Like it or not, but 80s music is still a huge part of pop culture in the 21st Century. There are still plenty of nostalgic “kids” who grew up in the 1980s listening to it on streaming platforms like Spotify or watching 80s music videos on YouTube.
The fact is, 1980s was a great decade for music. It was the decade that gave us an abdundance of mostly radio-friendly and fresh pop and rock music. It was also a great decade for hip-hop, rap and dance music. Some of it was cheesy as hell and crap, but the majority of 80s music was actually not half bad. Strap yourselves in folks! I’m turning back the clock, so brace yourselves for some nostalgia!
Here are 101 Interesting 80s music facts you may not have known…
1. The list of bands / groups that were formed in 1980 includes British Pop act ABC, American Punk Rock band Bad Religion, Dead or Alive, Depeche Mode, Divinyls, A Flock of Seagulls, Die Krupps, Manowar, Meat Puppets, Suicidal Tendencies, Underworld, Violent Femmes and Wang Chung.
2. Paul McCartney was arrested in Tokyo for possession of a half pound of marijuana, released from a Japanese jail and ejected from the country by Japanese authorities in January 1980.
3. Bon Scott (the lead singer of AC/DC died in London in February 1980. The official cause of death was “Acute alcohol poisoning” and “Death by Misadventure”. Brian Johnson was named as the new lead singer in April of the same year.
4. Tbilisi Rock Festival (the first state-sanctioned rock music festival in the Soviet Union) was held in March 1980.
5. Iron Maiden released their self-titled debut album in April 1980. It made its debut at number 4 in the UK Albums Chart.
6. Rock and Roll pioneer Bill Haley performed for the last time during a tour of South Africa in June 1980. He died in February 1981.
7. Ian Curtis (from Joy Division) hanged himself on the 18th of May 1980 (a day before the band was scheduled to start their US tour). The remaining members of Joy Division formed New Order in 1981.
8. AC/DC released Back in Black (their 7th studio album) in June 1980. This ground-breaking album has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.
9. Led Zeppelin drummer Jon Bonham died in September 1980. The official finding was “accidental death”. Bonham was only 32 when he died. Led Zeppelin officially disbanded in December 1980.
10. John Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment in New York City on the 8th of December 1980.
11. The list of bands / groups formed in 1981 includes Anthrax, Bananarama, Big Country, Butthole Surfers, Dead Can Dance, Gigolo Aunts, Green Jelly, Metallica, Ministry, Mötley Crüe, Napalm Death, Pantera, Pet Shop Boys, Run-DMC, Scream, Slayer, Sonic Youth, Tears for Fears, Throwing Muses, Wham! and Yazoo.
12. Phil Collins released his first solo album, Face Value in February 1981.
13. Billy Idol left Generation X to start his solo career in February 1981. He released his self-titled debut album in 1982.
14. Ozzy Osbourne bit the heads of two doves off at record label gathering in Los Angeles in March 1981. Rumour has it that he did it “to shut a PR woman up”.
15. U2 made their first US television appearance on the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder in June 1981.
16. The first edition of Kerrang! magazine was published in June 1981. Angus Young from AC/DC was on the first cover.
17. MTV started broadcasting in the USA on the 1st of August 1981. They played music videos 24 hours a day.
18. The Buggles song “Video Killed The Radio Star” was the first music video that was played on MTV.
19. In August 1981 Violent Femmes were discovered by members of The Pretenders while they were busking outside a Milwaukee venue. They were invited to play a 10-minute acoustic set as a second opening act for The Pretenders on the same night.
20. In September 1981 Simon & Garfunkel played a free reunion show in Central Park in New York City. More than 500,000 people attended the show.