any early 80's alt/soft punk fans out there?

great time for music imo. new sounds, edgy but musical and sometime.....downright deep/moving. never got into the really hardcore punk seen. liked the softer side destruction alot better =)

just finished a psychedelic furs binge tonight. had joy division/early new order on all weekend. planning on reminiscing with lou reed/velvet underground and early rem later this week.

haven't really listened to this stuff much in recent memory. not sure why?. i own almost everything these bands ever put out but still rarely give them a turn anymore?.

early furs with all that sax and mr butler's near painful voice =). i'm gonna grab some tickets for their upcoming show at house of blues (chicago). i'm sure it won't be as crazy as the shows back then but the music will still be great. didn't even know they were touring.

really enjoyed joy division and after the death of Ian....early new order stuff. incredible music considering their roots. new order eventually lost their edge but back then....they were it!

any other fans out there?
Sadley, yes! I have just re-purchased a bunch of Depeche Mode (I forgot what a great album Violator is), REM and now the Smiths (coming out soon) on vinyl. I have always loved New Order, great band. A lot of stuff from that era sounds very dated, but REM and Depeche Mode specifically still sound great.
I'm mostly in 'Talking Heads' bowl and sometimes enjoy Prokol Harum and TRex.
the skids, the adverts, penetration, the only ones, 20/20, polystyrene, any trouble, sandii and the sunsets, romeo void, divinyls, hunters and collectors, the lime green spiders, magazine, yada yada
If could only have one CD (ok double cd) on desert island, it would be New Order Substance. It has all the classics. Whenever I listen to Blue Monday, it sounds completely fresh. I concur that their newer material was not up to the earlier but still find a few good songs there. You probably already have it but if not, check out the first Electronic cd which is a Barney, Johnny Marr collaboration.
Bauhaus and Peter Murphy (after Bauhaus). The Fixx (or Cy Curnin). Love and Rockets. The Stranglers. XTC.

Try I found a bunch of alt 80's groups there. Lots of stuff that never quite made it to mainstream.
I have tons of this stuff from college days. I was playing The The and Guadalacanal Diary over the weekend.
wow....forgot about The The! infected was one of my favorites. couldn't keep that disc out of my cdp back then. gotta pull that disc out soon too. order substance is truly one of the great double disc's out there. the version of ceremony on substance really kicks!.
Don't forget Bronski Beat, small town boy is one of my favorite songs from that era, Erasure, And probably the most diverse band of that period, OINGO BOINGO!
I'm a huge SMITHS fan how soon is know is also one of my favorite songs, so dark so intense.
Romeo Void, "Never Say Never" one of the all time great slam dance songs. Good call.

"Blue Monday" - still a classic what a great bass line, New Order rocks.
i was a big psych furs fan, too, and also dug their counterparts like echo and teardrop explodes. what's amazing is how well most of this stuff has aged--it blows away the legions of horrible current bands that sound like direct cops of that early 80s/factory sound.
if you like this line of bands, check out the comsat angels and the sound--fantastic, intense stuff which never reached an audience on these shores.
i agree....the furs music has aged very well imo. listening to mirror moves and their first disc last night...i was taken by how fresh they still sounded. india, imitation of christ and sister europe off the 1st disc are incredible songs. the same can be said for almost all the songs on mirror moves too. i've had alice's house and highwire days playing in my head all day today.
I was also a fan of Simple Minds, specifically, Sons & Fascination and than, New Gold Dream. Unfortunately, after that they were spent in my opinion.
The best band of the era though was Joy Division, and I loved Tony Wilson's (manger of factory records) description of them.
Punk was saying 'F#*k You' to the establishment. Joy Division were the first to say, 'We're F#*ked'.
i was lucky enough to see joy division on trip to the UK about 1 year before ian died. something i'll never forget. saw new order on their first us tour right after ian's death too. just and unbeleivable show. ytube has some great JD clips from back then including the documentary film. if you haven't seen the film's a must.
Another great 80's band, Heaven 17. Also, give Depeche Mode Songs of Faith & Devotion another listen. Hated it when it first came out but now, while clearly a different direction, I think it is amazing.

