Sound of the 80s

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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telecode
KVRian
1036 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:33 am

AnX wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 am
sfd wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:08 pm
.
... Pet Shop Boys... where not specifically "synth-pop#" artists


i cant think of a better term to describe them, they are quintessentially synth pop
Agreed. Pet Shop are perfect example of synth pop. What other genre are they?
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9809 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:22 am

telecode wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:17 am
sfd wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:19 am
If there's anything really notable in the development of the music of the 1980's it lays more in the development of recording technology. Better tape machines, MIDI, sequencers and samplers.
Yeah, i agree with this. I think the tech music development got a boost of adrenaline and all these new instruments and tools just started seeping into the old 70s guitar rock recording studios.

I personally think the avant garde pop artists like Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson e.t.c... did a lot more ground breaking stuff with their use of synths in their releases from that time period.

What I personally find interesting about some of those 80s pop records I grew up on is, when I hear them today, I feel they haven't aged very well. They just don't sound as "magical" as I remember them sounding and they sound just badly mastered. This is where wonder if there is some truth to some of the discussions over at Steve Hoffman audiophile forums about maybe analogue LP and cassettes do sound better than CD and digital. I would have listened and owned the LP and cassette versions of those releases back then. Today I own the digital and CD released and various remastered iterations of them and none of them sound as good as they did back when they were released. (At least not to my ears.)
I disagree. I mean, you’re right in that those developments were important, but a huge development was in the pricing of synthesis. You forget how expensive those instruments from the 70s were. The Juno 106 and DX7 were big price breakthroughs that helped usher in synths into pop culture in a much bigger way than it had been in the 70s. Nothing new tech wise (though, DCOs) but now more attainable.
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sfd
KVRian
1383 posts since 14 Jul, 2013 from Sweden

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 am

I'm aware that there are people who consider PSB as a synth-pop band.

That, of course, boils down to how to define the term. Which , in turn, can, and is, different from one time to another.

The term was originally used to describe synth based pop music. More / less despite style. And when synth based music was more widely spread it became a bit of a common property in mainstream pop music. At that point the term was more a description of style. But also, sill, as a reference to the early synth based acts.

PSB came along a bit later to be counted as a synth-pop band in the term's original definition.

Style-wise it's probably a question of personal preferences. To me PSB are more of a mainstream pop band. With little in common whit Erasure (with who they, by some strange reason, are often compared with),

And we already fought a war about what artists are "true" synth artits back in the days.

And as a result of that I'll totally and absolutely admit that you are always rigth....when you agree with me ! :clown:

Have a can of pop-corn and watch this excellent BBC documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dPFHXW ... C6454A9122
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wagtunes
KVRAF
16928 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:52 am

To me, synth pop is like porn. I can't define it but I know it when I hear it.

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telecode
KVRian
1036 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:03 pm

sfd wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 am
PSB came along a bit later to be counted as a synth-pop band in the term's original definition.
I might be an authority on PSB as I was actually there and a teenager when they came out. They came out with West End Girls. They came out in a pop charting environment that was populated by John Cougar Mellencamps Scarecrow, Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, and a bunch of other mid 80s huge records. At the time we didn't quite know what to make of PSB. They weren't like Culture Club or Dexy's Midnight Runners, and they sure weren't like the big American artists like Prince, Springsteen, The Cars, Madonna or Cindy Lauper. The only thing we as a teen poppers knew about them was that the singer as a journalist at some point and they had a top 10 hit.

I think PSB really hit their stride as artists about 10 or 15 years later (by that time I was waaayy out of pop music and heavy into alternative music) when they were lumped in with Madonna and George Michael fans and the whole Vouge/fashion fans. But as a musician, I can safely say, they were always a synth based pop band. Guitars and live drums were not something you ever associated with PSB.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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AnX
KVRAF
5250 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:15 pm

sfd wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 am
I'm aware that there are people who consider PSB as a synth-pop band.

That, of course, boils down to how to define the term.
a band who makes pop music with synths?
sfd wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 am
The term was originally used to describe synth based pop music.
i really dont see how they can be described as anything but... :shrug:

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vurt
addled muppet weed
50348 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:17 pm

never thought id see the day it kicked off over the pet shop boys :shrug:

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wagtunes
KVRAF
16928 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:19 pm

You have to remember that what separated the Pet Shop Boys from everybody else was the lead singer. Simply put, nobody sounded like him. HE was the group, just like Lionel Richie was the Commodores. Just like Michael Jackson was the Jackson 5. With some groups, lead singers are replaceable. Not so with them. Truthfully, their instrumentation wasn't very different from other groups of the time. But you couldn't mistake them thanks to the lead singer.

I think we tend to look past this when defining a group's sound.

Case in point, if I were to get the backing track to West End Girls and sang it myself, it wouldn't sound like the Pet Shop Boys, though for some reason I have been compared to them many times. I don't particularly hear it, but whatever. Still, no way I make that song sound like them.

Case in point, when I did my Police tribute CD, it took forever for people to figure out it was them even though I emulated as much of their sound as I could, especially in how the songs were composed. Like it or not, Sting's voice WAS the Police.

I still don't know what a synth pop song sound like as opposed to a song that just happens to use synths but isn't a synth pop song.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
50348 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:42 pm

speaking of the pet shop boys, when did aquariums become a huge hobby again? every one around here is in to it. friends constantly discussing it. weird. just all of a sudden, everyone!

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sfd
KVRian
1383 posts since 14 Jul, 2013 from Sweden

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:57 pm

@AnX You are totally wrong !

With all respect :clown:

Seriously - a band that makes music with synths. Sure, that puts PSB in the same bag as Kim Wilde, Samantha Fox, Bananarama, Sanra, Madonna, Modern Talking, A-ha, Bomb The Bass, Public Enemy, Falco, Naked Eyes, Kylie Minogue, Lisa Stansfield, Rockwell, and th rest of them :-)
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vurt
addled muppet weed
50348 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:58 pm

most of them also had backing bads with the usual instrumentation ;)

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vurt
addled muppet weed
50348 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:59 pm

pe where never pop.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
50348 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:01 pm

also, major difference between psb and the pop bands you listed, psb wrote most of their own songs, aside from a few covers. therefore an actual band and not a product.

AnX
KVRAF
5250 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:06 pm

sfd wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:57 pm
@AnX You are totally wrong !

With all respect :clown:

Seriously - a band that makes music with synths. Sure, that puts PSB in the same bag as Kim Wilde, Samantha Fox, Bananarama, Sanra, Madonna, Modern Talking, A-ha, Bomb The Bass, Public Enemy, Falco, Naked Eyes, Kylie Minogue, Lisa Stansfield, Rockwell, and th rest of them :-)
so?

who cares who you group them with....?

they are a synth pop band, they make pop songs with synths.... maybe check out their discography

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telecode
KVRian
1036 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: Sound of the 80s

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:18 pm

PSB are/were a synth pop band.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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