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The 1980's

The 1980s saw the emergence of dance music and new wave. As disco fell out of fashion in the decade's early years, genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience. Soft rock, glam metal, thrash metal, shred guitar characterized by heavy distortion, pinch harmonics and whammy bar abuse became very popular.

Adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz gained popularity. In late '80s, glam metal became the largest, most commercially successful brand of music in the United States and worldwide.

The 1980s are commonly remembered for an increase in the use of digital recording, associated with the usage of synthesisers, with synth-pop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments increasing in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond.

Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban genres were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade, with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres—particularly rap and hip hop—would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s.

Some of the most successful post-punk bands at the beginning of the decade, such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Psychedelic Furs, also continued their success during the 1980s. Members of Bauhaus and Joy Division explored new stylistic territory as Love and Rockets and New Order respectively.

Madness

Madness

Madness are an English band from Camden Town, London & one of the most prominent bands of the late 70s & early 80s 2 Tone ska revival.

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Madonna

Madonna

Madonna transcended the term 'pop star' into a global icon & is regarded as the most influential female recording artist of all time.

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Manchester Music

Manchester Music

Manchester is inextricably linked to its musical heritage. A city whose music is deeply rooted in its fabric

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Mark E. Smith

Mark E. Smith

Mark E Smith was the distictive and uncompromising frontman of the British post-punk band The Fall, regarded by many as a cult icon

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Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor - often referred to as the 'King of Pop'.

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Morrissey

Morrissey

Morrissey is an English singer, songwriter & author, he rose to prominence as the lead singer of the indie rock band The Smiths.

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Neil Young

Neil Young

Neil Young's acclaimed solo career spans over 45 years & 35 studio albums, with a continuous & uncompromising exploration of musical styles.

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New Order

New Order

Combining post-punk with an increasing influence from electronic dance music, New Order were one of the most influential bands of the 1980s.

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Nick Cave

Nick Cave

Referred to as rock music's 'Prince of Darkness', Nick Cave's music is characterised by emotional intensity & a wide variety of influences.

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Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet & visual artist. Called the "punk poet laureate", Smith fused rock & poetry in her work.

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Paul Weller

Paul Weller

Paul Weller is an English singer, songwriter and musician. Weller achieved fame with the punk rock/new wave/mod revival band The Jam.

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Phil Collins

Phil Collins

Phil Collins is a world class drummer, songwriter & one of the defining voices of the 1980s, as both a solo artist and frontman for Genesis

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are currently getting set for the 'Their Mortal Remains' exhibition at the V&A - Check out our range of images for sale.

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Pretenders, The

The Pretenders

The Pretenders, led by lead vocalist Chrissie Hynde, crossed the bridge between punk and pop with their melodic yet hard, spiky songs

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Prince

Prince

Prince was a musical innovator known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress sense and unique vocal range.

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Queen

Queen

Queen are a British rock band credited with making significant contributions to such genres as hard rock & heavy metal, among others.

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Ramones, The

The Ramones

The Ramones' loud, fast, straightforward musical style was influenced by music that the band members grew up listening to in the 50s & 60s.

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REM

R.E.M.

R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in 1980, they were pivotal in the creation and development of the alternative rock genre.

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Rolling Stones, The

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band who were in the vanguard of the British music Invasion that became popular in the US in 1964–65.

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Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in 1975. Without them popular culture in the last 30+ years would be very different.

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Sinead O'connor

Sinead O'connor

Sinéad O’Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s & is best known for her hit single 'Nothing Compares 2 U'.

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Siouxsie and The Banshees

Siouxsie and The Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees were an English 70's punk band formed in London & became an important influence on the emerging gothic rock scene.

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Smiths, The

The Smiths

Critics have called The Smiths the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.

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Specials, The

The Specials

The Specials are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band, their music combines a ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude.

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Stone Roses

Stone Roses

The Stone Roses are an English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1983, meshing '60s-styled guitar pop with an understated '80s dance beat.

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Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy's music reflects a wide range of influences, including blues, soul music, psychedelic rock, and traditional Irish folk music.

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Tom Waits

Tom Waits

Tom Waits is an American singer-songwriter known for his musical tales of bohemians, drifters, misfits & his blend of blues, folk & jazz.

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U2

U2

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group are one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time.

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Undertones, The

The Undertones

The Undertones emerged from Derry in 1976, the result of five friends drawing on influences from punk rock and the new wave scene.

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Featured Prints

Sex Pistols (SP001BG)

Sex Pistols

Punk icon Sid Vicious reading MAD magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the Sex Pistols one and only US tour in January 1978.

Prices from £291.67
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AC/DC (ACDC002DC)

AC/DC

Unique contact sheet print of AC/CD's, Angus Young by photographer David Corio, taken at Hammersmith Odeon, London, November 1st, 1979

Prices from £1,100.00
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Happy Mondays (HAPPY001KC)

Happy Mondays

Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays captured in Yellow 2 Studios, Stockport in 1986

Prices from £291.67
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Björk (BJ004JF)

Björk

Björk captured in 1995 by Jill Furmaovsky

Prices from £291.67
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U2 (UT001LR)

U2

Bono from U2 performing live on their Joshua Tree Tour in Rotterdam, Holland in July 1987

Prices from £375.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH006DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his ranch in San Antonio, Texas in 1960, he always wore black, because he identified with the poor & the down trodden

Prices from £375.00
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Featured Artists

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa's diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize.

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black"

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Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is a singer, songwriter & television personality who rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath.

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Beatles, The

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960 and widely regarded as the most influential acts of the rock era.

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Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter and musician who is usually known by the name "Van the Man" to his fans.

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Elton John

Elton John

Sir Elton John is an English pianist, singer-songwriter, composer & pop icon who has sold millions of records and won countless awards.

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Featured Collections

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

A photographic celebration of Manchester's rock music history. Free exhibition at the University of Manchester

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Jazz & Blues Collection

Jazz & Blues Collection

Welcome to our Jazz & Blues Print Collection - over 50 years of iconic images of the world's greatest Jazz & Blues musicians

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The Duffy Archive Collection

The Duffy Archive Collection

For eight years photographer Brian Duffy worked with David Bowie and shot his most iconic and enduring images. View his fantastic collection

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Barry Schultz Collection

Barry Schultz Collection

A fantastic curated collection of museum quality fine art prints by leading music photographer Barry Schultz

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The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles were one of the most popular & influential bands of all time. Here we showcase our collection of their iconic fine art prints

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Born In The USA

Born In The USA

The USA has given us many of the world's greatest music artists - we celebrate the best of the best

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