80’s Music FM Radio
The 80’s brought us the best music made ever! It was the time of many great FM radio stations broadcasting all those great tunes worldwide.
In the early 80’s a new music style called Italo Disco was born and most records were produced and distributed by the Disco Magic label from Milano in Italy and the music was broadcasted on the local Disco radio stations and worldwide Disco Dance stations. Many italo fans also liked the Hi NRG music from the US and Canada that was popular during the same period. Italo was also made in Spain, France, Greece and other European countries. In mostly Germany, Switzerland, and Scandanavia a similar style was produced, called Euro Disco. In fact almost each country had it’s own labels and producers being fans of this music and releasing their own records.
More popular acts having that great 80’s synth sound reached the dance and hit charts and so the music was known by a huge public. Discomagic Radio presents you all these 80’s classics, 24 hours a day non stop. Just like the radio sounded in the 80’s FM period. Including authentic Italian radio commercials, promo’s and vintage style jingles.
Click the Play button on our radio player and enjoy!
Joe Coccodrillo deejay team in the 80’s
Italo Disco is a music genre which originated in Italy and was mainly produced from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Italo Disco evolved from the then-current underground dance, pop, and electronic music, both domestic and foreign Hi-NRG and Euro Disco and developed into a diverse genre. The genre employs drum machines, synthesizers, and occasionally vocoders. It is usually sung in English, and to a lesser extent in Italian and Spanish.
The origin of the genre’s name is strongly tied to marketing efforts of the ZYX record label, which began licensing and marketing the music outside Italy in 1982. Italo Disco faded in the early 1990s.
There is no documentation of where the term “Italo-Disco” first appeared, but its origins are generally traced to Italian and other European disco recordings released in the German market. Examples include the phrase “Original Italo-Disco” on the sleeve of the German edition of “Girl on Me” by Amin-Peck in 1982, and the 1983 compilation album The Best of Italo-Disco. These records, along with the Italo Boot Mix series were released by Bernhard Mikulski on his ZYX label, who was therefore credited with coining the term “Italo Disco“. Both series primarily featured disco music of Italian origin, often licensed from independent Italian labels which had limited distribution outside Italy, as well as songs in a similar style by other European artists.
The presenters of the Italian music show Discoring (produced by RAI) usually referred to Italo Disco tracks as “rock elettronico” (electronic rock) or “balli da discoteca” (disco dance) before the term “Italo Disco” came into existence.
In Germany, Italo Disco is known as Euro Disco and discofox. In English-speaking countries, it was called Italo Disco and Hi-NRG. German productions were sung in English and were characterized by an emphasis on melody, exaggerated production, and a more earnest approach to the themes of love; examples may be found in the works of Modern Talking, Fancy, American-born singer and Fancy protégé Grant Miller, Bad Boys Blue, Joy, Silent Circle, The Twins, Lian Ross, C. C. Catch, Blue System and Roger Meno.
During the mid-1980s, Spacesynth, a subgenre of Italo Disco, developed. It was mostly instrumental, featured space sounds, and was exemplified by musicians such as Koto, Proxyon, Rofo, Cyber People, Hipnosis, Laserdance and Mike Mareen (whose music inhabited the spacesynth-Hi-NRG overlap).
As Italo Disco declined in Europe, Italian and German producers adapted the sound to Japanese tastes, creating “Eurobeat“. Music produced in this style is sold exclusively in Japan due to the country’s Para Para culture, produced by Italian producers for the Japanese market. The most famous Eurobeat labels are A-Beat-C Records, Asia and Flea Records.
Around 1989 in Italy, Italo Disco evolved into Italo house when Italian Italo disco artists experimented with harder beats and the “house” sound.
Euro Disco is the variety of European forms of electronic dance music that evolved from disco in the later 1970s; incorporating elements of pop and rock into a disco-like continuous dance atmosphere. The term “Euro-disco” was first used during the mid-1970s to describe the non-UK based disco productions and artists such as German groups Arabesque, Boney M., Dschinghis Khan and Silver Convention, the West Germany-based Donna Summer (from USA), the Italian singer Gino Soccio , French artists Amanda Lear, Dalida and Cerrone. In Spain Disco took off in 1975, with artist Baccara.
