Lynn Goldsmith Releases Lively Book “Music in the ’80s”

The collection of images and excerpts spans the iconic decade through the lens of music’s biggest names

What do The Rolling Stones, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, and Debbie Harry all have in common? Yes, the eclectic bunch are musical powerhouses of their own accord, whose bustling sounds dominated the roaring ‘80s. But they’ve all been captured, at one point or another, through the refined lens of legendary artist, musician, and photographer Lynn Goldsmith.

While most children were watching cartoons or swinging from the monkey bars, odds are that Goldsmith could be found in a darkroom, developing not only her early works, but also a connection with photography to cope with the realities of her parent’s divorce. “That was my time with my dad where I could print my pictures,” Goldsmith recalls. “For me, photography is connected to the act of bonding with a loved one. The weekends were his time to go in the darkroom.”

Courtesy of Lynn Goldsmith

Despite a degree in English and Psychology, Goldsmith’s calling for a career in the arts was more her tempo; leading to TV and film directing and later a shift into photography. Getting her professional start in the ‘70s—while larger society was protesting sexism, access to abortion, and gender equality in the workplace—Goldsmith was, and still is, a trailblazer in her own right. 

The Michigan-native became one of the first female rock and roll photographers as well as the youngest woman accepted into the Director’s Guild of America. Additionally, she started the first photo agency that represented big-shot musicians within the entertainment field. “I never intended to be a professional photographer. I felt I had to change myself as a woman to get into the business world of management and directing,” Goldsmith explains. “I had to work very hard under a lot of stress to prove myself—I didn’t have to do that with photography.” 

Courtesy of Rizzoli

Goldsmith has documented five decades of American culture through her camera lens, both literally and figuratively, including featured works in The Smithsonian and The Museum of Modern Art. Despite an extensive decade-spanning career and over a dozen photography books, Goldsmith shows no signs of pausing—or changing her tune, either.

The multi-hyphenate’s latest book, Music in the ‘80s, dives into over 150 beloved rockstars of the 1980s—with recognizable figures like Bob Marley, David Bowie, Elton John, Grace Jones, and more harmoniously appearing in the melodic compilation. The book boasts yellow-hued, stoic portraiture throughout while louder-than-life images—both serious and vulnerable—make their mark in noir, too.

Courtesy of Lynn Goldsmith

Continuing to march to the beat of her own drum, Music in the ‘80s is Goldsmith’s evocative love letter to a most beloved decade. “The ‘80s were a time when pop, rock, and R&B stars dared to be different. Nothing was understated, neither the fashion nor the sound. The ‘80s may have been a decade of contradiction but it took us from pessimism to opportunity,” Goldsmith says. “This book is dedicated to the music that connects us all.” 

Music in the ’80s is now available for purchase at Rizzoli and select retailers

Courtesy of Rizzoli
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