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article by: Michael Canter

13 January 2012

Friday Flashback 1980

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Every Friday we set the Hot Tub Time Machine to one year in rock history and give you the best (and worst) music from that year, all day long beginning at 1:00 AM EST and running for 24 hours on Jivewired Radio powered by Live365.

This week: 1980
Next week: 1991

To listen, just press play on the radio widget to the right or use this link to open in a new window that will allow you to listen when you navigate away from this page:

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Album art from 1980 - Click album cover to purchase at Amazon.com

1980 Album I Wish I Owned: Songs The Lord Taught Us by The Cramps
1980 Album I'd Give Back If I Could: Panorama by The Cars
1980 Most Underrated Song: Farfisa Beat by Squeeze
1980 Most Overrated Song: Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd
1980 Most Memorable Song: (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon
1980 Most Significant Song: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
1980 Most Forgotten Song: I Love You by The Climax Blues Band
1980 Fan's Choice For Most Popular Song: Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen
1980 Most Likely To Start A Party Song: Shoot To Thrill by AC/DC
1980 Please Don't Play Anymore Song: Flash Gordon by Queen
1980 Song That I Like More than I Actually Should: Call Me by Blondie
Overplayed In 1980: Pink Floyd
Not Played Enough In 1980: The Clash
Greatest Single Chart Re-Entry from 1980: Lola by The Kinks (1970)
Best Cover Song Of 1980: Tell It Like It Is by Heart (originally Aaron Neville)
An unheralded great album from 1980: Stand In The Fire by Warren Zevon
An unheralded great single from 1980: This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide by the Kings
Best Soundtrack of 1980: The Blues Brothers

Our Top Five Songs Of The Year
01. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
02. Train In Vain (Stand By Me) by The Clash
03. I Will Follow by U2
04. This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide by The Kings
05. Skateaway by Dire Straits

Our Top Five SIX Albums Of The Year
01. London Calling by The Clash
02. Closer by Joy Division
03. Back in Black by AC/DC
04. The Wall by Pink Floyd
05. Argy Bargy by Squeeze
06. Permanent Waves by Rush

Well, there was Joy Division, Prince, AC/DC, U2, Squeeze, Rush, The Clash and of course, Pink Floyd. Bruce Springsteen became bigger than he had been, if that was humanly possible. Michael Jackson proved that he could be a hit-making machine as a solo artist, and having Quincy Jones in his corner certainly didn't hurt.


There was an enormous amount of crap coming out of the mainstream in 1980; power ballads, fake new wave, commercial jazz and the moaning, screeching immediate halt to disco with Donna Summer's appropriately titled "Dim All The Lights". So many stars of 1979 were washed up and forgotten by 1980, though in general, popular music had quite a bit of 1979/1980 crossover. A lot of this was reverberation from punk and not just from the movement splitting into artsy post-punk and poppy new wave. Mainstream rockers like Billy Joel and Daryl Hall borrowed some of punk's sound and sensibility, though that doesn't mean it was any good, while Paul McCartney cut his own home-grown synth-pop album and Prince cleverly co-opted punk’s nerviness for his breakthrough "Dirty Mind".

But 1980 did have somewhat of an edge, and it wasn’t just about post-punk: the year saw hip-hop make waves on vinyl; gave us an unbridled, hard rock masterpiece by AC/DC; watched disco die hard with its few and final classic crossover hits; gave Bruce Springsteen his first top ten hit and witnessed arena-rockers like Journey and REO Speedwagon rule the heartland of America. If that wasn't quite enough, 1980 saw FM airwaves filled with soft sounds of the music later dubbed as Yacht Rock, furthered by artists like Cristopher Cross, Ambrosia and Kenny Loggins and punctuated by Steely Dan’s incredible West Coast masterpiece "Gaucho".

The Stray Cats leaned on a seemingly outdated Jerry Lee Lewis/Carl Perkins/Elvis Presley rockabilly formula and fans couldn't get enough. Interestingly, 1980 was the 25th anniversary of "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, considered by many to be the true birth of rock & roll (though I strongly dispute that fact), so the timing for Brian Setzer and his band was perfect.

And all this was the background for such classics as Michael Jackson’s "Off The Wall", Talking Heads’ "Remain in Light", Elvis Costello’s "Get Happy!!", debut albums by U2 and The Pretenders and the coup de grĂ¢ce -- "London Calling" by The Clash.

Oh yeah, Pink Floyd had a monster hit with their progressive concept album "The Wall".

Before you get too excited, 1980 also forced Rupert Holmes, Cliff Richard, Herb Alpert, The Little River Band and Air Supply down our mainstream throats. I mean, in retrospect, some of those songs don't make disco look so bad. Did I just say that? Wow.

