SMASHING HITS! THE 80's POP MAP OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND (2018)

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Two 80s icons explore the distinct sounds that came out of different parts of Britain and Ireland in one of pop's golden decades.

Midge Ure, lead singer of Ultravox and one of the men behind Band Aid, and Kim Appleby, who had a string of hits with her sister Mel in the Stock, Aitken and Waterman-produced band Mel and Kim, go on a journey back in time to the 80s to figure out why certain cities produced their own diverse tunes.

It's a fascinating tale. Emerging from the ashes of punk, British and Irish music ripped up the pop rule book in the 80s and topped the charts worldwide. But there was no definitive 'British' pop sound. Innovative chart-toppers were being produced by artists hailing from all over the UK and Ireland.

 

Episode 1 of 3

In this first episode, Midge Ure and Kim Appleby explore London's new romantic movement, travel to Coventry to investigate the rise of ska and speak to some of Sheffield's electronic music pioneers.

 

The show features interviews with key figures, like Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet, Marco Pirroni from Adam and the Ants, Pauline Black from The Selecter, Martin Ware and Glenn Gregory from Heaven 17 and 'super-producer' Trevor Horn. But of course the star is the music - and this episode includes some of the best tunes, videos and performances from the early part of this marvelous musical decade. (00:58:50)

 

Episode 2 of 3 

In this second episode, Midge and Kim explore the sounds that came from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. They start in Glasgow with the American influences that shaped a substantial part of Scottish music, look at the punk and folk backdrop to Irish music and, finally, delve into the Welsh merger of folk and punk.

 

The show features evocative archive, superb music and interviews with significant figures, like Bob Geldof, Clare Grogan from Altered Images, Pat Kane from Hue and Cry, Moya Brennan of Clannad and Mike Peters from legendary Welsh band The Alarm. (00:58:57)

 

Episode 3 of 3

In this third and final episode, Midge and Kim visit London and Manchester, the two cities that did battle with each other for musical pre-eminence as 80s music turned towards the new sounds of dance.

Star interviewees include Denise Pearson from Five Star, Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Mark Moore of S'Express, Shaun Ryder from The Happy Mondays and Peter Hook of New Order.

It's a tale of how studio technology changed music, with British bands putting their own unique spin on dance to produce contrasting northern and southern sounds. (00:58:49)


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