'80s pop acts, from the winsome to the tonsorially challenged

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China Crisis – Kajagoogoo And Limahl

Twenty years on, even the groups who emerged after New Pop’s glory days, choking on ABC and Culture Club’s white funk dust, seem great. Hateful at the time, but now, with no brainy pretty boys in the charts, these groups with their self-penned, self-played music and literate pseudo-intellectual lyrics sound like avant-garde geniuses compared to today’s karaoke clothes horses. China Crisis were Liverpool’s other synth-duo after OMD and they specialised in wistful ballads with gently experimental Byrne/Eno-lite ethno-rhythms. Leighton Buzzard’s Kajagoogoo were Duran also-rans reviled for their ridiculous garb, and yet their first hits?No 1 “Too Shy”, “Ooh To Be Ah” and the exquisite “Hang On Now”?offered an alternate pop universe triptych of effete miserablism to rival the virtually contemporaneous first three singles by The Smiths.