Most Filipinos would often define the 1980s and the 1990s as the best eras when it comes to music. The periods coincided with the rise of several musical genres – grunge, alternative, New Wave, Britpop, mod revival, and more. Philippine radio stations that time often played more music, with diverse picks from both foreign and local artists.
Disc jockeys throwing jokes on air were unheard of during that time. Nowadays, several radio stations catering to the lower socio-economic spectrum often do this as a standard. But still, the feeling of catching a familiar tune on the radio from years before evokes feelings of nostalgia. These six tunes below have left their mark on Filipino listeners. Let’s check them out.
Copy-Right – Hypnotized
This new-wave tune from the 1980s had significant airtime in different discotheques and radio stations here in the Philippines, despite the scant information available about the band. Based on comments I’ve read around the internet, this song was a favorite among Filipino youths in that decade. Apparently, the slower version by Copy-Right was a cover of a faster tune by little-known German new wave band Bamboo Industry. I first caught this during an 80s / new wave hour on a local radio station, and has stuck ever since.
Seona Dancing – More To Lose
When this song was first played in the country, it was billed as Medium by Fade – in reference to its medium tempo and fade-out ending. Ricky Gervais had a rather short stint as a new wave singer with Seona Dancing, with most Filipinos recognizing him as one-half of the duo. Unfortunately, Gervais and his partner Bill Macrae were unable to repeat the song’s success. The duo split up soon after, with Macrae fading away from the limelight and Gervais eventually transitioning to comedy via The Office.
P.S.Y. – Angelina
While this one-hit wonder received significant airplay and a few remixes to boot, it also became subject to parodies in the Filipino language that were rather unsavory in nature. The band’s name came from the first letter of their names – Pierre Perez-Vergara, Stephane Planchon, and Yassine Dahbi. Unfortunately, Dahbi – the one wearing a cream coat in the music video – died in 2016 at the age of 49. The music video for this song interestingly featured a younger Maiwenn, who later played the blue-skinned Diva Plavalaguna in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element.
Pizzicato Five – Sweet Soul Revue
Alongside Globe’s Feel Like Dance, this song from the Japanese Shibuya-kei band was one of two tunes that defined the 90s for many Filipinos. Many millennials would credit this song for introducing them to anime following its use as an unofficial theme for Ranma 1/2. Despite Pizzicato Five‘s eventual disbandment in the early 2000s, its remaining members remain active in the music scene. A local children’s nutritional supplement used the tune for one of its advertisements, complete with dance moves and outfits from the 1990s.
Fatima Rainey – Hey
Fatima Rainey was among several Swedish artists who received substantial airtime on the local stations – alongside Eric Gadd and Orup. This tune initially gained popularity as a dance track, but eventually made it to playlists centering on 1990s nostalgia and easy listening. Despite Rainey having little to no information on English-language sites, this 1998 hit of hers became a mainstay on Philippine radio stations. Interestingly, this tune by the Swedish pop singer – who was the erstwhile partner of Swedish comic Claes Maelmberg – was widely covered by Filipino singers on YouTube.
The Style Council – Mick’s Blessings
This one from Mick Talbot, which showcases his keyboard skills, serves as the first track in the group’s UK debut album Cafe Bleu. It cemented itself in the memory of most Filipinos despite not having airplay on Philippine radio. This tune was often played alongside a laugh track because of its use as the opening theme of the late 1980s comedy show Goin’ Bananas. Years later, the theme of the early 2000s Philippine sitcom All Together Now served as a nod to this tune – as three of the five main Goin’ Bananas actors also headlined the show.
I hope this post brought you down memory lane. What other songs from the 80s and 90s evoke feelings of nostalgia in you? Feel free to share them at the comment section below!
Until the next post.