Trevor Horn / Reimagines: The Eighties

New album • SIGNED copies available • Guest vocalists

Legendary producer Trevor Horn, often credited with ‘inventing the 80s’, now ‘reimagines’ the decade with a newly announced album of eighties classics recorded with ‘the Sarm Orchestra’ and a string of guest vocalists including Robbie Williams, Seal and Tony Hadley.

Reimagines: The Eighties (feat. The Sarm Orchestra) has some similarities with the recently announced 80s Symphonic album in that it contains big hits rearranged with an orchestral element, but on Trevor’s album these are new recordings from the ground up and nothing from the original track is in the mix. Also, Horn has the pedigree to make this a more interesting exercise.

Tracks include Tears For Fears‘ classic ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ (sung by Robbie Williams), ‘Ashes to Ashes’ (featuring Seal), ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ (with Rumer), and ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ (Tony Hadley). Some have no guest vocalist which means either Trevor takes over vocal duties (he’s a good singer, of course) or they are instrumentals.

The album will be released (on CD only, for now) on 1 February next year and fans can pre-order a SIGNED copy from Trevor’s online store. There is also a 2CD edition in Japan that adds a disc of instrumental versions.

1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Robbie Williams
2. Dancing In The Dark – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Gabrielle Aplin
3. Ashes To Ashes – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Seal
4. The Power Of Love – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Matt Cardle
5. It’s Different For Girls – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Steve Hogarth
6. Slave To The Rhythm – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Rumer
7. Brothers In Arms – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Simple Minds
8. Girls On Film – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and All Saints
9. What’s Love Got To Do With It? – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Tony Hadley
10. Owner Of A Lonely Heart – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra
11. Take On Me – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra
12. Blue Monday – Trevor Horn Featuring The Sarm Orchestra and Rev Jimmy Wood

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Jason Gould

Everyone’s opinions are valid. Music is an idividual choice. The 80’s are my favourite decade and I am really loving the album. Some interesting song choices. I really loved the 80’s Symphonic release and was intrigued when I read about this one. Saw it in a store here in Sydney Australia and had to get it. Was so pleased I did as I just loved it. Some songs are better than others as is always the case. I agree if you don’t wwant to hear it then don’t it’s a free choice.

Mshel Ng

Really enjoyed the Seal version of Ashes to Ashes, different but good.

John V 80s

I’m just very excited and can not wait for the CD, I will sit back with my son and enjoy what Trevor is going to deliver. It’s this music and the re releasing of it that should bring a smile to all of us – not the opinionated music snobbery I’ve read. Have we all forgotten what Frankie said “Relax”. Thank you Trevor Horn for giving generations so much.

Calum Bennie

I have just heard Seal’s version of Ashes to Ashes from this album on the Graham Norton radio show, where Horn was promoting the album. It’s an excellent interpretation – all strings and symphony rather than the synths of the original. But it’s a considerate interpretation and Seal’s vocals are excellent. Really good – I hope the rest of the album is just as good.

Gary Cooper

Simple Minds with Mick McNeil back on accordion doing Brothers in arms. Very good indeed. Well done. Please come home Mike. The fans want you back so much mate.


Japanese version out in January with a second CD of instrumentals. So if you don’t like the vocals…


That one also features a whale instead of a seal by the way…

[…] and/or produced. It was also an opportunity for Horn to debut tracks from the forthcoming album Trevor Horn Reimagines The Eighties, which is due for release early next year. The 19-piece band (which featured an eight-piece string […]

Ian Hicks

Well Paul and I got to hear Blue Monday last night at the Southbank and you know what….. it was pretty good… live anyway.

Andy Robertson

Frankly, Trevor Horn has more than earned the right to do whatever he wants musically. Am I looking forward to hearing the cover of Blue Monday? No. Will it be as bad as Paul Young’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’? Very possibly. However I’m listening to the TFF cover as I type, and those awesome string lines are so reminiscent of the ZTT pedigree, and highlight what a brilliant song EWTRTW is. Knock yerself out Trev.


There is nothing wrong with Paul Young’s cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart and as much as i love the original at least Paul Young could sing.


80’s well trodden songs sung by 90’s well trodden artists. Think I’ll give it a miss.

Joe Atari

How to cover “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”: Lorde’s version. How not to: erm, Robbie Williams.


Haha. That’s funny. I’d say the opposite.


That’s just your opinion

Chris S

The watering down of the 80’s. (which were pretty watered down when compared to the 6o’s and 70’s.)

Jan V.

Although I must say that I am not impressed by the vocals of Robbie Williams on EWTRTW, I preordered the cd. The production and arrangements sound impressive.


