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

2 The Primitives

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I love a lot of those C86 bands and was going to make the case for pre-Scraemadelica Primal Scream making this list, but of all the bands who took the girl group/jangly guitar template and reinvented in the late 80s The Primitives were head and shoulders above the rest. In my book Stop Killing Me is the perfect mix of The Ramones and The Monkees and quite possibly the equal of anything either band ever recorded. Crash was a near perfect pop single too and their debut Lovely was a whole heap of fun. Such a shame though that only one of their fabulous selection of tunes ever gets played on the radio. What I wouldn't give to hear the perfect pop of Nothing Left or the frenzied freak out of All The Way Down (Beat version) on my digital tranny. They reformed a couple of years back and their covers album Echoes and Rhymes and recent Xmas thing You Trashed My Christmas show that they still have it in spades. Tragically under-rated.