Levy: Wow, actually seeing Joy Division live, that is very cool. I am bowing down.
Peter Murphy All night long, and the entire New Order Substance CD. P Fur's Heaven, President gas, and love my way all great tunes. Although not soft punk Chris Rhea brings back some wonderful memories during the late 80's in the Greek Islands.
Correction, Chris Rea.
forgot 2 from akron....the waitresses, rachael sweet (both made 2 incredible albums)
Echo and the Bunnymen
Hunters and Collectors
Guadalcanal Diary
Let's Active
Fetchin' Bones
Psch Furs/Love Spit Love
The Feelies
Winter Hours
The The
Peter Murphy
Gene Loves Jezebel
The Cult

I enjoyed the bands that brought back the guitar vs. synthesisers. I also really appreciate originality.
The Feelies, especially "The Good Earth," would qualify, I think. The Church also put out some good stuff around then. I'd like to have a dollar for every time I played "Murmur" in those days. Ah, college!
good catch on the church
just spent the evening with some old Depeche Mode. thx for the reminder/recommendation!. Songs Of Faith along with Music For The Masses were the players tonight. maybe Construction Time tomarrow?. haven't listened to these guys in years. really enjoyed it.

found an on old The Church disc too. forgot i even had this one (starfish/1988) until it was mentioned.

good choice's guy's. had forgotten about alot of this stuff. maybe i did party too much in collage?? =)
I have a ton of the original extended 12 inches re-issued to CD of many of these. It has taken a huge effort to find them as they are often only available on certain rare compilation CD's.

My preference, by far, for this entire 80's period are the extended versions (some lasting more than 8 minutes!).

Extended Version Classics like
The Cult Sanctuary
Rational Youth Saturdays in Silesia
ATF Der Kommissar
maybe Construction Time

That is my favorite Depeche Mode album.

Once again the Extended 12" Version of "Everything Counts" is killer compared to the album version - they were nice enough t oinclude this on the CD.

Yaz and Ultravox and Tears for Fears (only Pale Shelter) may be up your street too - I have all this on extended versions aswell.

However, if you are looking for sonic paradise then the Trevor Horn extended version of Grace Jones Slave to Rhthym (Hot Blooded Mix) is a MUST have - just crank it and you are in awe of how the guy mixed it so carefully and well balanced.
Dance mixes of the Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain"

both classics. "Master and Servant" Depeche Mode. I need to see if I can find my old vinyl versions of those.
Don't forget

The Stranglers
Nine Nine Nine
Teardrop Explodes / Julian Cope
Tears For Fears
The Cramps
I saw many, many of the bands in this thread at the 9:30 club in Washington DC. That place was something most nights in 1981&1982! Cheers,
alright...that's it!. XTC?, The Cult?...more great stuff forgotten about in my unorganized, mess of a cd collection. first chance i get, i'll be organizing and categorizing my disc's. you can't play something if you can't find it.

my laziness sometimes even amazes me.
best music thread yet....pearl harbour and the exploions, japan, the mission uk, the charlatons, orange juice, gang of four, the hits just keep on coming

Loved the Gang Of Four and XTC suggestions.

Since we are moving away a bit from the "soft punk" category--which sounds kind of like an oxymoron, even though I think I know what the OP is getting at--the floodgates really do open. How about Sonic Youth, the Replacements, Black Flag, the Minutemen, Husker Du, the Wipers? Heck, why not the Clash?

