Released in 1979, The Age Of Plastic is the first album by the Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes collaboration, known as The Buggles. Sadly, The Buggles are mostly known as part of the answer to a trivia question. Their music video for Video Killed The Radio Star was (appropriately) the first video played on the fledgling MTV back in 1981. However, the album this song came from is an underappriciated gem of new wave music, except among afficionados of the genre.
Of course, that's only the story in the USA. On the other side of the pond, The Age Of Plastic had several hits. Video Killed The Radio Star, of course, but also the powerful Clean, Clean, (Living In) The Plastic Age, and Elstree, a paen to the British B-Movie industry. The entire album is simply a masterpiece from start to finish. The Buggles used synthesizers in a unique manner, calling to mind the big band sound of the 1930s. The lyrics were clever, often calling attention to how technology was changing our lives.
After the release of The Age Of Plastic, Horn and Downes joined with progressive rock band Yes for the 1980 album Drama. The album was not a success, but the revitalized interest in The Buggles due to MTV brought them back into the studio to record a follow-up, 1982's Adventures In Modern Recording
The Age Of Plastic is still in print, though hard to come by. It is worth tracking down a Japanese import CD, as it contains three bonus tracks, B-sides from their singles at the time.
- (Living In) The Plastic Age
- Video Killed The Radio Star
- Kid Dynamo
- I Love You (Miss Robot)
- Clean, Clean
- Astroboy (And The Proles On Parade)
- Johnny On The Monorail
Japanese CD Bonus Tracks
- Johnny On The Monorali (A Very Different Version)