The Summer of ’85: Relive the Eleven Biggest Musical Moments
From Madonna getting married to the music world coming together for Live Aid, we look back at the biggest musical moments from the summer of 1985
This year has been awash with nostalgia for the final year of the Sixties and the end of the 20th Century (a.k.a. 1999), but Stranger Things is bringing the Eighties back in a, like, totally major way. The upcoming third season of the hit Netflix series (set to premiere July 4th on the streaming service) finds the Hawkins, Indiana crew navigating adolescence, as well as a paranormal phenomenon or two, over their school vacation in 1985. Aside from the near constant supernatural threats, we have to admit we envy them.
Those warm months in the mid-point of the decade were a golden era for pop culture —and particularly music. Sure, the summer of ’69 may have had Woodstock, Abbey Road and “Honky Tonk Women,” but the summer of ’85 had Live Aid, Brothers in Arms and, well, “Summer of ’69.” Strap on your Walkman and read on.
2. a-Ha Release Their Debut Album, Hunting High and Low (June 1st)
Just a brief listen to a-Ha’s stunning debut from May 1985 proves that the Norwegian synth-pop trio are far better than the “one hit wonder” title that’s so often foisted upon them. Of course, the one hit in question — the jubilant pogo-inducing “Take on Me” —is a stone-cold classic of the New Wave era, all the way down to the innovative cartoon-meets-live action video, which took director Steve Barron’s team of animators 16 weeks to painstakingly sketch frame by frame. The dazzling visuals, affecting romantic storyline, and the chiseled cheekbones of ultra-photogenic singer Morten Harket helped make the clip a mainstay on video networks and propelled the song to the top of the charts that October. “I have no doubt that the video made the song a hit,” keyboardist Magne Furuholmen told Rolling Stone in 2010. “The song has a super catchy riff, but it is a song that you have to hear a few times. And I don’t think it would’ve been given the time of day without the enormous impact of the video.”
The album reached Number 15 in the States, earning a platinum certification, and spawned an additional Top 20 single, the majestic “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” The video is a sequel to “Take on Me,” reuniting Harket with English model Bunty Bailey. The pair would date for a time, but their real-life relationship was just as doomed as their onscreen one.
Catchy cuts like “Train of Thought” and the title track would rank high in Europe and elsewhere, but a-Ha would never score a Top 40 entry in the United States again. “We were three headstrong Norwegians saying, ‘No we don’t want to record another “Take on Me,” we’re doing our own thing,’” Furuholmen says. “We never expected to become teenage idols, so for us it was like, ‘Let’s move on.’ But for the record company this was a successful formula, and anything we did to break with that was seen as a disease.” When the group decided to disband in 2010 (before eventually reuniting in 2015), they called their farewell tour “Ending on a High Note” — a humorous nod to the soaring falsetto leap in the “Take on Me” chorus.
Da habe ich schon fast drauf gewartet, dass ihnen da etwas Gegenwind ins Gesicht bläst. Ähnlich wie in Israel. Mal schauen ob sie sich noch äußern.