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80s music trivia - fast facts

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This collection of 80s music trivia will help you learn all those irrelevant, yet interesting facts that helped define this diverse decade. Click here to see 80's music trivia part 2

Biggest selling album of the 80s (and all time)
Michael Jackson's Thriller album of 1982 is the biggest selling album of all time, with over 42 million copies sold - and rising.

Freddie Mercury and Thriller
There are many reports that Freddie Mercury of Queen recorded a track with Michael Jackson's for Thriller. However, this track has never surfaced in public.

Beat It guitarist
The guitarist that Michael Jackson's Beat It such a characteristic sound was Eddie Van Halen.

Drum machines
In the band Echo and the BunnyMen, Echo was the name of the drum machine. The drum machine used by Sisters Of Mercy was nicknamed 'Dr Avalanche'.

MTV started on August 1, 1981 in the US. If you want to know the first song played on MTV US (and Europe), see this article in the Music Video section.

Kim Wilde
Kim Wilde was originally known as Kim Smith. She was born November 18, 1960. Her first hit song in the UK, Australia and NZ was 'Kids In America', released in 1981. Oddly this single was not initially released in the US until a year later where it only managed top 40 status.

Johnny Cougar
John Mellencamp was never comfortable with the fact that he had changed his name to the stage name 'Johnny Cougar'. However, his success made it difficult to change back, so in the 80s he became the hybrid John Cougar Mellencamp.

In 1984, Eurythmics and Van Halen released albums with the title 1984. The film based on George Orwell's 1984 was also released 1984. The very crappy film, Class of 1984, was released in 1982 (this was also Michael J. Fox's second film which appeared just before the 82 debut of Family Ties).

Bananarama/Shakespear's Sister
In 1987, Siobhan Fahey, former member of Bananarama, married Dave Stewart (Eurythmics). She later formed the band Shakespear's Sister with Marcella Detroit. They had two albums: Sacred Heart (1989) and Hormonally Yours (1992).

Robert Smith
Robert Smith of The Cure was also the guitarist in the early days of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Both jobs became too much, so he focused on The Cure.

Kylie Minogue's first hit
Kylie Minogue's first hit song was a cover version of Locomotion. The film clip also stars the Australian actress/comedian Tania Lacy.

Duran Duran
Duran Duran was named after a character in the 1960's film Barbarella. Jane Fonda played the lead and throughout the film she was searching for a character called Duran Duran. The band paid tribute to this film in the late 90s song Electric Barbarella. After fading out in the late 80s, Duran Duran also made a brief comeback in 1993 with the song Ordinary World.

Click here to see 80's music trivia part 2

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