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The Human League — so credible it’s incredible. A who’s-who list of legends has cited them as an influence, from none other than Madonna to Moby, Pet Shop Boys and Robbie Williams. Now the dubstep generation – notably, the acclaimed Darkstar, who cover the League’s 1982 B-side “You Remind Me Of Gold” on their current album, North – has begun to pay homage to the original sound of Sheffield. But they’re about more than esoteric infiltration; there has been mainstream penetration, too, commensurate with a band that gave us the greatest ever Christmas No. 1 single, with 1981/2’s “Don’t You Want Me.” The band landed four Top 10 albums and eight Top 10 singles in the UK as well as two No. 1 singles in the U.s., and sold 20 million records worldwide.
After more than three decades together, 38 SPECIAL continue to bring their signature blast of Southern Rock to audiences who leave amazed by the explosive power of the band’s performance. Their many Gold and Platinum album awards stand in testament to the endurance of a legendary powerhouse. With sales in excess of 20 million, most associate the band with their arena-rock pop smashes, “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” and more timeless hits that remain immediately recognizable from their first opening chord.
The legendary Los Angeles-based synth pop group Berlin, founded by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond, made its first national impression with the provocative single “Sex (I’m A…)” from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. The group was filled out by guitarist Rick Olsen, keyboard player Matt Reid, and drummer Rob Brill. Berlin’s first full-length LP was the gold Love Life in 1984. In 1985, the group was pared down to a trio of Crawford, Nunn, and Brill. Berlin topped the charts in 1986 with the single “Take My Breath Away,” the love theme from the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun.
A favorite of The 80s Cruise audiences, Berlin returns to The 80s Cruise in 2021 by popular demand after rocking the ship the past four years with electrifying live performances and several interactive events with guests. Berlin always performs their hits as well as brand-new songs. It was on The 80s Cruise that the original members reunited onstage for the first time since 1985.
Belinda Carlisle‘s incredible career boasts two equally sensational acts: A solo career with hits like “Mad About You,” “I Get Weak,” “Circle in the Sand,” “Leave a Light On” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” AND as the lead vocalist for the pop rock band The Go-Go’s. Her first solo album, Belinda, was released in 1986 and contained the hit “Mad About You.” Her second album showed off a glamorous new image and contained “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” an enormous international hit, topping the charts not only in the U.S. but also in the U.K. and several other countries.
Belinda’s music career started in 1977 as a drummer before she went on to join The Go-Go’s as the lead singer. Their debut release Beauty and the Beat topped charts in 1981 and helped popularize New Wave music in the United States.
One of the groups that kick-started the 80s with a signature brand of pop, ABC has continued to enjoy glittering success. Upon its release in May 1982, ABC’s debut album The Lexicon of Love went straight into the U.K. album charts to No. 1. The album showcased the hits songs “Tears Are Not Enough,” “Poison Arrow,” “The Look Of Love” and “All Of My Heart,” a ground-breaking collection of modern love songs. With a majestic production from the legendary Trevor Horn, it was voted by many as the best British album of the decade and it remains a classic to this day. ABC continued to conquer audiences with their next albums, Beauty Stab and How To Be a Zillionaire, which produced No. 1 songs on Billboard’s dance chart. In 1987, ABC released their fourth album, Alphabet City, featuring the worldwide hit “When Smokey Sings.” Heavy MTV rotation and an appearance on legendary show Soul Train cemented even greater success in the U.S. for the band.
In 2009, some 27 years after its debut release, ABC performed the album The Lexicon of Love in its entirety to a sell-out audience at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall. The epic performance reunited not only Martin Fry, David Palmer and Trevor Horn, but also original backing vocalist, Tessa Niles, and Academy Award winning musician, arranger and composer, Anne Dudley, who originally orchestrated the album and who conducted the orchestra on the night. ABC went on to complete several successful American and UK Tours.
Formed in Essex, England in 1979, four of the original members of Modern English are back recording and touring, with original lead singer Robbie Grey belting out the band’s mega 80’s hit “I Melt With You.” That famous track was a U.S. Top 50 single in 1984 after being featured in the rom-com film smash “Valley Girl.”
