Tag Archives: 1987

Whatever Happened To… The Smiths?

Browse & purchase this albumYou Just Haven’t Earned it yet, Baby – The Smiths (1987)
This English band, formed in 1982, released four studio albums before calling it quits in 1987. Front-man Morrissey launched a successful solo career, which continues to this day. His latest record came out in 2009. Guitarist Johnny Marr went on to join several bands over the years – The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, among others. Marr also started a side-project, Johnny Marr & the Healers, in 2000 and it continues today. Marr finally released his solo debut earlier this year. Bass guitarist Andy Rourke went on to be a successful session musician, working with Sinead O’Connor, The Pretenders, and Morrissey. Since 2009, Rourke has been one half of Jetlag, a remixing, audio production, and performance duo based in New York City. Drummer Mike Joyce, like Rourke, went on to work with Sinead O’Connor & Morrissey. In 2006, Joyce started a UK radio show which has since moved to the US.

Whatever Happened To… Europe?

Browse & purchase this albumCarrie – Europe (1987)
This Swedish band made the most of the popularity of big-hair metal in the US during the 80’s. And recording a power ballad didn’t hurt either. This hit & album saw them reach the peak of their commercial popularity, at least in the US, and they split in 1992. Front-man Joey Tempest & guitarist Kee Marcello put out their respective solo debuts in 1995. And guitarist John Norum, who’d already started a successful solo career on the side, continued along that path. Europe reunited in 2003 and released a come-back album the following year. While they haven’t charted again in the US, their albums continue to land at the top of the Swedish charts. Their latest studio effort came out last year.

Whatever Happened To… Whitesnake?

Browse & purchase this albumHere I Go Again – Whitesnake (1987)
This band, founded by former Deep Purple front-man David Coverdale, were a hit in their native UK for well over five years before this single & album brought them international fame. Despite various line-up changes and the on-again/off-again status of the band over the past two decades, they’ve continued to tour and record to great fanfare. In the 90’s, Coverdale collaborated with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on a critically & commercially-acclaimed project. Whitesnake’s latest studio effort came out in 2011, and they’re scheduled to tour the UK with Journey next year. Here they go again…indeed.

Whatever Happened To… MARRS?

Pump up the Volume – MARRS (1987)
This short-lived British act, composed of former members of the groups A.R. Kane & Colourbox, split up following the recording of this single due to the tumultuous nature of their working relationship. Alex Ayuli & Rudy Tambala returned to A.R. Kane, where they released a couple more albums before splitting in 1994. They each continued individual careers in the music industry. Meanwhile, Colourbox remained dissolved, so Martyn Young & Steven Young pursued collaborative efforts with other artists.

Whatever Happened To… Icehouse?

Electric Blue – Icehouse (1987)
One of the biggest bands in their native Australia, this band reached their international commercial peak with this track and album. They continued to release albums into the 90’s, but to diminished reception. In the mid-90’s, founder & front-man Iva Davies began stepping out on his own and diversifying his body of work: He collaborated with the Sydney Dance Company (on their production of Berlin) in 1995 and released a solo album in 1999. In the 00’s, he expanded his collaborative efforts and attempted to produce another Icehouse album (but it remains unreleased). Due to multiple line-up changes, Davies is the sole constant member of the band; he enlists musicians to fill out the band when they tour occasionally, mainly in Australia & New Zealand.

Whatever Happened To… The System?

Don’t Disturb this Groove – The System (1987)
This American duo, comprised of David Frank & Mic Murphy, were renowned for their use of synthesizers in rhythm & blues. They released five studio albums before calling it quits in 1989. Frank went on to launch a highly successful career in songwriting, which has seen his work top various charts while working with the biggest names in popular music. Murphy launched a short-lived solo career. They reunited briefly in 2000 and released a studio album. And in 2009, they came out with a collection of remixed and previously unreleased tracks.

Whatever Happened To… Kim Wilde?

You Keep me Hangin’ On – Kim Wilde (1987)
While listeners in the US may consider Wilde a one-hit wonder, she was a fixture on the charts in her native UK (and much of the rest of Europe) throughout the 80’s and into the early 90’s.  Born Kim Smith, Wilde ventured into musical theater in the mid-90’s, then started a family. She returned to the music business in 2001 and has since seen a career resurgence in mainland Europe. Her most recent album of original material came out in 2010. An album of Wilde performing covers was released in 2011. She’s scheduled to perform across Europe this summer.

Whatever Happened To… Echo & the Bunnymen?

Lips Like Sugar – Echo & the Bunnymen (1987)
This English band was part of the flurry of New Wave acts that surfaced in the early 80’s. While they saw moderate commercial success in the US, they were much more popular in the UK. Front-man Ian McCulloch left to launch a solo career in 1988, and drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorcycle accident in 1989. But other members were added and the band hobbled along until disbanding in 1993. McCulloch reunited with guitarist Will Sergeant & bassist Les Pattinson, both fellow founding members, in 1996. Echo & the Bunnymen have continued to record and tour over the years, primarily to English audiences, despite the departure of Pattinson to attend to family matters. Their most recent studio album was released in 2009; most recent live album in 2011. McCulloch, who’s continued to occasionally record solo on the side, will release a new solo effort in the UK next week.

Whatever Happened To… Roger?

I Want to be Your Man – Roger (1987)
Born Roger Troutman, Roger was a founding member of the funk group Zapp in the late 70’s before launching a successful solo career. His commercial success began fading in the late 80’s, and he released his last studio album in 1991. He made several guest vocal appearances using his distinctive “talk box,” culminating in a Grammy nomination and #1 hit with 2pac & Dr. Dre in 1995. In 1999, Roger was shot and killed by his brother (and fellow Zapp founder) Larry Troutman in an apparent murder-suicide.

Whatever Happened To… Squeeze?

Hourglass – Squeeze (1987)
This British band was in its second incarnation (having disbanded 1982-85) when this hit came out. They released their last studio album in 1998 and disbanded again in 1999, but a third incarnation began touring in 2007. Their line-up over the years sounds like a Who’s Who of British new wave, but principals Glenn Tilbrook & Chris Difford formed the foundation throughout. When not working with Squeeze, Tilbrook runs his own recording studio and released a solo effort in 2009. Similarly, Difford is a prolific songwriter and released his latest solo effort last year. It’s reported a new Squeeze album is forthcoming, but no release date has been announced.