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The Church are an Australian alternative rock band formed in Sydney in 1980. Initially associated with new wave, neo-psychedelia, and indie rock, their music later came to feature slower tempos and surreal soundscapes reminiscent of dream pop and post-rock. Glenn A. Baker has written that “From the release of the ‘She Never Said’ single in November 1980, this unique Sydney-originated entity has purveyed a distinctive, ethereal, psychedelic-tinged sound which has alternatively found favour and disfavour in Australia.”[2] The Los Angeles Times has described the band’s music as “dense, shimmering, exquisite guitar pop”.

The founding members were Steve Kilbey on lead vocals and bass guitar, Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on guitars, and Nick Ward on drums. Ward played only on their debut album, and the band’s drummer for the rest of the 1980s was Richard Ploog. Jay Dee Daugherty (ex-Patti Smith Group) played drums from 1990 to 1993, followed by “timEbandit” Tim Powles (ex-The Venetians), who remains with them to the present day. Koppes left the band from 1992 to 1997, and Willson-Piper left in 2013. Ian Haug, formerly of Powderfinger, replaced him. Kilbey, Koppes, and Powles also recorded together as The Refo:mation in 1997.

The Church’s debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit, “The Unguarded Moment”, and they were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe, and the United States. However, the US label, dissatisfied with their second album, dropped the band without releasing it. This put a dent in their international success, but they returned to the charts in 1988 with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit “Under the Milky Way”

General Public

General Public was an English band formed by vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and which included former members of Dexys Midnight Runners, the Specials and the Clash. They are best remembered for their hits “Tenderness” (1984)

The song’s lyrics tell about a man who really needs tenderness to feel like a man. It was one of the band’s first singles. The single cover of the extended versions has a sentence reading “words like conviction can turn into a sentence”.

J. J. Fad

J.J. Fad is an American female rap group from Rialto, California. The name was an acronym of the original group members’ given names (Juana, Juanita, Fatima, Anna, and Dania), but when the line-up changed the tradition developed that it stood for Just, Jammin’, Fresh and Def. The group was backed by DJ Train (Clarence Lars). J.J. Fad began in 1985 as a quintet comprising Juana Burns (MC J.B.), Dania Birks (Baby-D), Anna Cash (Lady Anna), Fatima Shaheed (O.G. Rocker) and Juanita Lee (Crazy J.). It was one of the original acts signed to Ruthless Records by Eazy-E. In 1987, this line-up released its only recording, the single “Anotha Ho” backed with “Supersonic” (“Anotha Ho” was the A-side), produced by Arabian Prince.

“Supersonic” is a song by J.J. Fad from their debut album of the same name. The first recording of “Supersonic” was released in 1987 by the original line-up of J.J. Fad as the B-side to “Anotha Ho” on Dream Team Records. In 1988, the new line-up re-recorded and released “Supersonic” as a single; this version reached #10 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play Songs and #22 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. “Supersonic” stayed on the dance charts for eight weeks. The single was certified gold by RIAA, and also got nominated
forGrammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989, making them the first all-female rap group to be nominated for a Grammy award.

The song has been sampled by others in the music industry like Fergie in her song “Fergalicious”, including parts of the beat and ways in which the song is sung. There has been much debate over whether or not this has been legal sampling, and a lawsuit was filed by former N.W.A. member Arabian Prince against Ruthless Records because he says the Black Eyed Peas did not provide them any royalties on the song. In a later interview with HipHopDX, Arabian Prince stated, “will.i.am did the right thing and the good thing by actually saying, ‘Okay, yeah, I got this from “Supersonic,” we’re gonna go ahead and get the publishing on this and pay royalties to me, whoever else and the girls.’ So that was a good thing.”

Information Society

Information Society (also known as InSoc) is an American band from Minneapolis–Saint Paul, initially active from 1982 to 1997, primarily consisting of Kurt Harland Larson, Paul Robb, and James Cassidy; the latter two reconvened the band in 2006, initially with Christopher Anton as lead vocalist, then with Harland rejoining them as lead vocalist by 2008.

The group’s breakout single was 1988’s “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)”, a synth-pop and freestyle song, which spent 39 weeks on the dance chart, going straight to number one and would also peak at number three on the Hot 100 pop chart. The track included a vocal sample of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) from Star Trek, saying “pure energy”.

Information Society’s star on the outside mural of Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue

“What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” was released as a single in 1988. The “Pure Energy” subtitle derives from a sample of Leonard Nimoy’s voice from the Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy”. There is also a sample of DeForest Kelley’s voice from the episode “I, Mudd”. John Leland of Spin magazine called it a “pretty potent dance record”.

In 2009, VH1 ran a countdown of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s. Information Society’s “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” placed at number 74 on the countdown despite the fact that the group had two other top 40 hits: “Walking Away” (number 9) and “Think” (number 28).

