Friday, July 8, 2016

Who's the Best... Record of 1980?


Doug: Now here's an idea for an ongoing series. Karen previously touched on her favorite albums of 1976... why not expand this throughout the Bronze Age? Fire away, kids -- and if you need a list, just click here.




19 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Why only albums ? Why not singles ? This is just musical snobbery. I had no interest in albums but I did follow the UK Top 40 regularly so I'm going to list my favourite singles from 1980 : Brass In Pocket (Pretenders), I'm In The Mood For Dancing (Nolans), Coward Of The County (Kenny Rogers), Too Much Too Young (Specials), Together We Are Beautiful (Fern Kinney), Going Underground (The Jam), Dance Yourself Dizzy (Liquid Gold), Theme from MASH (#1 hit in the UK a decade after the film came out), Crying (Don Mclean), No Doubt About It (Hot Chocolate - it was about an encounter with a UFO !!), Echo Beach (Martha & The Muffins), Geno (Dexy's Midnight Runners), Xanadu (Olivia Newton-John & ELO), The Winner Takes It All (ABBA), Ashes To Ashes (David Bowie), Eighth Day (Hazel O' Connor), Feels Like I'm In Love (Kelly Marie), Atomic (Blondie), Woman In Love (Barbra Streisand), What's Another Year (Kenny Logan), Call Me (Blondie), The Tide Is High (Blondie), Super Trouper (ABBA)...I've probably missed some out :D

Redartz said...

Great list of singles there, Colin! We share a few favorites (Blondie, especially).

That list of albums linked is pretty incredible, too. I'll have to go with a 'top three':

Peter Gabriel- "Peter Gabriel". Fantastic album; loads (LOADS!) of great tunes.

Police- "Zenyatta Mondatta". I was so stoked when that record came out. Wore that out on the turntable at college.

Ultravox- "Vienna". Amazingly good; one of those records you can listen from start to finish and hear nothing but great stuff.

Honorable mention:B-52's "Wild Planet". Sooooo much fun. Play "Strobe Light" and just try to keep still. Just try...

Edo Bosnar said...

I would have answered this question differently then and now. Back then, or at least a few years later in high school, my top 5, using that list as a guide, would have been:
1. Police - Zenyatta Mondatta
2. U2 - Boy
3. Devo - Freedom of Choice
4. Pretenders
5. Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue

Later, i.e., in college and up to the present, this would be my list:
1. Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
2. B-52s - Wild Planet
3. X - Los Angeles
4. Peter Gabriel
5. Talking Heads - Remain in Light
(that's not to say I still don't like the stuff on the first list, I just like the other stuff better now...)

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Does Comics said...

Let's see...

Singles (in no particular order):
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie).
Going Underground (The Jam).
Carrie (Cliff Richard).
Food For Thought (UB40).
Mirror in the Bathroom (The Beat).
Army Dreamers (Kate Bush).
Private Lives (Grace Jones).
Do Nothing (The Specials).
Messages (OMD).
Vienna (Ultravox).

Albums (in no particular order):
Get Happy (Elvis Costello).
Making Movies (Dire Straits).
The Up Escalator (Graham Parker).
McCartney II (Paul McCartney).

I have just realised that I own virtually no albums from 1980. I seem to have spent the whole of 1980 buying albums from earlier years.

Anonymous said...

So this just misses The Wall by Pink Floyd and Time by ELO (a return to form after Discovery & Xanadu). And also the double whammy of Bad for Good and Deadringer the next year. Good year for Steinman fans.

The Pretenders – classic first album.

Peter Gabriel – the one we called ‘Melt’ even through it was just called Peter Gabriel. Games without Frontiers and Biko. Don’t think that one has Salisbury Hill.

Dire straits - Making Movies, produced by Jimmy Iovine, lots of lovely piano by Roy Bittan. Head and shoulders above their first 2 efforts.

The Game by Queen.

Bob Seger – Against the wind. There are a lot of people who wish they were Springsteen, but Seger at his best can even top the Boss.

Surely the Blues Brothers soundtrack must be from 1980?

Having said all of that, The River probably still wins. I saw him play a 4 hour set last month. Supposedly it was the River tour, but actually he just took requests from the crowd. Some really surprising choices, but he played ’em all. And then didn’t have enough time to do Born In the USA. Oops.

Richard


dbutler16 said...

Joy Dicision - Closer
Ultravox- Vienna
John Foxx - Metamatic
Bauhaus - In the Flat Field
David Bowie - Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Queen - The Game
Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids
The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel

Anonymous said...

Huh, I actually have a fair number of these. In 1980, I was mainly into Top 40-type stuff, but my tastes expanded...eventually. As for a best album, it's impossible to pick just one; a few of my favourites: Motorhead, Poly Styrene, The Cars, The Ramones, Adam & the Ants, The Jam, X, The Police, Dead Kennedys, Devo, The Pretenders, Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Siouxsie & the Banshees.

Mike Wilson

Dr. Oyola said...

Prince's Dirty Mind

Colin Jones said...

