1983 — The Great College Radio Rock Craze Turns 30-Something! (pt. 1)
Considering that The REM's debut album Murmur is celebrating its 30th birthday this year and that I've already done a retrospective for 1983 back in 2008 when the year was 25 years old, I thought it would be mildly interesting if I narrowed my focus into a three-pronged approach.
I've assembled three blogs for 1983. This one handles the "college radio" type music that found its home on left-of-the-dial college radio stations whereupon it got its goofy categorization. The second blog covers the "punk" angle. And the third will cover the hits!!
I got a lot of work to do!
Believe it or not, U2 were once a "college radio" band. Because classic rock radio considered Tom Petty to be New Wave enough for them. Everything up to The Unforgettable Fire was considered "alternative" and then suddenly their success changed their sound! How does that happen?
24) New Order -- Power, Corruption and Lies:
To people experiencing the 1980s second-hand, they get a lot of it wrong. They don't know where the battle lines were drawn and they don't understand why those lines were there in the first place. But imagine this. Pick the corniest, most mainstream thing you hate in today's culture. Then pick a current band or solo artist today that really touches your heart. Then see kids thirty years later liking them both "ironically" and equally and thinking their version of the truth is what actually happened. New Order fans were picked on by heavy metal kids, I assure you.
Not every band alive in 1983 wanted to be there. Most of the good groups were very disenchanted with where rock and pop music was heading and chose to find their own way. The garage rock revival was odder than most. It featured bands such as The Chesterfield Kings whose gameplan at the beginning was to approximate the sound of the Rolling Stones, circa their second U.S. album 12X5.