20 lost and forgotten Synth Pop treasures

20 lost and forgotten Synth Pop treasures

A breathtaking journey of discovery

'Take my hand, come back to the land …': if you recog­nize this lyr­ic line, then you are per­fectly right here. I want to take you back to the 80s in order to explore lost and for­got­ten Synth Pop treas­ures. You might think you know all the great 80s Synth Pop hits. And when you're on an 80s party in your favour­ite club, dan­cing with memor­ies of the past to the tunes you loved since so many years now. But believe me, time is a grue­some com­pan­ion and it already erased some great songs in your mind!

Of course an 80s Synth Pop party doesn´t live up to its name without songs like 'Tainted Love' (Soft Cell), 'Blue Monday '88' (New Order), 'People Are People' (Depeche Mode) or 'West End Girls' (Pet Shop Boys). But besides the usu­al sus­pects, there was a whole lot of oth­er splen­did Synth Pop anthems. These were utterly for­got­ten and lost on the dis­cos' dance floors.

My path of redis­cov­ery led me through the deep­est depths of the inter­net and also of my mind. I guess I can say that my exped­i­tion was quite suc­cess­ful. It was a music­al travel through a dec­ade without inter­net and a lot of bands were only fam­ous in a small loc­al area – so I went to find them.

Everytime I found a for­got­ten song or recalled a song inspired by listen­ing to anoth­er song, it almost felt like a 'Platinum' achieve­ment to me. If you go though this non sor­ted list, I'm pretty sure that you will also have this feel­ing: "Oh, right! I loved this track when I was small/young/a teen… How could I for­get?".

The 'flux capa­cit­or' is set and the engines are run­ning! Start your time travel to the music­al past here and now.

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1. Red Flag – Russian Radio (1988)

Red_Flag_-_Naive_ArtThe band 'Red Flag' is foun­ded by the broth­ers Chris and Mark Reynolds from San Diego (USA). Originally they are from Liverpool (England) and star­ted already in 1984 under the band name 'Shades Of May' (until 1985). Afterwards they called them­sel­fs 'Naïve Art' (until mid 1988). 'Naïve Art' is also the name of the debut by 'Red Flag' released in 1989. 'Russian Radio' was an awe­some hit in the Synth Pop scene and ranked on pos­i­tion #11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play charts.

The song 'Russian Radio' appears on their debut album 'Naïve Art', among with the singles 'Broken Heart' and 'If I Ever'.

 

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2. John Foxx – Underpass (1980)

John_Foxx_-_MetamaticOf course 'John Foxx' isn't a truly  unkown in the scene. Before he star­ted his solo career with the uber-hit 'Underpass' he was lead sing­er of 'Ultravox'. But he left the band in 1979 to focus on his own music­al ideas. In only 5 years he pro­duced 5 albums on the major label Virgin before he with­drew from music com­pletely in 1985 and con­cen­trated on visu­al work.

The song 'Underpass' appeared on his debut album 'Metamatic'. I strongly recom­mend this Synth Pop clas­sic for your collection!

 

Official 'John Foxx' channels:

www.metamatic.com
www.facebook.com/johnfoxxofficial

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3. Psyche – Misery (1989)

Psyche_-_The_InfluenceThe music video 'Misery' by 'Psyche' was filmed in Hannover, Germany 1989 fea­tur­ing Darrin Huss and David Kristian. 'Psyche' is one of the most under­rated Synth Pop bands of the 80s. They star­ted very early to mix Synth Pop sounds with Darkwave and EBM. With this for­mula they cre­ated a unique music style that still  works today.

The song 'Misery' was pub­lished on their album 'The Influence' in 1989.

 

Official 'Psyche' channels:

www.psyche-hq.de
www.facebook.com/Psyche
www.youtube.com/psycheshow
psyche.bandcamp.com

 

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4. Visage – The Damned Don't Cry (1982)

Visage_-_The_Anvil'Steve Strange' is the main founder and lead sing­er of 'Visage' and got fam­ous through the club clas­sic 'Fade To Grey'. 'The Damned Don't Cry' was also a very suc­cess­ful track in 1982, but nev­er got the same atten­tion like 'Fade To Grey'. Unfortunately Steve Strange died much too young in the con­sequence of a heart attack in February 12th, 2015.

