Camberwell Now

Camberwell Now were an English art-rock trio that debuted with a five-song EP on small-press Duplicate Records in 1983, followed in 1986 by The Ghost Trade LP and the following year’s Greenfingers EP on Red Flame-subsidiary Ink. The band was formed by drummer/composer Charles Hayward, formerly of the bands Quiet Sun and This Heat. Members: […]

Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat was a Scottish–English synthpop band that released two albums and a remix compilation between 1984 and 1986 on Forbidden Fruit. The first album features singer Jimmy Somerville, who released two subsequent albums as one-half of The Communards. Members: Steve Bronski (keyboards, percussion, acoustic guitar, programming), Larry Steinbachek (keyboards, percussion), Jimmy Somerville (vocals, 1983-85, […]

Labi Siffre

Labi Siffre (born 1945) is an English singer/songwriter, poet, and playwright who was initially active as a recording artist during the first half of the 1970s. Discography: Labi Siffre (1970) The Singer and the Song (1971) Crying Laughing Loving Lying (1972) For the Children (1973) Remember My Song (1975) Happy (1975) So Strong (1988)

Red Box

Red Box were an English art-pop duo from London that released a standalone single on Cherry Red in 1983, followed by a pair of singles on Sire circa 1984/85. In 1986, an augmented lineup of the band released the album The Circle & The Square on WEA, followed by a second album on EastWest in […]

Mazarati

Mazarati were an American synth-funk band from Minneapolis that released a self-titled album on Paisley Park in 1986 and a second on Motown in 1989. Members: Sir Casey Terry (vocals), Romeo (bass, backing vocals), Tony Christian (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Kevin Patricks [Blondie] (drums, percussion), Craig “Screamer” Powell (lead guitar, backing vocals), Aaron Paul […]

Blitzkrieg

Blitzkrieg were an English metal band from Leicester that released the album A Time of Changes on Neat in 1985. Members: Brian Ross (vocals), Jim Sirotto (guitar, 1980-81, 1984-86), Ian Jones (guitar, 1980-81), Steve English (bass, 1980-81), Steve Abbey (drums, 1980-81), Mick Moore (bass, 1981, 1984-86, 1991), John Antcliffe (guitar, 1981), Sean Taylor (drums, 1984-86, […]

Billy Idol

Billy Idol — aka William Broad (Nov. 30, 1955) — is an English vocalist from Stanmore, Middlesex, who emerged in the hard-rock/punk band Generation X during the late 1970s. Discography: Don’t Stop (EP, 1981) Billy Idol (1982) Rebel Yell (1983) Whiplash Smile (1986) Charmed Life (1990) Cyberpunk (1993) Devil’s Playground (2005) Kings & Queens of […]

Beltane Fire

Beltane Fire were an English symphonic-folk band that released the album Different Breed on CBS in 1985. Members: Clint Bradley (guitar, vocals), Mitchell D. Caws (bass, vocals), Carlo B. Edwards (guitar, vocals), Stef Edwards (drums, vocals), Nick Glennie-Smith (keyboards), Alan Shacklock (keyboards) Discography: Different Breed (1985)

Arthur Blythe

Arthur Blythe (May 7, 1940 — March 27, 2017) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer from Los Angeles who released a string of albums on India Navigation and Columbia/CBS between 1977 and 1988, followed by titles on Enja, Red Baron, Jazz House, and other labels during the subsequent two decades. Discography: The Grip (1977) […]

GTR

GTR were an English hard-rock supergroup that released a self-titled album on Arista in 1986. The band featured guitar legends Steve Howe (Yes) and Steve Hackett (Genesis) alongside vocalist Max Bacon (Bronz) and bassist Phil Spalding (Original Mirrors). Members: Steve Hackett (guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals), Steve Howe (guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals), Max Bacon (lead vocals), […]

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker (May 20, 1944 — Dec. 22, 2014) was an English soul-rock singer from Sheffield who released back-to-back albums on A&M in 1969. That summer, he floored Woodstock attendees with his full-throated rendition of the Beatles‘ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” His 1970 live set Mad Dogs & Englishmen and third studio […]

Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof — aka Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof (born Oct. 5, 1951) — is an Irish singer, songwriter, bandleader, and philanthropist from Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, who rose to prominence as the frontman of New Wave rockers The Boomtown Rats, which released six albums between 1977 and 1984. As an actor, he starred as Pink in […]

Public Image Ltd

Public Image Limited — commonly truncated as Public Image Ltd. and acronymically known as Pil — are an English post-punk band from London. Vocalist John Lydon assembled the band following his departure from The Sex Pistols. The first five Pil albums feature guitarist Keith Levene, who played in a formative lineup of The Clash. Original […]

