Officially the worst year ever for music....
Officially the worst year ever for music. Live Aid took place simultaneously at Wembley and in Philadelphia. While the cause was just, it helped cement a rock aristocracy that remained unbudgeable for years. Sting, Queen, U2. Phil fucking Collins. The latter even managed, rather smugly, to play both gigs.
Gone: Power Station and Arcadia. The mercifully short-lived side-projects of various Duran Duran members. While Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes’ Arcadia were innocuous enough, Andy and John Taylor’s teaming up with Robert Palmer was a corpulent folly. The bastards decimated T-Rex’s ‘Get It On’.
Album of the year: Jesus And Mary Chain: ‘Psychocandy’
Single of the year: Jesus And Mary Chain: ‘Never Understand’
Band of the year: The Jesus And Mary Chain
1985 belonged to: Bob Geldof. We even forgave him for The Boomtown Rats when he said the f-word on live TV.
Event of the year: Live Aid. Elsewhere it was an atrocity exhibition. Dire Straits released ‘Brothers In Arms’ which stayed in the charts forever; ditto Bruce Springsteen with ‘Born In The USA’ and Phil Collins with ‘No Jacket Required’. Their only serious rivals were the increasingly bloated Simple Minds, the too-awful-for-words Level 42 and the vacuous Paul Young. Only Kate Bush and Madonna provided any kind of respite commercially.
It was also the era of the bratpack movies, including such crimes as The Breakfast Club and St Elmo’s Fire with their respective groovy soundtracks. You want more? Thatcher finally crushed the miners and abolished the pop-friendly GLC. The tabloids new hate figures, New Age Travellers, were beaten senseless by our brave bobbies at the Battle of the Beanfield
Thank God, then, for The Jesus And Mary Chain. A vicious, honey-dripping barrage of noise. Their gigs tended to degenerate into riots, but no-one really noticed the difference.