While the group disbanded for a period in 1991, they later recorded in 1995 with some new members and reformed in 2009 with the original members to go back on tour. Four-fifths of the original band recently recorded their first album together in over 30 years. Take Me To The Trees reconnects the band to their roots, the fervent and fecund world of late 1970s/early 1980s post-punk Britain.
Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowell (guitar, vocals), and Michael Conroy (bass, vocals) were originally known as The Lepers. The group expanded to Modern English when Richard Brown (drums) and Stephen Walker (keyboards) were subsequently added to the band.
In 1984, Great White broke out of the Los Angeles scene with its self-titled debut followed by seismic platinum-selling outings such as 1987’s Once Bitten and 1989’s Twice Shy. Moving over 10 million copies worldwide, they stood out as tried-and-true rock stalwarts into the 21st century until 2011, when Russell went on to form Jack Russell’s Great White.
Jack Russell’s Great White represents the next phase of the band’s legacy. Rather than look backward and merely attempt to relive the multi-platinum Hard Rock entity’s storied origins, Jack Russell set his sights on the future. In December 2011, Jack Russell’s Great White first bared its teeth. Robby Lochner has been with Jack since its inception and they also welcomed back longtime bassist and friend Tony Montana — this time as a guitar player and keyboardist. They also added drummer Dicki Fliszar, then bassist Dan McNay. This group has delivered a sharp, soaring, eclectic, hook-laden new album, boasting the bluesy hard rock stomp that made Russell and Montana icons in the first place.
The legendary multi-platinum East Coast Rock ‘n’ Roll group John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band began their career in 1972 and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s with the Eddie & The Cruisers – Motion Picture Soundtrack. The hit single “On the Dark Side” held the No. 1 position on the Billboard Rock charts and the MTV video charts for 5 consecutive weeks. The album sold over 3 million copies and was certified triple Platinum by the RIAA.
The title track from the group’s 1985 follow-up album, Tough All Over, became their second No. 1 single on the Billboard Rock charts and the song “C-I-T-Y” reached the Billboard Top 20. John Cafferty’s solo track “Hearts on Fire” was featured in “Rocky IV” and he received his second double Platinum soundtrack award. Over the years, John has placed 35 songs in major motion pictures. Today John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band continue to tour and bring their exciting live shows to fans around the world.
As well-known for their bizarrely teased haircuts as their hit single “I Ran (So Far Away),” A Flock of Seagulls were one of the infamous one-hit wonders of the New Wave era. Growing out of the synth-heavy and ruthlessly stylish new romantic movement, A Flock of Seagulls were a little too robotic and arrived a little too late to be true New Romantics, but their sleek dance-pop was forever indebted to the short-lived movement. The group benefitted considerably from MTV’s heavy rotation of the “I Ran” video in the summer of 1982.
Hairdresser Mike Score (lead vocals, keyboards) formed A Flock of Seagulls with his brother Ali (drums) and fellow hairdresser Frank Maudsley (bass) in 1980, adding guitarist Paul Reynolds several months later. The group released its debut EP on Cocteau Records early in 1981, and while the record failed to chart, its lead track, “Telecommunication,” became an underground hit in Euro-disco and New Wave clubs. The band signed a major-label contract with Jive by the end of the year, and their eponymous debut album appeared in the spring of 1982. “I Ran (So Far Away)” was released as the first single from the album, and MTV quickly picked up on its icily attractive video, which featured long shots of Mike Score and his distinctive, cascading hair. The single climbed into the American Top 10, taking the album along with it. “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)” reached No. 10 in the U.K. later that year.
Before assembling material for The Alarm‘s first album of new music in eight years, Mike Peters paused to take stock. To move forwards, he first had to look back and acknowledge the back-story of a group whose songs of defiance have traditionally been fueled by an almost umbilical bond between band and audience. In the aftermath of 2010’s Direct Action album, Mike Peters embarked on an ambitious renovation program that commemorated a string of Alarm 30th anniversaries by revisiting some of the band’s landmark releases from the Eighties, a decade that saw a plucky band of young Welsh guitar- slingers break straight outta Rhyl, with plenty of street fighting spirit and an implacable belief in the communal power of music. Mike and the group began by re-working some of their earliest songs on 2011’s The Sound And The Fury before re-imagining a brace of their mid- Eighties albums, Declaration and Strength, by re-recording them in full, and taking the new versions out on the road with a marathon world tour.