Prefab Sprout

Prefab Sprout was an English sophisti-pop band that released five albums between 1984 and 1990 on Kitchenware Records. Members: Paddy McAloon (vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming, bass), Martin McAloon (bass, 1978-2010), Michael Salmon (drums, percussion, 1977-83), Wendy Smith (vocals, keyboards, guitar, 1982-2000), Neil Conti (drums, percussion, 1984-92) Background Prefab Sprout evolved from The Dick Diver Band, […]

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions were a Scottish pop-rock band that released ten singles and the 1984–87 Polydor albums Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces, and Mainstream. They charted in the UK and Ireland with “Perfect Skin,” “Brand New Friend,” “Lost Weekend,” “Cut Me Down,” and “My Bag.” Members: Lloyd Cole (vocals, guitar), Stephen Irvine (drums, percussion), Neil […]

APB

APB were a Scottish art-punk/funk band from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, that issued five singles on Oily Records between 1981 and 1983, followed by two singles apiece on Albion and Red River Records circa 1984/85. Most of these sides were compiled on the 1985 Link Records compilation Something to Believe In. In 1986, the band released the […]

Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire were an English electro/experimental band from Sheffield that released seven singles, four studio albums, and three live discs on Rough Trade between 1978 and 1982, followed by a trio of 1983–85 albums on Virgin/Some Bizzare. Members: Richard H. Kirk (guitar, synthesizer), Stephen Mallinder (vocals, bass, 1973-95), Chris Watson (tapes, 1973-81) Discography: Extended Play […]

New Order

New Order were an English electro/art-pop band from Manchester that released five albums and a compilation of non-album material on Factory between 1981 and 1989. The band comprised three-fourths of Joy Division with guitarist Bernard Sumner assuming vocal duties after the suicide of Ian Curtis. Soon after the name-change, drummer Stephen Morris invited his keyboardist-girlfriend […]

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull (born Dec. 29, 1946) is an English singer from Hampstead who released three albums on Decca between 1965 and 1967, scoring early successes with the singles “Come and Stay With Me,” “This Little Bird,” “Summer Nights,” and a cover of the Rolling Stones ballad “As Tears Go By.” The early 1970s found her […]

Barclay James Harvest

Barclay James Harvest was an English symphonic-rock band from Oldham, Greater Manchester, that initiated EMI’s Harvest imprint, releasing four albums on the label between 1970 and 1972, followed by a lengthy run of albums on Polydor between 1974 and 1997. Members: Les Holroyd (bass, vocals), John Lees (guitar, vocals), Mel Pritchard (drums), Woolly Wolstenholme (keyboards, […]

Bananarama

Bananarama was an English vocal trio that released a string of singles in 1981 and 1982, including two with Specials-spinoff trio Fun Boy Three. Between 1983 and 1987, Bananarama released four albums on Decca-subsidiary London. Members: Keren Woodward (vocals), Sara Dallin (vocals), Siobhan Fahey (vocals, 1979-88, 2017-present), Jacquie O’Sullivan (vocals, 1988-91) Bananarama formed in September […]

Bad Company

Bad Company were an English hard-rock supergroup that released six albums on Swan Song between 1974 and 1982, followed by four further albums on Atlantic/Atco between 1986 and 1992. Members: Simon Kirke (drums), Mick Ralphs (guitar, 1973-2000, 2008-present), Paul Rodgers (vocals, keyboards, guitar, 1973-82, 1998-present), Boz Burrell (bass, 1973-86, 1998-99), Brian Howe (vocals, 1986-94), Steve […]

The Alan Parsons Project

The Alan Parsons Project (APP) was an English symphonic/art-pop band led by the production/multi-instrumental team of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The project began with the album Tales of Mystery and Imagination on 20th Century in 1976, followed by nine albums on Arista between 1977 and 1987. Members: Alan Parsons (vocals, synthesizer, bass, acoustic guitar, […]

Phenomena

Phenomena were an English symphonic/hard-rock project headed by producer Tom Galley and his guitarist brother Mel Galley. The project yielded a self-titled album on Bronze in 1985, followed by a second on Ariola in 1987. Both albums feature assorted big-name vocalists and instrumentalists, including Glenn Hughes, John Wetton, Don Airey and Kyoji Yamamoto. Members: Mel […]

Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys are an English electro-pop duo that released four proper albums on Parlophone between 1986 and 1990, followed by more than a dozen further titles on the label over the subsequent quarter-century. Members: Neil Tennant (vocals), Chris Lowe (keyboards, vocals) Background Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met in 1981 at a King’s Road […]

Pentangle

Pentangle was an English folk-rock band from London that released six albums between 1968 and 1972 on Transatlantic–Reprise. After a twelve-year absence, they reemerged with a trio of albums on Spindrift, Transmedia, and pläne during the second half of the 1980s. Members: Jacqui McShee (vocals), Bert Jansch (guitar, vocals), John Renbourn (guitar, sitar, vocals, 1967-73, […]

