B-52s

The B-52’s

There are plenty of party bands, but no other band can party quite like the B-52's. These leaders of the new wave movement took joy in being different, blazing their own trail with a unique combination of kitsch-culture and old-fashioned party music. In the process, they notched up a series of hit albums and influenced countless alternative-rock acts of the future. Continue reading...

The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

Hello, world! Watch out for that wacky bus, it's got a singing family inside! The Partridge Family phenomenon blanketed the early 70s with many a groovy beat and one shining teen heartthrob, as this musical television series told the tale of a widowed mother and her five children who hit the road as a pop band. Continue reading...

Wham!

Wham!

A lot was happening in the music industry in 1985. Whitney Houston released her first album, Madonna embarked on her first tour, and an enormous collection of artists got together to record a little single called We Are The World. And then there was Wham! Consisting of two boyhood friends, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, they proceeded to dominate the radio and television airwaves, winning the hearts of millions of teenage girls along the way. Yes, in 1985, the pop music market belonged to Wham! Continue reading...

Nirvana

Nirvana

Although they would never be entirely comfortable with the rabid attention, Nirvana became the flagship band for an entire generation. Prior to their monumental breakthrough, alternative rock wasn't taken seriously by the music industry and was typically delegated to a small corner of most record stores. With the release of the 1991 album, Nevermind, the entire landscape of rock and roll would be forever altered. Continue reading...

Hanson

Hanson

The most ubiquitous song during the summer of 1997 was the breakthrough hit “MMMBop” by the band Hanson. Yeah, we don’t know what it means either, but the sunny pop hit ruled the airwaves back then. The accomplishment is even more incredible when you consider that the performers weren’t old enough to shave. Or drive. Or have their braces off. Or ride a rollercoaster. The point is, they were really, really young. Continue reading...

Culture Club

Culture Club

With the advent of MTV, bands that focused on visual style began to dominate the pop charts. Few were as visually stylish as Culture Club. Each member of the group wore colorful, new-wave togs, but Boy George was the most attention-getting by far: His gender-bending mix of makeup, hair-dye and frilly clothing (including dresses) made him a magazine-cover fixture. He also happened to be a fine songwriter, turning Culture Club into one of the most successful hitmaking bands of the 1980's. Continue reading...

Duran Duran

Duran Duran

In the early 80's, MTV made it possible for image-conscious groups to become stars with a few well-made videos. Few bands took advantage of this the way Duran Duran did. Utilizing a string of sleek, cinematic videos that played up their teen-friendly charisma, the group rocketed to fame as one of the top attractions of early MTV. However, they could also back up their visual appeal with songs that married crafty, hook-laden pop melodies to elements of new wave and dance music. As a result, they became one of the top international pop groups of the 80's and have survived well into the new millennium. Continue reading...

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

There are few bands that exemplified the 1980's quite like Def Leppard. Their combination of pop and metal had its finger on the pulse of 80's record buyers. The high-tech sound they pursued on their albums helped define pop-music recording techniques of the 80's. They were also one of the first bands to take advantage of the possibilities of MTV by creating a string of videos that played up their good looks and youthful appeal to help sell their records. As a result, they became internationally successful and their sound and style set the tone for many future pop/metal acts. Continue reading...