The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip-hop group, known mostly for its 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight,” the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song uses an interpolation of the instrumental track from the hit “Good Times” by Chic as its foundation.
The Sugarhill Gang had a slew of additional hits in Europe, such as “Apache,” “8th Wonder” (which was performed on the American music show Soul Train in 1981), “Rapper’s Reprise (Jam Jam),” and “Showdown” (with the Furious Five). In 1999, the trio reunited and recorded Jump on It! – a hip hop children’s album.
The members consisted of Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson, and Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien. The three were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson, who founded Sugar Hill Records with her husband, record producer Joe Robinson. The group and the record company are named after the Sugar Hill, Harlem, neighborhood.
Big Bank Hank died in 2014 after a long battle with cancer. In 2016, the remaining living members of the original Sugarhill Gang, including Wonder Mike, Hendogg and Master Gee embarked on their first world tour in over a decade under the name The Sugarhill Gang.
It was Spring 1985 when John Parr received a call from one of the world’s most successful record producers, David Foster. He requested Parr to record a song for the film “St. Elmo’s Fire.” Parr and Foster wrote a song in honor of Rick Hansen, athlete and philanthropist for people with disabilities. The song was called “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” and it also became the theme for the film St. Elmo’s Fire. The song became a No. 1 hit for Parr on the Billboard Charts in September of 1985, and garnered many awards, including a Grammy Award nomination.
John has sold in excess of 10 million albums and has toured with a number of acts on the road during his illustrious career, including Foreigner, Toto, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Heart, Richard Marx and Journey, to name just a few. He had several movie hits in the 80s, including “The Minute I Saw You” from the “Three Men and a Baby” soundtrack (1987) and the power ballad “Restless Heart” from “The Running Man” soundtrack (1987).
John is currently working on a brand-new studio album due for release in 2020.
Johnny Hates Jazz consists of singer-songwriter Clark Datchler (vocals, keyboards) and producer-engineer Mike Nocito (bass guitar). The band is best known for a cycle of hits in the late 1980s, the most successful being “Shattered Dreams.”
Their musical roots go back to childhood. Clark’s father Fred was a member of two chart topping bands from the 1950s, the Stargazers and the Polkadots. The Stargazers had the distinction of being the first British band ever to reach No. 1 on the UK singles chart. As a member of the Polkadots, Fred sang backing vocals for the likes of the Beatles (“I Am The Walrus”), Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Petula Clarke. Mike hails from an American family based in Europe with the US armed forces. His mother was a singer in close-harmony group The Cactus Kids, performing for troops in Northern Europe.
This heritage paved the way for their future careers. Having been a singer, guitarist and keyboard player in numerous bands as a teenager, Clark released his first single on London indie soul label Bluebird Records at the age of 17, backed by members of reggae band Aswad. He went on to work with Rusty Egan of Visage, fusing electronic music with soul, and often performed on the London club scene. He was subsequently signed to Warner Brothers Music as a songwriter.
Mike also had a long history as a guitarist in school bands, having grown up alongside longtime friend and fellow-producer Phil Thornalley, as well as members of Katrina And The Waves. He became a highly-regarded recording engineer and worked with artists such as Pink Floyd, The Police, The Cure, Duran Duran and the Thompson Twins.
STRANGELOVE-The Depeche Mode Experience delivers a career-spanning, pitch-perfect, best-of concert that transports the listener through time and touches on several key points in Depeche Mode’s illustrious career. Songs from throughout the Depeche canon are lovingly recreated; from favorites on DM’s debut Speak and Spell to the newest fare from Mode’s latest, 2017’s Spirit. No detail of STRANGELOVE’s presentation has been overlooked. The visual presentation with stage set pieces and in-show costume changes reflect different eras of Depeche Mode’s story, which spans almost four decades!
These accomplished musicians have a reverence and devotion to Depeche Mode’s body of work that transcends a mere tribute production, and their show feels more like a shared communal fan club celebration of halcyon days of new wave and emerging electronica. Accuracy and authenticity is a hallmark of the project, with the band employing as many authentic vintage synthesizers and samplers as possible in recreating the classic and widely varied sounds of Depeche Mode’s discography.