Listeninga to the album right now. The orchestrations are incredible.


I really like their take on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

wesley mc dowell

Wow ,some very negative comments!I will be looking foward to its release in febuary all being well.Should help brighten up the winter.I will avoid hearing any tracks from it till then.Simple minds,tony hadley and steve hogarth sounds good to me.Maybe we will get a set of new songs from Trevor at some point that would be very intresting.Loved the Return trip version of fly from here by Yes so much better than the orginal version which of course was also produced by trev!!

Rik Skyline

The fact that he’s attempted to reimagine Blue Monday is quite frankly, preposterous.


Now that is snobbery. Songs are always there to be covered. What if the Beatles hadn’t been allowed to cover those 50s and 60s classics?

Dr Volume

Covers are fine but I don’t want to hear an orchestral version of Blue Monday (and be warned – Hooky is threatening to do Joy Division with strings…Hooky’d on Classics anyone?)

The Beatles comparison isn’t valid. They didn’t slather those old songs in Strings to make them more ‘easy listening’. They played those tunes in their own style adding some early 60s Liverpool grot to Motown/R&B grooves and created something visceral and exciting that informed their own compositions.
This is just more James Last-ification of OUR pop culture, dampening down anything too thrilling and making it all middlebrow and syrupy.


That has no logic, so it’s ok for the Beatles to play in their own style but not for Horn?

If you don’t like it, then that’s fine but this idea that some of these covers are blasphemous is crazy.
I love TFF and the Big Chair album is something close to my heart as I grew up with it but let’s not pretend a cover of Rule the world is wrong. It’s a fun pop song, it’s not something untouchable!
Horn has added a real uplifting element to it, not schmaltz.
If he pushed it with radio this could actually be a big hit

Dr Volume

Paul as I said I’ve no problem with covers and I don’t think Blue Monday or any other song is a sacred cow. Do a heavy metal version of Blue Monday, do a K-Pop version or play it backwards man I don’t care. The point I was making was The Beatles covered those songs in their own way, and it was instinctive and driven by them just wanting to play those songs live (“mak show”) and ended up putting their own spin on it. This Horn project is totally driven by the current, tedious trend of adding a Classical/Strings spin on everything – Gary Numan is doing it, Echo and His Bunnymen are doing it, Beach Boys are doing it – and we’ve got Hacienda Classical and Ibiza Classical which are about creating orchestral versions of dance tunes. Music is about the collision of harmonics, textures and groove that happens when a certain combination of people and machines interact, add a great song and the magic really happens. Going back to something that was already magical, shoehorning a string section sawing away on top of song is just artless, pointless and pure Pebble Mill.


I totally agree with you. The same goes for elvis presley who sang some great if not better versions of other peoples songs and vise versa. Not a robbie williams fan but sings this song very well. I will be buying it.


I have followed New Order from the begging, including Joy Division. I don’t really want to hear the Blue Monday orchestration, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, just don’t listen to it.

Covers of songs in most cases helps the original artists as I have on numerous occasions heard a track and the searched for the original song, then found a new artists.

The music snobbery on here sometimes is just daft, if everybody like the same music it would be boring. If you are not happy with a record, then just don’t listen or buy it, simple really.

I won’t be buying it as it is not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that it is rubbish

Craig Hedges

The majority of the songs that the Beatles covered were unknown in the UK and weren’t considered classics in the US, they weren’t universally well known songs. The difference is the songs on this album are well known because the original artist recording Are classics which are burnt into our brains. Nobody is saying they cannot be covered but as with a lot of 1980s records the songs weren’t that great but they were great recordings. Blue Monday is a great record with great arrangement but there isn’t much of an actual song compared to say True Faith, Regret or Dream Attack. Trevor Horn or not he isn’t going to improve on that 1983 recording, same as if whoever’s today’s hot producer is tackled Relax or Two tribes, which again were great records not necessarily amazing songs. I think a lot of people here are miffed as it seems a waste of Trevor’s time and talent. Next year is the 40th anniversary of Video killed the radio star and I would love a deluxe edition of the age of plastic. But at the end of the day it’s up to him what projects he works on.


Its a shame that some of these comments are so snotty. Like it or not Trevor Horn is one of only a few artists and producers who can truly claim to have truly influenced the 80’s. Ordered and I’m personally looking forward to enjoying this and then putting it on the shelf with both original and remixed and re-released ZTT albums and CD’s.

You always have the choice not to buy it as with any item on SDE so stop whinging.


If only positive comments were allowed, things would be a bit dull. Whingeing is a British pastime!