The song 'The Damned Don't Cry' was released on their album 'The Anvil' (1982).

 

Official 'Visage' channels:

www.visage.cc
www.facebook.com/therealvisage
twitter.com/therealvisage
www.youtube.com/therealvisage
soundcloud.com/the-real-visage

 

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5. Bone Symphony – It's a Jungle Out There (1983)

Bone_Symphony_-_Bone_SymphonyScott Wilk's short lived elec­tro-new wave band 'Bone Symphony': ima­gine 'Oingo Boingo' meets 'Soft Cell' and then cross pol­lin­ate it with 'Shriekback'. He went on to score 'Valley Girl' and 'Duckman'. If you like this song, I´m pretty sorry – you can't buy it anywhere!

The song 'It's A Jungle Out There' appeared on their album 'Bone Symphony' (1983).

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6. Robert Marlow – The Face of Dorian Gray (1983)

Robert_Marlow_-_The_Peter_Pan_Effect

Maybe some 'Depeche Mode' fans already heard about 'Robert Marlow'. He was born in Basildon and grew up with Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, and Andrew Fletcher. He also was former/involved in bands like 'The Vandals' (along with Alison Moyet), 'The Plan' (with Vince Clarke) and 'French Look' (with Martin Gore and Paul Redmond).

Robert Marlow didn't release his debut album, which he pro­duced with his friend Vince Clarke 'The Peter Pan Effect' until 1999, when the Swedish record com­pany 'Energy Rekords' picked it up and released it.

The song 'The Face of Dorian Gray' from the album 'The Peter Pan Effect' (1999), ori­gin­ally inten­ded for release in 1984.

Official 'Robert Marlow' channels:

www.facebook.com/marlowpurple

 

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7. The MegaMen – Designed For Living (1983)

I can not hold back this great song includ­ing a fant­ast­ic live show: 'The MegaMen' per­form­ing "Designed for Living" on the Bandaged Bear Telethon, Brisbane 1983. Unfortunately, I do not really have any more inform­a­tion about this artist. I could neither find offi­cial pages to the band, nor dis­co­graph­ies in the cor­res­pond­ing archives. So all that remains is this video. Should you have any use­ful inform­a­tion about 'The MegaMen', please write us below in the comments.

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8. Hard Corps – Je Suis Passee (1985)

Hard_Corps_-_Metal_And_FleshOfficial music video 'Je Suis Passee' by 'Hard Corps' taken from the album 'Metal & Flesh'. They are a 1980s band from Brixton, London play­ing Electronic Body Music (EBM) and Synth Pop.

The song 'Je Suis Passee' can be found on their album 'Metal & Flesh'. The album was released 5 years after the single 'Je Suis Passee'. In the mean­time 'Hard Corps' realeased a couple of oth­er singles on dif­fer­ent labels.

 

Official 'Hard Corps' channels:

www.facebook.com/hard-CORPS-217860235015406

 

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9. Art Fact – Man In Armor (1990)

art_fact_-_closure'Art Fact' is a Swedish band that was only loc­ally known in their home town and the sur­round­ing area. This year they released a remastered album called 'Closure' that I reviewed earli­er this year. Previously, a few mem­bers of 'Art Fact' formed a new band called ‘Sine City‘. Electrozombies will keep an eye on this!

The song 'Man In Armor' was pub­lished on the album 'Closure' along with brand new record­ings of old 'Art Fact' songs. I guess you can only get this awe­some album as a digit­al ver­sion (unless you are will­ing to pay an exor­bit­ant amount of money), because there is only a lim­ited edi­tion ver­sion of 250 numbered cop­ies on the market.

 

Official 'Art Fact' channels:

www.artfact.se
www.facebook.com/artfactmusic
artfact.bandcamp.com

 

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10. The Cure – The Walk (1983)

the_cure_-_greatest_hitsSurprised see­ing 'The Cure' on this list? Well, you don't have to worry, because in their long-time career they also pro­duced some super catchy Synth Pop songs. 'The Walk' is one of these great pro­duc­tions and would fit per­fectly for an 80s Synth Pop party.

