I’m going to share something I’m not particularly proud of. When you ask someone what is their favorite type of music, you might hear answers like Rap (JayZ, Kanye), Classic Rock (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin), Grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam), or Pop (whatever is current). All of these genres I’d consider normal answers with R&B and Rock coming along with it. My favorite type of music though comes from an era that isn’t regarded as high quality music making. If you haven’t guessed, it’s 80’s alternative. My favorite station is #33 on Sirius which they label as “New Wave”. Examples of bands that are played on this station are Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, and New Order. I don’t necessarily think people consider this bad music, but if you go through the Rolling Stone’s list of top 100 bands, aside from The Police or U2, there aren’t many from this time period. It’s not like I’m totally blown away by the instrumental expertise but I like the sound and how the message of the songs is conveyed. It’s not as hard and serious as the 70’s. Sort of a weird time for music when MTV arrived and artists were just different. I’m going to defend my position with 3 bands that I really like and you’ve probably never heard of. Also notice on every video I play that the likes to dislikes is enormous.

Their 8th studio album called Skylarking was ranked #48 by Rolling Stone for the top 100 albums of the 80s. This should at least give some credibility to a band you haven’t ever heard of. I reviewed their Wikipedia and their isn’t really anything to stupendous about the band. They enjoyed moderate success, made a lot of music, and sort of did their own thing. Here are 3 songs from this band. I could link 10 of them that I really like but I think that would be too overwhelming.

You may have heard the song “Tempted” by Squeeze which they are even starting to play on classic rock stations. Tempted by the fruit of another… Aside from this song though I can’t imagine anyone has ever listened to Squeeze. I have one friend who tells me that all his friends make fun of him for listening to them and I’m one of the first people who agree that they have created some good music. I don’t find that they have as many listenable songs like XTC does but still an interesting sound. Here are some examples:

Oingo Boingo
Same genre as the last two, late 70’s start – mid 80’s peak, and not really a true hit. Dead Man’s Party was played by them in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School. I bought the greatest hits version for that song and found about 8 others I really liked. A different sound and tons of instruments and band members.