Thursday, November 05, 2009

Absolute Hell?

Absolute Radio (previously Virgin) are launching an Eighties-only radio station on DAB and the internet.

While part of me applauds such a move - though it makes me feel quite old being a part of the 'gold' market - it also fills me with dread. Why? Because it'll be the same old hackneyed favourites you've heard time and time again.

What's the betting the first song played will be Don't You Want Me, swiftly followed by wallpaper like Easy Lover or Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) or Somewhere In My Heart or Livin' On A Prayer or other songs you still hear on the radio ALL THE TIME.

It would be great if they played artists from the Eighties you don't actually hear very much anymore, but I can't imagine for a moment that we can expect to hear Swansway, Interferon, Scarlet Fantastic or White & Torch, for example. Okay, not (big) hitmakers but worthy of inclusion nonetheless. I doubt there'll be anything non-Top 40 or even non-Top 20 for that matter. It'll be the major hits and nothing else and after a couple of days the playlist will come around all over again.

I know that this what marketing people think the audience want, but really.

Or am I being overly-pessimistic?


Helen said...

I can't think of anything I'd least like to listen to except maybe free-style jazz.'ll be hours of Wham, Culture Club, Spandau etc, like an 80s disco but without the fun.

Bright Ambassador said...

No you're not. We've all heard the thirty-and-forty-something MILFs request the same tired old tunes on Chris Evans's Friday request show. *snore...*

I hope they play Duran Duran's Wild Boys and Adam and the Ants' Prince Charming a lot though, 'cos they're songs that never outstay their welcome. Not.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the French-run 'UK 80's Virgin Radio' (I know, there's a concept) and heard some wonderful songs I've not heard for some years. Flash & The Pan's "Waiting for a train", anyone?

I'd suspect that will have some kind of idea of how large the music selection is.

Five-Centres said...

Hi James. I have to say I bought that song on my 18th birthday, and it does seem to have slipped off the radar somewhat. It was played a lot for years afterwards.

Someone chided me and said that Absolute radio actually plays songs you don't hear very much anymore, but I'm not convinced.

BA is right, though, and it was the Chris Evans demographic I had in mind when I thought of 'what people want', which is never what I want.

Mondo said...

I won't be tuning in - unless they play....

12" mixes (it was only toddlers and oldies that bought 7" singles in the eighties)

Human League from the first two albums.

Anything by Soft Cell expect Tainted Love or Say Hello.


Pre-Tempation Heaven 17.

Oddities like Get Out Of London, Ash In Drag, No GDM

Which of course they won't. Instead they'll beat listeners over the head playing Now That's What I call 80s over and over.

Five-Centres said...

My point exactly Mondo. It'll be The Reflex at every turn.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Pass up a chance to hear 'I'm Still Standing' at least once an hour? I'M THERE, mate.

office pest said...

More Orange Juice for me., or the Cab Voltaire etc.

Anyway enough about that. Here's a real blast from the past, courtesy of the bay:


Five-Centres said...

can you make that a link, OP?

BPP said...

It'll be middle of the road '80s pop all the way because most normal people don't want to listen to obscure shit a handful of scowling miserabilists used to boast about listening to in the '80s.

If they played the rubbish you've suggested, Mr. Centres, you, your Londonista friends and the idiots wot read that drivel The Word would be happy ... and then the station'd close down for lack of advertising revenue. And THEN you'll be responsible for job losses.

Want THAT on your conscience, do you? Throwing folks on the employment scrap 'eap because you want to listen to Scarlet Fantastic so's you can show off at upmarket dinner parties? Eh?


Five-Centres said...

I don't really mind, BPP. I like showing off at upmarket dinner parties. Who doesn't? And Scarlet Fantastic always go down well with the gin n' jag crowd.

Mondo said...

Forget the 80s FM. Can you imagine how mighty a seventies-only station would be folk, funk, punk. Heavy-hitters and one hit wonders.

You can draw a cross-section through any chart, album or single from any seventies year and hit a winner everytime..

Why are TV and Radio so eighties obsessed - don't they realise the target audience they're so desperate to drag in (anyone growing up in the eighties) - didn't like it then, so couldn't give a hoot (or fairlight honk) now. There's no emotional attachment to rotten songs.

Five-Centres said...

Give it 10 years and they'll be obsessed with the 90s. It all goes in cycles.