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Acoustic 80s Covers

The 1980s have a special place in today's popular music culture as the '80s gave birth to a lot of legendary bands and artists. The electro melodies instrumental hooks and beats were replacing traditional music,  heavily influenced by the availability of Electronic-music, synthesizers creating the Synth-pop era, which peaked in the late 1970s to mid-1980s. It wasn't just about the listeners though, The Music-industry was all about image due to the popularity of the music video, electronica appeared to take over Rock-and-Roll. 

joy division

Who can forget the haunting tone of Frontman Ian Curtis and Joy Division with love will tear us apart in 1980?  The Pudenski Brothers band perform music by many different artists from the 1980s, traditional folk songs, music from popular rock bands, in fact, most popular songs, however, the largest area of their playlist comes from 80s acoustic cover songs. Acoustic covers of popular 80s songs, with the Percussion provided by Craig, and Lead vocalist and acoustic guitar provided by Martin. Bringing back memories of your favourite Number-one

The Music which was popular for this generation came from this new romantic era which was popular on the music scene, The Pudenski Brothers perform their version stripped back mimicking the synthesizers with acoustic guitar and a Cajon replacing the rhythms from the drums. If this was your type of music, then come along and watch the brothers play. There were also several new genres that arrived throughout the 1980s, Disco was still round and about but musical styles were changing. These changes included Punk-rock, Progressive rock, Hip-Hop and New Wave which have all influenced music today. This article takes a look at other influences of acoustic covers of popular hits and why we all love a great acoustic cover.

MTV - Music Television

Music Television channel MTV launched in New York in August 1981 which led to the proliferation of the Music Video. This had a major influence on most popular music, whether your style of music was Heavy-metal, Elecro pop, krautrock When the cable music channel MTV launched on 1 August 1981, it had little choice but to play a large number of music videos from British new wave acts The music videos were played by VJ’s (VeeJays) who became personalities in their own right. It is this video which Trevor Horn referred to in his technology tale of Video Killed The Radio Star. MTV expanded with other channels, one of which was MTV unplugged. This created much interest in the late 1980s with music performed with acoustic instruments. Many of the artists who performed unplugged went on to release acoustic albums of their hits which often performed better than the original release of the album.

MTV LogoMTV Logo

Covering an artists song in a different style can allow recognition of great songs in their own right, but also as powerful re-interpretations of already great tunes. Some people will use the tools of today such as Spotify, YouTube or SoundCloud to find their favourite acoustic covers. An awesome acoustic cover can really showcase an excellent song and the versatility of the artist. In fact, some songs which were only an average outcome when initially released were massive hits when they were released as an acoustic track. In many cases, acoustic 80s songs can sound superior to their original recording

Radio One Live Lounge Style

Radio One's Live Lounge is a segment on the was originally introduced by female DJ Jo Whiley on her mid-morning radio show when Fearne Cotton took over the show from 2009 until 2015. The live lounge feature exhibits well-known artists usually performing one song of their own and another originally recorded by a different artist, usually in an acoustic format. The songs chosen as cover versions are commonly a completely different genre to the original and that which the artist usually performs, and like most acoustic cover versions of songs offer a totally new perspective on the original track. Appearing in The Live Lounge has seen many albums released under the Radio One Live Lounge banner featuring both the acoustic originals and acoustic covers.

live loungeRadio One Live Lounge Acoustic Covers

DECONSTRUCTION: It seems that the notion of deconstruction is quite an accurate description of a song, for now, a song written in one genre can be entirely re-interpreted in another

New Wave Music

Towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, a relatively new genre of music began to appear branded as New Wave Music. This genre is defined in places as the opposite of Punk. This meant that New Wave Music encompasses a wide variety of musical styles with a lighthearted nature and including a sense of humour. New wave artists were anti-corporate and experimental with stripped-back style and upbeat tempos. music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity or more polished production came to be categorized as "new wave".By the early 1980s, British journalists largely had abandoned the term "new wave" in favour of subgenre terms such as "synthpop". New wave had a seminal role in the development and popularity of contemporary electronic music


Ska has had influence in multiple decades, initially evolved in the late 1950s from an early Jamaican form of rhythm and blues, achieving international recognition initially in the 1960s with classic songs such as My Boy Lollipop - by Millie and others from Desmond Decker and Prince Buster. Some of these songs influenced the genre and were covered by bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s who also introduced their own tunes which have gone on to be classics such as Madness, The Specials, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Selector under the 2-Tone groups.

2 tone records cover2 Tone Records

With a bold vision to unite Britain’s black and white sub-cultures in the shadow of Thatcher’s government, the 2 Tone label rapidly became synonymous with a whole genre of turbo-charged ska, bouncing a reggae back-beat head-first into the UK punk scene.