Trial By Fire is a Los Angeles based classic rock group. Growing up in the 80’s, brothers Bill & Eric Mondragon had a strong rock ‘n’ roll background listening to groups like Journey, Van Halen and many others. In the early millennium they teamed up with the group Steel Rod which members are Jonny Reyes, Whit Petrell and Rod Pantajo who were playing the local circuit in Los Angeles. This classic rock and R&B trio consists of some of the best rock ‘n’ roll musicians in Los Angeles. With the soulful vocals of Eric and Bill of DW3 and the driving rock force of Steel Rod it was a perfect combination.
Brian Wilk began playing piano as early as he could reach the EBONY AND IVORY, but classical music gave him GROWING PAINS. So when the 80’s hit, he was a MANIAC for MTV and 80’s TV theme songs. He gave up riding the MORNING TRAIN and his 9 TO 5 life to pursue music, playing top 40 and performing with the ComedySportz improv troupe. But he was an OWNER OF A LONELY HEART until dueling pianos said you CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING and he found his TRUE COLORS. Brian started his career at Lucille’s Blazing Keys, then moved on to Howl At The
Moon Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and eventually Orlando.
Then one day he announced, “WE ARE THE WORLD, not just one city, and should share our music with new places.” So Brian set off for the WILD WILD WEST and took his BETTE DAVIS EYES and ability to WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN all around the country. There is almost no song Brian doesn’t know (or can make up the words to). He’s been described on stage as Robin Williams meets Howie Mandel, and with both ADD and OCD, you can see Brian meticulously organize and alphabetize your requests—yet at the same time… “Wanna ride bikes?”
He never forgets to thank his parents, JACK & DIANE, who are extremely proud of him. When Brian looks at the MAN IN THE MIRROR, he knows that in his quest to bring the 80’s to dueling pianos, he’s on THE A-TEAM. When asked what his secret to life is, Brian just says “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY” then raises a glass of RED RED WINE and proclaims, “Although it may be BAD MEDICINE, I’ve had THE TIME OF MY LIFE! CHEERS!”
When Brad Heron was born, Dr. Feelgood took one look at his Flock of Seagulls hairdo and said, “This kid is destined for 80’s greatness!” His parents nurtured this gift with diligence: keeping him swaddled in red and black Thriller onesies, playing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in his crib, and pushing him around in a mini DeLorean stroller. He was soon reaching for that Casio keyboard, impressing everybody with his pop music covers (his favorites back then were Guns’n’Roses, Madonna and one half of Wham–we just don’t know which half). There was no stopping the music after that.
As Brad grew to manhood, the 80’s stayed with him. He took any job he could find, learning a lot but ultimately being let go because of his insistence on wearing Devo hats and randomly shouting, “I feel the need for speed!” But it was all for the best, because eventually his gift for music led him to working as an entertainer for Disney Cruise Line, where he was free to play every song possible (and occasionally lift a customer in the air like Baby in Dirty Dancing).
This led Brad eventually to the bustling metropolis of Gainesville, home to the Florida Gators. You can find him at Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar where he plays any song you ask for and can sometimes be seen phoning home. And true to his 80’s birthright, you can be sure that when the heat is on, Brad will be ready with a song at the piano and a Rubik’s Cube in his back pocket!
Kevin Hamel picked up his first guitar at 15 and has spent his musical career transforming his passion for music into a lifelong drive to becoming a truly diverse entertainer, playing in rock cover bands in New England in his college days to high-energy acoustic shows at clubs and bars from Maine to Key West, including: Sloppy Joe’s; Irish Kevin’s; Willie T’s and Sugarloaf Mountain, to name a few.Focusing on the audience, his wide repertoire of genres and ability to play most of his show through requests, helps to make the connection with the crowd and make them part of the show. Add in some infectious sing-alongs and the music you once sang into a hair brush in front of the mirror (and maybe still do) and you’ve got an experience that will make you put your phone away and sing like a Rockstar! Kevin was a paratrooper in the US Army. He currently lives in Bangor Maine with his 2 children, Riley and Kayla.