Oh yeah, the Waterboys definitely belong in the conversation as well, and probably could fit the soft punk label.
absolutely to the clash and sonic youth along with all the others. really liked the replacements and waterboys. good stuff!

you're right walter. soft punk is alot like jumbo shrimp

threw "soft punk" in the title at the last minute. wanted to avoid the vagueness of just "alt". used the word "soft" in place of "being able to play instruments fairly well" and "some form of coherency to the music itself" =)
just found three Concrete Blond disc's buried in a stack of cd's i never go through. anyone remember these guys?. listen to the first release this morning (from 1986). man they rock!. "still in hollywood" bough back some found one's. love a good female vocalist with my "punk". maybe it's the wild times we had with punk gals back then =). brutally honest and shameless as they were...i still loved um.
I am surprised most of you missed The Replacements, which had five seminal albums during that period. "All for Nothing" is the definative Best Of, but I recommend dive dives with "Pleased to meet me," "Let it Be", "Inconcerated Live," "Tim" and the very under-rated "All Shook Down."

Also forgotten is the Pixies. Hard not to note the obvious influence on Nirvana and the whole Grunge Movement. The Pixies, along with Jane's Addiction, served as a bridge between those genres.

For hardcore listeners, hard not to mention Fugazi. The bass line on "Waiting List" is epic. The Adolescents,Agent Orange, Bad Brains,Bad Religion, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendents, The Dickies, Fear, Flipper, The Germs, Wasted Youth, the Weirdos, and Youth Brigade all defined American Hardcore movement from 1980 to 1986.

The original LA Punk Rock also morphed into Cow Punk. Hard not to like the Beat Farmers (Country Dick was one of the best showman!), The Blasters, Concrete Blonde, the Dils, X/The Knitters, and the Minutemen ("Corona" is a great demo disc for music shows). Santa Cruz spawned Cracker and Camper B. East LA spawned Los Lobos and the Plugz. How about the early funk punk experiments with the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Manchester UK defined Post Punk with the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, the Smiths and New Order, and set the stage for the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and the Charlatans to come.
All the bands from that town share a tonality that suggests a month of overcast skies.

Mission to Burma is a great "unsung" band. "Academy Fight Song" is a lost gem.

REM's early output was amazing, especially the first EP which contained "Gardening at Night."
pere ubu

How could you mention Cow Punk without making reference to Jason and the Scorchers? Best live band I've ever seen...
saw them in michigan of the great live bands ever.
The Replacements, you are right. Somehow I always think of them as a 90's band since I continued listening to them all the time through about 99.

Great Band.

"Pleased to Meet Me" I just bought on vinyl again. IOU, The Ledge, Alex Chilton, .... great album.
ok guys....cow punk? kinda get what it is but have never heard to it referred to as that. don't really get the cow part?.

never heard jason & scorchers. just grabbed a few of their tunes on my ipod to check um out. sound pretty good....surprised i wasn't on to them?. good call on the pixis and los lobos.....some good stuff there too

i had a love/hate relationship with the hard core stuff. enjoyed going to live shows but just couldn't get into it by myself/alone at home. it was a "social thing" to me....go out and crazy music. couldn't just sit at home and listen to the stuff. still can't. i guess that makes me a wanna bee lol!
Waltersalas: Missed Jason--never even on my radar, to tell you the truth. I was too busy going to Blaster, Beat Farmer and Meat Puppet shows to take notice. :)

Levy03: Cow punk was DIY countrified punk.

Yeah, I forgot the Meat Puppets out of Arizona!!!!
Soft punk. Funny.
Only Ones, certainly. I was a little kid and all that (junkie) swagger got to me. Generation X, Rich Kids (completely underrated), Buzzcocks, of course, and Real Kids. So many. Dictators, Elliot Murphy, the Skids ("Sweet Suburbia" over and over), Jim Carroll, the Saints' second album, Eternally Yours, UK pop-punk band the Boys (brilliant), first Cheap Trick album ... Johnny Thunders' So Alone and David Johanson's first two solo ...
the Beat (every song's a single on the debut ...), Shoes, that first 20/20 record (anyone remember seeing the band do "Remember the Lightening" on American Bandstand?), Undertones, Vapors (forget "Turning Japanese," the band was great.)
Penetration (underrated, particularly the song "Shout Above the Noise"),
Onto the Church, Echo and the Bunnymen, and la la la... growing up ...
Siouxsie & the Banshees
Billy Idol
The Fixx
Janie Lane's cover of "I want you to want me" is really cool.
Bongofury,You should be drawn and quartered for even uttering the name of the great band Los Lobos in this mostly,how can I put it nicely,oh yeah,crap !!!!!!!!