It was the end of the road (albeit temporarily) for Led Zeppelin after the death of John Bonham; Seals & Crofts, who just stopped selling albums; The Eagles, who just started hating each other; and The Buggles, who would find fame a year later with the launch of MTV. Joy Division disbanded when lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself. Joy Division minus Curtis became New Order. Bon Scott died of alcohol asphyxiation just as AC/DC exploded. AC/DC would go on with Brian Johnson on lead vocals. Phil Collins began to heavily influence the music of Genesis, went solo (but only as a side gig), and the more mainstream Genesis was as strong as ever. Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath and released his best-selling "Blizzard Of Ozz" album

So how do we define 1980?

1980 isn’t necessarily considered one of the all-time great years in music, not in the way that 1956, 1967, 1971, 1979 or 1991 are. There is a reason for this -- and that is that during those years there was an earth-moving paradigm shift in what defines popular music. In 1956 rock was born; 1967 was the summer of love; in 1971 we experienced the post-Beatles birth of AOR; 1979 unleashed punk and post-punk on the mainstream and 1991 saw the onset of the grunge movement.

However, as initial impression proves to be misleading, 1980 was something of a watershed year, generating a number of all-time classics in all manners of musical styles. Popular music was at a crossroads and bands who tried to amalgamate a myriad of sounds into an undefined hybrid-genre found it difficult to capitalize on their very own successes.

It was a difficult time for music. There was no distinct sound or set definition as to what made a band or a song popular and musical tastes were extremely diverse as well.

In short, popular music from 1980 carries a certain non-directional distinction. Certainly some songs defined that year, but as music matured and genres were refined those very bands became victims of their own success. It was a rebirth of sorts for the one-hit wonder. Just ask The Knack -- on top of the world as 1979 ended, long forgotten by the end of 1980. In the United States, aside from the stray arena rock classic by Van Halen, Styx, Journey or Cheap Trick, music magnanimity was all about bands that faded as quickly as they ascended, with the same holding true for any defined genre of that year. Perhaps we can say that Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" was a precursor to "Thriller" and in saying that, proclaim him as a survivor of 1980. U2 and Prince were the only other emerging acts from 1980 that enjoyed long term success.

In hindsight, 1980 was really about the true emergence of industrial electronics and the apogee of ’70s weird quirky art-punk, and sadly, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" — an album of primary importance in retrospect.

Gone Too Soon:

  • Professor Longhair (January 30)
  • Bon Scott (February 19)
  • Ian Curtis (May 18)
  • Keith Godchaux (July 23)
  • John Bonham (September 25)
  • John Lennon (December 8)
  • Tim Hardin (December 29)

How does one define "Death By Misadventure?"

On February 19, 1980 Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC, died in London. Scott, 33 at the time, passed out after a night of heavy drinking in a London club called the Music Machine. He was left to sleep in a vehicle owned by an acquaintance named Alistair Kinnear in East Dulwich, South London, where at some point he died in his sleep. Although common folklore cites pulmonary aspiration of vomit as the cause of his death, the official cause is listed as "Acute alcohol poisoning" and "Death by Misadventure".

If that was "Death By Misadventure", what the hell do you call this?

On September 24, 1980, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was picked up to attend rehearsals for the band's upcoming tour. During the journey, Bonham asked to stop for breakfast, where he proceeded to drink four quadruple vodka shots. He then continued to drink heavily after arriving at the rehearsals. A halt was called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Page's house, in Clewer, Windsor. Some time after midnight on the 25th, Bonham passed out and was carried to bed and placed on his side. He was found dead the next afternoon.

Weeks later at the coroner's inquest, it emerged that in the twenty-four hours before he died, John Bonham had consumed forty shots of vodka which resulted in him vomiting and subsequently inhaling his vomit, causing asphyxiation. A verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on 27 October 1980. An autopsy found no other drugs in Bonham's body.

The legend of "Pirate Radio" is almost a true story........

On March 20, 1980 Radio Caroline shut down for good in the UK after it's radio ship Mi Amigo was sunk during a storm. Just after midnight GMT, the Mi Amigo foundered in a severe storm after losing its anchor and drifting for several miles. It began taking in water and the crew were rescued by lifeboat. The generator was left running to power the pumps but could not manage the inflow of water and the Mi Amigo sank ten minutes later. The last broadcast from the Mi Amigo was by American jocks Stevie Gordon and Tom Anderson, as follows:

"Well, we're sorry to tell you that due to the severe weather conditions and the fact that we are shipping quite a lot of water, we are closing down, and the crew are at this stage leaving the ship. Obviously, we hope to be back with you as soon as possible, but just for the moment we would like to say goodbye." -- Stevie Gordon

"It's not a very good occasion really, we have to hurry this because the lifeboat is standing by. We're not leaving and disappearing, we're going onto the lifeboat hoping that the pumps can take it, if they can, we'll be back, if not, well we really don't like to say it. I'm sure we'll be back one way or another. For the moment from all of us, goodbye and God Bless." -- Tom Anderson

Very Eery Foreshadowing

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.”

"Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me,
it was not an accident." -- John Lennon

Go forth, for you are the future of rock & roll........

The following bands were formed in 1980: R.E.M., Depeche Mode, Violent Femmes, New Order, Meat Puppets, Happy Mondays, The Smithereens and Sisters Of Mercy. On the flip side, 1980 also gave us Loverboy, Dead Or Alive and Men Without Hats.

Playlist For Friday Flashback 1980:

001. This Beat Goes On by The Kings
002. Switchin' To Glide by The Kings
003. Wait For Me [Live] by Hall & Oates
004. Dim All The Lights by Donna Summer
005. Glamour Profession by Steely Dan
006. Christine by Siouxsie & The Banshees
007. Walks Like A Lady [Live] by Journey
008. Saint Of Circumstance by The Grateful Dead
009. Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
010. Cheap Sunglasses by ZZ Top
011. Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar
012. Trinidad by Eddie Money
013. This Is It by Kenny Loggins
014. Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
015. Flirtin' With Disaster by Molly Hatchet
016. I Don't Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats
017. Dancing With Myself by Generation X
018. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
019. Shake A Tail Feather by The Blues Brothers
020. First Time by Styx
021. That's Why God Made The Movies by Paul Simon
022. And I Moved by Pete Townshend
023. Tell It Like It Is by Heart
024. I Wanna Be Your Lover by Prince
025. Ace In The Hole by Paul Simon
026. We Got The Beat by The Go-Go's
027. Canary In A Coalmine by The Police
028. She's So Cold by The Rolling Stones
029. Breathing by Kate Bush
030. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson
031. If I Didn't Love You by Squeeze
032. I Don't Remember by Peter Gabriel
033. Time Out Of Mind by Steely Dan
034. Don't Ask Me Why by Billy Joel
035. Babe by Styx
036. The River by Bruce Springsteen
037. I Love You by The Climax Blues Band
038. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down by Elvis Costello
039. One Trick Pony by Paul Simon
040. Gotta Serve Somebody by Bob Dylan
041. Even The Losers by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
042. Stay In Time by Off Broadway
043. Hold On Loosely by .38 Special
044. Those Shoes by The Eagles
045. Hold On Hold Out by Jackson Browne
046. Hurt So Bad by Linda Ronstadt
047. Magic by Olivia Newton John
048. Enola Gay by Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark
049. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
050. Rock With You by Michael Jackson
051. Teacher Teacher by Rockpile
052. Rock This Town by The Stray Cats
053. Another Brick in The Wall Pt. 2 by Pink Floyd
054. Let My Love Open The Door by Pete Townshend
055. Duchess by Genesis
056. Midnight Rendezvous by The Babys
057. Althea by The Grateful Dead
058. Catch Me Now I'm Falling by The Kinks
059. Jean Genie by David Bowie
060. Summer Romance by The Rolling Stones
061. Refugee by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
062. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
063. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers
064. The Spirit Of Radio by Rush
065. Biggest Part Of Me by Ambrosia
066. Have A Drink On Me by AC/DC
067. I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones
068. How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns by Paul Simon
069. Funkytown by Lipps, Inc.
070. Train In Vain (Stand By Me) by The Clash
071. That's Why God Made The Movies by Paul Simon
072. Gaucho by Steely Dan
073. Private Idaho by The B-52's
074. Sherry Darling by Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band
075. Skateaway by Dire Straits
076. Farfisa Beat by Squeeze
077. Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band
078. Coming Up [Live] by Paul McCartney
079. Any Way You Want It by Journey
080. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love by The Blues Brothers
081. No Woman No Cry [Live] by Bob Marley & The Wailers
082. Even It Up by Heart
083. When The World Is Running Down by The Police
084. Whip It by Devo
085. Walking On The Moon by The Police
086. Generals & Majors by XTC
087. Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) by Squeeze
088. Everybody Wants Some!! by Van Halen
089. Turn It On Again by Genesis
090. It's Different For Girls by Joe Jackson
091. Ain't Even Done With The Night by John Cougar
092. High Fidelity by Elvis Costello
093. Heartache Tonight by The Eagles
094. How Much I Feel by Ambrosia
095. (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon & Yoko Ono
096. Easy by The Commodores
097. Kiss On My List by Hall & Oates
098. Crosseyed & Painless by The Talking Heads
099. Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley & The Wailers
100. Talk Of The Town by The Pretenders
