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  1. #1
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    Default S18 Contemporary Music

    I know Mr Morgan has already posted about his fave tunes from the period elsewhere but I personally think there's roomi in these sub-forums for a thread to accompany each season we revisit? One that'll be easy to locate and add to as we go through each of the season's stories?

    So, here's my thoughts on the period from late August to late September 1980 while The Leisure Hive was on TV.

    There's some very good Number 1s here - from Bowie's Ashes to Ashes when Part 1 aired to the Jam's Start for Part 2 and then Kelly Marie's rather camp disco hit Feels Like I'm In Love for the rest of the story. See if the video for the latter is on YouTube - it probably is - and check out the two sailors dancing and prancing around!

    The Ashes to Ashes video is a particular favourite, though it did creep me out at the time (I was 11) - especially the scene of the digging machine following them along the beach - and Bowie in that clown costume - no wonder the clown imagery was used in the first series of TV's Ashes to Ashes a couple of years ago to spooky effect. I didn't know who Bowie was back then so I had no idea it was a sequel of sorts to Space Oddity, that link would be made years later as my musical knowledge expanded.

    Top of the Pops was always essential viewing back then but I do recall that in the summer there was a musician's strike and the programme was off air for several weeks, I believe it came back just about as S18 was starting - do you recall that, Stephen?

    Here's some of my other favourites riding high in the charts from those 4 weeks with their peak positions :

    Tom Hark - Piranhas (6)
    Eighth Day - Hazel O'Connor (5)
    One Day I'll Fly Away - Randy Crawford (2)
    Paranoid - Black Sabbath (14)
    A Walk In The Park - Nick Straker Band (20)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    Top of the Pops was always essential viewing back then but I do recall that in the summer there was a musician's strike and the programme was off air for several weeks, I believe it came back just about as S18 was starting - do you recall that, Stephen?
    Excellent idea for a thread in this sub forum Jonno wish I'd thought of it myself after enthusing about my favourite tunes from days gone.
    I do recall that TOTPs strike, and do have a few 1980 recordings from the old UK Gold days, must dig those out sometime. It's rumoured that BBC4 are to show a series of old TOTPs very soon, we'll have to keep our eyes out for those.
    Anyway back to the subject at hand. I'm so glad you've picked out some of your faves Jonno, especially Randy Crawford's One Day I'll Fly Away, that song has haunted me again this last few weeks. Nice to see you've remembered some of the other stuff too, I'd imagine that Piranhas track to be a fairly obscure hit, my guess is you must have had the single at some point, the track is gleefully mad isn't it
    You also mention Hazel O'Connor whose track Eighth Day comes from the Punk film, Breaking Glass, which is a film worth looking out for as a social document of the period, although the New Romantics are just around the corner and the film would pretty soon seem out of date. Another track of Hazel O'Connor's from the soundtrack is Will You, another sublimely haunting track dominated by a soaring saxophone that will break your heart. The Soundtrack to the film was produced by none other than Tony Visconti, husband of one time Op Knocks winner, Mary Hopkin, and producer of many a David Bowie album. Incidentally, when O'Connor toured to promote Breaking Glas, her support group were none other than then up and comers, Duran Duran.
    New entries for this very week thirty years ago include Gilbert O'Sullivan's last top twenty hit, What's In A Kiss, Matchbox When You Ask About Love their fourth hit in less than a year, a couple of disco tracks from Casanova and Lynx, and the highest new entry from Gillan with a live version of Trouble. Still at #1 The Police, Don't Stand So Close To Me.

    I'm sure Jonno you'll have some more to add here. Tell me what you remember of one of next week's new entries, Sweet People Et Les Oiseaux Chantaient.

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    A great read there, Stephen, and thanks for the heads-up on BBC4, I really hope that happens. TOTP2 was never enough for me, I'd much rather see whole editions with all the links etc. I don't know if you listen to R2's Pick of the Pops but in a fortnight they'll be covering the w/e 16/10/80 which is looking like a great chart. I'll mention it again closer to the time.

    Elsewhere, I do indeed remember and love Will You from the following summer - I've got both singles on compilation CDs. Both very different styles! I may have watched Breaking Glass, but if so I can't really remember it. Was Hazel in Jubilee - I certainly remember watching that with some very vivid scenes!

    I never bought Tom Hark but at this time I wasn't buying singles or albums - I was only 11! I only really started buying music the following year. But Tom Hark is such a catchy tune I just remember it well from the time and still love it!

