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Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) (1982)

The music seemed to always take itself pretty seriously and the group were growing and realising their atmospheric strengths. They never quite fit with the successful new romantic pretty-boys like Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet, they seemed more aligned to U2’s trajectory. Indeed, when U2 got set to record their breakthrough album The Unforgettable Fire with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, the group told them they had been listening to New Gold Dream…

Dire Straits – Communiqué (1979) • Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984) • Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006)

Though long considered by critics one of the daggiest groups of all time, Dire Straits produced a kind of post-Dylan soft-cock-rock that is still uniquely their own. (I suspect the tennis sweatbands had as much to do with that cynical designation, than just Mark Knopfler’s proclivity for solos). Despite the success of their first single, “Sultans of Swing”, I always felt they were more a mood band than a chart-storming hit machine…

Langley Parks: Soundscapes, Themes & Noise – free individual track download…

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