Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Best Of 1981 - part 3

JUMP TO: 30-21 II 20-11 II 10-1


Right, let's not dilly-dally, here are my 10 favourite songs for 1981...

Kim Wilde could look a bit happier about her 1981 success


At number 10: "It Must Be Love" by Madness, which must be one of the sweetest songs of all time - and probably the last thing anyone would have expected from the rabble-rousing funsters. I always forget it's a cover version, the original recorded 10 years earlier by Labi Siffre. The Madness version was actually a hit twice in the UK - once in 1981 and again in 1992 when it was re-released to promote the Divine Madness greatest hits collection (as was the trend around that time).





An Australian and American chart-topper is at number 9: "Centrefold" by J Geils Band. At the time, everybody loved this song (you find me someone who didn't!), but now I can't hear it without thinking of my university law revue's performance which featured the altered lyrics: "my lawyer is a dinosaur". From memory, I was dressed all in green and had to swing my tail in time with the music. Seriously.




Here they are again... at number 8 it's "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran, their debut single, which reached a respectable number 8 in the Aussie charts. Of course, Australia would have a huge love affair with the band over the next few years, with their third album, Seven And The Ragged Tiger, being recorded in Sydney and massive pull-out posters coming with Smash Hits well into 1987.




Number 7 is "Chequered Love" by Kim Wilde, who is beaten by only Madonna and Kylie Minogue in my all-time list of favourite female singers. This was her second single from her debut self-titled album and reached number 6 in Australia. More from Kim later...




At number 6 is the best TV theme song of all time: "Believe It Or Not" by Joey Scarbury. Well, I should qualify that: it's the best TV theme to make the charts. My favourite theme song is actually "As Long As We Got Each Other" from Growing Pains. Anyway, "Believe It Or Not" was the theme to The Greatest American Hero, which I watched at the time but now can't recall anything about (except for the fact that the titular hero, played by William Katt, wore a rather fetching red outfit).




Finally some synthpop at number 5: "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell, an Australian and UK number 1, and another cover that wound up way more successful than the original (which was recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965). Try as I might, I've never been able to get into any other Soft Cell tracks, but I do like a handful of singer Marc Almond's solo singles.




We're on a synthpop roll now... at number 4 it's "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode. This, their third single, was the last they released with input from Vince Clarke (who quit to form Yazoo then The Assembly and finally Erasure). It's nice to see the group still performs this live from time to time even though their sound has evolved considerably.




The last of our synthpop triple play is at number 3: "Don't You Want Me" by Human League, which was the UK's Christmas number 1 in 1981 and would go on to be a massive worldwide hit. The trenchcoat, the storyline involving a waitress in a cocktail bar, Phil Oakey's haircut... what wasn't to love?




At number 2: "Our Lips Are Sealed" by The Go-Go's, a title often mistakenly heard as "Alex the seal" apparently. This feel-good song still sounds brilliant today - on record and performed live by Belinda Carlisle, who's toured Australia twice in the past two years and always performs the biggest hits by The Go-Go's.




And at number 1 for what was quite a stellar year for pop classics it's "Kids In America" by Kim Wilde, who is one of the only artists I've been a fan of for years who I've yet to see live in concert. One day, Kim, one day.




My full top 175 for 1981:

1          KIDS IN AMERICA Kim Wilde
2          OUR LIPS ARE SEALED The Go-Go’s
3          DON'T YOU WANT ME Human League
4          JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH Depeche Mode
5          TAINTED LOVE Soft Cell
6          BELIEVE IT OR NOT Joey Scarbury
7          CHEQUERED LOVE Kim Wilde
8          PLANET EARTH Duran Duran
9          CENTREFOLD J. Geils Band
10        IT MUST BE LOVE Madness
11        THE LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE Bucks Fizz
12        LET’S HANG ON Barry Manilow
13        STAR Kiki Dee
14        EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES IS MAGIC The Police
15        HISTORY NEVER REPEATS Split Enz
16        STAND AND DELIVER Adam & The Ants
17        JESSIE’S GIRL Rick Springfield
18        MY OWN WAY Duran Duran
19        YOUR LOVE STILL BRINGS ME TO MY KNEES Marcia Hines
20        NEVER TOO MUCH Luther Vandross
21        WIRED FOR SOUND Cliff Richard
22        THE BREAK-UP SONG (THEY DON’T WRITE ’EM) Greg Kihn Band
23        KEEP ON LOVING YOU REO Speedwagon
24        COUNTING THE BEAT The Swingers
25        GIRLS ON FILM Duran Duran
26        URGENT Foreigner
27        WATER ON GLASS Kim Wilde
28        BOYS IN TOWN Divinyls
29        YOUNG TURKS Rod Stewart
30        I AM THE BEAT The Look
31        SHAKE IT UP The Cars
32        CARELESS MEMORIES Duran Duran
33        MAKING YOUR MIND UP Bucks Fizz
34        WALK RIGHT NOW The Jacksons
35        BREAKING AWAY Balance
36        THE VOICE Ultravox
37        LOVE SONG Simple Minds
38        WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE Steve Winwood
39        TURN YOUR LOVE AROUND George Benson
40        I’VE DONE EVERYTHING FOR YOU Rick Springfield
41        ALONE WITH YOU Sunnyboys
42        YOU MAKE MY DREAMS Hall & Oates
43        PIECE OF THE ACTION Bucks Fizz
44        PHYSICAL Olivia Newton-John
45        AI NO CORRIDA Quincy Jones
46        LADY (YOU BRING ME UP) Commodores
47        HAPPY BIRTHDAY Stevie Wonder
48        SHE’S A BAD MAMA JAMA (SHE’S BUILT, SHE’S STACKED) Carl Carlton
49        LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME ABBA
50        SUPERFREAK Rick James
51        FANTASTIC VOYAGE Lakeside
52        DON’T STOP THE MUSIC Yarbrough & Peoples
53        WALLS Flowers
54        STAY YOUNG INXS
55        FADE TO GREY Visage
56        WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE Diana Ross
57        BETTE DAVIS EYES Kim Carnes
58        ARTHUR’S THEME (BEST THAT YOU CAN DO) Christopher Cross
59        WAITING FOR A GIRL LIKE YOU Foreigner
60        QUIET LIFE Japan
61        MISPLACED LOVE Rupert Hine
62        YOU MIGHT NEED SOMEBODY Randy Crawford
63        NOBODY TOLD ME The Monitors
64        COOL WORLD Mondo Rock
65        PRETTY IN PINK Psychedelic Furs
66        VISAGE Visage
67        LET’S GROOVE Earth Wind & Fire
68        IF YOU LEAVE ME CAN I COME TOO? Mental As Anything
69        THE ONE THAT YOU LOVE Air Supply
70        ENDLESS LOVE Diana Ross / Lionel Richie
71        DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANYMORE The Tubes
72        STEPPIN’ OUT Kool & The Gang
73        BURN RUBBER ON ME (WHY YOU WANNA HURT ME) The Gap Band
74        ONE OF US ABBA
75        HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT Pat Benatar
76        ANGEL OF THE MORNING Juice Newton
77        GANGSTERS OF THE GROOVE Heatwave
78        JUST THE TWO OF US Grover Washington Jnr
79        DOWN UNDER Men At Work
80        BEAUTIFUL WORLD Devo
81        HOMOSAPIEN Pete Shelley
82        TOO MANY TIMES Mental As Anything
83        OPEN YOUR HEART Human League
84        HAPPY BIRTHDAY Altered Images
85        NEW LIFE Depeche Mode
86        JUST ONCE James Ingram
87        YOU WEREN’T IN LOVE WITH ME Billy Field
88        SAY I LOVE YOU Renee Geyer
89        THE UNGUARDED MOMENT The Church
90        THE AMERICAN Simple Minds
91        I’M IN LOVE Evelyn “Champagne King
92        GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS Odyssey
93        JITTERBUGGIN’ Heatwave
94        ONE DAY IN YOUR LIFE Michael Jackson
95        LOUISE (WE GET IT RIGHT) Jona Lewie
96        QUEEN OF HEARTS Juice Newton
97        PRECIOUS TO ME Phil Seymour
