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Other genres of the 80's

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Other genres of the 80's


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Post punk alternative rock evolved mainly in the United Kingdom and Ireland with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Psychedelic Furs, Love and Rockets, New Order, The Fall, The Pop Group, The Mekons, Echo and the Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes.

In the case of Ireland  the most successful band that originated was U2, incorporating elements of religious imagery together with political commentary into their often anthemic music; becoming by the late 80s one of the biggest bands in the world.

British artists unlike their American counterparts made use of MTV early on and learned how to popularize their music with music videos. Several British acts signed to independent labels were able to outmarket and outsell American artists that were signed with major labels. Some journalists labeled this phenomenon as the "Second British Invasion".

A Flock of Seagulls' I Ran (1982) entered the Billboard Top-10,  becoming the first successful song that owed its success almost entirely to video. It would be followed by Duran Duran whose glossy video's would come to symbolize the power of MTV.

Dire Straits' Money for nothing gently poked fun at MTV which had helped make them international rock stars. By 1983 30% of the record sales were from British acts. Eighteen of the top 40 and six of the top 10 singles in July 1983 were by British artists; in April 1984 Forty of the top100 singles were from British origin and in May 1985, eight of the top 10 singles were also from there.

The media credited MTV and the British acts with bringing colour and energy to back to pop music while rock journalists were rather hostile to the phenomenon because they felt it represented image over content. However by 1987 MTV would change its rotation of videos from the New Wave-oriented acts to a Heavy Metal and rock dominated format.

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