Synthpop songs that stay in your head

Every decade there are some songs that we would probably like to forget and then there are the songs we want to forget but when we hear them we can’t help but sing along.

liam-lusk-synthpopIn this post we are going to look at some of these songs from the 80’s (I personally actually like all these songs). In the 80’s there was a lot of discontent among teenagers who wanted to express themselves and the synthpop bands obliged the youth of the day.

All the bands in today’s list fall into the synthpop genre.

Most of these bands stretched the boundaries in many ways through both, lyrics, video and even the gender boundary.

Pet Shop Boys – ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’- 1987

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’ – 1984

Erasure – ‘A Little Respect’ 1988

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – ‘Two Tribes’ – 1984

Japan – ‘Quiet Life’ – 1979

Thompson Twins – ‘Hold Me Now’ – 1983

Click on the links above to see the video

Find out more about each song below.

  1. Pet Shop Boys – ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’- 1987
    • I remember thinking how un-dynamic the Pet Shop Boys were, they didn’t move around the stage at all.
    • Released in 1987 this song reached number 2 in both the U.K. and the U.S.
    • Taken from the album ‘Actually’.
    • Dusty Springfield is the female vocalist.
    • The song helped put Springfield in the spotlight again and led to her releasing a new album in 1990.
    • The Pet Shop Boys formed in 1981 but didn’t release their first album ‘Please’ until 1986
    • All their albums have a single word title.
    • They continue to perform today.
  2. Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’ – 1984 
    • Released in 1984 it reached number 3 in the U.K. and was a number 1 dance hit in the U.S.
    • Taken from the album ‘The Age of Consent’.
    • Formed in 1983 ‘Bronski Beat’ broke up in 1995 but Jimmy Somerville the vocalist left in 1985.
    • Jimmy Somerville went on to form ‘The Communards’ who were together for three years until 1988.
    • This song was not played on mainstream radio at the time because of the homosexual theme.
    • Jimmy Somerville continues to perform solo today.
  3. Erasure – ‘A Little Respect’ – 1988
    • The single reached number 4 in the U.K. and number 2 in the U.S. (Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs).
    • This is regarded as one of the bands signature tunes.
    • The song consist is heavily synthesized.
    • Erasure, were formed by Vince Clarke who had previously been in Depeche Mode and Yazoo.
    • Erasure, have been hugely successful having sold over 25 million albums.
    • Erasure, still perform today.
  4. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – ‘Two Tribes’ – 1984
    • The second single from ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ it reached number 1 in the U.K. and number 43 in the U.S.
    • The song has a relentless pounding bass line and guitar riff.
    • Their first three singles ‘Relax’, Two Tribes’ and ‘The Power of Love’ all reached number 1 in the U.K.
    • The band formed in 1980 and stayed together until 1987. They reformed in 2004 until 2007.
    • Holly Johnson the frontman for ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ still performs today. 
  5. Japan – ‘Quiet Life’ – 1979
    • Japan formed in 1974 and had commercial success in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
    • The single ‘Quiet Life’ reached number 19 in the U.K. in 1981.
    • As the band, were becoming successful they were having creative differences and would eventually break up in 1982.
    • They would briefly reform from 1990 to 1991.
    • Japan are regarded as a major influence for Duran Duran.
    • David Sylvian the frontman for Japan still performs today.
  6. Thompson Twins – ‘Hold Me Now’ – 1983
    • This single reached number 4 in the U.K. and number 3 in the U.S.
    • Taken from their fifth album ‘Into the Gap’.
    • They had commercial success in the 1980’s and split in 1993.
    • As individuals each band member is still active today.

I hope you enjoyed the synthpop list I put together.

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