Older, more established acts also were in the news, but the slide towards mid-80s irrelevance had begun. ACDC was still going strong. David Bowie had his biggest record in years, and Pete Townshend released an entertaining set of demos. Funk was way past its peak, but the Isleys adapted well to the new synth technology, and Rufus summed up their career with a good live outing. Earth, Wind & Fire also got out a pretty good record, but it didn't sell.
And that set a pattern for almost every other pop performer with 60s and 70s credentials over the next several years. For example, Frank Zappa's new album got away with murder on the heels of his kitschy hit "Valley Girl." Black Sabbath was anything but Born Again. 60s veterans Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, and Dionne Warwick all continued to embarass themselves, while disco acts such as France Joli tried and failed to reinvent themselves with synth-pop. Things could only get better - but actually they got worse... (JA)