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

5 The Claim

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Medway's finest (though I'd also use that phrase to describe The Dentists, The Prisoners and The Len Price 3 too) The Claim wrote exquisite songs of love, loss and social commentary, but were completely out of kilter with their time, though that’s all the more to cherish. It wasn’t always this way. In their early days there was little evidence that they would amount to a hill of beans. They came from the mod end of the spectrum, the Jam were an influence but not overtly so, as they evolved a style and sound of their own. The Kinks would seem an obvious touchstone, but they were not name-dropped willy-nilly in those days like they are now. It didn’t happen for them. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong clothes. Of course they were not alone. Others were treading a similar path. Their time would come, but by the time Blur paved the way, the Claim boys were pulling a wage and bringing up their kids. Although they started recording in the 80s, most of their best stuff was actually issued in the 90s. Still, we make the rules here. Check out the Black Path album on Spotify, which rounds up pretty much everything they ever recorded. One burst of the chugging guitar sound of Birth Of A Teenager and you'll be smitten.