The eighties was a golden era for British pop: Radio One served as the soundtrack of the nation; the chart run-down on Sunday evenings was compulsory listening - ditto watching Top of the Popsand reading Smash Hits. It also saw the launch of the Now That's What I Call Music series. In the States, the arrival of MTV helped usher in what became known as the 'Second British Invasion', echoing the success of the Beatles twenty years earlier.
Wired For Soundtells the remarkable story of the great eighties British bands (and Kajagoogoo) and how their music captured the nation's imagination: the more radical beginnings in the early eighties (the new romanticisms of Duran and Spandau, the 'protest pop' of early Wham!); the full pomp of their mid-eighties success (the worldwide tours, the glamorous video shoots, the ubiquitous 'Choose Life' and 'Relax' T-shirts); and their fall from the top of pop's pedestal (the splitting up of Wham!, Boy George's drug problems). Wired for Soundwill describe the subsequent descent to Band Aid II (Bros, Wet Wet Wet, Stock, Aitken and Waterman), which bookended the low point of the pop music that followed.
Wired For Sound will be the affectionate celebration of both a musical youth and the era when young guns went for it. This is a book for anyone who grew up reading Smash Hits, soundtracked their teenage years on C90 cassettes and remembers a time when it really mattered who was number one.
Tom Bromley is the author of We Could Have Been the Wombles, two music-related novels, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Half a World Away, and co-author of Rock and Pop Elevens. He lives in Salisbury.
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