Live Aid and the rise of ‘charity rock’ in the 80s Live Aid and the rise of ‘charity rock’ in the 80s

If you care to watch the 1984 Band Aid video, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ (I advise you think carefully before doing so), you will see some of the worst haircuts ever sported by humankind – or rather, by mankind, as all the worst offenders are men. Simon Le Bon, Bono, Paul Young, George Michael: it’s a roll-call of hirsute horror. Only... [Read more of this review]


Sampling: the 80s Sampling: the 80s

Music was transformed by digital technology in the 1980s, in ways that are still reverberating today. The compact disc promised ‘perfect sound forever’, and led to later formats such as DVD and Blu-Ray. Digital synthesizers and signal processors, and the MIDI protocol through which they communicate, made for increasingly compact, sophisticated and... [Read more of this review]


Club Hordern: A retrospective Club Hordern: A retrospective

Triggered somewhat by our ’80s Are Back’ exhibition, Mark Murphy discusses his memories of the Club Hordern Parties in the 80s, with Richard Weiss, one of the ‘Sweatbox’ party organisers. I had heard about the Hordern parties from a neighbour when I was living in The Cross in 1989. He was into rock music and I overheard him talking... [Read more of this review]


The rise of the compact disc The rise of the compact disc

The first album to sell one million copies on compact disc alone was Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms, a fact that does nothing to boost this writer’s faith in the collective good taste of humankind. Brothers In Arms knocked Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required off No.1 to become best-selling album on the Australian charts during 1985, and was beaten... [Read more of this review]


The Smiths The Smiths

The Smiths, regarded by many critics as the finest guitar band of the 1980s, have always ignited contrary passions. Ferociously snobbish punks, who wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead listening to anything less bellicose than Black Flag, will weep at ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’. Morrissey’s Los Angeles fanbase of gay Latinos is legendary.... [Read more of this review]


Darlinghurst Eats Its Young – photos from inner city Sydney Darlinghurst Eats Its Young – photos from inner city Sydney

Can you you tell me a little about yourself and how the Darlinghurst eats its young project came about? Not sure where to start so will just start with I am an artist who lives and works in Sydney, and apart from a stint in Melbourne have done so since graduating from art school. I didn’t spend a lot of time at school in year 11 and 12, instead spending... [Read more of this review]


Recalling retro toys: polly, ponies and puppies! Recalling retro toys: polly, ponies and puppies!

Do you remember Polly Pocket, My Little Pony and the Pound Puppy toys? We asked Margaret Simpson, curator, to share her memories of classic 80s toys, and she’s consulted her daughter, who spent quality time with these toys in the 80s. Does their discussion trigger any fond memories for you? Let us know in the comments below! In the 1980s my daughter’s... [Read more of this review]


The Culture Club’s 88 Miles Per Hour Stolen Plutonium Megamix The Culture Club’s 88 Miles Per Hour Stolen Plutonium Megamix

The Triple J Radiophonic Workshop presents a time-travelling adventure in sound, featuring music from TZU, Peaches, Prince, Kanye West, Cut Copy, Kraftwerk, The Human League, Daft Punk, Justice, Giorgio Moroder, Salt and Pepa, The Presets, Run DMC, Royksopp, Ladyhawke, La Roux, LL Cool J, Steinski, Yello, Hall and Oates, The Art of Noise, Calvin Harris,... [Read more of this review]


‘Acceptable in the 80s’ Part 6: Taking elements from the past which you enjoy ‘Acceptable in the 80s’ Part 6: Taking elements from the past which you enjoy

“That’s what music is about”, said Calvin Harris in 2008, “you’re taking elements from the past which you enjoy, and putting them in a modern perspective for the youth of today”. Is music really that easy? The answer depends a great deal on which century you happen to find yourself in. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above)... [Read more of this review]


The Cure – Disintegration The Cure – Disintegration

If Standing on the Beach – their first and best singles collection – is included, The Cure released one album for every year of the 1980s, except for 1983 and 1988 – the latter, of course, the year of Acid House, and of Sub Pop 200, a compilation featuring Mudhoney, Green River, and a song called ‘Spank Thru’ by a little-known... [Read more of this review]