The fifteen most under rated British bands of the 80s – The Claim, The Monochrome Set, Furniture and more

Ashley Music 13 Comments

A few weeks ago I wrote a list of the most under rated British bands of the 90s as nominated by some charming musicians, bloggers and chancers  that I hang about with on social media sites. It got huge traffic, so, not wishing to change a winning formula, I asked the same group to come up with the most under rated bands of the 80s, and here’s the list.

Obviously the key here is defining the phrase ‘under rated’. There are some 80s bands; Felt, The Soft Boys and Gang Of Four spring to mind, who didn’t  trouble the charts a great deal  in their prime but thanks to being championed by more recent bands are now heralded as makers of some of the finest music of that decade. So we didn’t include them. I also added a few bands who were huge at the time, but these days never seem to be played on the radio or mentioned at all.

In a totally serendipitous way as I was putting the list together Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music decided to make the first two weeks of the year ‘lost 80s bands’ week, playing some completely forgotten tunes like Westworld’s Sonic Boom Boy. So Steve, how about playing a few of these?

Thanks then to everyone who added their twopennyworth.

And can someone please release the lost album recorded by the number one band. Ta. Any we have missed in the comments please. If you do your own list shout and I’ll post a link here too.

There’s a selection of tracks on the Spotify play list below

6 The Monochrome Set

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Although largely forgotten for a decade or two – admittedly Morrissey, who nicked an idea or two from them for The Smiths, has always said how much he admires them – the band are starting to at last achieve a degree of acclaim. You can hear snatches of their music in the Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand as well as See Monkey bands like The Keys and The Moles. They didn’t just know how to pen a great chorus – listen to Sugar Plum on Spotify – they also wrote laugh out loud lyrics and had a genuine mystique about them. They also weren’t afraid of pulling the odd art school stunt too like playing with music stands in front of them. Perhaps best of all they had strong links with what is probably the 80s most perfect record label El. And at least one of them may have played on the era-defining Bad Dream Fancy Dress album Choirboys Gas. Pretty much everything they ever produced is on Spotify. The first couple of albums are the best, though they did have a bit of an Indian summer in the early 90s with Bella Morte.