    My idea with this thread was to let it evolve and each time we cover a new story in the season I'll add to it and look at the singles in that 4 or 6 week period. It'll keep it manageable and if nothing else will make the thread grow with several replies! So I'll get to Sweet People when we do Meglos...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    I may have watched Breaking Glass, but if so I can't really remember it. Was Hazel in Jubilee - I certainly remember watching that with some very vivid scenes!
    Jubilee was a 1977 film with Toyah Willcox, if memory serves me correctly the score for that one was done by Brian Eno. It's a film I've only seen once, many moons ago though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    I don't know if you listen to R2's Pick of the Pops but in a fortnight they'll be covering the w/e 16/10/80 which is looking like a great chart. I'll mention it again closer to the time.
    I rarely listen to Pick of the Pops these days, I'm not too keen on the blandness of Dale Winton. Perhaps I'll come back to it when Tony Blackburn takes over in November.


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    There were some pretty significant albums released in 1980, particularly in the world of heavy metal. Of course, not all of these were released while Season 18 was airing, but it gives you an idea of what was around. I've put the ones I own in bold...

    AC/DC - Back in Black
    Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel III
    Genesis - Duke
    Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
    Judas Priest - British Steel
    KISS - Unmasked
    Motorhead - Ace of Spades
    Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
    Queen - The Game

    There are probably many, many other albums of significance that I've missed out on, but that gives you a flavour of what was out there...

    Ant x

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    Ant, you haven't got Back in Black? You surprise me, even I've got that! Unless you don't like AC/DC of course! Hard to believe it's 30 years old, along with Iron Maiden's debut, which I have a copy of courtesy of someone who shall remain nameless!

    As for Ace of Spades, I'll be getting to the single later in this thread...

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    What about Super Trouper by ABBA. That was prertty significant, for some of us anyway!

    Si xx

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    Ahem!

    There were other albums from 1980! These include:

    Joy Division - Closer
    David Bowie - Scary Monsters and Super Creeps
    Talking Heads - Remain In Light
    Abba - Super Trouper

    Though looking at the charts, Heavy Metal was quite dominant in this period.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    Unless you don't like AC/DC of course!
    That would be why. Horrible, repetitative band

    Ant x

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    If I remember correctly, wasn't S18 the era of Adam and the Ants mania?

    Double checking - it is indeed! This was pretty much the time of Bucks Fizz/Tight Fit and Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face keeping Ultravox's Vienna from number 1.

    But not all bad - you've got great acts like the Human League and Madness coming to the fore. And the excellent David Bowies Ashes to Ashes video. In fact wasn't it pretty much 1980 which was if not the birth of the music video, then when it came into it's own?
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    I wasn't an Adam & The ants fan, but I enjoyed (and still enjoy) listening to most of the chart music mentioned here. Of which Bowie, Ultravox, Hazel O'Connor and Randy Crawford in particular are favourites...but it's Ant's list of rock albums which is more up my street. There are some great albums in that list!

    And of course Back In Black merits a mention...I'm not a big AC/DC fan but Back In Black is an excellent album, as is it's predecessor Highway To Hell...despite the death of Bon Scott, 1979/1980 remains their strongest period musically; unfortunately they haven't had recorded anything much worth listening to (with a few key exceptions) in the 30 years since. Derivitive and repetitive pretty much sums up their career ever since...

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    Metal was not my favourite type of music, however, for some reason I couldn't escape Ace Of Spades, dunno why that one seemed to stick with me. It seemed natural to stick with the charts, there were singles that appealed to me, and singles that didn't, but TOTP's was always fun and I rarely missed it, whether it featured a Heavy Metal band or a pop band, Adam and the Ants or ABBA, there was always something to enjoy.

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    Onto October 1980, and Number 1 for all 4 weeks that Meglos was on air were The Police with Don't Stand So Close To Me. This is one of my favourite Police tracks and I remember it well from the time, not least because the video was set in a school and I'd just started secondary school! Of course, I was far too young and innocent to understand what the song was about!

    Other personal favourite tracks with their peak chart position in October :

    DISCO - Ottowan (2)
    Baggy Trousers - Madness (3)
    My Old Piano - Diana Ross (5)
    I Got You - Split Enz (12)
    Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers (17)

    Steven asked me about Sweet People's And The Birds Were Singing which peaked at 4 that month. Well, I have no recollection of it at all from the time, but I do have it on an 80s CD and it really is quite bizarre, no idea how that did so relatively well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    Steven asked me about Sweet People's And The Birds Were Singing which peaked at 4 that month. Well, I have no recollection of it at all from the time, but I do have it on an 80s CD and it really is quite bizarre, no idea how that did so relatively well!
    I was waiting for you to comment on it Jonno, I have it playing right now, and, as you say, it's quite bizarre, and I don't know how it did so well either. For those not familiar with it it's an instrumental played on some kind of moog synthesiser and has bird song all through it, cuckoos mainly. It came upon the charts from nowhere and went top ten. I can't find anything in Wikipedia about it, it has to be a Scandinavian track or German maybe (it's on that there You Tube thing if anyone cares to look), there was an album, Summer Magic, but after this one single hit in UK, they didn't bother the charts again. If memory serves me correctly I think it was David Hamilton on his afternoon show that picked up on it and inflicted it on us, it was indeed fortunate there was nothing else from them.
    There are a couple of interesting new entries this very week thirty years ago Jonno, Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark (as they still were at this time) with Enola Gay, a song about the plane that took the bomb to Hiroshima, Air Supply's All Out of Love, one of those power ballads, and is actually quite good, Kate Bush is in there too with Army Dreamers, as is the Quo with What You're Proposing, another slice of 12 bar blues from them, usual fare, you know it well. And Streisand with one of my personal faves 'cos it's written and produced by Barry Gibb. Give it a couple of weeks and it'll be #1, stopping Ottawan in their tracks.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 10th Oct 2010 at 8:49 PM.

