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Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List

Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 21, 2020 02:01PM
2020 will be gone in less than two weeks, and good riddance to it. I’m sailing the Chronic Argo back four decades to 1980, and I’m curious to know what your Top Ten Albums list is for that memorable year in music. In alphabetical order, here are my selections, several of which I’ve babbled about on this forum:

1. Blondie: Autoamerican
2. David Bowie: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
3. Harold Budd & Brian Eno: Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror
4. The Jim Carroll Band: Catholic Boy
5. John Foxx: Metamatic
6. Japan: Gentlemen Take Polaroids
7. Gary Numan: Telekon
8. Roxy Music: Flesh + Blood
9. Talking Heads: Remain in Light
10. Ultravox: Vienna

These are the 1980 albums that I return to most often, for whatever reason(s). Flesh + Blood, for example, was the first Roxy album I bought, and though it’s not as solid a record as, say, Country Life, I have tremendous nostalgia for the disc. (Finally seeing Bryan Ferry live in concert last year—a birthday present from my wife—was a long-time dream come true for me. We were in the third row, god bless her, and whenever he came near us I waved at him like a halfwit.) I frequently listen to a lot of great releases from that year, and if I extended the list to a Top Twenty I’d certainly include Echo and the Bunnymen, U2, Pete Townshend, and the Clash, among others. If I had to choose my favorite album for 1980, it would have to be Remain in Light, a record I find endlessly fascinating.

Hope my fellow Chronic Argonauts have a safe and happy holiday season!
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 21, 2020 05:55PM
MiddleC, we have nearly identical tastes! But good lord, I can remember seeing Bryan Ferry for the first time in 1994 and thinking nearly 20 years was a long time to be a fan before seeing an artist but you sir, take that prize! Glad to see you made the most of it! "Flesh + Blood" was also my first Roxy Music purchase; coming five years since I had heard the only track by them I'd ever heard on the radio as a youth, "Love is the Drug." It really caught my ear in 1975 but the Roxy story really began in 1980, by which time I was buying albums and "Flesh + Blood" was just released.

1980 was a hell of a year for music, but my favorite musical year is still 1981, just for the sheer overload of quality and style. But the acme of 1980 still stand as some of the best music ever for me. Don't make me put these in any order! I basically copied your list and edited! I have heard these albums countless times to extreme pleasure.

1) Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel [Melt]
2) David Bowie: Scary Monsters [and Super Creeps]
3) John Foxx: Metamatic
4) Japan: Gentlemen Take Polaroids
5) Roxy Music: Flesh + Blood
6) Talking Heads: Remain in Light
7) Ultravox: Vienna
8) Simple Minds: Empires + Dance
9) OMD: Organisation
10) The Human League: Travelogue

Not forgetting:
• The Tourists: Luminous Basement
• Lene Lovich: Flex
• XTC: Black Sea
• The Jam: Sound Affects
• Gary Numan: Telekon
• Yello: Solid Pleasure
• Visage: Visage
and dozens more.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2020 06:01PM by Post-Punk Monk.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 21, 2020 08:13PM
Limiting my list to 1980 releases that I actually bought in 1980:

Adam & the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
The B-52's – Wild Planet
Blondie – Autoamerican
David Bowie – Scary Monsters
Buggles – The Age of Plastic
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band – Doc at the Radar Station
The Cars – Panorama
Cheap Trick – All Shook Up
The Clash – Black Market Clash
The Clash – Sandinista!
Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Get Happy!!
Devo – Freedom of Choice
John Foxx – Metamatic
Joe Jackson – Beat Crazy
Graham Parker & the Rumour – The Up Escalator
The Police – Zenyatta Mondatta
Pretenders
Prince – Dirty Mind
The Psychedelic Furs
Roxy Music – Flesh + Blood
Rush – Permanent Waves
The Specials – More Specials
Split Enz – True Colours
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Pete Townshend – Empty Glass
U2 – Boy
The Vapors – New Clear Days
XTC – Black Sea

I don't remember whether I bought Flesh + Blood or Roxy's Greatest Hits first. But the former got a surprising amount of airplay on our local FM rock station in Colorado. I know I bought them really close to the same time.
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Bip
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 21, 2020 08:55PM
This is really a pretty tough task going in blind. I always said 1979 was my pinnacle year in music, but now I’m not so sure.