The song 'The Walk' is from the mini-album 'The Walk'. This one was only released as vinyl and cas­sette. But you can also find this track on the 'Greatest Hits' album that I linked here.

 

Official 'The Cure' channels:

www.thecure.com
www.facebook.com/thecure
www.instagram.com/thecure

 

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11. Kon Kan – I Beg Your Pardon (1988)

kon_kan_-_move_to_move'Kon Kan' is a cana­dian Synth Pop group foun­ded by Barry Harris and Kevin Wynne. Wikipedia says: "'I Beg Your Pardon' was inspired in part by both the 'Pet Shop Boys' hit single 'Always on My Mind' and an increas­ingly pre­val­ent use of sampling by artists such as 'Public Enemy', 'M/A/R/R/S' and 'Coldcut'. The track sampled Lynn Anderson's 1971 hit '(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden'.".

I can still remem­ber this great tune. In 1988 the song reached pos­i­tion #8 in the ger­man charts. And please pay close atten­tion to this per­fectly typ­ic­al 80s cov­er artwork.

The song 'I Beg Your Pardon' is taken from the album 'Move To Move'.

Official 'Kon Kan' channels:

www.facebook.com/konkanofficial
twitter.com/konkanofficial
soundcloud.com/kon-kan-official

 

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12. Berlin – The Metro (1981)

berlin_-_pleasure_victimThe band 'Berlin' became super fam­ous for their theme song 'Take My Breath Away' in the Hollywood movie 'Top Gun' in 1986. But what most people don´t know: they´ve had a great under­ground Synth Pop career long before! This New Wave act from Orange County, California was already foun­ded in 1978 by John Crawford, Jo Julian and Terri Nunn. They had a 10 year break (1987–1997), but there are still act­ive until today.

The song 'The Metro' comes from the album 'Pleasure Victim'. The hit 'Sex (I'm A …)' is also included.

 

Official 'Berlin' channels:

www.berlinpage.com
www.facebook.com/berlinofficialband

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13. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Electricity (1980)

orchestral-manoeuvres-in-the-dark_-_self_titledThe band 'OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark)' are true Synth Pop legends. With chan­ging cast, except Andy McCluskey, the band has already been over 30 years in busi­ness. But what does a DJ play on an 80s party, if he wants to do  'OMD' at its best? Exactly – if the DJ doesn't play 'Maid Of Orleans', then it will surely be 'Enola Gay'. Of course these are good songs, but for me 'Electricity' is the most under­rated hit of 'OMD'.

The song 'Electricity' was pub­lished on the self-titled album 'Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark'.

 

Official 'OMD' channels:

www.omd.uk.com
www.facebook.com/omdofficial

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14. Silent Circle – Touch In The Night (1986)

silent_circle_-_no1This is a super for­got­ten track. When I listened to it – after nearly 30 years now – I hardly remembered that I knew the tune at all. In gen­er­al it's a really simple and typ­ic­al euro pop song of the 80s, but when it was played on the radio I was about 12 years old and I liked it as far as I remember.

The song 'Touch In The Night' appeared on the album 'No.1'. The album title could be under­stood as the first record of the band or else their goal to reach the first pos­i­tion in the charts. Unfortunately they nev­er made it to No.1. The highest entry was pos­i­tion #28 in Switzerland.

 

Official 'Silent Circle' channels:

www.silentcircle.de
www.facebook.com/jurgen.behrens.92

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15. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric? (1979)

tubeway_army_-_replicasBefore 'Gary Numan' star­ted to pub­lish albums under his own name he was sing­er of the band 'Tubeway Army'. They cre­ated mile­stones in music and among this the catchy track 'Are Friends Electric?'. After releas­ing the albums 'Tubeway Army' and 'Replicas', Numan decided for a solo career – but still took his musi­cians with him.

The song 'Are Friends Electric?' is taken from the album 'Replicas'. Definitely a must-have in everybody's Synth Pop collection.

 

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16. The Human League – (Keep Feeling) Fascination (1983)

the_human_league_-_fascination'The Human League' is a clas­sic Synth Pop group and widely known for their great hits 'Don't You Want Me' and 'Human'. Furthermore they also had this smash hit '(Keep Feeling) Fascination' that unfor­tu­nately nev­er will be played on 80s parties nowadays. I loved this song when it was released and I still do now. The music video is also awe­some and sooooo 80s!

