Many Filipinos are music aficionados and so the ’80s holds a special place in their hearts.
That decade had a wide range of music genres that all reached new heights of popularity – from pop, hard, metal, alternative rock, contemporary, R&B, hip hop, country music, new wave, post-punk, all the way to electronic dance music.
Exceptional artists and bands exploded onto the scene, their performance styles as diverse as the music they performed. From Prince to The Police, Sheena Easton to Spandau Ballet, Blondie to Kim Carnes, Bangles to Irene Cara, Whitney Houston to Wham, Billy Joel to Rick Astley, Kool and the Gang to Queen, each is unique and all with fanatical followers.
The Philippines had its own ’80s icons in the persons of Gino Padilla, Jett Pangan, Raymond Lauchengco, Lou Bonnevie and Jam Morales.
In an interview, the five took a trip down memory lane then gave their views on how music has changed since their time.
Jett emphasized there was a lot of diversity back in the day.
“Most singers do the same genre but they sound different from one another. Each has distinct sound,” he explained.
The Dawn frontman mentioned there was “energy” in that decade sorely missing today.
“Back then, people had something to fight for. The energy, the agitation was there. There’s mystery in that we didn’t know where we are heading,” he said.
He made clear, though, that today’s music is not that bad, still okay.
“I notice that most artists today are very chill and there’s nothing wrong with that. I guess it boils down to the lifestyle of today’s generation in that they can even create music right in the comforts of home.”
In fairness, Jett said the present generation has a lot of good singers.
Given the chance, who among the young artists would they like to collaborate with?
Jett, Raymond, and Gino have one singer in mind: Morissette Amon.
Raymond described the 22-year-old singer as “phenomenal.”
“She’s really a good singer. She’s an awesome artist, she has an awesome voice,” he said.
Jett, on the other hand, lauded Morissette for being “down to earth” despite her achievements in the industry.
It’s been a while since Filipinos heard from these artists.
Behind the camera, life went on for them.
Jam had health issues while she was in the U.S. Raymond ventured into directing and he has been happily married for 15 years now.
Each of Jett and Gino are family men.
Lou has been behind Earth Day Jam for years now.
To millennials, Jet is known for the song “Salamat,” Jam for “A Smile In Your Heart,” Raymond for “I Need You Back,” Gino in “Closer You And I” and Lou for “Love Me Tonight.”
These five are having a reunion concert titled “Into The 80’s.” Lou revealed musical director Toto Gentica has put together a set list that includes Billboard Top Hits like “Careless Whisper” by George Michael and “Every Breath You Take” by The Police; favorite movie themes from “Xanadu,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Footloose;” the best of new wave and ’80s dance tunes “Just Got Lucky” by Jo Boxers, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston, “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel, and “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.
The ’80s feel will be further enhanced by outfits, choreography, and videos of events, TV shows, performers and performances reminiscent of the times. The evening is guaranteed to bring back memories and get audiences on their feet and groove with iconic beats that transcend generations.
The headliners will be joined by the Filipinas Dancers and the Session Band plus some surprise guest performers.
“Into The 80’s” is on May 18 at The Theatre at Solaire.