Is it synthetic pop or synthesizer pop

10 electronic pop songs from the 80s

Party-ready tracks with style

You have to admit it: In purely musical terms, the 80s were rather seldom like big fireworks. Due to the significant influences of punk and electronics and the fact that synthesizers and drum computers slipped into affordable price ranges, that time brought many cool tracks to light, which the new sound aesthetic was obviously not particularly conducive to.

Often the use of the new digital instruments was too blatant or the sounds simply sounded "cheap" because they were not yet authentic enough. But the 80s sprayed a pioneering spirit, a newly gained self-confidence paired with a matter of course, so that there was room for experiments and a stage for bands like Simple Minds, Depeche Mode and stars like Madonna and Prince, who continuously and stylishly designed their own era , were open to new ideas and laid the foundation for many of the sub-genres that followed.

The musical developments of the 80s were by no means exclusively tasteless, which is why we want to recommend ten important and cross-genre electronic pop songs from that decade, which, stylishly presented, work at almost any party.

01 Rheingold - triad dimensions (1980) on world record / EMI Electrola (1C 064-46 160)

Rheingold was a three-piece new wave band from the Düsseldorf scene at the time and landed a little surprise hit in 1980 with their triad dimensions. The song just sounded really good, very warm and, above all, spacey and was unique in the German pop landscape of that time. It's a shame that the band, like some from the Düsseldorf time, were subsequently subsumed by the German music industry to the NDW a few years later, which is simply wrong.

Of course, this does not affect the functionality of the track. Even today the original works late at night and, unlike other deejays, I don't play any of the countless remixes.

Link to the track

02. Profile - Touching (1981) on world record / EMI Electrola (1C K 062-46 550 2)

Profil was a new wave band and also came from Düsseldorf. The maxi was very difficult to get for a while, but "Touch" appeared again on the compilation "Tanz mit dem Herzen" on Metronom Records, which was still relatively easy to get for a long time. Up until the mid-90s, "Touching" was a far more lasting track on the dance floor in clubs that primarily played New Wave and Punk than was "Eisbären" from Grauzone up to now, which certainly has a considerable impact on the abnormal and bass-heavy mix.

Link to the track

03. The Human League - Don´t You Want Me (1981) on Virgin Records (VS 466-12)

This song was a real No.1 hit, but Human League was not a one hit wonder. The British synth pop band was very popular at the time and that was understandable. This pop song, which was bubbling with synthetic sounds, was number 1 worldwide and exuded an almost disgustingly refreshing charm and a really good mood through the sung dialogue. Played at the right time, this song can mutate into an absolute party rocket because it has everything it needs, but above all a great kicking mix. The original has even been played regularly in various hip Berlin after hour techno clubs for many years and the ladies on the dance floor thank you - every time ...

Link to the track

04.Depeche Mode - Leave in Silence (1982) on Mute (12 BONG 1)

Even a little space for melancholy makes a good party. In any case, this song is a dark-looking, worn track that is made for the dance floor and with classic Roland drum sounds provides the necessary pressure to get the hips pumping. The dramaturgy is also great (!), But the tension created is not dissolved in the end, which is a real invitation to let the next New Wave track follow with a little more thump. Goose bumps...

Link to the track

05. New Order - Blue Monday (1983) Rough Trade Germany (RTD 10, FAC 73)

In principle, Blue Monday was a consistent man-machine track with decisive success. The song influenced the music scene worldwide with its new sound aesthetic. After that nothing was like before. This machine-gun-like rattling bass drum and especially the mixing ratio had never been heard before. Mega loud and directly in "your face." Due to the length of seven and a half minutes, the pressing had to be done on a 12 “-maxi and the master engineer apparently gave everything to achieve the optimum feed rate when cutting the vinyl master. Heilands Sack, was the record loud! "Blue Monday" squeezed out of the speakers in all teenagers' rooms and hit the bull's eye ...

Link to the track

Rheingold - triad dimensions

06. Boytronic - You (1983) on Mercury (812 875-1)

Boytronic was a synth-pop band from the far north, more precisely from Hamburg. The band was at odds with their naming rights and couldn't get past the second album. Today the rights are with the record company, great. Boytronic was a purely German phenomenon, "You" made it into the German top ten, but was still played in New Wave discos well into the 90s and regularly and reliably caused rhythmic jerks. The track has its very own charm and creates a gloomy atmosphere that is only "chopped up" regularly by its own kick and the whipping synthetic snare. A track with character - its very own ...

Link to the track

07. Herbie Hancock - Rockit (1983) on CBS (CBSA-12.3577)

Herbie Hancock is a jazz musician of excellence. The thoroughbred musician has been publishing since 1962. Always open to new projects, he is the first musician to combine a real electro piece with the massive use of scratches and then this spacey theme - that was a lot for 80s ears. But that was not all, because his extraordinary music video also attracts a lot of attention. A gloomy scenery, dehumanized, in a seemingly absurd room with automatic human-like machines that ludicrously shake their bolted-on limbs to the irresistible future funk rhythm. Big arc of suspense with a spooky freakshow and a grandiose finale and an abrupt end.

Link to the track

08. Murray Head - OneNightin Bangkok (1984) on RCA (PC 68247)

A very warm track, fat by 80s standards, whose beats are stylistically somewhere in the no man's land between Italo Disco, New Wave and House, which pushes a really slow but continuously driving four-to-the-floor rhythm in front of you can only be withdrawn with difficulty. The 12 "mix sounds really phenomenal. I've always found this song to be strong, I can't really say why. Maybe I don't always have to do it ...

Link to the track

09. M | A | R | R | S - Pump Up The Volume (1987) Rough Trade (BAD 707, RTD 029T)

M | A | R | R | S was an English house music project that only had this single release. The track was number 1 in England and reached top 10 positions in various charts in Europe. It wasn't exactly the first sampling record, but it was the first commercially successful. It was the first publication of its kind to give rise to legal disputes over the sampling issue. In addition, there were conflicts in the band about the rights to their band name, so it wasn't enough for more. But at least: The first record of Sampling and Scratches had hit the European music market with full force. Fat beats as well as a groovy arrangement, paired with truly song-serving scratches and, last but not least, with a fine feel for the use of samples, ensure the unimagined success story of a one-day fly.

Link to the track

10. The Art Of Noise feat. Tom Jones - Kiss (1988) on China Records / Polydor (CHIXR 11, 871 071-1)

Everyone knows "Kiss" from Prince, but from Tom Jones? There are supposed to be people who don't like this "special" version that much - it may sound a bit cool and sometimes overloaded, but I have to consider what kind of power Tom Jones had at the end of the 80s and Mr. Jones pulls out all its stops here. And the sound artists? - The Art Of Noise are extremely restrained, only the drums are completely different in each verse, sometimes a pounding bass drum with a snare whip unbuckling, sometimes a hip-hop-like beat leaning back and finally a 303 chirps somewhere back there. And the finale - sensational!

Maybe the dance floor will fill up faster with Prince - for sure! But: Mr-I-wrap-them-all-around-the-finger after 30 seconds at the latest everything female pulls onto the dance floor and the surprise effect is successful ... despite the mega-tough competition (Prince).

Link to the track

Boytronic - You