The song '(Keep Feeling) Fascination' was pub­lished on the EP 'Fascination!'.

 

Official 'The Human League' channels:

www.thehumanleague.co.uk
www.facebook.com/thehumanleague
twitter.com/humanleaguehq
www.youtube.com/thehumanleague

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17. Propaganda – p: Machinery (1985)

propaganda_-_a_secret_wishThe super fam­ous song 'Dr. Mabuse' was a huge hit in 1984 and was played in almost all clubs at the time. And even today this is a track that def­in­itely needs to be played on a real 80s Synth Pop party! Personally I like the more under­rated, but catch­i­er song 'p: Machinery'. This one is a lost jew­el, and I kept on listen­ing to it for a long, long time now.

The song 'p: Machinery' is taken from the album 'A Secret Wish'. The icon­ic cov­er art­work must be famil­i­ar to the most Synth Pop fans. I have to admit that this record is not yet in my col­lec­tion, but I'm sure that I will add it soon.

 

Official 'Propaganda' channels:

www.propagandamachine.info
www.facebook.com/propagandamabuse

 

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18. Kim Wilde – Chequered Love (1981)

kim_wilde_-_kim_wilde'Kim Wilde' got fam­ous for all her super catchy hits like 'Kids In America', 'You Keep Me Hangin' On', 'You Came' and also the bal­lad 'Cambodia' – so many awe­some tracks that are time­less and sound also great today. These tracks are being played any­time and every­where: on reg­u­lar radio broad­casts, parties and even wed­dings. But most people for­get one of the first songs from 'Kim Wilde'. I can remem­ber that I first watched the music video 'Chequered Love' on my grand par­ents' TV dur­ing the show 'Formel Eins' (a music video show in Germany). This one is among all the oth­er 'Kim Wilde' clas­sics a masterpiece.

The song 'Chequered Love' was released on the self-titled debut album 'Kim Wilde'.

 

Official 'Kim Wilde' channels:

www.kimwilde.com
www.facebook.com/officialkimwilde
www.twitter.com/kimwilde
www.youtube.com/KimWildeVEVO
instagram.com/kimwilde

 

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19. Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People (1984)

fad_gadget_-_gag'Fad Gadget' is also among the most under­rated Synth Pop artists of the early 80s. I per­son­ally know that this band exisst, but hon­estly I nev­er really listend to their stuff. While I did the reseach for this art­icle I found that cool track I´ve nev­er heard before. A bril­liant song! I guess I have some home­work to do and check up on the albums by 'Fad Gadget'. Unfortunately he died much too young (45y) after a heart attack in his home.

The song 'Collapsing New People' comes from the album 'Gag'.

 

Official 'Fad Gadget' channels:

www.fadgadget.co.uk

 

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20. Fotostat – Brave New World (1982)

The last band in this art­icle is called 'Fotostat'. This per­form­ance of their single, "Brave New World" was recor­ded on UK TV in late 1982. Unfortunely my research for this single or an album ended fruit­less. I can't tell you much about this song or the artist. Just watch an enjoy a for­got­ten piece of the past. If you know some­thing about the band or have some music from them, just let me know.

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Enjoy the whole playlist on Spotify


The whole playl­ist is also avail­able on the offi­cial 'Electrozombies TV' YouTube chan­nel. Subscribe and watch now!

Subscribe to our YouTube chan­nel now

 

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The fantastic voyage is over, isn't it?

We hope you had a joy­ful ride through the past with this almost lost and for­got­ten Synth Pop high­lights. Maybe you got the same feel­ings that we had like 'Oh right, I remem­ber this song – it was SO great', 'I would like to hear this on the next 80s party' or 'I nev­er heard about this one, but surely  I will check out now'.

If you were inspired by this art­icle and remembered some rare, lost and/or for­got­ten songs, let us know and use com­ment sec­tion below!

The journey continues

Do you want to con­tin­ue the dis­cov­ery? Then check­out the fol­low­ing art­icles with a sim­il­ar topic.