Ordered. Nice tracks, and Hogarth does a great job with Marillion.


not more simple minds acoustic


Plenty of misery-guts comments here. Looking forward to this.

So this must be why Trevor was photographed with Simple Minds a few months ago… so maybe it wasn’t to do with a forthcoming Street Fighting Years SDE after all! :-)

Post-Punk Monk

Thank god there won’t be a “Street Fighting Years” SDE! Though I can’t say I’ll be lining up for this one. Too MOR. My world stopped revolving around Trev some time in 1986.


As usual musical snobbery alert! People wanting to be seen to like music for the sake of being cool. This is Trevor’s record and its his sound – it sounds great. He decided how Robbie sings it and frankly I think he did a good job – its joyous and uplifting.
Robbie is very off putting as he appears to be a jerk but underneath that he does have a good voice and is very prodigious in terms of side projects.
At some point when his stuff comes up for reissuing the number of B sides and project tracks to collate will be huge

Michael T

lol music for elevators..trust me going on that tune..if were tears for fears I’d serve an injunction…sorry but that it totally bland and quite frankly lets Trevor down..I did however like the midge your orchestral a while back.


All Saints doing Girls On Film! Worth the price alone…

Stephen Davison

I will listen to the Rumer track certainly. Stunning voice, amazing live. I hope it is as spectacular as it could be. Not sure about the rest.

Rob C

How did they rope Simple Minds into this?

Steve Parrott

Just heard the ‘Take on me’ TH version and it was crap to be honest.. IMO

don cooper

For a merest moment I thought TH was Talking Heads.
Only the merest-thank gawd.


Steve, are you sure it was the Trevor Horn version you heard (which afaik isn’t yet available anywhere) … and not the 80s Symphonic version with the London Studio Orchestra which is currently being played on radio?

Steve Parrott

I just checked the Radio 2 playlist for when I heard it and it was the 80’s Symphonic as you have quite rightly said.. still crap IMO. I shall await the Trevor version

Philip mono-stereo

I like the fact that he has also reimagined that “it’s different for girls” was an 80s song…


Although the album on which It’s Different For Girls appears was released in 1979, the single wasn’t released, and didn’t chart in the UK until January 1980; Rightly or wrongly, I suspect TH is using this basis to include the song.

Rune T

Big fan of Trevor Horn and a lot of the output on ZTT back in the day, truly a groundbreaking producer. This seems like low hanging fruit to me though.

I still remember him being in the audience of a Seal concert years ago – Seal pointed him out and thanked him towards the end of the show. I got more star struck seeing him than the artist on stage. If I’d only known I would have brought along one of my copies of Welcome to the Pleasuredome (or maybe Lexicon of Love) to get it signed.

Jim Breeds

Oh dear, oh dear. If the Video is a representative sample, it’s one to avoid.


Sigh. Just the idea anyone thinks Robbie Williams is still within a decade of his imperial phase and worth mentioning in a press release or bothering to work with so he can do that off-Broadway Vegas impression of his suggests someone needs to perhaps just stop now.


I think the Robbie track sounds great and really look forward to hearing Steve Hogarth’s take on It’s Different For Girls (he has a terrific pop sensibility underneath the proggy outer shell). These projects have their place, some of us like them and can judge for their merits based on execution and our own tastes for these sort of things. Others don’t need to listen if they don’t want to. That is the beauty of music.


Listened to “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” and the orchestration is excellent, especially the back half. I don’t think Robbie Williams has quite the negative connotations in the US as he does elsewhere, and while I didn’t love his vocal, I didn’t think it was terrible (except for the “Say…” bit, which was a bit ugly). It could work. I’m not counting it out yet.


Just spit out my morning tea after listening to Robbie Williams doing EWTRTW. Respect to Trevor Horn but this is not for me.

Nick Love

Hating playing Rule the World in my old band because the vocal line required strength in a wide range of notes and lots of precision. Some I don’t have, and I’m not sure Robbie Williams does either. Interesting choice…

Julian H

That was my first thought too. I think Robbie is a great singer, but the song is likely out of his range (I haven’t listened yet). Several other TFF songs would have been better choices, if you ask me…


Might be interested… should have sung these himself though. I got the reimagined Yes album Fly From Here with Trevor on lead vocals and it was excellent.

Isn’t Matt Cardle one of those X factor winner guys? I feel like Horn could work with just about anyone and that’s who he picks??? He worked with Paul McCartney for gods sake!!


You: “Horn is a genius and can work with anyone he wants.”
Also you: “Horn is a total idiot for wanting to pick who he picks.”
Sounds very expertly.
You could have spent at least half a thought on the curious fact that when a genius of a producer picks someone to feature on his gigs and albums he might have put serious thought into it. Hm. Could it be that that “guy” proved himself to be a proper musician on top of his outstanding voice?

