Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Electric, dreamy music: The best songs of the New Wave era

Reminiscing about the about the '80s isn't complete without enumerating the trends of that time: gelled hair, suede sneakers, shoulder pads, and hairstyles cantilevered by hairspray, among others. As far as music is concerned, I think nothing defined the decade better than New Wave music, the synth-based, upbeat tunes I and people my age used to dance with on the radio, on Walkman sets, and in disco joints.

New Wave has held a distinct spot in my heart so much that songs from Duran Duran, A-ha, and The Cure still rule my playlist. But these three tracks stand as my all-time favorites:

Image Source: depeche-mode.soup.io

1. "People are People." As far as I can remember, this is Depeche Mode's first U.S. hit single. Here, they combined their love for pop music and experimental elements. When this 1983 single was released, Vince Clarke had long left, and the group had started to shed its sunny image from the days of "I Just Can't Get Enough," giving way to a shift towards all-synth music, introspective lyrics, and a brooding image---or simply put, the Depeche Mode we '80s music fans have come to love.

Image Source: neworder.com

2. "Bizaare Love Triangle." Everyone who has frequented disco clubs in the 80s must have danced countless times to this New Order hit, which peaked at No. 5 at the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart. I like how the hiccup-like beat provided contrast to the mawkish lyrics (Every time I see you falling/I get down on my knees and pray), and how the rhythm and sound of this song, particularly the extended 12" version, have pretty much captured the vibe of the decade.

Image Source: philstar.com
3. "The Promise." Its pace is too slow compared to most New Wave tunes, and the lyrics are as cheesy and as pop as it can get, but there is something about the melody of this song, When In Rome's single claim to fame, that got me hooked. Perhaps it's because the song never fails to bring back summer night soirees, teenage crushes, and other memories.  

I'm Brent Morgan Waco. When I'm not busy with my job as physical therapist, I spend time doing yoga and parkour, and chilling out with music from the New Wave generation. Check out this blog for more about iconic tracks and artists under this genre.