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The '80s Cover the '60s

by Jim Allen

The '80s Cover the '60s


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Don't buy into the myth that the synth-bedecked, New Wave-dominated '80s were a world apart from the sounds of the '60s. Sure, plenty of skinny-tie types may have expressed disdain for the long-haired, paisley-swathed stars of the psychedelic era, but the fact is that an overwhelming number of '80s artists embraced '60s songs even to the extent of covering them.

Some of these covers may not have required a huge stretch of the imagination. It's not too tough, for instance, to follow the path of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" from The Righteous Brothers to Hall & Oates. But Siouxsie & the Banshees probably turned a few heads at the time by tackling The Beatles' "Dear Prudence," and surely nobody was expecting DEVO to turn out a characteristically quirky version of Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced."

In fact, some of the biggest hits of the '80s were stealth '60s covers. The majority of people who went out and bought Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" or Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" had no idea the songs originated in another era. But this is where '80s acts let it all hang out and express their love for '60s rock, pop and soul in no uncertain terms.

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