The song was a big hit in the US, spending 25 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three in October 1988.[6]. The single was certified gold by the RIAA on January 18, 1989, selling 500,000 copies.

The song was featured in Loverboy and American Psycho. A remixed version was included in American Psycho’s soundtrack.

In 1989, Pittsburgh radio station WYDD-FM executed an early viral marketing plan by playing this song non-stop in a loop for 25½ hours — focusing on a repeat of the “Pure Energy” sample from Leonard Nimoy as Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. The marketing stunt caused listeners to call emergency services, concerned that some calamity had befallen the DJs and other station employees. Bob Hank, general manager at the time, told reporters he was only trying to draw attention to the station’s switch in format and new call letters WNRJ . “We were just trying to draw a little bit of attention,” Hank said. “We never dreamed it would go this far”. The song also samples Star Trek in the intro, with the character Dr. McCoy saying “it’s worked so far, but we’re not out yet.”

Harold Faltermeyer

Hans Hugo Harold Faltermeier (born 5 October 1952[1]), known professionally as Harold Faltermeyer, is a German musician, composer and record producer.

Faltermeyer is best known for composing the “Axel F” theme for the feature film Beverly Hills Cop, an influential synth-pop hit in the 1980s.

“Axel F” is the electronic instrumental theme from the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop performed by Harold Faltermeyer. It was an international number 1 hit in 1985.

The title comes from the main character’s name, Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy). It is composed in the key of F minor.

Faltermeyer recorded the song using five instruments: a Roland Jupiter-8 provide the distinctive “supersaw” lead, a Moog modular synthesizer 15 provided the bass, a Roland JX-3P provided chord stab brasses, a Yamaha DX7 was used for the marimba sound, and a LinnDrum was used for drum programming.

According to Faltermeyer, the initial reaction to his premiere presentation of the cues to the film’s producers and director didn’t result in an immediate approval; it wasn’t until director Martin Brest voiced his approval that the producers showed enthusiasm.

In addition to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, the song also appears on Faltermeyer’s 1988 album Harold F. as a bonus track. Reportedly, Faltermeyer was against including it, but MCA insisted as it was his most recognizable track.

Peter Schilling

Peter Schilling (born Pierre Michael Schilling; January 28, 1956) is a German synthpop musician whose songs often feature science-fiction themes like aliens, astronauts and catastrophes. He is best-known for his 1983 hit single “Major Tom (Coming Home)” which was an international success.

“Major Tom (Coming Home)” is from his album Error in the System. With a character unofficially related to “Major Tom”, the protagonist of David Bowie’s 1969 song “Space Oddity”, the song is about the character breaking off contact with ground control and travelling off into space.

The song was originally recorded in German and released in West Germany on January 3, 1983. It reached No. 1 in West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The English version was first released in the United States on September 24, 1983. It reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 4 in South Africa and peaked at No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart the week of December 24, 1983. The English-language version of the song also reached No. 2 on the dance chart in the US.

In 1994, Schilling made and released a remixed version along with Bomm Bastic, titled “Major Tom 94”. Another remix was released in 2000, titled “Major Tom 2000”, and yet another in 2003, titled “Major Tom 2003”. In 2016, Jay Del Alma released a Spanish-language remake titled “Vuela (Major Tom)” with Schilling on vocals.

Martika

Marta Marrero (born May 18, 1969), known as Martika, is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She released two internationally successful albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which sold over four million copies worldwide. Her biggest hit was “Toy Soldiers” which peaked at number 1 for two weeks in the American charts in mid-1989. She is also known for her role as Gloria on Kids Incorporated.

“Toy Soldiers” is a song appearing on her 1988 eponymous debut album and released in the United States as the second single from it in May 1989. It was a number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit for two weeks in the summer of 1989. An edited version of the song is included in the imported version of the album Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika.

Martika wrote the song about a friend who was battling a cocaine addiction. “I was a little hesitant because I had only written two songs before and they were light songs. I came up to Michael and said I wanted to write about drugs. It was the first time I got the nerve to write about something that was scary for me to talk about, so I did.” According to an episode of VH-1’s Pop-Up Video, in which “Toy Soldiers” was featured, the friend-in-question eventually conquered the addiction.

The song spent two weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and New Zealand while reaching number five in both the United Kingdom and Australia. On Billboard’s year-end chart for 1989, “Toy Soldiers” placed number 29. It was Martika’s only number-one single in the U.S., and her highest-ranking single in the United Kingdom. The single was certified Gold in the United States by the RIAA.

In March and April 2009, VH1 ran a countdown of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s. “Toy Soldiers” placed at #67 on the countdown despite the fact that Martika had three other top 40 hits: “More Than You Know” (#18); “I Feel the Earth Move” (#25); and “Love… Thy Will Be Done” (#10).

Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz is an American freestyle/R&B group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Nu Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s. Their third album, Poolside, brought the group’s sound to a wider audience.

Nu Shooz originally released the single “I Can’t Wait” in Portland in April 1985 on Poolside Records. The original session happened at Cascade Recording in Portland in the fall of 1984 and was also featured on the band’s sparsely distributed second album, Tha’s Right, in 1985. “I Can’t Wait” was a big hit on Portland radio stations at that time, but Nu Shooz was turned down by every major label. A copy of the song made it to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. This version is known as the ‘Dutch Mix.’ The remix came back into the United States as an import on Dutch label Injection Records. This version got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed the band to a contract in January 1986

“I Can’t Wait” is from the 1986 album Poolside. The song was originally recorded in late 1984 and was featured on the band’s second album Tha’s Right the following year. Credits on the back of the single indicate that the Poolside LP was originally to be called The Point of No Return. The song was remixed by the Dutch DJ and producer Peter Slaghuis. This remixed version is the one that appears on Poolside.

In the United States, the song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart in late March 1986, remaining atop the chart for two weeks. Soon afterwards, the song appeared on the Hot 100 chart, where it climbed to No. 3 in mid-June of that year, and remained in the top 40 for 15 weeks and it reached #2 on the R&B/Soul singles chart. In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The single returned to the U.S. charts in 2015, where it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Digital Songs chart.

The song’s American chart run coincided with that of a Stevie Nicks song also titled “I Can’t Wait”.

The Outfield

The Outfield were an English rock band based in London, England. The band achieved success in the mid-1980s and are best remembered for their hit single, “Your Love”. The band’s lineup consisted of guitarist John Spinks, vocalist and bassist Tony Lewis and drummer Alan Jackman.

They had an unusual experience for a British band in that they enjoyed commercial success in the US, but never in their homeland. The band began recording during the mid-1980s, and released their first album, Play Deep, in 1985 through Columbia Records. The album reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200 list and then reached triple platinum in the United States. The band’s single “Your Love” reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and it became their signature song. The band continued to record and tour through the 1980s and then into the early 1990s.

“Your Love” was taken from their debut album Play Deep (1985). The song was written by the band’s guitarist John Spinks.

In the United States, the song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1986. Since its release, the song has appeared on many ’80s-themed compilations, as well as movies and TV shows.

The song was written by Outfield guitarist John Spinks. Spinks was living in east London and invited the vocalist of the band, Tony Lewis, to his flat for a writing session. The two developed “Your Love” on the porch of the flat. Lewis sat on an amplifier and Spinks began writing the opening lyrics. According to Lewis, the song took only twenty minutes to write. The song’s lyrics have no basis in reality: “Josie” was not a real person, and the song is an entirely invented story. Afterwards, the band began recording demos for their debut album Play Deep with producer William Wittman, who had also worked with Cyndi Lauper and the Fixx. The initial demo was softer in tone, and Wittman encouraged the band to take a more hard rock approach to its sound. To this end, the group were inspired by the Who, and Lewis’s vocal arrangement was heavily inspired by the Police vocalist Sting.

Jermaine Stewart

William Jermaine Stewart (September 7, 1957 – March 17, 1997) was an American R&B singer best known for his 1986 hit single “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, which reached number 2 in both the UK and Canada. It also reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

“We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” (released in the UK as “We Don’t Have To…”) is the first of three singles from 1986. The song was included on his second album Frantic Romantic, released that same year. “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” remains Stewart’s biggest commercial success in both America and Europe.

The song acquired a great deal of success reaching number 2 on the UK and Canadian charts, as well number 5 in the United States.

“We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” was written by Narada Michael Walden and Preston Glass. Walden is a well-known American producer, drummer, singer, and songwriter. Stewart recorded it during 1985 and it was released across the world the following summer, reaching the top 10 in both the USA and the UK.

The single seemed to reflect more modesty when it came to sex in light of the AIDS pandemic at the time. In 1988, Stewart was interviewed by Donnie Simpson where Stewart spoke of the lyrical message within the song. “I think it made a lot of peoples’ minds open up a little bit. We didn’t only want to just talk about clothes, we wanted to extend that. We wanted to use the song as a theme to be able to say you don’t have to do all the negative things that society forces on you. You don’t have to drink and drive. You don’t have to take drugs early. The girls don’t have to get pregnant early. So the clothes bit of it was to get people’s attention, which it did and I’m glad it was a positive message.”

The song reignited Stewart’s popularity, as his previous single, “I Like It” had failed to make much impact as a follow-up to Stewart’s moderately successful debut single, “The Word Is Out” (“I Like It” did not chart in either the UK or America).