I decided to have a little fun with this. Rather than do this with my current taste and ( much expanded) collection, I’m listing the ten releases I actually owned and listened to most at 14 in 1980.

In no order:
Damned- the black album
Clash -Sandinista
XTC- Black Sea
Elvis Costello - get happy
English Beat- I just can’t stop it
B-52s - wild planet
Pretenders debut
Ramones- end of the century
U2-boy
Tie: Rockpile- seconds of pleasure and Joe Jackson- beat crazy

(dishonorable mention? -Def Leppard on through the night. What can I say, I was fascinated with the NWOBHM and I loved this debut).

My list is fairly mainstream, but I’m not surprised; I was a young kid in a fairly small town. Delvin, you stole so many of my choices!

What does surprise me is how little of this list is synth-influenced. I have oodles of early 80s synth-pop in my collection now. I AM proud to say that every title we’ve mentioned is in my vinyl collection. Just wasn’t there yet THEN.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 21, 2020 08:56PM
I was seven in 1980, but some of those records are definitely still on my much loved list albums. In particular I would single out Remain in Light, Flesh + Blood, and Boy. London Calling, 1979 or 1980, depending where you lived, obviously qualifies. Uprising by Marley is great, The River by Springsteen.
zoo
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 10:19AM
This wasn't terribly hard....I came up with about 12-13 that I would even think of including in a top 10, so narrowing down to 10 wasn't too much of a problem. I will say though that I'm surprised none of you have yet to mention the #1 album on my list.

1. Magazine - The Correct Use of Soap
2. XTC - Black Sea
3. Ultravox - Vienna
4. David Bowie - Scary Monsters
5. The Damned - Black Album
6. Elvis Costello - Get Happy
7. The Jam - Sound Affects
8. Adam & the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier
9. Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids
10. The Pretenders - s/t

The last two could be swapped out with Gary Numan - Telekon or Simple Minds - Empires and Dance and I wouldn't feel too bad about it.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 11:56AM
I was 14 and fully ensconced in a Beatles bubble (and would be for the next couple of years), so the majority of this list were not experienced/acquired/appreciated until later in the decade...

1. The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight
2. Pete Townshend - Empty Glass
3. David Bowie - Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
4. The Undertones - Hypnotised
5. Rockpile - Seconds Of Pleasure
6. John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy
7. Paul McCartney- McCartney II
8. Magazine - The Correct Use Of Soap
9. XTC - Black Sea
10. The Jam - Sound Affects

Thank you for the memory jog on Magazine, zoo - I had nearly forgotten how much I loved that album...
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 12:04PM
12 records that I actually owned circa 1980 (my income stream as a teenager was limited, so it sometimes took a couple of years before I could purchase a record I liked). In heavy rotation on my bedroom stereo back then, and still beloved today. In alphabetical order:

1. The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
2. Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
3. Fabulous Poodles - Think Pink
4. The Jam - Sound Affects
5. Magazine - The Correct Use of Soap
6. Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kaleidoscope
7. Skids - The Absolute Game
8. Split Enz - True Colours
9. Squeeze - Argy Bargy
10. Talking Heads - Remain in Light
11. U2 - Boy
12. XTC - Black Sea

Six more that I only got around to purchasing years later, but are also excellent:

1. David Bowie - Scary Monsters
2. Jim Carroll Band - Catholic Boy
3. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
4. Teardrop Explodes - Kilimandjaro
5. Téléphone - Au coeur de la nuit
6. Undertones - Hypnotized
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 23, 2020 12:40PM
I was 12 for most of 1980 and living in Seoul, Korea and all I knew about music was what was played on the Armed Forces Radio Network - which was top 40 for the most part. I dug the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I did have DEVO's first album and I remember liking "Rock Lobster" a lot the one time I heard it on the radio (but I didn't know who performed it). As for TP artists from 1980, the only one I bought was "Autoamerican". Flash forward six years, when I immersed myself in the alternative scene (in college, natch) the Dead Kennedys "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" became very important to me and that was from 1980.
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 03:52PM
Most of mine are already mentioned but Joy Division Closer, Circle Jerks Group Sex and The Cure Seventeen Seconds I believe all came out that year. I was 13 at the time and I had just got into The Clash, Elvis Costello, Adam and the Ants. The albums above were a few short years away. In 1980 I was into KISS, Elvis, Rush, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, The Cars, Blondie, The Stones and ACDC. Funny how you start to filter out some bands as you age and others stay with you. I mean I don't recall purposely playing a KISS song in 40 years! Cold Gin is still a proper tune in my book, around the corner at the liquor store....
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 04:28PM
Just dropping in to make sure Clues by Robert Palmer gets some love. It only had three particularly good songs on it, but those three songs - "Looking For Clues", "Johnny and Mary" and "Woke Up Laughing" - are so unbelievably fucking good that they elevate the whole thing (which is what, about 28 minutes long?) to classic status.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 31, 2020 09:22PM
breno Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just dropping in to make sure Clues by
> Robert Palmer gets some love. It only had three
> particularly good songs on it, but those three
> songs - "Looking For Clues", "Johnny and Mary" and
> "Woke Up Laughing" - are so unbelievably fucking
> good that they elevate the whole thing (which is
> what, about 28 minutes long?) to classic status.
That album was a shakup of my Robert Palmer paradigm. I'd thought of him as a pretty mainstream guy from his US hit singles ["Bad Case Of Lovin' You," "Every Kinda People"] but this alerted me to his questing tastes, which turned out to be very wide ranging indeed! As a Numan fan, we had to hear this and helpfully, that wasn't even the best of it!
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 07:55PM
> My income stream as a teenager was limited ...

Philippe's comment made me look back on my list. Man, I seem like a spendthrift! And I know those weren't the only LPs I bought in 1980. Of course, that was the year I "discovered" secondhand record stores. Looking at that list and trying to remember, I'm pretty confident I purchased half of them in places like Recycle Records.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2020 10:26PM by Delvin.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 31, 2020 09:24PM
Delvin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > My income stream as a teenager was limited ...
>
> Philippe's comment made me look back on my list.
> Man, I seem like a spendthrift! And I know those
> weren't the only LPs I bought in 1980. Of course,
> that was the year I "discovered" secondhand record
> stores. Looking at that list and trying to
> remember, I'm pretty confident I purchased half of
> them in places like Recycle Records.

I think I was there at that epiphany in 80-81, with Retro Records. Gott Im Himmel! Used records at half price or less??!! Where your music buying dollar just got a 100% boost at the very least! An important consideration for a high school student on $7.50 a week "lunch money."
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 22, 2020 10:25PM
"Looking at that list and trying to remember, I'm pretty confident I purchased half of them in places like Recycle Records."

The cutout bins was a place I was very familiar with. A lot of great finds to be had there, in addition to used record stores. And I also let it be known that records made great Christmas and birthday gifts; it helped that I had a couple of cool older sisters.
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 23, 2020 02:20PM
Not top ten-worthy, but still very swell, 1980 albums obtained (in 1980!) from the quarter bin at the long, long gone but still beloved Don's Records in Wood River, Illinois:

No Escape - Chelsea
Aim For the Feet - the Hitmen
Twice Nightly - the Tremblers
Big Boy - Mark Andrews & the Gents
Skafish
The Original Sin - Cowboys International (okay, that one may have actually come close to being top ten-worthy, were it not for the pesky fact that it actually came out in 1979. Bought it in '80, anyhow, for a shiny quarter.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2020 02:24PM by breno.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
December 31, 2020 09:07PM
Ramones - Road to Ruin
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
February 01, 2021 09:02PM
Sorry I'm late. This was the time of life I realized there was life outside the charts.

1. Echo & the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Tactics - My Houdini
3. The Jam - Sound Affects
4. The Clash - Sandinista!
5. Sector 27 - Sector 27
6. The Selecter - Too Much Pressure
7. The Birthday Party - The Birthday Party
8. The Angels (Angel City to you lot) - Dark Room
9. Talking Heads - Remain in Light
10. Human Sexual Response - Fig. 14

Just Can't Stop It is mighty unlucky to miss out here.
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Bip
Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
February 01, 2021 09:51PM
I seriously loved that Sector 27 album.

....I had a t-shirt made with the number 27 on it and the word ‘sector’ above it. Everyone at school said “who’s sector?”

.... to this day when pumping gas I try to put in as close to exactly $27 as I can.
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Re: Your 1980 Top Ten Albums List
February 02, 2021 05:42PM
> This was the time of life I realized there was life outside the charts.

For me, that was the two years preceding 1980.
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