist Ron Wood to join the Small […]

Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt is an English vocalist and songwriter who rose to prominence as the singer and drummer in Soft Machine. After recording four albums with the band between 1968 and 1971, he left to form Matching Mole, which cut two albums for CBS in 1972. The following year, he was paralyzed from the waist down […]

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer (Jan. 19, 1949 — Sept. 26, 2003) was an English soul-rock singer famed for the hits “John and Mary,” “Addicted to Love,” and “Simply Irresistible.” He charted with songs originated by Andy Fraser (“Every Kinda People”), Moon Martin (“Bad Case of Loving You”), and The System (“You Are In My System”). He got […]

Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp (born May 16, 1946) is an English guitarist and composer from Wimborne Minster, Dorset, who first recorded in the psych-pop trio Giles, Giles and Fripp. The band released one album in 1968 before evolving into King Crimson, which Fripp led through multiple iterations between 1969 and 1974 and again between 1981 and 1984. […]

Roaring Boys

The Roaring Boys were an English sophisti-pop band from Cambridge that released a self-titled album on Columbia in 1986 Members: Paul Mitchell (vocals), Neill MacColl (guitar, backing vocals), Chris Jones (bass, backing vocals), Stefan Osadzinski (keyboards), Tim May (saxophone, guitar), Dave Larcombe (drums) Discography: “House of Stone” / “Walk Away” (1985) Roaring Boys (1986)