Named after one of my favourite songs of the ’80s, movingtheriver.com launched in December 2014. It’s a celebration of that decade’s music, movies and more. I hope it’s an enjoyable, informative, eclectic mix. Musically, we’ll touch on rock, pop, prog, funk, jazz, soul and all points in-between. Movie-wise, cult films and forgotten classics are the orders of the day.
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I hope the site chimes with the generation who grew up watching The Tube religiously every Friday evening, hanging out at places like The Wag, Dingwalls, Hammersmith Odeon and the Town & Country Club, and buying Smash Hits, Q, NME, Melody Maker and The Wire.
But movingtheriver.com also looks at the decade’s fascinating musical misfires and the veterans who, against all the odds, produced some material of worth. I also foreground some of the unsung figures of the 1980s: key musicians, producers and scenesters.
On the right side of every page, you will find a list of recent posts and different categories, by year, artist and music genre. You can also search for your favourite artist/album/musician in the Search box on each page.
We’re always hearing about the ’80s being ‘the decade that taste forgot’ – in fact it was musically vibrant, inclusive, exciting, fun and full of intriguing artists, against-the-odds successes and glorious failures. Many of the era’s best artists took the DIY punk ethos and ran with it.
Of the ‘old guard’ who emerged in the ‘60s and ‘70s and before, people like Stanley Clarke, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, John Martyn, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Robbie Robertson, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa, Bowie and George Benson, some floundered, a few found unexpected career milestones, none were boring.
So this is not an exhaustive directory of ‘80s music but a personal account featuring artists who were on my musical radar during the decade or whom I’ve discovered since.
I’ll also try to feature some music that was possibly neglected by the great pillars of ‘80s music journalism – NME, The Wire, Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Q, Smash Hits, Sounds – and give new takes on artists who were critics’ favourites.
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