Friday, November 11, 2011

Repost: Second British Invasion: Madness and Thomas Dolby

This is a re-post of the June 23, 2011 post. I'm re-posting it as part of a week devoted to the Second British Invasion.

The Second British Invasion of 1983 is most often associated with its most popular acts, like Duran Duran, Culture Club, Eurythmics and the Police. But the launching of MTV brought exposure to a large number of quirky bands from both sides of the Atlantic. And the new art form of music videos generated a lot of creative, quirky and fun-loving masterpieces. Heres two such examples from the UK:

The Second British Invasion of the early '80s really did open the door for Americans to access a wide range of arty British musical culture which had not made it to the USA before. A lot of it was from the various subgenres which sprung up in the New Wave aftermath of punk in the '70s and early '80s. One example is the group Madness. Madness originated in the ska reveival which took place in Britain around 1978-79, but which didn't really obtain too much exposure in the United States. Finally, in 1983, Madness joined the British Invasion to hit it big with the chipper, catchy song "Our House," a big hit in '83.  The writer Simon Reynolds, in his book, "Rip It Up and Start Again" compared this song to the Beatle's "Penny Lane."

The Second British Invasion also brought the quirky, creative synth-pop of Thomas Dolby. A good example of it is the sonf "She Blinded Me With Science," which actually became more of a hit in America than in the UK. And a big hit it was. The video is an excellent example of how creative and fun-loving video could be during the early '80s. It kind of reminds me of the Beatles films in the late '60s, with its quirky humor and smile-inducing imagery.