Some more of my favorite singles from 1980 that I forgot earlier: So Good To Be Back Home Again (Tourists), Working My Way Back To You (Detroit Spinners), Silver Dream Machine (David Essex), Day-Trip To Bangor (Fiddler's Dram), Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel), Baggy Trousers (Madness), Carrie (Cliff Richard), D.I.S.C.O. (Ottowan), Night Boat To Cairo (Madness), My Girl (Madness), 9 To 5 (Sheena Easton), She's Out Of My Life (Michael Jackson), Over You (Roxy Music)...

Karen said...

What an amazing year for music. Such a diverse selection of styles and so much talent on display. At the time, these were the albums I remember getting and the ones that impacted me the most:

1. The Pretenders - that first album was just overwhelming. The best thing they (or Chrissie Hynde) ever did. A shame that Farndon and Honeyman-Scott died so young. Who knows what the band could have done if they'd survived.

2. Boy by U2 - I got sick of U2 at some point, although I can listen to the early stuff again now. But this album, and October, I really loved.

3. Dirty Mind by Prince - who the hell was this guy? He opened for the Stones and got booed off the stage. I heard some tracks from Dirty Mind on the college radio station and went out and got the album. My friends thought I was nuts, but they'd all jump on the bandwagon when 1999 came out.

4. Kaleidoscope by Siouxsie and the Banshees - that haunting voice, and Budgie's drums. Still love it to pieces.

5. Zenyatta Mondata by the Police - such a small output by these guys. Stewart Copeland was always a favorite drummer of mine.

A few I picked up after 1980:

1. End of Century by the Ramones - The stories about the band working with Phil Spector are must-hear. i don't know if they are all true but they are great stories.

2. Back in Black by AC/DC - an all-around classic album.

3. Scary Monsters by Bowie -"Ashes to Ashes" alone is worth it.

BobC said...

DButler--you stole most of my selections!

Talking Heads Remain in Light (with my friend Nona Hendryx on vocals)

Joy Division Closer (possibly the most chilling album cover and title in music history, given what was about to happen with Ian Curtis"

Bowie Scary Monsters ("I'm happy, hope you're happy too...")

Springsteen The River (the song Hungry Heart can still lift me out of my most doom-laden depression)

Gary Numan Telekon

Heart Bebe Le Strange and Greatest Hits Live. Ann Wilson is a soul singer trapped in a rock band! Listen to her vocal tantrums on Tell It Like it Is and tell me I'm wrong! Also the live versions of Bebe and Mistral Wind are both stunning--better than the studio versions.



The Psychedelic Furs debut album

Anonymous said...

Great stuff mentioned here. I too had that Heart Greatest Hits album (well, cassette, which I wore out, and who hasn't sung along to Barracuda, badly, when they were driving down the road)) and Devo Freedom of Choice is still one of my favorites.
But in the dismal little working-class town I grew up in, every male kid had to own a copy of ACDC Back in Black BY LAW; it was expected of you. I can still play every note of that album in my head thirty-five years later.
Of course, half the lyrics were unintelligible, and you had to kind of guess.
M.P.

BobC said...

The guitar intro to Barracuda (and Crazy on You, for that matter) stops me in my tracks every time I hear it!

Eric said...

The River by Springsteen is a personal favorite. Boy by U2 would be my second choice.

Doug said...

I found it interesting that this was turned to a discussion partly on singles. I'll bet I only ever owned 8-10 singles, but well over 100 albums. To each their own, I suppose.

Doug

Joseph said...

First of all, great topic! This isn't an obvious year (eg, 1977 or 1983), but the number of great albums is stunning. My favs in mostly top to bottom:

AC-DC - Back in Black (an all time, all pro, hall of fame album)

The Clash - Sandinista (spent so many hours listening to this. 3 albums worth of everything from among their very best to weird experimental stuff. A desert island disc for me)

Pretenders (much harder and punkier than I used to give them credit for)

Dead Kennedys (if you own one DK album, this should be it)

Rush - Spirit of the Radio (on the cusp of their masterpiece Moving Pictures, still a great album)

Pete Townshend - Empty glass (maybe the best solo Who album)

Genesis - Duke (almost a guilty pleasure, but some wonderful songs on this dude)

Ozzy - Blizzard Of Oz (never owned this personally, but i spent a lot of unfocused afternoons listening to this on friends' stereos. Randy Rhoads was a demigod in my circles)

Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell (would Sabbath post-Ozzy they still be good? Clearly yes. Defintely yes).

REO Speedwagon - High Infidelity (a nostalgia pick for sure. My older brother's cassette was surely worn out).

Van Halen - Women and Children First (the 1-2 punch of And the Cradle Will Rock + Everybody Wants Some is hard to beat, regardless of the year)

dbutler16 said...

Oh yeah, how could I forget Zenyatta Mondata by the Police?

Anonymous said...

Diana Ross's "diana" with CHIC was pretty epic...just tossing that out there as I don't see any R&B referenced here aside from the reader who mentioned the Spinners single.

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