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Are 'Friends' Electric

Tubeway Army 🇬🇧

4th May 1979 (single), 4th April 1979 (LP)

As the dying embers of punk faded, this new sound seemed like something we'd been waiting for - the next phase for pop/rock. A big leap forwards while still being rooted in the present.

In some ways, it wasn't really that new. It's a rock record with drums, bass, and guitar. It adds synths, but they weren't really that new, even in the mainstream. We already had Kraftwerk breaking through three years earlier, and dance music soon embraced the technology, e.g. 1977's I Feel Love by Donna Summer. But they were used differently here, and the combination of sounds, the vocal delivery, the visuals and marketing, all combined to make this a massive hit - not only sounding great in 1979, but also sounding great now, over 40 years later.

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Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time

Gang of Four 🇬🇧

1980 (single), 1981 (Solid Gold LP)

If there's one band whose influence seems to massively outweigh their own commercial success, it's Gang of Four. Year-in, year-out, we hear new acts influenced by their funk and dub influenced post-punk rock. This song encapsulates everything I loved about them. It's angry. political, energetic, and yet it grooves.

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Me & Magdalena

The Monkees 🇺🇸

20th May 2016 (single), 27th May 2016 (LP)

This is another great track from the year of many gems, 2016. That year marked the 50th Anniversary of the formation of The Monkees, and a project was put together to make a new record by the three surviving members. This is its highlight track.

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