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The 3 bands from the 80s that Pete Townshend said were great

Pete Townshend


The 3 bands from the 80s that Pete Townshend said were great

Pete Townshend helped to form The Who in 1964 and has been for decades the band’s main songwriter, guitarist and sometimes singer. The group was part of the so called British Invasion in the 60s and evolved their sound in the 70s, becoming one of the most influential Rock bands of all time.


By the late 70s the music business was really affected by Punk Rock and then in the 80s many different Rock sub-genres appeared. That made the market a little harder for older groups. Even though many artists from his generation are not big fans of what happened in the 80s, Pete Townshend admires a few bands. He even listed some in an interview with the Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones back in 2007. He said they are “great ones”.

The 3 bands from the 80s that Pete Townshend said were great

Echo & Bunnymen

“Music changes slower than the fashions around it. It gives you a backbone and you can hang on to that and say ‘at least this is still real’. When you go back and you visit the music of those periods you find that ‘Ok. He was wearing a plaid wrap and he looked like a prat. But the band is pretty good, you know,” Pete Townshend told Steve Jones before he listed the groups. The first one being Echo & The Bunnymen.

The group was formed in Liverpool, England in 1978 releasing their debut album “Crocodiles” three years later in 1980. Their first three records were successful with some famous songs like “Rescue” and “The Cutter” (UK Top 10 hit). But it was with the release of the album “Ocean Rain” (1984), the single “Bring On The Dancing Horses” (1985) and the album “Echo & the Bunnymen” (1987) that they went to another level.

Those two records had hits like “Silver”, “The Killing Moon” (UK Top 10 hit), “Seven Seas”. Also “The Game”, “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo” and “Lips Like Sugar”. The band remains active with two original members: Ian McCulloch (Vocals, guitar and keyboards) and Will Sergeant (Guitar and programming).

Their most recent album is “The Stars, the Oceans & The Moon” released in 2018.

Simple Minds

Another band mentioned by Townshend was Simple Minds, that was formed in 1977 in Glasgow, Scotland. They released their first album “Life in a Day” two years later. But it was in 1985 that the band became internationally famous with the hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. It was released as a single and featured on the John Hughes movie “The Breakfast Club“, released in the same year.

The song was written and composed by the producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff (Guitarist and songwriter from Nina Hagen band). They wrote the song for Simple Minds but also offered to several other groups before the Scottish band agreed to record it. Billy Idol was one of the musicians who declined to the record the track.

That same year Simple Minds released the album “Once Upon a Time”, who had other two famous songs from their career: “All The Things She Said” and “Alive and Kicking”. The band remains active with the two original members Jim Kerr (Vocals) and Charlie Burchill (Guitar and keyboards). They have released 21 studio albums, the most recent one being “Direction of The Heart” (2022).

Spandau Ballet

The third band mentioned by The Who’s main songwriter was Spandau Ballett, that was formed in London, England in 1979. The group has sold 25 million records worldwide and had 23 hit singles. Their classic line-up had Gary Kemp (Guitar), Martin Kemp (Bass), Tony Hadley (Vocals), Steve Norman (Saxophone) and John Keeble (Drums).

The group was active from 1979 to 1990 and from 2009 to 2019. They have released 7 studio albums, with hits like “True”, “Gold”, “Through The Barricades”, “Only When You Leave” and “To Cut a Long Story Short”.

Their biggest success was in 1983 with the release of the album “True”. The title-track reaching number 1 in the United Kingdom and number 5 on the United States charts.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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