Sunday, January 23, 2011

50 Years Of MyTunes: 1980

Spiele Ohne Grenzen ~ Peter Gabriel released Games Without Frontiers in German, French and of course English. The title song became a minor hit in the States. I saw him in a small theater in Madison around this time.

Crazy Rhythms  The Feelies were New Jersey legends. They became favorites of mine a few years later. They had a cameo in Jonathan Demme's 1986 film Something Wild as the house band at the high school reunion. Watch the scene here. A young Ray Liotta looks very menacing near the end of the clip when the lights go down and they play Loveless Love (and he looks menacing before he had all that work done).

Remain In Light  The Talking Heads featured the song Once In A Lifetime. The song was also in heavy rotation a year later on MTV. This album and the MTV exposure gave them enough momentum to rise to the top with their subsequent album.

Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables  The Dead Kennedys offended most people's good taste. Their lyrics amused me. What's astonishing in retrospect is how contrarian ring-leader "Jello Biafra" (real name Eric Boucher) was. He tweaked then Jerry Brown with California Über Alles and later Tipper Gore, all the while retaining liberal activist credentials!

Back in Black  AC/DC's singer Bon Scott does what Led Zeppelin's John Bonham did (or vice versus as Bon Scott actually died first). Neither band ever fully recovered and nor did my fandom.

Notable Singles

Love Will Tear Us Apart ~ Joy Division  A haunting song. If you don't know their story, see the movie Control (2007).  After Ian Curtis's death, the band re-emerged as New Order.

Whip It and Freedom Of Choice ~ Devo sings "Freedom of choice is what you've got; freedom from choice, is what you want," a vast understatement of free will. Devo also had some interesting videos in the early days of MTV.

He Stopped Loving Her Today  by George Jones.  I can so relate.

Toni Basil ~ Hey Mickey! You go, girl!

I Will Follow  U2's debut single. I missed a chance to see U2 in a small club in Madison. I can still see the name on the marquee. I followed their efforts beginning with October (released the following year) through War before losing interest.

Los Angeles by X. They along with other bands like The Germs seeded the nascent Los Angeles punk scene. Penelope Spheeris made an excellent documentary about the L.A. punk scene called Decline of Western Civilization and X is featured. Well worth a rent. Ray Manzarek produced the album.

Ace of Spades by Motörhead. If you've never seen Penelope Spheeris's The Decline of Western Civilisation II, rent it to hear Lemmy take about the early days. That scene and the one of Ozzy Osborne frying eggs are worth the rental.

Private Idaho The B-52s

People Who Died by The Jim Carroll Band. A sad, sad ode.


  1. Back then I had to make a mix tape for a party of IBMers and DEC people...and got cart I ended it with the DK's "Too Drunk To Fuck"

    They liked it...but their bosses did not!

  2. I remember reading somewhere about how British authorities were concerned that "Too Drunk To Fuck" would chart thereby advertizing it further. Here ya go Ron.

  3. Don't you love how the band fought Jello over whether they could sell "Holiday in Cambodia" to Levis for a commercial? High-larious!

  4. Don't you love how the band fought Jello over whether they could sell "Holiday in Cambodia" to Levis for a commercial? High-larious!

    Those kinds of squabbles prevent reunion tours!

  5. Ever notice...the Beatles lost their guitar players and the Who lost their bass and drum players...chocolate meet peanut butter....the Whotles?

  6. We had that discussion once on Twitter--the time you linked the video of their rotating stage...