Pop Music in the 1970’s and 1980’s

Pop music has been around since the 1950’s and is still going very strong today. There is no end in sight for pop music and let’s look at a couple of bigger decades when it comes to that music genre of the 1970’s and 1980’s and how they impacted the generations that lived and breathed the sounds and soul the artists infused into their lives.

The 1970s

There are various genres of pop music that emerged from the late 1960’s and when the 1970’s roiled around they seemed to get a little harder. There was the new power-pop, which was a blend of punk and harder rock and roll with pop and just a couple of groups that embodied that sound were the Cars and Cheap Trick. In the 1970’s came country pop as well where country artists wanted a more mainstream audience. Pop and melodies from pop music with a slower drawl of country music were popular in the decade just like they are now.

The biggest pop music of the 1970’s has to the emergence of the pop-rock sound with the likes of Queen, Elton John, and the Jackson 5 to name just a few. It was at this time Elton John was the king of the pop-rock sound and with his many hits in the decade, such as Bennie and the Jets and Rocket man, made him one of the biggest pop stars of all time. No matter what the genre of music was in the 1970’s it was blended with pop to make it more radio friendly. There was arena rock of the 70’s and Styx and Rush were big in that venue and big in the decade as well with their many arena pop hits that are still classics today.

The 1980s

Can you really think of 1980’s music and not think of pop? There were more synthesizers and electronic sounds in the music and dance pop was born. Some of the biggest artists of all time were HUGE in the 80’s such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna. In the 80’s you had to dance to pop and can you think of better music to dance to than the artists named? Techno came from this time as well with bands such as Depeche Mode using the sound and funk was also big later in the decade with Prince being at the forefront of that adding it to a pop sound.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop and with good reason since his Thriller album is still the best-selling album of all time. The 80’s saw a resurgence of pop in a big way and many consider it the best pop decade of all time. The emergence of women in pop was also very prevalent in the decade with artists such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Cindi Lauper. Pop was so big in the 80’s that there was a ton of music out there to fill the genre, which is why there are so many one-hit wonders in the decade such as Take on Me from Ah Ha and Relax from Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

History of Coachella Music Festival

Music lovers around the world know of Coachella, as it now one of the biggest, if not the biggest, music festivals in the world. However, people may not be aware of the origins of it. Coachella is actually located in a desolate area in Indio, California, in the Colorado Desert. The festival is now over two weeks long and not only do the biggest music acts perform there, but tons of celebrities, as well as the throng of music lovers, that flock there every year.

Did Pearl Jam Help Create Coachella?

Coachella was the brainchild of Paul Tollett back in 1999, and the festival is organized by Goldenvoice. There are many different types of styles of music that can be seen at the desert festival from hip-hop to electronic music to punk rock and pop rock. There are also many artists that come to the festival to display their creations. While Tollet brought the current festival to being a huge event the origins may go back a few years earlier. In 1993 Pearl Jam played a concert at the Empire Polo Club, as they sought a venue that was not controlled by Ticketmaster and their very high processing fees, which they would profit for on every ticket sold. When the Pearl Jam concert was a rousing success, it showed that even in a far-off location if the music was good the people would come.

It is interesting that the first Coachella music festival in 1999 was just a few shorts months after the much-hyped 99 Woodstock festival, which was, pretty much a bust. The 1999 Coachella music festival only lasted two days, and while it was a moderate success, there was no festival the following year. However, in 2001 it returned, but it only lasted one day. However, with the great music and the crowds, the festival began to take shape. The following year in 2002 the two-day format returned, and in 2007 it was turned into a three-day event. The musicians want to come perform, and the fans wanted to see them. In 2012, the Coachella festival expanded to two weekends, and there are now identical lineups for three straight three-day weekends in the current format.

A New City

After the popularity of the Coachella increased, big time there was a lack of hotel accommodations, and because of this, the campgrounds in the area were the place that people stayed. Now Coachella is a type of pop-up city when it happens, and it is a three-week music party with the best performing artists on the planet today. The location just adds to the fervor of the festival being off the beaten path and ticket sales increase every single year even though ticket buyers do not know the lineup until near the festival. The popularity of the Coachella music festival just keeps getting bigger, and it looks to be here to stay. Pearl Jam may have sparked a great idea that no matter where good music is people will come.

Amber Mark will make You Want to Dance

There are many singers and musicians who have made their careers in West Village of New York on Cornelia Street. The street is legendary for the café’s and performances that have spawned generations of poets, jazz musicians, playwrights and singers. One of those singers, Amber Mark, saw her career kicked off at the Palma Italian Restaurant.

Home Town Girl – Big City Life

It is the godparents of Mark who own the Palma, and above it is where Mark lives and has since her days in high school. While visiting the restaurant, Mark appeared as so many of the hip generation do, in unconventional clothing many associate with the arts. On the way to chat, she introduces the may staff that are like family and the jokes that follow knowing she is to be interviewed.

As our conversion gets underway, she has chosen a room above the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. Mark explains that while in high school she chose to move and live with her godparents after the adopted her so as to allow her to go to a New York school. Prior to moving in with her godparents, she spent time travelling to with her mother, a painter who focuses on Tibetan Buddhism and makes no denial that her mother has had a large influence on her music. In 2013, her mother passed away, and it is the pain she felt, and the healing that is seen in the music of her debut album released last year.

While the subject matter of her album of one of dark places and emotion, she still shares other bits of her life in the songs that are found on her album. Her video shows her penchant for excessive drinking and influences of other artists such as Adel can be heard, more so in her sound that the art thanks to a musky voice. Yet, when she speaks in her music, it is clear she is like many and sings about things that are part of her culture. The quality behind her is she is not looking to be a vocal superstar, just a singer working through life’s journey through song.

Mark Writes Own Material

Early in Marks career, she turned to pen and paper preferring to write her own songs versus recording and singing those of others. While her latest album to be released includes a cover of “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” by Sade, the rest of the material is her own. She has an uncanny ability to portray the gentle side of love in her songs and incorporates different styles such as jazz, pop and R&B into her sound.

As we are wrapping up our chat, there is a steady stream of people walking by, many of whom look, smile and keep on moving. That is until Omar, her accountant walks by, and she stops him to give an introduction. Omar is proud of his friend and client and points out he has known her for ages and then says, “She will one day be famous”, and as we walk out to the busy Cornelia street, we stopped and that, he might just be right.