1980: A Bright New Decade That Began with Darkness


I gotta admit that I was excited about the Eighties. Everything about the Eighties seemed exciting with possibilities: wrapping up high school, the whole college thing and becoming an “adult.” Plus, the music of the decade was going to be sweet, especially after how exciting 1979 was.

9.10 Rush

You gotta love it when artists that you loved as relative unknowns become huge, as if it were some validation of your tastes in music. Blondie really hit the big time in 1980 behind three number one songs, led by “Call Me.” The Clash and Pink Floyd reaped critical and public acclaim during this year. Bruce Springsteen really broke through on both the album and singles charts here in the U.S. AC/DC and Queen peaked in 1980, and The Police continued to gain momentum. Disco was mutating into dance music. New wave was the “it” music of the moment, and heavy metal was bubbling underneath it all.

9.10 The Police

On the other hand, we got the last gasps of big time cultural significance of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand. And, in one of the most shocking moments in rock history, the final nail was put in the coffin of the Baby Boomers’ dominance of rock music when John Lennon’s voice was silenced by an assassin. I have to admit that I went to bed before the news broke about Lennon. The game on Monday Night Football was boring, and I was tired. Yet, when I heard the radio broadcast of the news at six in the morning, I was stunned. I had just purchased his new album and was playing it the night before. And, much as Roberto Clemente’s death did eight years earlier, I was moved to learn as much as I could about the man. Even though my grandfather had passed away in early 1975, the deaths of two men who were both cut down in their primes affected nearly as much, though it was nowhere near how the death of two of my high school friends did.

9.10 the jam

Still, after Lennon’s death, you kinda got the sense that the torch was being passed on to a new generation. And ultimately, this what 1980 represents to me. And, these are the songs that generally constituted the soundtrack to my life back then.

9.10 George_benson

100. “Give Me the Night” – George Benson

99. “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” – S.O.S. Band

98. “Don’t Stop the Music” – Yarbrough & Peoples

97. “I’m Alright” – Kenny Loggins

96. “Antmusic” – Adam & the Ants

95. “Magic” – Olivia Newton-John

94. “Longer” – Dan Fogelberg

93. “Enola Gay” – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

92. “Lady” – Kenny Rogers

91. “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” – Squeeze

9.10 martha and the muffins

90. “Echo Beach” – Martha & the Muffins

89. “I Love a Rainy Night” – Eddie Rabbitt

88. “One in a Million You” – Larry Graham

87. “A Forest” – The Cure

86. “Shining Star” – The Manhattans

85. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” – George Jones

84. “Just the Two of Us” – Grover Washington Jr. with Bill Withers

83. “The Tide Is High” – Blondie

82. “He’s So Shy” – The Pointer Sisters

81. “Keep on Loving You” – REO Speedwagon

9.10 irene cara

80. “Fame” – Irene Cara

79. “Sailing” – Christopher Cross

78. “Upside Down” – Diana Ross

77. “On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson

76. “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” – The Police

75. “Hey Nineteen” – Steely Dan

74. “Late in the Evening” – Paul Simon

73. “Turn It On Again” – Genesis

72. “I Will Follow” – U2

9.10 LRB

71. “Cool Change” – Little River Band

70. “Private Idaho” – The B-52’s

69. “Steal Away” – Robbie Dupree

68. “The Wanderer” – Donna Summer

67. “People Who Died” – Jim Carroll Band

66. “Theme from ‘New York, New York'” – Frank Sinatra

65. “Heartbreak Hotel” – Michael Jackson

64. “How Do I Make You” – Linda Ronstadt

63. “Breakdown Dead Ahead” – Boz Scaggs

9.10 split enz

62. “I Got You” – Split Enz

61. “Coming Up (live)” – Paul McCartney

60. “Precious” – The Pretenders

59. “Everybody Wants Some!!” – Van Halen

58. “Stop This Game” – Cheap Trick

57. “Into the Night” – Benny Mardones

56. “Don’t Let Go” – Isaac Hayes

55. “I Can’t Tell You” – Eagles

54. “Tired of Toein’ the Line” – Rocky Burnette

53. “Romeo’s Tune” – Steve Forbert

52. “Holiday in Cambodia” – Dead Kennedys

51. “She’s So Cold” – The Rolling Stones

50. “Everything Works If You Let It” – Cheap Trick

J. Geils Band Live

49. “Love Stinks” – The J. Geils Band

48. “Breaking the Law” – Judas Priest

47. “(Just Like) Starting Over” – John Lennon

46. “Emotional Rescue” – The Rolling Stones

45. “Geno” – Dexys Midnight Runners

44. “Fantastic Voyager” – Lakeside

43. “Special Lady” – Ray, Goodman & Brown

42. “The Second Time Around” – Shalamar

9.10 molly hatchet

41. “Flirtin’ with Disaster” – Molly Hatchet

40. “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” – Pat Benatar

39. “Never Knew Love like This Before” – Stephanie Mills

38. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” – Billy Joel

37. “Vienna” – Ultravox

36. “Ace of Spades” – Motörhead

35. “Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me?)” – Gap Band

34. “Anyway You Want It” – Journey

33. “Atomic” – Blondie

32. “Let My Love Open the Door” – Pete Townshend

31. “Stomp!” – The Brothers Johnson

9.10 david bowie

30. “Fashion” – David Bowie

29. “You May Be Right” – Billy Joel

28. “That’s Entertainment” – The Jam

27. “More Bounce to the Ounce, Part 1” – Zapp

26. “Watching the Wheels” – John Lennon

25. “Biko” – Peter Gabriel

24. “Ah! Leah!” – Donnie Iris

23. “The Spirit of the Radio” – Rush

22. “Switchin’ to Glide” – The Kings

21. “Brass in Pocket” – The Pretenders

9.10 The_Vapors

20. “Turning Japanese” – The Vapors

19. “Hungry Heart” – Bruce Springsteen

18. “Yes, I’m Ready” – Terri DeSario & KC

17. “Whip It” – Devo

16. “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” – Stevie Wonder

9.10 diana ross

15. “I’m Coming Out” – Diana Ross

14. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” – The Police

13. “Funkytown” – Lipps Inc.

12. “Ashes to Ashes” – David Bowie

11. “What I Like About You” – The Romantics

9.10 Gary Numan

10. “Cars” – Gary Numan

9. “The Breaks” – Kurtis Blow


8. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division

7. “You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC

6. “Call Me” – Blondie

9.10 Queen

5. “Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen

4. “Going Underground” – The Jam

3. “Games Without Frontiers” – Peter Gabriel

2. “Rapture” – Blondie

9.10 Talking-Heads

1. “Once in a Lifetime” – Talking Heads

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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