The 1980s often get bad press, but they were full of great music. Admittedly many acts from earlier eras struggled to adapt to new technology and made weak albums. But many new acts thrived, and there was diversity; hip hop emerged, there was a fertile 1980s alternative rock scene, and exciting mainstream acts like Madonna and Prince.
Major 1980s acts that I would like to cover include Prince, Metallica, and Sonic Youth.
The three members of The Blue Nile all attended Glasgow University in the late 1970s. Vocalist Paul Buchanan studied medieval history and literature, Robert Bell studied mathematics, and Paul Joseph...
Detroit's Marshall Crenshaw doesn't belong in the conversation of the most important musicians of his generation. Yet he's a talented craftsman, whose deft guitar pop is likeable and accessible. He's...
Dire Straits were a talented band at the wrong time. They emerged in the punk era in Britain, but front-man Mark Knopfler's virtuoso finger-picking and Dylan-adjacent lyrics were distinctly un-punk....
IntroductionMy Bloody Valentine Album ReviewsThis Is Your Bloody ValentineGeek! (EP)The New Record by My Bloody Valentine (EP)Ecstasy and WineIsn't AnythingLovelessEP's 1988–1991M B V10 Best My Bloody Valentine Songs Introduction Kevin...
IntroductionPet Shop Boys Album ReviewsPleaseActuallyIntrospectiveBehaviourDiscography: The Complete Singles CollectionVeryAlternativeBilingual10 Best Pet Shop Boys Songs Introduction Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met in a Chelsea hi-fi shop in 1981. Both were...
The unlikely pairing of socially awkward Steven Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, extroverted and four years Morrissey's junior, formed the nucleus of The Smiths, whose witty and stripped-down music was an...
While there's a natural progression between each of Talk Talk’s five studio albums, the distance between their 1982 synth-pop debut The Party’s Over and 1991’s jazz and ambient-influenced Laughing Stock...
Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person.
Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate both Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Based in Fleet Street (New Zealand), he's been writing this blog since around 2000. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.
Read about the discographies of musical acts from the 1960s to the present day. Browse this site's review archives or enjoy these random selections:
Sheryl Crow was already on the wrong side of 30 when she released her debut album. After attending the University of Missouri with Brad Pitt, Crow spent her twenties working as a music teacher, writing advertising jingles, and performing as a backing singer for Michael Jackson and Don Henley. When […]
Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood met at Williams College in Massachusetts. They formed Fountains of Wayne, christening themselves after a garden furniture and statuary store in Wayne, New Jersey. Although the pair recorded their debut largely independently, they were joined on tour and on subsequent albums by guitarist Jody Porter […]
James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem blurred the lines between electronic and rock music in the 21st century. Murphy’s original career plan was to become a sound engineer or a drummer, but took on a front-man role after the band he was producing broke up. LCD Soundsystem are most commonly filed under […]
Newcastle Upon Tyne’s errant folkie Richard Dawson is prolific, releasing a deluge of material as a solo artist, in collaborations like Hen Ogledd, and under the alter-ego Eyeballs. His rough-hewn guitar and freewheeling vocals are distinctive. Japan’s David Sylvian recently stated that Dawson “will be, if he’s not already, a […]
Yet another great musical act to come out of the state of Minnesota (see also Bob Dylan, Prince, Hüsker Dü, and The Hold Steady). The Impediments changed their name to The Replacements after they were banned from most of Minneapolis’s bars. The group was led by guitarist and songwriter Paul […]
The 1975 formed as a high school band in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where a council worker organised frequent gigs for teenagers. Vocalist and guitarist Matty Healy, the son of prominent actors, was joined by guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and drummer George Daniel. The quartet cycled through a vast number […]
I add new blog posts to this website every week. Browse the archives or enjoy these random selections:
Texan-born Miranda Lambert occupies her own zone somewhere between the current mainstream country and the more rootsy sounds of Americana. As she explains herself, being a major-label artist involves compromise. I love raw albums. I’d love to record an album in a garage and for it to sound like an […]
Despite his talent, it took Billy Joel a long time to find success. He played piano on the Shangri-Las’ ‘Remember (Walking in the Sand)’ in 1964 as a teenager – although it’s unclear whether he appeared on a demo or on the finished version. Thereafter, he spent years playing in […]
I’ve been using Last.fm to track my music plays for more than a decade. This week I hit the landmark of 200,00 tracks played. Last.fm doesn’t track all the music I listen to – I currently only have it scrobbling plays on my phone and on my work laptop, not […]
The Red House Painters took their name from a Tennessee painting crew named The International League Of Revolutionary House Painters. Leader Mark Kozelek came from Ohio, but formed the band in San Francisco. Kozelek was joined by drummer Anthony Koutsos, bassist Jerry Vessel, and guitarist Gorden Mack – Mack left […]
During ten anarchic years, The Replacements recorded a ton of wonderful Paul Westerberg songs, self-sabotaged their career, and never achieved the mass success they promised. The band started as part of the hardcore punk scene of the early 1980s, but they were never punks at heart. Lead guitarist Bob Stinson […]
Florida rock and roller Tom Petty distinguished himself with a lovable stream of self-deprecating hits. He emerged with a 1976 debut album that was inspired by mid-1960s acts like The Byrds, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. Petty was ably supported by the Heartbreakers, a world class backing band. Mike […]