Sister Nancy – Bam Bam

7th December 2023 · 1980s, 1982, Music, Reggae

Let’s travel back to Jamaica in 1983 for Sister Nancy’s irrepressible dancehall reggae anthem Bam Bam, bringing a ray of sunshine to a cold winter’s day.

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I’ve just discovered that my 12-inch copy of Cristina’s scandalous take on an old classic is a collector’s item. Apparently her new lyrics for a tune about the mundanity of life, and the need to “break out the booze and have a ball – if that’s all there is”, so offended the songwriters, Leiber and Stoller, that they successfully sued to get it withdrawn – at least for a time.

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Kid Creole and the Coconuts were a breath of fresh air when they came along at the start of a new decade with their zoot suits and Panama hats and spats – and their tropical take on disco.

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Requiem has to be the song to remember Geordie Walker, the Killing Joke guitarist who has died. Not just for its title but for his vast metallic slabs of electric guitar that scythe through the synth bass.

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Virgin Prunes began life at the same time, at the same social club in Dublin, as U2 – but went in a very different direction, blending avant-garde cabaret with improvisation and experimentation.

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In 1980 the postpunk landscape was expanding in all sorts of new directions. Most of them had identifiable roots in punk but Orange Juice were odds with the New Wave mainstream.

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I was never a New Romantic. I never went to Blitz or Billy’s or Le Beat Route. I have never worn make-up. And yet… 

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RIP Pete Garner (1962-2023)

Original bass guitarist in The Stone Roses (more…)

When Elvis Costello brought out an album of country cover versions in 1981 – remarkably, his sixth album in four years – my music world was turned upside down.

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People were shocked when Grace Jones performed her “One Man Show” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in October 1981. Including me.

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