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80s synth bands

Old 04-19-11, 06:29 PM
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80s synth bands

I'm looking to discover some obscure but good 80s synth pop bands. The best stuff would of been from the late 70s to mid 80s. I know about all the big ones but if anyone could suggest lesser known groups let me know. The kind that maybe had only one album (or a few) or an EP and faded away into obscurity. I guess groups like Fiat Lux.
Old 04-19-11, 08:31 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Can only think of one at the moment, Seona Dancing.
Old 04-19-11, 09:47 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

If you type Minimal/Dark/Cold Wave into Google or Youtube, you'll probably find some interesting obscure bands.
Old 04-19-11, 09:48 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Strange Advance, my favourite band of all time. The duo is probably best known for the minor hit "We Run", but almost every song from their three-album career is first-rate synth-pop.
A few examples:

Their epic "Worlds Away", from the album of the same name.


"She Controls Me"


"Love Games"


"Till the Stars Fall"

Last edited by Norm de Plume; 04-19-11 at 09:54 PM.
Old 04-19-11, 09:55 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Although they didn't get their first record deal until 1991, I would recommend Wolfsheim. Especially the album "Spectators".
Old 04-20-11, 01:34 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Here' a great one.
BOOK OF LOVE.
They have their music on YOUTUBE if you want to hear them.
Old 04-20-11, 01:44 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Originally Posted by gmanca View Post
Can only think of one at the moment, Seona Dancing.
Old 04-20-11, 02:12 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

I think Tell Her and Bitter Heart are very much good synth songs; the lyrics can suck and the vocals are too strong in the mix, but the drum machine and synth-bass work are solid.

Outside of supergroups, how many "good" bands release only one album or handful of singles? When you're looking at that criteria, the choices are going to be made on personal taste.

Another one for the OP, Koto; they only released singles as opposed to full albums and by their fifth one, Dragon's Legend, they had faded.
Old 04-20-11, 02:49 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Not sure if this is obscure enough for you, but the album Secret Wish by Propaganda. Also, the band Bel Canto, particularly the album Birds of Passage (it came out in 1989, but it has that sound).
Old 04-20-11, 04:55 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Paging that guy that likes the Cars, Numanoid.
Old 04-20-11, 05:39 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Kissing The Pink's debut album, "Naked" is really good. Quirky.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EOWE1IOXelc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 04-20-11, 01:08 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Paging that guy that likes the Cars, Numanoid.
yeah for sure, I know he would have some good suggestions

thanks for the help, I'm liking some of them
Old 04-20-11, 01:49 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

They're not straight early eighties synth pop, but The Blue Nile is a somewhat obscure band that's criminally underrated. "A Walk Across the Rooftops" and "Hats" are both awesome.

It's not particularly obscure, but Talk Talk's first couple of albums are terrific (especially "...party's over").

Again, not particularly obscure, but ripe for reassessment: Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker both did a bunch of great synth-heavy singles (both more disco/dance oriented). The analogue whallop of something like Shannon's "Let the Music Play" has proven extremely influential. Among other great things he did, Moroder's work with Sparks is awesome.

Also, not sure if you're into the whole late eighties Wax Trax! records scene, but there's a bunch of good stuff that way. I'd start with Front 242's "Front by Front" and maybe Revolting Cock's "Beers, Steers and Queers".
Old 04-20-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
Why is that funny?
Old 04-20-11, 04:00 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

How about some Silent Circle!
Old 04-20-11, 04:17 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Ok, other than Numan and Japan, I don't really know who you do and do not know. I tend to lean more toward the darker, minimalist electronics of the early '80s than the more mainstream synthpop, as you'll see. I'm sure you'll be familiar with many of these, but here goes:

Act
Altered Images
Anne Clark (has a million albums, but still quite obscure to most)
Artery
Aviador Dro (kind of a Spanish DEVO)
B! Machine
Black Devil
B-Movie
British Electric Foundation
Cabaret Voltaire
Camouflage
CCCP
Cetu Javu
Chris and Cosey
Claire Hamill (at least for the song Ultra-Violet Light)
Claudia Brucken (solo)
Classix Nouveaux
Corect Spelling
DAF
Dalek I
Danse Society
Data
Dip In The Pool (Japanese synthpop)
Dramatis (Gary Numan's "Cars" era backup band's solo album)
Electric Guitars
Eskimos & Egypt
Fad Gadget
Fake
Fiction Factory
Fra Lippo Lippi
Frazier Chorus
Freiheit
Furniture
Gazebo (more on the Italo-disco side of synthpop)
Gleaming Spires (which you might recognize from their tune "Are You Ready For The Sex Girls", as seen in the party scene in Revenge of the Nerds)
Haysi Fantayzee
Helden (Warren Cann of Ultravox and Hans Zimmer's project)
Hubert Kah
Humania (great album, Sinews of the Soul, featuring Ultravox's Billy Currie)


