80s music gems, Vol. 1

I wasn’t alive for very long in the 80s. But thanks to the radio stations I listened to while growing up, I know plenty of 80s tunes that still rock today. The genres from that decade reach all over the place, and there’s plenty to love. Here are some 80s music gems that I recommend for those who are feeling a bit nostalgic…

Whitney HoustonWhitney (1987)

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was sensational! R&B truly shaped itself in the 80s, and Whitney’s vocal skills were powerful and internationally acclaimed. The album Whitney debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making history, as it was the first album by a female artist to do so. The song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is absolute fire on here—catchy in the best way with tons of synthesizer. Plus the video is adorable.

 

Queen The Game (1980)

Queen the game

Queen! A favorite of many, Queen had already established themselves in the seventies as an energetic arena rock band. However, their 1980 release The Game marked the first time the band used synthesizer on their recordings. It was their only album to reach #1 in the US, and it went on to become their best-selling studio album, containing the memorable tracks “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.

 

Violent Femmes Violent Femmes (1983)

Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (woooo!). Apparently the band was discovered while playing in front of the Oriental Theatre the night of a Pretenders show, when Chrissie Hynde asked them to do a set on stage. Most of the songs on this debut album were written while the singer Gordon Gano was still in high school. It’s hard to describe their sound, but words that come to mind are: raw, gritty, angsty, and sarcastic. Great tracks on here include “Blister In The Sun”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone”.

Beastie BoysLicensed To Ill (1986)

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It’s hard to believe these guys started in the 80s! Songs like “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, and “Brass Monkey” are still played all over the place. The Beastie Boys brought an interesting twist to hip hop at the time—they were white, and they incorporated a punk rock sound to their music. Licensed To Ill was the first rap album to top the Billboard chart. Their lyrics offend just about everyone if you pick them apart, but there’s something distinct about the band’s energy and voice that makes them unique and lovable.

What are your favorite 80s music gems? Let us know in the comments!


Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.


This Week in Music History (January 8th-14th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

1/8- On this day in 196, The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were barred from the Hotel Crillen in Lima, Peru. The rockers were asked to leave the exclusive hotel after hotel staff spotted them wearing op art pants and noting else. When they refused to change, the two were kicked out.

1/9- On this day in 1976, Queen shot to the top of the UK singles chart with “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The single, which enjoyed a nine-week run on the British chart and sold more than a million copies in a month, would go on to become the UK’s third best selling single of all time.

1/10- On this day in 1964, the first US Beatles album, Introducing…the Beatleswas released on Vee-Jay records.The album, featuring a photo of the Fab Four with their famous “mop top” haircuts, sold over 1.3 million copies that year.

1/11- On this day in 1964, Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire became the first country album to hit No. 1 on the US album chart. Although Cash released dozens of albums during his career, the album remains among his most famous of all time.

1/12– On this day in 1969, Led Zeppelin‘s self-titled debut album was released in the United Kingdom. The album, which was recorded in London, took only about 36 hours of studio time to complete. It spent a total of 71 weeks on the UK chart.

1/13- On this day in 1969, Elvis Presley began the first day of a 10-day recording session that would result in his final US No. 1 record, Suspicious Minds. The session took place at American Sound Studios in Memphis, Tennessee–the first time Presley had recorded in his hometown since 1956.

1/14- On this day in 1967, over 25,000 people attended the Human Be-In event at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The concert was a forerunner of many of today’s major outdoor concerts, and featured artists like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

You can own any of these or other music history gems—just head to our music marketplace and pick them out! All albums purchases include: CD, streaming, and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and Apple Lossless.

This Week in Music History (October 23rd-29th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

10/23- On this day in 1963, Bob Dylan recorded his hit album The Times They Are A-Changin’ at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. The album, Dylan’s third, was his first to feature only original compositions.

10/24- On this day in 1962, soul legend James Brown recorded his world-famous Live at the Apollo album. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 24 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

10/25- On this day in 1968, Led Zeppelin played their first show after changing their name from The New Yardbirds. The show took place at Surrey University in England, and a poster for the gig later sold at auction for £2400!

