An ever growing series detailing the most important artists of the 1980s, including biographies and our recommendations of their best work.

Culture Club

Culture Club

Formed 1981, London, UK: Boy George (George O’Dowd) – vocals; Roy Hay – guitar; Mikey Craig – bass; Jon Moss – drums. George had been a part-time member of Bow Wow Wow under the name Lieutenant Lush, but when this … read more

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

Born Declan McManus, 25 August 1954, London. Son of former bandleader Ross MacManus, Costello and his band The Attractions had scored several post-punk hits in the late ’70s including Watching The Detectives (1977, #15), (I Don’t Wanna Go To) Chelsea … read more

Kate Bush

Kate Bush

Born 30 July 1958, Bexleyheath, Kent, UK. A precocious talent, Kate Bush signed to EMI at the age of 16, scored a number one hit with Wuthering Heights at 19 and spent many years trying to live up to her … read more

Bucks Fizz

Bucks Fizz

Formed 1981, London, UK: Mike Nolan – vocals; Bobby G (Robert Gubby) – vocals; Cheryl Baker (Rita Crudgington, ex-1978 Eurovision entrants Co-Co) – vocals; Jay Aston – vocals. Put together to perform Making Your Mind Up for the 1981 Song … read more

David Bowie

David Bowie

Born David Jones, 1947, Brixton, London, UK. After a series of unsuccessful releases through the second half of the 1960s and a brief period as a one-hit wonder when Space Oddity reached #5 in the wake of the 1969 moon … read more

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi

Formed 1983, New Jersey, USA: Jon Bon Jovi (John Bongiovi) – vocals; Richie Sambora – guitar; Alec John Such – bass; David Bryan (David Rashbaum) – keyboards; Tico Torres – drums. Bongiovi made his first professional recording in 1980, singing … read more

The Blow Monkeys

The Blow Monkeys

Formed 1981, UK: Dr Robert (Robert Howard) – vocals; Mick Anker – bass; Angus Hines – drums; Neville Henry – saxophone. Noted for their left wing political stance, the Blow Monkeys railed against Margaret Thatcher in a variety of musical styles, … read more

Blondie

Blondie

Formed 1974, New York, USA: Debbie Harry (ex-Wind In The Willows, Stilettos) – vocals; Chris Stein (ex-Stilettos) – guitar; Gary Valentine – bass; Jimmy Destri – keyboards; Clem Burke – drums. After minor success with their eponymous début album, Blondie … read more

Blancmange

Blancmange

Formed 1979, London, UK: Neil Arthur – vocals; Stephen Luscombe – keyboards. The experimental duo released a self financed début EP Irene & Mavis in 1980 but only gained major exposure the following year when they appeared on the seminal … read more

Big Country

Big Country

Formed 1981, Dunfermline, UK: Stuart Adamson (ex-Skids) – vocals, guitar; Bruce Watson – guitar; Alan Wishart – bass; Pete Wishart – keyboards; Clive Parker (ex-Athletico Spizz 80) – drums. After being fired as support act to Alice Cooper on his … read more

Bananarama

Bananarama

Formed 1979, London, UK: Sara Dallin – vocals; Siobhan Fahey – vocals; Keren Woodward – vocals. The most charted all-female group in UK chart history originally came together as more of a gang than a band. The girls eschewed the … read more

a-ha

a-ha

Formed 1982, Oslo, Norway: Morten Harket (vocals); Pål Waaktaar (guitar); Magne Furuholmen (keyboards). Waaktaar and Furuholmen had previously been members of the band Bridges, before recruiting Harket and relocating to London to improve their chances of international success. Their first … read more