Young Mick Jagger once said he would rather die before still playing ‘Satisfaction’ live when being 60. Many bands had a real hit in their history, by which they are measured ever after. This can be very annoying for a musician. Also new wave spawned a couple of stereotypical songs. But these bands’ hits are most likely to shade their other oeuvre and one or the other gem has been just ‘over-heard’.
Simple Minds is a band, which produced a lot of influencing quality music within and later also outside the new wave scene. Their most famous song is definitely ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)‘ from 1985, which marked the band’s international break-through and became somewhat of an 80’s pop-stereotype. It was featured on the soundtrack of the legendary John Hughes’ film The Breakfast Club and made it unforgettable. Being a great piece of music, it pushed the band’s focus towards a more commercial sound.
But, what many people don’t know, is that Simple Minds sounded completely different when they started to make music in the late 70’s. One of the most under-rated songs in music history is ‘Seeing Out The Angel‘ from 1981, which could be considered as one of the very first darkwave songs.
The Essex-based band Modern English is considered to be a One-Hit-Wonder by the majority. This one hit was (and still is) ‘I Melt With You‘ from their 1982 album After the Snow. None of their other songs gained such recognition – at least not to that extent.
Modern English is an excellent representative of British post-punk and made a couple of under-rated anthems. Their first album Mesh & Lace (1981), much less commercial than its successor, bears one or the other treasure, among these I recommend ‘Black Houses‘.
Who doesn’t know The Cure? Hardly a musician shaped the outlook of the goth, like singer Robert Smith. For the hit-song it was hard to decide between ‘Boys Don’t Cry‘ (1979) and ‘Friday I’m in Love‘ (1992), both well-known and overplayed songs, both being representatives of The Cure‘s oft-changing style. Between the first, the punkish one, and the second, the poppy one, they had a phase for which they are still famous for – their gothic years.
‘Cold‘ is from their bleakest album Pornography from 1982, which concluded their gothic years, started with Seventeen Seconds (1980) and continued with Faith (1981).
The Neon Judgement
The Belgian band The Neon Judgement is maybe best known – together with Front 242 – for pioneering EBM, as well as coldwave to some degree. Songs like ‘TV Treated’ (1980) and ‘The Fashion Party‘ (1982) are timeless classics throughout the dark culture.
Their lesser know oeuvre embraces a post-punk sound, which the grandiose ‘Miss Brown‘ (1987) perfectly showcases.