As any child of the early 80s my first exposure to music was Pop music. Having an older sister this was mainly the latest english boy band. Wham! and Duran Duran were high on the play list. They must have had a lasting impression because I still listen to their Best Of albums on Spotify, sometimes you have to just give into your guilty pleasures.
One of the first songs I really remember my sister playing on repeat was Starship “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now” from the film Mannequin. She played it to death and I still have it running through my head sometimes.
Radio was the main way to listen to new music during this time and I have a clear recollection of Sunday tea times we would record the charts off Radio 1 on to cassette tape, everyone did it. It was a challenge trying your hardest to pause the tape just before the DJs started to talk. This was then the mix tape for the week on your portable Walkman or double cassette player.
As for the first album I listened to it was probably Michael Jackson – Bad. Michael Jackson was like a god in the 80s. I won’t get into the man himself but if you look at his work he was one of the best creators of Pop music ever and has had a huge influence on many artists.
Albums that appeared on my double cassette player from this early listening period of the late 80s include Bros, New Kids on the Block and Now That’s What I Call Music XXX. Mostly albums I got for Christmas as stocking fillers.
Another place I heard lots of music was in the car. My Dad had cassettes of albums such as Queen Greatest Hits, The Best of Paul McCartney and The Best of The Beach Boys. So a bit of an introduction to light “Rock” from past masters. Although looking back my parents were not a big influence on my musical tastes as they weren’t really into music. They had a record player with some Carpenters albums but I can never remember it actually been on, they just had it because everyone in the 70s and 80s had a record player!
I can recognise the songs and albums aren’t that great and have a very strong 80s style but they are steeped in nostalgia for me, which is part of what music is, a feeling of a time and place when you heard a song. I wasn’t a real fan of music at this time, it was just always there in the background. I didn’t stop and take notice of who the people were who created the music or what the actual lyrics meant. Music was just something that was just there.