98        CAMBODIA Kim Wilde
99        VIENNA Ultravox
100      AH! LEAH! Donnie Iris
101      WAITING FOR YOU Sharon O’Neill
102      BIG CITY TALK Marc Hunter
103      YOU’LL NEVER KNOW Hi-Gloss
104      HOW ’BOUT US Champaign
105      TWILIGHT CAFÉ Susan Fassbender
106      TURN ME LOOSE Loverboy
107      FALLING IN AND OUT Mi-Sex
108      DON’T WALK AWAY The Four Tops
109      DO YOU LOVE ME? Patti Austin
110      GET DOWN ON IT Kool & The Gang
111      JEALOUS GUY Roxy Music
112      IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND Viola Wills
113      TAKE IT TO THE TOP Kool & The Gang
114      BUSTIN’ LOOSE Moving Pictures
115      SHUT UP Madness
116      LOVE ACTION (I BELIEVE IN LOVE) Human League
117      TEARS ARE NOT ENOUGH ABC
118      THE NIGHT OWLS Little River Band
119      SUMMER OF ’81 Mondo Rock
120      ATTENTION TO ME The Nolans
121      TWO HEARTS Stephanie Mills / Teddy Pendergrass
122      WHATCHA GONNA DO FOR ME Chaka Khan
123      MAKE THAT MOVE Shalamar
124      HAPPY MAN Sunnyboys
125      STOP DRAGGIN’ MY HEART AROUND Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
126      THE LOVED ONE INXS
127      WHO CAN IT BE NOW? Men At Work
128      I MISSED AGAIN Phil Collins
129      GUILTY Classix Nouveau
130      ONCE IN A LIFETIME Talking Heads
131      NO REPLY AT ALL Genesis
132      WORKING IN THE COAL MINE Devo
133      MESSAGE OF LOVE Pretenders
134      REWARD The Teardrop Explodes
135      TROUBLE Lindsay Buckingham
136      CHEMISTRY Mondo Rock
137      TAKE IT ON THE RUN REO Speedwagon
138      LATELY Stevie Wonder
139      LOVE IN MOTION Icehouse
140      WE’RE IN THIS LOVE TOGETHER Al Jarreau
141      WHEN SHE WAS MY GIRL The Four Tops
142      FOR YOUR EYES ONLY Sheena Easton
143      NOBODY WINS Elton John
144      DREAMING OF ME Depeche Mode
145      SLOW HAND The Pointer Sisters
146      SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD Billy Joel
147      WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE FOOLIN’ Donna Summer
148      GLORIA U2
149      GIVE IT TO ME BABY Rick James
150      CHANT NO.1 (I DON'T NEED THIS PRESSURE ON) Spandau Ballet
151      PENTHOUSE AND PAVEMENT Heaven 17
152      HAND HELD IN BLACK AND WHITE Dollar
153      DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN Renee Geyer
154      THE FREEZE Spandau Ballet
155      CEREMONY New Order
156      UNDER PRESSURE Queen & David Bowie
157      DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ Journey
158      CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES The Cure
159      HIP SHAKE JERK The Quick
160      SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD The Police
161      GREY DAY Madness
162      PULL UP TO THE BUMPER Grace Jones
163      IN THE AIR TONIGHT Phil Collins
164      INTUITION Linx
165      RAPTURE Blondie
166      INVISIBLE SUN The Police
167      PAINT ME DOWN Spandau Ballet
168      HEARTBREAK HOTEL The Jacksons
169      THE MODEL Kraftwerk
170      I GO TO SLEEP Pretenders
171      HOLD ON TIGHT ELO
172      MUSCLEBOUND Spandau Ballet
173      WHO’S CRYING NOW Journey
174      LEATHER AND LACE Stevie Nicks / Don Henley
175      BAD HABITS Billy Field


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016

5 comments:

  1. I love your Top 5 Gav, except "Kids in America" which I never liked much. By the way, what does the grey text denote?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea why it does that with the text. Will endeavour to fix it.

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    2. Fixed - although now the point size is bigger, but given I just had to completely re-enter the entire post after it crashed, I think I might live with that!

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  2. Glad to see Bucks Fizz here, they are one from my favourite groups ever. As person, which love only female artists, I prefer Saturdays version "Just Can't Get Enough".

    Where is one-hit wonder Aneka with "Japanese Boy"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I was never a fan of the Aneka song. I do like The Saturdays though, and I thought their version was OK, but not as good as songs like "Forever Is Over" or "Higher".

      Delete