Paul Young

Paul Young is an English soul-pop singer who first recorded with Streetband, which made two albums and charted with the 1978 novelty song “Toast.” In 1980, he fronted the R&B septet Q-Tips on one self-titled Chrysalis album. As a solo artist, Young released the 1983–86 CBS albums No Parlez, The Secret of Association, and Between […]

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942) is an English pop-rock singer, bassist, and songwriter from Liverpool who rose to fame as one-fourth of The Beatles, which he co-founded in the late 1950s and played with until their disbandment in 1970. Between 1963 and 1969, the band recorded 11 proper studio albums and numerous non-album sides […]

Arcadia

Arcadia were an English art-pop trio that released the album So Red the Rose on Capitol in 1985. The project comprised three-fifths of Duran Duran and was initiated during a brief pause in activity by the parent band. Members: Simon Le Bon (vocals), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), Roger Taylor (drums) Discography: So Red the Rose (1985)

Van Halen

Van Halen were an American hard-rock band from Pasadena, Calif., that released six albums on Warner Bros. between 1978 and 1984 with original vocalist David Lee Roth, followed by four albums on the label with ex-Montrose singer Sammy Hagar. Members: Eddie Van Halen (guitar, piano, keyboards), Alex Van Halen (drums), David Lee Roth (lead vocals, […]

James Brown

James Brown (May 3, 1933 — Dec. 25, 2006) was an American soul singer who was active as a performer and recording artist for more than five decades, issuing his first singles on King Records-subsidiary Federal in 1956. For the ensuing 12 years, he was backed by the Georgian R&B instrumental group The Famous Flames. […]

Intimate Strangers

Intimate Strangers were a Scottish sophisti-pop duo that released the album Charm in 1986 on IRS. They preceded it with the EP Deliverance, released in 1984 under the name Raise the Dragon. Musician Sean Lyons hailed from Metro. Members: Richard Spellman (vocals), Sean Lyons (guitar) Intimate Strangers formed in 1984 as Raise the Dragon. Discography: […]

Allan Holdsworth

Allan Holdsworth (Aug. 6, 1946 — April 16, 2017) was an English guitarist from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who emerged in the jazz-psych band ‘Igginbottom in the late 1960s. During the 1970s, his profile rose with stints in Nucleus, Tempest, Gong, Soft Machine, UK, and Bruford. As a solo artist, he released the album Velvet Darkness […]

The Smiths

The Smiths were an English pop-rock band from Manchester that released four albums and two compilations of non-album material on Rough Trade between 1984 and 1987. Members: Morrissey (vocals, piano), Johnny Marr (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, bass, harmonica, 1982-87), Steven Pomfret (rhythm guitar, 1982), Dale Hibbert (bass, 1982), Mike Joyce (drums, backing vocals, 1982-87), Andy Rourke […]

Atlantic Starr

Atlantic Starr were an American soul-funk band from White Plains, N.Y., that released six albums on A&M between 1978 and 1985, followed by two albums on Warner Bros. during the late 1980s. Members: Wayne Lewis (keyboards, vocals, 1976-2000, 2008-present), Jonathan Lewis (percussion, keyboards, trombone, 1976-2000, 2008-present), Joseph Phillips (percussion, flute, 1976-2000, 2008-present), David Lewis (vocals, […]

Oregon

Oregon are an American ethno-jazz band from Eugene, Ore., formed in 1970. Members: Collin Walcott (percussion, tabla, sitar, dulcimer, 1970-84), Glen Moore (bass, clarinet, viola, piano), Paul McCandless (bass clarinet, oboe, horn, soprano saxophone, synthesizer, wind synthesizer), Ralph Towner (flugelhorn, classical guitar, piano, percussion, 12-string guitar, guitar, Hammond organ), Trilok Gurtu (percussion, tabla, 1987-93), Mark […]

The Armoury Show

The Armoury Show was a British new wave rock band that released the album Waiting for the Floods on Parlophone in 1985. They were a supergroup comprised of ex-members of the Skids and Magazine. Members: Richard Jobson (vocals), Russell Webb (bass), John McGeoch (guitar, 1983-86), John Doyle (drums, 1983-86), Ray McVeigh (guitar, 1986), Ray Weston […]

All About Eve

All About Eve were an English art-pop band that released four singles on self-press Eden between 1985 and 1987, followed by a self-titled album in 1988 and the sophomoric Scarlet and Other Stories in 1989, both on Mercury. Members: Julianne Regan (vocals), Tim Bricheno (guitar), Andy Cousin (bass), Mark Price (drums), Marty Willson-Piper (guitar), Toni […]

Racer X

Racer X were an American metal band from Los Angeles that released three studio albums and two live discs on Shrapnel between 1986 and 1999, followed by four titles on Universal during the early 2000s. Members: John Alderete (bass), Jeff Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar, 1985-88, 1999-2002), Harry Gschoesser (drums, 1985-86), Bruce Bouillet (guitar, 1986-89), […]