1970s Euro Disco soon had spinoffs and variations. The most notable spinoff is space disco, a crossover of Euro Disco and US Hi-NRG disco. Another popular variation, with no specific name, appeared in the late 1970s: a “Latin”-like sound added to the genre, which can be heard in Italy’s La Bionda, D. D. Sound., Easy Going and France’s Gibson Brothers. One of the early representatives of the 1980s genre was the British group Imagination and with their series of hits throughout 1981 and 1982. The term “Euro Disco” quickly faded in the 1980s and was replaced by the very wide term of “Italo Disco” for more than a decade. Notably, there was also some Canadian disco productions (Trans X, Lime), that at the time was called “Italo Disco” in Europe, but not in America (the term Hi-NRG disco was used there instead).
Italo Disco was the first successful 1980s Euro Disco variation. Probably because of this, all the later 1980s Euro disco variations were called “Italo Disco” by the Europeans (with the exception of Eurobeat). Italo Disco began to develop in Italy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, by groups like Gazebo, Kano and ‘Lectric Workers. 1980s Euro Disco variations soon appeared later in France, Germany, Spain and Greece. The Italian and German Euro Disco productions were the most popular. German pop duo Modern Talking was an icon of Euro Disco between 1985–1987 and became the most successful Euro Disco project ever. Bad Boys Blue was another very successful project.
That style became very popular in Eastern Europe and remained popular until the early 1990s. In Poland, disco polo, a local music genre relying heavily on Euro Disco was developed at the verge of the 80s and 90s.
During the late 1980s, Euro Disco hits were produced in Spain and Greece and much later in Poland and Russia. Meanwhile, a sped-up version of Euro Disco with dance-pop elements became successful in the US, under the term “Hi-NRG“. Even today for many Americans, “Hi-NRG” means Paul Lekakis and the London Boys. Those hits were the last hits called “Euro Disco” in Europe. By the early 1990s, Euro Disco was influenced by the emergence of genres such as house, acid house and the electro (pop/dance/synth) music styles, and replaced (or evolved) by other music styles.
Hi-NRG (“high energy”) is a genre of uptempo disco or electronic dance music (EDM) that originated in the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
As a music genre, typified by a fast tempo, staccato hi-hat rhythms (and the four-on-the-floor pattern), reverberated “intense” vocals and “pulsating” octave basslines, it was particularly influential on the disco scene. Its earliest association was with Italo Disco.
Rock-oriented, heavily synthesized and, compared to regular disco music, devoid of “funkiness.” Tempo ranges between 120 and 140 beats per minute although typically it is around 127. Rhythm is characterized by an energetic, staccato, sequenced synthesizer sound of octave basslines or/and where the bass often takes the place of the hi-hat, alternating a more resonant note with a dampened note to signify the tempo of the record. There is also often heavy use of the clap sound found on drum machines.
High-tempo disco music dates back to the mid-1970s. Examples of high energy disco acts include Claudja Barry, Miquel Brown, Amanda Lear, France Joli, Sylvester, Divine, Amii Stewart and Lime. San Francisco-based Patrick Cowley and New York producer and composer Bobby Orlando were behind a number of high energy hits in this period. Orlando acts include Divine, The Flirts, and Claudja Barry.
In the early 1980s, high energy music found moderate mainstream popularity in Europe, while opposing both Euro Disco and electro on the dance scene and it became mainstream in the LGBT community in the United States. Hi-NRG was totally reliant on technology and was all about “unfeasibly athletic dancing, bionic sex, and superhuman stamina”. Producers such as Bobby Orlando and Patrick Cowley created “an aural fantasy of a futuristic club populated entirely by Tom of Finland studs.”
During the same period, a genre of music styled as “Hi-NRG” (EDM) became popular in Canada and the UK. The most popular groups of this style are Trans-X and Lime. The genre is closely related to space disco. Bands include Koto, Laserdance, and Cerrone. The Hi-NRG sound also influenced techno and house music.
In 1983 in the UK, music magazine Record Mirror began publishing a weekly Hi-NRG Chart. Hi-NRG entered the mainstream with hits in the UK pop and dance charts (and the US dance charts), such as Hazell Dean’s “Searchin” and Evelyn Thomas’s “High Energy”. In the mid-1980s Stock Aitken Waterman had two of the most successful Hi-NRG singles ever with their productions of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” and Bananarama’s “Venus”.