Steven Roberts

Oh dear.

I guess even geniuses can have off days.

Still, if he were to spend some time remixing some of his classic productions into 5.1 – Buggles, ABC, Yes, Grace Jones et al – I’m sure all would be forgiven :)


Rumer has a wonderful voice. However, accepting that this may be close-minded, I’m out. At the mention of Robbie Williams doing Tears for Fears, I felt like someone had just walked over my grave. Sacrilege! I never want to hear it.

In saying that, I bet it will turn up on an advert sooner or later.


Rumer and an orchestral Slave To The Rhythm could actually be excellent. The rest of it I’m not going to even listen to I’m afraid – except maybe a Doctor-Who-like listen from behind the sofa with my hands over my ears to Blue Monday.


Many years ago I went to a small venue in Notting Hill (can’t remember the venue exactly) to see Trevor Horn play live, along with a host of guest vocalists. The stand-out surprise for me that night was the live version of Slave To The Rhythm with Alison Moyet on vocals – simply brilliant.


Just listening on Apple Music. It’s a bit grim a concept but the production is clean – as you’d expect. Why do singers decide to sing the wrong notes? Robbie has a key line all wrong. Clearly on purpose.

David Carter

Sounds terrible judging by the vocalists , the last I heard of Trevor Horn was as the man behind Fundamental by The Pet Shop Boys which I wasn’t a massive fan of so not a lot of anticipation for this.

David Waters

No surprise that a few ZTT related recordings in there… hmm!


I don’t know half of the singers and the preview only gives me the idea of putting back the original versions on my turntable…


It’s officially the end of the world as we know it.

Craig Hedges

Trevor is/was a genius, I love most of his work but this, like the other 80s orchestra album is band wagon jumping exercise. Wish we could have a third Buggles album or further Art of noise material. I am only interested in Seal’s interpretation of Ashes to Ashes from this.

Cosmo Castanza

What an awful looking concept. Could not pay me to listen to 21st century boy band singer .

The well is looking very empty.


No “Video Killed The Radio Star”? No party!
“The Power Of Love”: Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Huey Lewis?

Paul Mac

Jennifer Rush :-)


Wanted to pre-order, but “This page is unavailable in your territory.”
So no delivery to Germany. Brexit already?????


More CD’s and Blu-ray’s are also not possible to deliver to the Netherlands (direct from Amazon UK). Anyone no why?

Gareth Jones

Nice idea, bad choice of vocalists!


Already cringing at the thought of Seal murdering Ashes To Ashes.


Can he imagine a deluxe edition of Grace Jones ‘Slave to the rhythm’?

Randy Metro

If you want more versions of Slave, there was a nice set of 10 remixes (1994) spread across a 2CD pack on the ZTT Zance label. I love Grace but I hate the zillions of Slave remixes.

Tony Hadley is one of the few singers I recognize on the track list. He did one of the best Bowie cover songs that I’ve heard – Rock N Roll Suicide.


Yes, more Grace!

Chris Squires

Well I absolutely loved that. I know it won’t be cool to admit it.

Trevor just has a way of making stuff sound fantastic and as a starting point that was superb. I won’t buy it just yet as I have enough shiny things around that I don’t play but if it comes out on a double elpee I will be in like Flint. Ashes to Ashes with Seal is the one I would like to hear next. I am having a bit of a Trevor Horn moment recently with the Buggles on You Tube devouring many hours whilst I work. That Princes Trust concert is superb.

I like the “odd” line up of vocalists…..only one I don’t know is Rumer…(just googled…it’s a her) but she has a great song to get to grips with….

More interesting that just another vanilla re-issue… nice one Trev.


I thought the Gabrielle on this was the one with the eye patch till i googled it and it was somebody i had never heard of.

Larry Davis

Rumer aka Sarah Joyce is one of my fave current female artists…what got my attention with her was the Karen Carpenter comparisons and association with Burt Bacharach…all true but she is her own artist, I collect her stuff and she is great live…check out the episode of “Live At Daryl’s House” that she is on…she is lovely, brilliant and fun…then again, I am biased because I’ve seen her live numerous times and got to know her a bit too…she does tour every coupla years, she lives in the US now and is a new mum, so her time away is much deserved…any new Rumer track is great news and overall, this looks great, inspired choices too…the cover looks like a companion piece to his recent vinyl release, pink?? May have to get both now…


Dear me. Things like this shouldn’t happen.


zzzzzzzzz Robbie sounds half asleep….not a good preview of things to come !