101. Steal Away by Robbie Dupree
102. Cool Change by The Little River Band
103. Redemption Song by Bob Marley & The Wailers
104. Spanish Dancer by Steve Winwood
105. Radio, Radio by Elvis Costello & The Attractions
106. Going Underground by The Jam
107. Learn To Smile by INXS
108. Rudie Can't Fail by The Clash
109. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
110. Lola [Live] by The Kinks
111. Sometimes A Fantasy by Billy Joel
112. Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats
113. Rock Lobster by The B-52's
114. Sara by Fleetwood Mac
115. All Night Long by Joe Walsh
116. Lonely Summer Nights by The Stray Cats
117. If Sugar Was Sweet As You by Rockpile
118. Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones
119. Mother by Pink Floyd
120. Driven To Tears by The Police
121. Misunderstanding by Genesis
122. Over You by Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
123. Nobody Home by Pink Floyd
124. Fire Lake by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
125. I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross
126. Breaking The Law by Judas Priest
127. Never Say Never by Styx
128. Dirty Mind by Prince
129. Another Nail In My Heart by Squeeze
130. Late In The Evening by Paul Simon
131. Flash Gordon by Queen
132. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
133. The Tide Is High by Blondie
134. Free Will by Rush
135. Watching The Wheels by John lennon
136. Romeo & Juliet by Dire Straits
137. Living After Midnight by Judas Priest
138. The Long Run by The Eagles
139. Happy House by Siouxsie & The Banshees
140. Entre Nous by Rush
141. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da by The Police
142. Masterblaster (Jammin') by Stevie Wonder
143. Full Moon Turn My Head Around And Round by Off Broadway
144. Seven Bridges Road [Live] by The Eagles
145. Shoot To Thrill by AC/DC
146. Back On My Feet Again by The Babys
147. Ramrod by Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band
148. Ashes To Ashes by Davis Bowie
149. Stop Your Sobbing by The Pretenders
150. Jane by Starship
151. For You by Manfred Mann's Earth Band
152. Ah! Leah! by Donnie Iris
153. Why Me? by Styx
154. Woman by John Lennon
155. Runaway Boys by The Stray Cats
156. Against The Wind by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
157. Love Reign O'er Me by The Who
158. Shadows In The Rain by The Police
159. While You See A Chance by Steve Winwood
160. Built For Speed by The Stray Cats
161. I Will Follow [Live] by U2
162. Do Nothing by The Specials
163. Hells Bells by AC/DC
164. The Legend Of Wooley Swamp by The Charlie Daniels Band
165. Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders
166. Hell Is For Children by Pat Benatar
167. Spanish Bombs by The Clash
168. Once In A Lifetime by The Talking Heads
169. Back In Black by AC/DC
170. Hey You by Pink Floyd
171. Clubland by Elvis Costello & The Attractions
172. Lights by Styx
173. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
174. I Know What Boys Like by The Waitresses
175. I Got You by Split Enz
176. Heart by Rockpile
177. The Winner Takes It All by ABBA
178. Where Were You [Live] by Journey
179. Lovin' Touchin, Squeezin'[Live] by Journey
180. Far From Me by The Grateful Dead
181. You May Be Right by Billy Joel
182. The Heat Is On by Glenn Frey
183. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
184. Mystery Achievement by The Pretenders
185. Message In A Bottle by The Police
186. Head Games by Foreigner
187. King Of Hollywood by The Eagles
188. Modern Girl by Sheena Easton
189. Gonna Get You by Pete Townshend
190. Upside Down by Diana Ross
191. Love T.K.O. by Teddy Pendergrass
192. A Forest by The Cure
193. Touch And Go by The Cars
194. ...And The Cradle Will Rock by Van Halen
195. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
196. Our Lips Are Sealed by The Go-Go's
197. Disco Apocalypse by Jackson Browne
198. Borrowed Time by Styx
199. Young Lust by Pink Floyd
200. Oh Yeah by Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
201. That Girl Could Sing by Jackson Browne
202. When You Were Mine by Prince
203. Call Me by Blondie
204. Tunnel Of Love by Dire Straits
205. Into The Lens by Yes
206. Here Comes My Girl by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
207. Boulevard by Jackson Browne
208. Atmosphere by Joy Division
209. Pop Muzik by M
210. Rawhide Theme by The Blues Brothers
211. Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1 by Pink Floyd
212. Out Of Control by U2
213. Lawyers, Guns & Money [Live] by Warren Zevon
214. Werewolves Of London [Live] by Warren Zevon
215. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead [Live] by Warren Zevon

Previous In This Series: Friday Flashback 2001

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