Christopher Olivas might be best known for his nearly two decades as the drummer for the acclaimed New Wave band Berlin, but the rock star guests of The 80s Cruise also know he’s an in-demand DJ and totally awesome bandleader making waves across Southern California and beyond. When he is not behind the drum set, you’ll find him on stage keeping audiences dancing with his eclectic music selections and deep cuts. Christopher, who also is the founder of Mindless Music Entertainment, brings an energetic and encyclopedic knowledge of music that will add yet another level to the music experience aboard The 80s Cruise.
When a fledgling music video channel debuted on cable television in the 1980s, Nina Blackwood became one of a select few faces the world associated with the revolutionary station, MTV. Blackwood’s experience as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV makes her an ideal host of The 80s Cruise where she’ll share her expertise on and love for the music and Artists of this great decade with fellow passengers. These days, Blackwood headlines daily shows on SiriusXM’s “Big 80s On 8.” She also hosts her own syndicated radio shows – “Absolutely 80s” and “New Wave Nation” – on weekends in the United States and Canada via United Stations Radio Networks. Live concerts are another avenue through which the music aficionado spreads her wealth of knowledge on the people, places and history of music. Blackwood studied piano and orchestral harp from the age of five and has herself performed as a musician. She also trained as an actor at the Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles and secured some modeling work and appearances on television series and movies early in her career. More recently, Blackwood has done music commentary on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and hosted her own “Rock Report” on Entertainment Tonight. In 2013, she and fellow MTV VJs collaborated with Rolling Stone contributing editor Gavin Edwards on “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave.” The book tells the story of MTV’s early years and hit the New York Times bestseller list in May 2013. Beyond the music scene, Blackwood is a dedicated animal lover with several parrots, cats and an Alaskan Malamute.
The 80s Cruise is ecstatic to welcome Mark Goodman on deck as one of our celebrity hosts. Though he launched his successful career in radio, Goodman is best recognized as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV, where he spent much of the 80s interviewing some of the biggest names in the music industry – Paul McCartney, Sting and Bruce Springsteen included. In that same capacity, he became the face for several of the network’s hit shows including “The Week In Rock,” “120 Minutes” and the first show ever syndicated to broadcast by MTV, “The Top 20 Video Countdown.” After leaving MTV, the music personality had stints in film, television and internet radio. Today Goodman broadcasts from Sirius Satellite Radio’s 80s channel as well as its Classic Rewind and The Spectrum stations. Additionally, recent forays into the music supervision business have had him orchestrating soundtracks for film and television, including Touchstone/ABC’s hit series, “Desperate Housewives.” In 2013, Goodman and his fellow original MTV VJs co-authored “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave,” a behind-the-scenes look at the network’s early years. Expect Goodman to continue regaling audiences with these stories and other fascinating anecdotes as we journey back the 80s together.
Just as he hooked audiences in the 80s as one of MTV’s original VJs (video jockey), Alan Hunter is sure to captivate guests of The 80s Cruise from behind the mic on the highly anticipated voyage at sea. Since leaving MTV in 1987, our cruise emcee has maintained his hosting chops as a personality on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The 80s on 8 and Classic Rewind channels. Additionally, he has served as the face of Encore’s “Big 80s Movies Weekend” and “Looking for Stars” on Starz. Hunter also dabbles in the film industry through his production company, Hunter Films, which received an Academy Award nomination in 2003 for the short film “Johnny Flynton.” Other titles produced by the company include “Dreamland,” “Best Worst Movie” and “Lifted.” Devoted to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Hunter co-created the downtown entertainment complex WorkPlay and co-founded of the city’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. He now lives in Chicago with his wife and children.
When it comes to the 80s, Jessie’s Girl has it covered, and they are bringing their highly acclaimed “Back to the Eighties Show” back aboard The 80s Cruise in 2019! Based out of New York City where they perform every Saturday night at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, the 80s tribute band covers the hits of this amazing decade while dressed as many of the artists their fans adore – think Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince! When not performing at private parties for the likes of Jamie Foxx and Neil Patrick Harris and at some of the hottest venues throughout the country, Jessie’s Girl takes to the stage from time to time with the hit makers themselves, including Tiffany, Bret Michaels, MC Hammer, Tone Loc and Taylor Dane. A crowd favorite, Jessie’s Girl will be rocking the ship!