You work on those and I'll do the rest of the alphabet later.
Old 04-20-11, 04:19 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Again, not particularly obscure, but ripe for reassessment: Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker both did a bunch of great synth-heavy singles (both more disco/dance oriented). The analogue whallop of something like Shannon's "Let the Music Play" has proven extremely influential. Among other great things he did, Moroder's work with Sparks is awesome.
Yup, Moroder was great; I enjoy the album he did with Philip Oakley. Too bad he's not working anymore, he'd be able to layer things with such ease nowadays.
Old 04-20-11, 05:29 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
They're not straight early eighties synth pop, but The Blue Nile is a somewhat obscure band that's criminally underrated. "A Walk Across the Rooftops" and "Hats" are both awesome.
The Blue Nile is phenomenal, especially "Hats".
Old 04-20-11, 05:29 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

I Start Counting
Icehouse (surely known by the OP, but well worth mentioning for others)
Images In Vogue
Ippu-Do
James Freud
Jon Astley
Kings Have Long Arms
Klaus Nomi .\/.
Kombi
Kon Kan
Krisma
La Crosse
Laid Back
Landscape (one of my favorites)
Laserdance
Logic System
Lustens Lakejer (Swedish new wave)
Malaria!
Masami Tsuchiya
Mecano
Messengers (brilliant, opened and backup sang for Ultravox)
Minor Detail
Modern Man (one perfect new wave album, Concrete Scheme. Same members as Messengers, but more new wavey and less synthpoppy)
New Musik
Nik Kershaw (gotta list him, one of my faves)
Our Daughter's Wedding
The Passage
Pete Shelley
Peter Baumann
Peter Godwin
Peter Schilling (Major Tom!)
Phillip Lynott (if only for the single "Yellow Pearl" co-written and played by Midge Ure)
Pseudo Echo
Rational Youth
Real Life
Red Box
Robert Görl
Robert Marlow
Rockets
Roger Taylor (Queen's drummer, solo. Some great synthpop tracks on his Strange Frontier and Fun In Space albums)
Ronny (early '80s German model who recorded some cool single)
Section 25
Seeing Red
Seona Dancing (take that, Suprmallet!)
Shock
Silicon Teens
Slow Children (if you can find their complete albums, let me know)
So
Spoons
Stahlnetz
Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy
Telex
The Beatniks (great Japanese band with YMO's Yukihiro Takahashi)
The Buggles
The Normal (the least prolific and most influential "band" of all time)
The Sisterhood
The Twins (huge in Europe, unheard of here)
Thick Pigeon
Thomas Leer
Tik & Tok
Tones On Tail
Trans-X
Twice A Man
Urszula
Vicious Pink
Visage (the greatest two-album band of all (no one counts the third))
Vitamin-Z
When In Rome
White Door
YMO (I know the OP is aware, but they deserve mention because they are one of the best synth bands of all time, but practically unknown in America)
Yukihiro Takahashi (YMO singer/drummer, some terrific solo albums)
Zaine Griff



Phew. When you've listened to them all, get back to me.
Old 04-20-11, 05:30 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

I agree. The Blue Nile is one of my faves. Too bad Paul releases albums like Kubrick made movies.
Old 04-20-11, 06:25 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

wow thanks Numanoid, I do know quite a few on there but a lot I don't. Kind of overwhelming but I'll be punching them into youtube.

here's one I discovered some months back- kind of goofy goth lyrics but nice keyboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mod9ob_SdJE
Old 04-21-11, 08:41 AM
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Re: 80s synth bands

maybe not obscure enough for ya but the first few ministry cds are pretty good. it was before al started distorting his voice.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sET1lhBMNiU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NDziQeU1mQ8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 04-21-11, 12:37 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Yeah, early Ministry is amazingly good synthpop. I think Al got called "gay" one too many times, and totally did a 180 on those days, and refuses to rerelease any of it, so far as to claim that he was forced to do that music (which no one actually believes). Sad.
Old 04-21-11, 06:05 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Old 04-21-11, 06:23 PM
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Re: 80s synth bands

Not obscure, but my favorite song that makes me think of the 80's and synthesizers is:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uMmA8PsTvPA?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Man that takes me back, love that song.

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