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


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"?

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    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