I leave personal torture to the realm of my wife and children. Sorry that impassioned lo fi music is not your cup of tea. There is always Beethoven.
Flesh for LuLu- Siamese Twist
Bongofury,Beethoven is way to complicated for me.Thanks for the reccomendation though.
Then you would probably like all of the music above. Not very complicated in the least! :)
On the more guitar-oriented and less goth side of this stuff The Soft Boys and The Go-Betweens are both excellent.

I like a little New Order now and then as well.
The cowpunk crew can be extended to include all the early Alejandro Escovedo bands (Rank & File, etc) and Chuck Prophet stuff (Green and Red, IIRC). There's also James Mastro's post Bongos group, Health and Happiness Show - although they might be a bit too pop/crafted to qualify as "cow punk". Uncle Tupelo and the "nephew" bands all qualify; Son Volt, Wilco, and Bottle Rockets - although Wilco goes all over the place. Kim Richey qualified briefly when Pete Anderson was her lead guitar. Another band at the margin (due to excessively beautiful vocal harmonies) was The Reivers, IMHO the best songwriters of this lot.

Walter, I'd also agree that the Scorchers were a great live band. I'd add that there's also those Feelies spin-offs Yung Wu and Wake Ooloo, among others.


Marqueemoon (great moniker, by the way),

Man, that is a fantastic catch on the Go Betweens. One of my very favorite bands from that period. The solo albums of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan (especially the acoustic-driven "Horsebreaker Star") are also excellent.
Like the Soft Boys, too, and Robyn Hitchcock's earlier solo records.

I couldn't agree more on Rank and File, and I agree with you on the Bottle Rockets. You want good songwriting, check out "The Brooklyn Side," which "reads" like a book of excellent short stories.

I never could get into the Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt branch of the tree, although Wilco is a notch better. The Jayhawks and Silos are more my speed as far as alt country goes.

Have you heard the Handsome Family out of Chicago?
Big fan of the early New-wave/post punk recordings that followed up much of the Joy Division era. The Wake, Magazine, Chameleons, Sad Lover's and Giants, The Names, Stockholm Monsters, The Sound. Tons of great music out of England that sadly has been lost over the years. Been some nice sounding re-releases and remastered version in the last few years.
Waltersalas - Thanks. I'm surprised the username wasn't taken.

My band had the good fortune of opening for The Handsome Family a few years ago. They are excellent.

I'll throw one other name out there. Anybody remember The Housemartins? The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death is a pretty great album. I specifically remember that this is one of the first digitally recorded albums I heard.

Paul Heaton went on to form The Beautiful South and bassist Norman Cook later reinvented himself as Fatboy Slim.

Also, Cocteau Twins and The Durutti Column and are two more of my favorites from this time period.

I like a lot of the Jayhawks' stuff, but I really don't know The Handsome Family (except by name). I'll check it out.

As to Uncle Tupelo and spin offs,

IMHO, UT's "No Depression" was THE seminal "alt. country/cow punk" record (and, since this genre is sometimes called "No Depression", I guess I'm not alone in that judgement). I'd tend to agree that the rest of their catalog is spotty. Son Volt started out great with "Trace" but sank pretty quickly. Wilco is Wilco and Bottle Rockets (specifically on the strength of the eponymous first record and TBS - although all of theirs are very good records)would be my pick of this litter.

Another "Cow Punk" band worth mentioning is 16 Horsepower, but if Uncle Tupelo leaves you cold, this one may not be your cup of tea, either.