Seven great but overlooked albums from the 1980s 

It’s time to revisit the 1980s and dig out some albums that you may have missed or forgotten. These seven from that decade are well worth hearing.
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Red Box - The Circle And The Square

Red Box is a British group that was one of the early artists to focus on world music or tribal pop as it was sometimes tagged. Paul Simon took a lot of credit for putting a focus on world music with his 1986 album Graceland. As did Peter Gabriel who co-founded the WOMAD festival. 

Well, with their debut album The Circle And The Square, and its unique sounds, Red Box was making a huge contribution too, but with a smaller audience. Although they were signed up by Warner Brothers with those ethnic rhythms and world music beats aligned to the pop and rock styles of the 1980s, the label didn't seem to appreciate it afterward. There was an ongoing tension between the band and the label, maybe that's why they are in this overlooked category.

Occasionally it can be a hard listen trying to get used to new styles and genres. Red Box though made some great music, especially in this album. Although it was limited to a few countries, the UK in particular, they did have chart success with singles from the album. “Lean on Me” and “For America” were their two top ten UK singles. The latter was written for Warner Brothers who wanted something for the US market. The song didn't exactly do that and instead took a sardonic view of the US. Not exactly easing any of those tensions with the label.

The other tracks on the album are all very good and well worth hearing, it's a great listen overall. They released “Saskatchewan”, a cover of the song by Buffy Sainte-Marie, as a single along with  "Chenko (Tenka-Io)" and “Heart Of The Sun” but they didn't do much on the charts. I love the catchy rhythms and chants the band incorporated into their songs and throughout this album. It's hard not to be singing along after playing it.