Why the Killers keep the 80s alive and kicking

As the killers are about to unleash a new album which will undoubtedly throw another unique take on their 80’s influenced pop, im gonna take you back about 3 years or so to the release of their last album, DAY AND AGE, and give my own unique view on why they shine a light on a decade of ever lasting great music. (i wrote this back in 2009 sometime but will leave it unedited as it was then and will stick by what i spewed out back then).

As we almost come to the end of another decade and twenty years since the 80s ended, the decade that, apparantly, time forgot seems to be in better health than ever.

With new albums from U2, Depeche Mode and Simple Minds, reformed original line ups from Spandau Ballet and Ultravox and a reviograted Duran Duran who are fresh off a world wide sell out tour and have many of todays pop stars lining up to perform and record with the 80s legends, it’s more like the decade that’ll never die.

The one band who are clearly indebted to the 80s, but by no means restrained by the decade, are the Killers.  Throughout their three studio albums to date the band have taken everything that made the 80s great and added their own magical pop fairydust to it.

I mean pop in its truest meaning, whether it be the delicious catchy melodies of the early Beatles in the 60s, the glam rock phenomenon of the 70s or the last great rush of pure pop of the early 80s, which saw the charts bombarded on a regular basis with self penned classics that were born to live forever from the likes of Abc, Duran Duran, Eurthymics, Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, the Cure, Adam and the Ants, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and many more great bands, and not the endless stream of faceless, manufactured acts that are rolled out nowadays like a factory conveyor belt to a brainwashed musical audience.

A young Brandon Flowers fell in love with all these great bands and sounds of the 80s from a place he could only dream of visiting and had as much love for the sounds and witty lyrics of the Smiths and he had for the pop excellence of the Pet Shop Boys.

On debut album HOT FUSS they mixed the exciting sounds of early Duran Duran (listen to SOMEBODY TOLD ME and tell me you can’t hear Simon Le Bon) with a confidence that many mistook for the arrogance of a young and hungry U2.

By the time of second album, SAMS TOWN, they moved towards a more americanised and Bruce Springsteenesque view of the 80s, but still delivered pop gems such as, arguably, one of their finest singles READ MY MIND.

With the release of last years DAY AND AGE, they once again took another musical detour down the alleyways of 80s pop and delivered their most poppy and at times bizzarest album yet.  In other groups hands some of the songs on the album just simply wouldn’t work, but in the future 80s world that the Killers have created it seems to make perfect, crazy sense.

Newest classic HUMAN, is a delicious, understated masterpiece that could easily have been recorded by the Pet Shop Boys back in their chart topping heyday, and there’s even a point on JOYRIDE where you almost expect Brandon to burst into a verse of Madonna’s LIKE A PRAYER.

They have now amassed a string of hit singles that can stand proudly beside Duran Duran’s early run of almost perfect singles and have probably helped many young and inexperienced music fans to trawl their parents record collections or second hand shops to find out if the groups that inspired the Killers are as good, catchy and essential as some of us already know that they are.

So as we hit the next decade (the tennies?) it wont be long before some new upstarts with visions of global pop stardom will be raiding the seemingly endless well of great 80s music and once again prove that it simply was and still is the best decade there’s ever been for great timeless music.

 

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