The Zombies

The Zombies

Following the extraordinary rise of The Beatles, it wasn’t long before British bands were coming out of the woodwork, doing their best to imitate the Fab Four. And, at first glance, one might put The Zombies in that category, but to do so would be unfair. Sure, they had a similar look, lush harmonies, and catchy songs - but the sound was completely their own, in part due to the fine keyboard playing of Rod Argent. And their music is still praised and appreciated to this day. Continue reading...

Tiffany

Tiffany

In the 80s, there was one place that herds of young teenagers could regularly be found – the local shopping mall. So, when producer George Tobin was faced with marketing his newest sensation, he took a rather unorthodox approach that would pay off tenfold. He brought his upcoming star to the fans, embarking on an ambitious tour of shopping malls around the country. Taking center stage, a young red-headed teen by the name of Tiffany, who captured the attention of millions of young shoppers with a penchant for pop music. Continue reading...

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Time May Change Him… David Bowie

There's a saying in Montana that if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. The same thing could be said for David Bowie (although we at Retroland would have a hard time finding anything about David Bowie to dislike). The ever-changing image and persona that is David Bowie is also a metaphor for the aesthetic changes of pop-culture over the last half-century. One look at a particular image of Bowie and we have almost no trouble identifying what year it was. Continue reading...

Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim

The words “one-of-a-kind” get thrown around quite a bit, but they were perhaps never more appropriate than when used to describe a gentle soul named Tiny Tim. He captivated and amused the world with his inimitable falsetto voice, quirky wardrobe and ever-present ukulele. His appeal landed him an enormously successful Top-20 single, one that would forever be linked to the offbeat performer. Continue reading...

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice

One of the more controversial artists to emerge from the 90s, Vanilla Ice (aka: Robert Van Winkle) became a household name with the hit record “Ice, Ice Baby” while simultaneously battling both a copyright infringement lawsuit and a merciless media, who were ruthless in their criticism of the performer after discovering that his biography was more fiction than truth. Regardless, he cried all the way to the bank, selling millions of records and bringing the urban sounds of rap music to the forefront of popular music. Continue reading...

We are the World

We Are the World

In the late evening on January 28, 1986, a collective group of some of the most recognized musical artists in the world left the American Music Awards festivities and congregated under a shroud of secrecy at A&M studios in Hollywood. The result of this unparalleled collaborative effort was “We Are the World,” a song written to raise money for the victims of famine in Africa. The resulting single, released on March 7th of the same year, would go on to sell 20 million copies, raising significant money for the cause and becoming one of the best remembered songs of the 80s. Continue reading...

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Novelty acts usually fade from the limelight after their fifteen minutes of fame are up (quick - who wrote "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"?), and any kid with a tape recorder and a spare afternoon can record a song parody. So how did a frizzy-haired California kid with an accordion turn novelty music into a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, celebrity-spoofing career that has so far spanned almost four decades? Sure, Dr. Demento's radio show helped, but "Weird Al" Yankovic has survived for one simple reason: the guy is just flat-out funny. 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...