Tuesday, 10 May 2011


I couldn't believe my ears. U2 were a post punk band from the seventies? Their 90s stuff makes me weep; not out of compassion mind, more from anticipation of nausea. And yet as I dragged a few tracks off their first album Boy – released 1980 – onto my playlist I found myself admiring their well crafted intros and sympathising with their heartfelt lyrics. I guess all rock stars stood for something at some point.

I'm not totally adverse to the 80s. I'm probably one of the few to hold the opinion that much of the ground in electronic and industrial music was broken somewhere in the mid 80s when Trent Reznor first realised that synthesized clapping can sound cool if blended with syncopated high hat. In many ways I feel for the 80s. There was little to do for entertainment except prod the keys of a cheap Yamaha. If you didn't find anyone willing to join your band you just had to make do with your own dark room and some illicitly acquired recording equipment.

Not much has changed. Except now, at least, recording artists have more opportunity to communicate with each other, find other musicians, research and refine their work and perform. Could the music industry benefit from recession and depression? Yes to recession no to depression: having nothing makes you stronger, as long as you don't dwell on it.

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