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1985- The End Of An Era?

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80s Rock Pioneers Blondie

The Class Of '85- The Last Great Era Of Rock

March 20, 2005

Rock groups U2 and The Pretenders took their rightful place at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony last week. These bands were honored for their unique musical styles and amazing longevity. Both started in the 80's and are still going strong touring and producing new music.

A twenty year plus career in popular music is a accomplishment very few achieve. By comparison, The Beatles only lasted seven years. Led Zeppelin- about ten.

For many, the 80's brings painful flashbacks of leg warmers, tons of eyeliner and lipstick and too much hairspray. And those were just the men! But seriously, the 80's doesn't get the credit it deserves. Sure, it was the decade that gave us Big Hair, Members Only jackets and some very pretentious, New Wave music.

But it was also an age of musical experimentation and excitement fueled by the Punk explosion of the late 70's. The pogo, moshing, New Wave, Mod, Ska, New Romantic, Goth and Rockabilly all virtually came to life simultaneously as if someone had flipped a switch. The rapid rise of new bands and new sounds was pandemic. In the 80's you were either in a band or you knew someone that was.

When you think about it, the early 80's was actually the last great era of Rock And Roll. The B52's, REM, The Go Go's, Duran Duran, Erasure, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Blondie, New Order, The Psychedelic Furs, The Pretenders, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soft Cell, Sting, Tears For Fears, U2 and Social Distortion are just a few 80's artists that made their initial impact back then. All of them, along with many other original New Wave groups, are still together and currently performing.

In contrast, it's difficult to think of five great 90's Rock bands that are still around.

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