Despite the incredible variety of different, exciting music styles during the mid-1980s, from sparkling electro-pop, the loud fashion and glitzy makeup of the New Romantics to the dramatic hard-rock/heavy-metal movement and so on, the musical landscape was nonetheless dominated by music that was heavily pushed and supported to go mainstream.
During this time, a refreshing wave of guitar pop groups (most of them from the UK) – dubbed neo-acoustic – appeared and swept over Japan. It was lead by the likes of Aztec Camera, The Smiths and Pale Fountains — and the group I’dl like to introduce in this column, Everything But The Girl.
Their second album “Love Not Money”, released in 1985, featured acoustic instruments and had a simple, fresh sound. But behind it all was a fierce resistence to developments in the scene, society and politics of the time. Their high self-esteem, their critique that “real radicalism is not a style but an attitude” (regarding punk, which had by then changed to become not much more than a gesture), can be strongly felt. The music still sounds fresh today.
By the way, when we developed the SIGMA SD10 DSLR, which was released in 2003, we chose the internal production codename ‘Aztec’, with the above aphorism in mind.