Sunday, August 28, 2011

80s Christmas Ornaments

I was looking at some new Christmas ornaments online the other day and I came across this one on Amazon -

Doesn't it look good? Unfortunately I couldn't find any Space Invaders Christmas ornaments but it did get me thinking - wouldn't it be awesome to have a totally 80s themed Christmas tree? Thinking along these lines I discovered some cool 80s Christmas tree ornaments like this one -

There's actually a whole selection of them to be found at - Retro 80s Christmas Ornaments. So what do you think? Will you be having an awesome 80s style Christmas this year?

If we're talking Christmas and we're talking 80s then I guess we should pose another question - best Christmas song of 1984 - Band Aid with Do They Know It's Christmas? Vs Wham! with Last Christmas? I love both of these songs so it's a hard choice, but what do you think?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

80s Mugs - A Great Gift Idea

I love to drink either my tea or my coffee from a mug, a cup's just not big enough in my humble opinion.   I actually have a True mug that I drink from, a fair dinkum Spandau Ballet licensed True mug.   The lettering has faded somewhat, but being a Spandau Ballet of old I love that mug.

I was thinking I hadn't written a post for this blog in a while whilst drinking from my mug when I thought - I know 80s mugs!   Buy yourself an 80s mug to use every day or get one for your best friend, co-worker, family member etc.   Take it from me drinking from an 80s mug does put you in a good mood!

There's this classic I Love the 80s mug which is pretty cool, but wait there's a lot more to look at.....

Colorful Cassette Tapes mugTog Gun Wingman mug
These three mugs are all available from Zazzle which is a POD site that has some awesome designs, not just the ones I've featured here.

You can also find mugs from 80s bands, television series etc like these -

Can you remember Bros?   "When will I, will I be famous?", Talk about a flashback in time.

I must look and see what Matt Goss is doing these days as I know I occasionally see Luke Goss acting.   I'm sure they had a couple of other hits as well, but When Will I Be Famous is the only one I can think of off of the top of my head.

There are lots of other bands who have mugs that you can buy online so let's have a look at a some of them, Duran Duran the biggest international New Romantic band, Joy Division, one of my hubby's favorite bands until the demise of Ian Curtis and the resulting (and one of my favorites) New Order and of course Bon Jovi (as I type his name I'm singing Shot Through The Heart in my head!) -


Now if for some strange reason 80s music isn't the thing you miss most from the 80s then maybe this mug is more your style -

I do love ALF! This 80s mug is definitely a classic, I might even be persuaded to give up my True mug in exchange for it :)

What 80s inspired mug would you like to (are are already) drink from?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Through The Barricades - Spandau Ballet

Through the Barricades Album - Great 80s Music

Through the Barricades - Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet's album Through the Barricades was their fifth studio album and the first one for the record company CBS. It featured the heartfelt Through the Barricades single along with the two singles Fight for Ourselves and How Many Lies.

After the release of this album the band toured the UK to promote it little realizing that this would be their last tour for thirty years. I was lucky enough to be able to be at one of these shows and Spandau Ballet really seemed to be at the top of their game - it was a fantastic performance.
Through the BarricadesCheck Price
Track listing:-

  • Barricades -- Introduction

  • Cross the Line

  • Man in Chains

  • How Many Lies?

  • Virgin

  • Fight for Ourselves

  • Swept

  • Snakes and Lovers

  • Through the Barricades

Fight For Ourselves

1st Single from Through the Barricades

The first single released from the album was Fight For Ourselves which reached number 15 in the UK charts.

Let’s look at some of the background to this album - Gary Kemp wrote the whole Through the Barricades album while the band were living in Ireland for a year. At the time Spandau Ballet were in dispute with their original record company Chrysalis over the way the company had failed to promote them in the US market. When you listen to the lyrics it could be that Gary Kemp is writing about Spandau Ballet's legal woes......

Then again Gary Kemp was getting quite political around this time and had also teamed up with Billy Bragg (a well known left wing singer) and was supportive of the UK's Miners Strike so he could have just been telling everyone to stand up for what they believed was right.

Everybody, we've got to fight for ourselves

Whatever you believe the lyrics to be about one thing is for certain the song was catchy and easy to sing along to.

Through the Barricades - The Single

Through the Barricades was the second single to be released off of the album of the same name. It was written while the band were in Ireland and as Gary Kemp (the songwriter and guitar player of Spandau Ballet) said at the time "....(whilst)...we don't think to ourselves as a political band, but we can't ignore what is happening just around the corner.

Through the Barricades is essentially a Romeo and Juliet story set in Northern Ireland between a boy and a girl, one Protestant and one Catholic. It was a top ten hit in the UK and was also big in Europe (staying at number one for eight weeks in Italy) and the haunting melody has made it a favorite for the band and a large number of fans.

Through the Barricades showed Gary Kemp's songwriting abilities at their best. It also played to Tony Hadley's vocals beautifully with him giving his best performance to date on the single. The use of the drum and pipe marching music is so reminiscent of Ireland's Parades that it tugs even more at the heartstrings. Through the Barricades was also one of my favorites (can you tell?).

The line in the song Through the Barricades that goes - "as our hearts go to their graves" has been debated in some areas as to whether it means a suicide pact or an end of a doomed affair. What do you think?

Personally I think they made a suicide pact if you listen to the line 'the stars reach out and tell us there's only one escape' I can't think that it would be anything other than death.

How Many Lies

The Third Single from Through the Barricades Album

How Many Lies was their third and last single off of the album Through the Barricades. Although the band didn't realise it at the time How Many Lies was to become their last Top 40 hit single.

As I mentioned earlier this song was written when the band was in dispute with their record company while Gary Kemp was also getting very political. When you initially listen to the song you assume it’s between a couple, by knowing the background and where Gary’s head was at you start to wonder if it was a swipe at Chrysalis or even a political statement.

When you initially hear the song you assume it's between a couple, but knowing where Gary's head was at could it be a swipe at Chrysalis or even a political statement? Enjoy the song and let me know what you think.

How many lies must we tell?
How many lies must we see?
How many times must we say, it's for the best?
And leave truth as the casualty?