The Essential Soundtrack to Pop's Greatest (and Gayest) Year
By Aaron Hicklin
“Beat Box,” by the newly formed Art of Noise, finds fame as one of the earliest and most influential hip-hop songs, hitting number 1 on the American dance chart in February 1984. Incredibly inventive, the song harnesses the Fairlight synthesizer — the instrument du jour — to spectacular effect.
The Pretenders’s “2,000 Miles” proves there is such a thing as a good Christmas song.
Epilogue: The second British Invasion would endure well into 1984, but a year later, the tide had turned definitively back in the opposite direction as Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince dominated the charts. “There’s was hunger for change, and that was a good thing and a bad thing,” says Orzabal of the rise of British synthpop. “It’s the tide that sweeps you in and it’s the tide that rapidly sweeps you back out again.”