By 1990, techno and rave had superseded Hi-NRG in popularity in many danceclubs. Despite this, Hi-NRG music is still being produced and played in various forms, including many remixed versions of mainstream pop hits, some with re-recorded vocals.
Many fans of italo, euro disco and hi-nrg are also loving the synth pop and dance classics from the 80’s. Synth-pop was defined by its primary use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, sometimes using them to replace all other instruments.
Synthesizers were increasingly used to imitate the conventional and clichéd sound of orchestras and horns. Thin, treble-dominant, synthesized melodies and simple drum programmes gave way to thick, and compressed production, and a more conventional drum sound. Lyrics were generally more optimistic, dealing with more traditional subject matter for pop music such as romance, escapism and aspiration.
The emergence of Synth-pop has been described as “perhaps the single most significant event in melodic music since Mersey-beat”. By the 1980s synthesizers had become much cheaper and easier to use. After the definition of MIDI in 1982 and the development of digital audio, the creation of purely electronic sounds and their manipulation became much simpler. Synthesizers came to dominate the pop music of the early 1980s, particularly through their adoption by bands of the New Romantic movement.
The New Romantic scene was associated with bands such as Duran Duran, Visage, and Spandau Ballet. They adopted an elaborate visual style that combined elements of glam rock, science fiction and romanticism. A new line-up for the Human League along with a new producer and a more commercial sound led to the album Dare (1981), which produced a series of hit singles. These included “Don’t You Want Me”, which reached number one in the UK at the end of 1981.
Synth-pop reached its commercial peak in 1982, with bands such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Japan, Ultravox, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and even Kraftwerk, enjoying top ten hits. In early 1982 synthesizers were so dominant that the Musicians’ Union attempted to limit their use.
Synth-pop was taken up across the world, with international hits for acts including Men Without Hats and Trans-X from Canada, Peter Schilling, Sandra, Modern Talking, Propaganda and Alphaville from Germany and Yello from Switzerland.
Synth-pop continued into the late 1980s, with a format that moved closer to dance music, including the work of acts such as British duos Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and the Communards. In the UK the arrival of indie rock bands has been seen as marking the end of synth-driven new wave and the beginning of the guitar-based music that would dominate rock into the 1990s.
Besides Synth Pop we recognize another type of 80’s classics, called: Dance Classics
The transition from the late-1970s disco styles to the early-1980s dance styles was marked primarily by the change from complex arrangements performed by large ensembles of studio session musicians (including a horn section and an orchestral string section), to a leaner sound, in which one or two singers would perform to the accompaniment of synthesizer keyboards and drum machines. In addition, dance music during the 1981–83 period borrowed elements from blues and jazz, creating a style different from the disco of the 1970s. This emerging music was still known as disco for a short time, as the word had become associated with any kind of dance music played in discothèques.
During the first years of the 1980s, the disco sound began to be phased out, and faster tempos and synthesized effects, accompanied by guitar and simplified backgrounds, moved dance music toward the funk and pop genres. This drift from the original disco sound is called post-disco. In this music scene there are rooted subgenres, such as Italo disco, techno, house, dance-pop, boogie, and early alternative dance. During the early 1980s, dance music dropped the complicated song structure and orchestration that typified the disco sound.
In the period between 1976 and 1985 many great disco and post-disco tracks were made which we can call Dance Classics. Often loved by fans that have italo and euro disco as their main passion. There was even a huge record and cd series released, called Dance Classics, and often containing the extended 12 inch version of the songs.
The rising popularity of disco came in tandem with developments in the role of the DJ. DJing developed from the use of multiple record turntables and DJ mixers to create a continuous, seamless mix of songs, with one song transitioning to another with no break in the music to interrupt the dancing. The resulting DJ mix differed from previous forms of dance music in the 1960s, which were oriented towards live performances by musicians. This in turn affected the arrangement of dance music, since songs in the disco era typically contained beginnings and endings marked by a simple beat or riff that could be easily used to transition to a new song. The development of DJing was also influenced by new turntablism techniques, such as beatmatching, a process facilitated by the introduction of new turntable technologies such as the Technics SL-1200 MK 2, first sold in 1978, which had a precise variable pitch control and a direct drive motor. DJs were often avid record collectors, who would hunt through used record stores for obscure soul records and vintage funk recordings. DJs helped to introduce rare records and new artists to club audiences.