10/26- On this day in 1970, a wake was held in San Anselmo, California to celebrate the life of late singer Janis Joplin. Joplin, who passed away after an accidental drug overdose, had left money in her will specifically for throwing a party in the event of her death.

10/27- On this day in 1975, after releasing the incredibly popular and successful album/single combination Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen was featured simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines. Born to Run was a huge commercial and critical success, selling six million copies by 2000!

10/28- On this day in 1978, Queen played the first night on their 79-date tour for their album Jazz. The first show took place at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The tour became famous for the spectacle and showmanship Queen displayed at the shows.

10/29- On this day in 1965—speaking of tours—The Rolling Stones kicked off their fourth North American tour. The 37-date tour began at The Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Are you looking to own a piece of music history, or download it in lossless format? Check these albums out on our marketplace!

This Week in Music History (July 10th-16th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

29012-large7/10- On this day in 1975, Cher filed for divorce from Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers just 10 days after they were married. Cher’s divorce from Sonny Bono was finalized just three days before that.

39163-large7/11- On this day in 1992, Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia released a line of eight designer neckties that were inspired by his artwork.

78914-large7/12- On this day in 1962, The Rolling Stones played their first gig in London’s Marquee Jazz Club. Most members of Jagger’s usual blues band weren’t available, so Jagger convinced the club’s owner to let his new band play instead. When calling the local press to announce the gig, Jagger reportedly chose their band name on a whim while looking at track names on The Best of Muddy Waters LP – “Rollin’ Stone”.

6327-large7/13- On this day in 1985, an estimated 1.9 billion people watched the Live Aid concerts that were broadcast around the world. The goal was to raise funds that would go towards famine relief in Ethiopia, and many of the biggest names in music performed for free, including Elvis Costello, U2, Queen, The Beach Boys, the Pretenders, and Madonna.

332-large7/14- On this day in 1987, Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Miller dropped out of UW-Madison only six credits shy of a literature degree, in order to move to Chicago to pursue a career in music (which obviously paid off).

28980-large7/15- On this day in 1946, singer/songwriter Linda Ronstadt was born. Among many accomplishments in her career, she’s released over 30 studio albums, and also starred in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta Pirates of Penzance.

133036-large7/16- On this day in 1967, Joni Mitchell performed at the Newport Folk Festival and participated in an afternoon songwriter’s workshop with others like Leonard Cohen.

Wait…do you want to own any of these gems, or download them in lossless formats FLAC or ALAC? Well we just so happen to have them for sale for as low as $1! Find ’em in our marketplace.

This Week in Music History (June 12th-18th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

14000-large6/12- On this day in 2003, the Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrated their newest inductees: Phil Collins, Queen, Van Morrison, and Little Richard. I wonder what was on the playlist that night!282084-large

6/13- Keeping up with the celebrations…on this day in 1980, controversial rock n’roll-turned-country singer Jerry Lee Lewis received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1184-large6/14- On this day in 1970, the Grateful Dead released their fifth album, Workingman’s Dead (arguably their best one ever). :-)6418-large

6/15- Another album release! On this day in 1989, Nirvana released their successful debut album Bleach, which ended up as an essential part of every ’90s music-lover’s collection.

27599-large6/16- This day in 1967 marks the first day of the infamous Monterey Pop Festival at Monterey County Fairgrounds in California. The three-day music event featured performances by musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar and Janis Joplin.24050-large

6/17- Famous composer Igor Stravinsky was born today way back in 1882. Stravinsky’s famous works include The Nightingale, The Firebird and Les Noches.

7011-large6/18- Happy Birthday to Sir James Paul McCartney! Paul was born on this day in 1942. He is renowned for both his solo work and his time spent as a member of The Beatles.

So you wanna own any of these albums, or hear ‘em in lossless format? Well we just so happen to have them for sale (hehe). Right now these titles start at just $1!