Beautiful photographs of 80s music industry veterans and short summaries of their life now fill 80s Redux.
46 people are profiled. Most are lead singers but other musicians and a few complete bands are included. Here are the artists and/or bands included:
- Dave Wakeling, The English Beat
- Martha Davis, The Motels
- Michael Aston, Gene Loves Jezebel
- Alice Bag
- Valerie Day & John Smith, Nu Shooz
- Ted & Susan Ottaviano, Book of Love
- Lol Tolhurst,The Cure
- Dean Wareham, Galaxie 500
- Debora Iyall, Romeo Void
- Rose McDowall, Strawberry Switchblade
- Marshall Crenshaw
- J.J. Fad
- Cindy Wilson, The B-52s
- Chris Difford, Squeeze
- David Newton, The Mighty Lemon Drops
- Johnette Napolitano, Concrete Blonde
- Tommy Keene
- Midge Ure
- Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Pylon
- Ivan Doroschuk, Men Without Hats
- The Raincoats
- Marv & Rindy Ross, Quarterflash
- Vic Varney, The Method Actors
- Carol Decker, T’Pau
- Matthew Wilder
- Johnny Hates Jazz
- John Easdale, Dramarama
- Modern English
- Cindy Lee Berryhill
- Bill Wadhams, Animotion
- Kurt Neumann, The BoDeans
- Laurie Sargent, Face to Face
- Robyn Hitchcock
- Paul Humphreys, OMD
- Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses
- Paul Fishman & Baxter, Re-Flex
- Steve Mack, That Petrol Emotion
- Tommy Heath, Tommy Tutone
- Jimmer Podrasky, The Rave-Ups
I would have appreciated a photo of each participant as they looked in their 80s heyday. The ones I remembered look completely different and I doubt I would recognize them on the street. Other than that, the photos are the best part of the book.
As far as the people chosen, it might have been better to pick one genre. There is soul, rap, pop, alternative, dark folk and punk represented here. I had never heard of about 30% of the bands despite being heavily involved in the LA music scene in the 80s. I would recommend listening to one of the listed hits while reading the short artist update. For some, I recognized the songs once I heard them again.
I appreciated hearing that most of the participants were still creative though some had moved from music to artwork. As stated by Steve Mack “There’s a certain freedom that comes with letting go of your ambitions and just letting the music take you where it wants to go.” It’s nice to hear that fame hasn’t made most of the artists bitter or regretful.
Mainly because of the eclectic artist mix and the shortness of the summaries, 80s Redux gets 3 stars from me. But depending on how many of the artists/bands you recognize in the list above, your rating may vary.
Thanks to the publisher, Schiffer Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.