The Real Eighties: It’s Guys With New Toys Week!

One of the great stereotypes of eighties music, at almost thirty years’ remove, is that of the band with big mutant chemical hair playing synthesizers.

One of the goals of this series is to show that there was a lot more to the era than that.

But the fact remains that the decade did have plenty of artists whose hair was an engineering marvel, who benefitted from one of the greatest democratizations in artistic technology the world saw (until the Internet, of course).

So that’s the subject this week!

7 thoughts on “The Real Eighties: It’s Guys With New Toys Week!

  1. I don’t know about the big hair, but Keith Emerson pioneered synthized music like no one had before.

  2. …In the 70’s. We are onto the 80’s now, Rene. Nothing beats Flock of Seaguls jamming on a single note through the entire song. Don’t believe me? Just check the video!

    P.S. Having pleasure of seeing Emerson live on a number of occasions, I prefer his playing on a grand than synths. Rick Wakeman did a better job on the synths – but again, we are back to the 70’s.

  3. I don’t like ELP in any of its iterations – but Keith Emerson was an amazing organ player. He used to tour with two Hammond B3s – one to play, and one to abuse, basically torturing sounds of of the thing. Crazy stuff – and certainly cut down the supply of the instruments, making them even more expensive today, the bastard. But the guy could play.

  4. Brain Salad Surgery tour, 1980 something. Emerson being elevated while playing piano and then spun head over heals without ever missing a note. Carl Palmer debuting synthiszed drums. Greg lake looking bored.
    Good times.

  5. JPA – then doubtless you would like his work with The Nice, a much less commercially successful, but (imho) much more artistically ambitious and satisfying project.

  6. Bubba – way ahead of you… Have every record they put out and every bootleg I could find. BTW, that’s where “America” stunt originated, not with ELP. Nice recently had a reunion (2002, Vivacitas) – aweeesooooome…

  7. Rene, Lake always lookes bored.

    spun head over heals

    Nah, the best was Emerson hauling a grand onto a stage and proceeding to play “Flight of the Bumblebee” while lying on top of the piano – ie looking at the keys upside down… without missing a note…

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