Synthpop emerged from new wave, producing a form of pop music that followed electronic rock pioneers in the 1960s and 1970s like Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream, leading to fantastic memories from Human League, Heaven 17, Visage, Japan and A Flock of Seagulls with other easily identifiable New Wave acts such as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Talk Talk and New Order.

new orderNew Order (l to r): Gillian Gilbert (keyboards), Peter Hook (bass), Bernard Sumner (guitar, vocals), Stephen Morris (drums)

The emergence of synth-pop has been quoted as "possibly the single most significant event in melodic music since the rise to fame of the Beatles in 1963, the terms Mersey sound and Merseybeat were both applied to bands and singers from Liverpool during this period.

The second wave of the British Invasion of musical acts from the United Kingdom becoming popular in the United States continued with the after-effects of the Punk/New Wave revolution. Who can forget the words of Joe Jackson, scoring a new wave hit with "Is She Really Going Out with Him? It was in 1982 when The Human Leagues 'Don't You Want Me?' hit the top of the US charts for 3 weeks gaining considerable airplay on MTV. This was later described as the moment the Second British Invasion, spurred by MTV, kicked off ". Post-Punk music described as more adventurous and arty form of punk, no less angry or political but often more musically complex and diverse. During 1983 30% of US record sales were from British acts such as Glasgow founded Orange Juice lead by Edwyn Collins with Rip It Up.

New Romantics

Duran Duran, Adam and the Ants, and Culture Club


The term "unplugged" has come to refer to music that would usually be played on electrified instruments such as an electric guitar but is performed instead on acoustic instruments that can be played without electricity, for example, an acoustic guitar, traditional piano, and Cajon although a microphone is often used

On our grand tour of Southbourne on Sea listening to Martin and Craig as the Pudenski Brothers you could be reminded of some great times from the past. When done correctly, a great acoustic cover can give us an entirely new take on a melody we already know and love. Let the Pudenski Brothers take you on a quick world tour, taking in the sights of Africa, be Men at Work down in Australia to perform the Australian National  Anthem, check out the Weather with you in New Zealand, they can take you over to Canada to view the Surrealistic sight of Echo Beach and the final countdown with a return back to Europe.

The Video Above is from a night out in Southbourne where the Pudenski Brothers performed at The Brewhouse and Kitchen and is Gold an acoustic cover of the Spandau Ballet classic.

Stripped Back Great 80s songs

Martin and Craig as the Pudenski Brothers perform with a very distinguishable sound especially suited for the smaller venues due to the band having a smaller footprint than a full band, however, the benefit of performing 80s acoustic covers is that with their larger rig they can also play the bigger venues. The stripped-down nature of their performance allows a clear audible performance which is not excessive for guests who want to catch up and then have a boogie later on in the evening. If you want to get some examples of The Pudenski Brothers great 80s cover songs in their stripped-back style either go and see them most Tuesdays at The Wight Bear or take a look at some examples in our Video section.

When music is labeled acoustic, unplugged, or unwired, the assumption seems to be that other types of music are "cluttered" by technology and overproduction and therefore aren't as "pure."

Craig Conley Splendid E-zine August 1999


Why do people like 80's music?

The reason most people prefer a musical style is their generational association with the popular 1980s music. The bands and artists were creating great 80s songs with diversity. The more styles you have, the more people can associate with the music. Music you experience between the ages of 10 and 25 ends up creating a standard of what you find enjoyable. During the 1980s the top 80s songs had simple lyrical concepts where artists sang the words with clarity, you didn't require too many listens to pick up the song lyrics. People who like 80s music have an emotional or aesthetic connection to its themes. There are young people who like good 80s songs and are rejecting the music of their generation, seeking something that better suits their personal choice.

Technology also had a big part to play in the variety of music which was out there in the 1980s. Musicians started experimenting more and pushing the envelope of what they can do with their instruments, techniques, recording technology was improving and becoming more affordable allowing artists to realise any weird sound they could hear in their heads.

There was the warmth of analogue synths/tape/tubes music videos were still extremely new, exciting, and a fun thing to play with.

Songwriters had to remain strong in terms of compositions and rhythms while being entertaining and recognisable in order for them to be competitive with their peers, everyone had their own style It could also be the lyrics, the singers, the variety of instruments and the choruses. There was the warmth of analogue synths/tape/tubes music videos were still extremely new, exciting, and a fun thing to play with.

This gives the Pudenski brothers plenty of opportunity to take any of the top 100 classic rock songs and convert them to an acoustic cover which can be taken out to gigs in the Dorset area.

The Pop Megastars

Pop stars and their music changed in the 1980s with the help of MTV and a greater focus on image. A new breed of mega-stars emerged, becoming iconic mascots for the genre and defining the decade through fashion, talent and persona. Some of the superstars to emerge were Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince. They experienced a level of fame and success not seen since Elvis Presley and the Beatles.


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