The 80s Hits
Presented by Girl Izi
Tagged as Disco, Electronic, Rock, Synth Pop
The arrival of MTV in 1981 would usher in new wave’s most successful era. British artists, unlike many of their American counterparts, had learned how to use the music video early on.Several British acts signed to independent labels were able to outmarket and outsell American artists that were signed with major labels. Journalists labelled this phenomenon a “Second British Invasion”.
In the fall of 1982, “I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls entered the Billboard Top Ten, arguably the first successful song that owed almost everything to video.They would be followed by bands like Duran Duran whose glossy videos would come to symbolize the power of MTV. Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” gently poked fun at MTV which had helped make them international rock stars. In 1983, 30% of the record sales were from British acts. 18 of the top 40 and 6 of the top 10 singles on July 18 were by British artists. Overall record sales would rise by 10% from 1982.Newsweek magazine featured Annie Lennox and Boy George on the cover of one of its issues while Rolling Stone Magazine would release an England Swings issue. In April 1984 40 of the top 100 singles were from British acts while 8 of the top 10 singles in a May 1985 survey were of British origin.Veteran music journalist Simon Reynolds theorized that similar to the first British Invasion the use of black American influences by the British acts helped to spur success.Commentators in the mainstream media credited MTV and the British acts with bringing colour and energy to back to pop music while rock journalists were generally hostile to the phenomenon because they felt it represented image over content. MTV continued its heavy rotation of videos by new wave-oriented acts until 1987, when it changed to a heavy metal and rock dominated format.