Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The Summer of 1984
I bought a copy of the above record this weekend, the third one of the Now series. By coincidence, it was released exactly 30 years ago, on July 23, 1984. I never bought the Now albums back in the day of course, I was far too cool for that, with my Marillion and Dio records. So if we use this album to look back, what was the Summer of 1984 like?
It's better than I remember, to be honest. There's a healthy slice of good stuff: Thinking Of You, Two Tribes, Time After Time, White Lines, Robert de Niro's Waiting and Small Town Boy are all good songs to start with. One Better Day and I Want to Break Free aren't my favourite Madness or Queen singles, but I do like the albums they come from. Above all, I'm struck by how young most of the acts are. Someone looking at this in the summer of 1984 could have been forgiven for thinking that the future lay with Duran Duran and ZTT rather than The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan, unless something happened.
Which of course, it did. By the end of the year we had Band Aid, and the Summer of 1985 gave us Live Aid, after which everything began to change. Moreover, within a few years, all the best music of the 60s and 70s was being reissued on CD. A young band at the end of the decade was duking it out with Pet Sounds and Revolver for rack space and pocket money.
So was the last summer before Live Aid the end of an era or am I reading far too much into a ragbag bunch of synth pop tunes? And what are your memories of the Summer of 1984?