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    Enola Gay, All Out of Love and What You're Proposin' are big faves of mine, too - saving them up for November when they peaked!

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    Just a reminder that Radio 2's Pick of the Pops today is covering the chart of exactly 30 years ago from 2 to 3pm. Available on IPlayer for the next 7 days.

    Back later to muse on November 1980 now we're moving onto Full Circle (that's my weekend viewing sorted!).

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    Into the "Full Circle" era now and Woman In Love by Barbara Streisand was #1 during the first three epiosdes followed by Blondie's The Tide Is High for the final part. I didn't have any love for either of these songs at the time, though I confess to rather liking the former these days.

    My personal favourite tracks with their peak positions reached in November were :

    What You're Proposing - Status Quo (2)
    Special Brew - Bad Manners (3)
    Enola Gay - OMD (8)
    All Out of Love - Air Supply (11)
    Same Old Scene - Roxy Music (12)
    Ace of Spades - Motorhead (15)
    Celebration - Kool and the Gang (7)

    An eclectic mix for sure! Also of note in November was Dennis Waterman reaching #3 with the theme tune to Minder - I remember him performing it on TOTP but I didn't watch Minder then so the significance of it was lost on me!

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    I was playing the Streisand album Guilty yesterday afternoon while making ginger beer. It's still a fine album despite the years and has always been a favourite of mine, particularly it's title track, Woman in Love, Run Wild and Promises. Plus, it's written and produced by Barry Gibb.
    As for Blondie, Debbie Harry was a pin up of the era and I'd followed her career since Denis just two years earlier. Blondie's albums were always worth waiting for but Auto American, the album that The Tide is High was lifted from, was something of a disappointment and it only yielded one further top ten hit in Rapture. The only glimpse the album gave to former glories was the track T Birds, which was the only album track that seemed to get a lot of radio airplay.
    A new entry for w/e 18th October is the aforementioned Adam and the Ants with Dog Eat Dog, it's a superb track which gets to #4. The band had been around since 1978 but with no chart success. Dog kick started Stuart Goddard's career and he and the band would soon start appearing on TOTPs with his trademark striped face, and would dominate the charts during 1981, alongside the New Romantics who were soon to follow him into the charts and TOTPs.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 18th Oct 2010 at 11:58 AM.

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    I've always liked Adam and the Ants (Prince Charming was the first LP I bought) but oddly enough Dog Eat Dog has never really been a particular favourite for some reason. I'll come back to them though as we carry on into 1981 in due course...

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    I'm not sure it's 'cool' but I must say that Air Supply's All Out of Love is one of my favourite songs. And although I was never really into music at the time, I have really fond memories of catching the last few minutes of Top of the Pops at this period - I suspect it says more about what was on straight after TOTP than it does about whether I cared who was number 1!! But I do have a certain nostalgia for Adam and the Ants, and apparently Zel was a big fan. I occasionally make fun of her for that, although she has rightly pointed out to me that ridicule is nothing to be scared of...

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    Groan! And I suppose you're her Prince Charming...

    Air Supply is definitely one of my favourite ever love songs - right up there with Three Times A Lady (Commodores) and All Of My Heart (ABC).

    What was on after TOTP in this period? Tomorrow's World maybe?

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    Blondie's The Tide Is High was still #1 when State of Decay began, but the remaining three episodes were accompanied by Abba's Super Trouper, which I adore - one of my all-time faves of theirs and one which to this day makes me think of that "school breaking up for Christmas" and exciting lead-up to Christmas - and it was a special one that year as it was our first one in the UK for 4 years with all the traditional trappings that you just didn't get in Africa!

    My other personal favourites that peaked in December 1980 were :

    Stop The Cavalry - Jona Lewie (3)
    Runaway Boys - Stray Cats (9)
    Lies - Status Quo (12)


    I adore Stop The Cavalry - it was criminal that it wasn't the Christmas chart topper but that School Choir instead!

    Otherwise, a bit thin on the ground in the run up to Christmas, and there's some great stuff racing up the charts but they peak in January...

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    Was Super Trouper really (nearly) 30 years ago!? Blimey!

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    Yup, it will soon be the 30th anniversary of Abba's last Number 1 (to date)!

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