The Dutch band Doe Maar had their first hit in 1981. Read the rest of this entry
The Dutch singing duo Maywood released a new album in 1981. Read the rest of this entry
The band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) didn’t really sing normal love songs. Read the rest of this entry
The Tubes released a concept album in 1981. Read the rest of this entry
Kiki Dee became famous in 1976 with her song Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, which she recorded with Elton John. After this number 1 hit, it had grown a bit silent around her. Read the rest of this entry
In 1981, Depeche Mode had their first UK top 10 hit. The song, written by the later Erasure member Vince Clarke, would especially sell well in the live 12 inch version. Read the rest of this entry
In 1981, Michel Sardou released quite a strange ‘chanson’. The whole idea for the song started with the synthesizer of Sardou giving a sound which was like a bagpipe. Read the rest of this entry
In 1981, the Specials had a very big hit with their song Ghost Town. Jerry Dammers, the keyboard player of the band, wrote the song. He saw Coventry, the town where he grew up, decline and saw the start of quite some social unrest. Together with things they saw on tour, as shops closing down in Liverpool, it was the inspiration for the song. All together it took a year to write it, and Jerry asked the members to record the song as he prescribed. It was not a bad idea, since it made a number 1 hit in the UK charts. However, shortly before the song got that status, three members left to form the Fun Boy Three… Enjoy
The Specials- Ghost Town
In 1981, Luther Vandross released Never Too Much, his solo debut. He first was a singer in advertisements and sung the backing vocals in several songs. Roberta Flack, who also had him as backing singer, said he should try to put up a solo career. With the demos of Sugar and Spice and Never Too Much, he went to Epic Records, which offered him a job. This was a number 1 in the R&B chart in the US, and also hit the UK chart on number 44, starting his career as solo singer. Enjoy
Luther Vandross- Never Too Much
In 1981, Kim Carnes covered a song by Jackie DeShannon. She recorded it as a jazz song in 1975, inspired by an old movie with Bette Davis in it. Donna Weiss, one of the writers, submitted a demo to Kim Carnes, who decided to record the song. The song became a hit in the US, where it was number 1. Bette Davis then wrote a letter to Kim Carnes and the writers, to tell that she was a fan of the song. Enjoy
Kim Carnes- Bette Davis Eyes
In 1981, a businessman developed a studio concept, a group that would record some albums. The B. B. & Q. Band was formed by people from Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens, three parts of New York. Their first album, which carries the name of the group, had one of their few hits on it. It was number 41 in the UK and number 8 in the US black singles chart. Enjoy
The B. B. & Q. Band- On The Beat
In 1981, Squeeze released its fourth album. From this album, the second single would be Tempted. It was sung by Paul Carrack, who normally played the keyboard. Later he would sing in the band Mike & The Mechanics. This song was produced by Elvis Costello, but it did not make it to the top 40 in any country: number 41 in the UK, number 49 in the US and even number 90 in Australia… however, over time and due to the use in several commercials, it has become a classic. Enjoy
In 1981, the soundtrack of the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only was released. It would be number 4 in the US and number 8 in the UK. Actually, Blondie also wanted to make the theme song, but this song was not good enough for the producers. Bill Conti and Mike Leeson wrote this song, with singers like Dusty Springfield or Donna Summer in mind to sing it. United Artists suggested Sheena Easton, a rising star. Conti wasn’t convinced, but decided to have a talk. In the end, she sung it! Enjoy
Sheena Easton- For Your Eyes Only
This is a rock song from 1975. That is the year it’s written and recorded by the Arrows. The song was recorded as a reaction the a song by the Rolling Stones, namely It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It). Joan Jett saw them perform on television, and thought it would be a good song to cover. Firstly she covered it with two old Sex Pistols, later with the Blackhearts. This version, from 1981, reached number 1 in the US and number 4 in the UK. Enjoy
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts- I Love Rock N Roll
A strange kind of eighties song today. The release was around the change of the year, so in the US it’s a 1981 single and in the UK it’s a 1982 single. In the UK, it went to number 2 in the chart, causing the single to be the Stranglers highest charted single. I won’t have a go on explaining where the song is about, since there has been a lot of discussion on this topic. Most accepted is that the song can be heard as a song about a girl, but also as a song about heroin. Enough song analysis, just listen to it. A wonderful song with a great intro. Enjoy
The Stranglers- Golden Brown
A few days ago, I heard a song on the radio which made me think of another song. Sounds a bit strange, but I knew the text, however, the music did not sound right. Luckily my laptop was on, so I googled the lyrics. And then I found out this song the radio was playing was a remix of the eighties song by Suzanne Vega. To me, it seemed useless, since the real original was good, and the dance version was worse than dance versions normally are. This song was written in 1981 by Suzanne Vega, then it was released by a magazine in 1984, but three years later, in 1987, it was featured on her debute album as the first track. So I was thinking: Tom’s Diner? What’s that? Well, it’s a restaurant in New York, Tom’s Restaurant. To find out the date of writing, a sort of puzzle has to be solved. Some people have done this for me, but I’ll guide you through.
An actor has died of drinking, as Suzanne Vega reads in the newspaper on the front page. She then turns to the backside, to read the funnies. This means she is reading the New York Post, which has both of the conditions. The actor is William Holden (Bridge Over The River Kwai). The article about his death was published on the 18th of November in 1981, which is believed to be the writing day.
Enough information. A beautiful song, both in composition and in clever (short) lines. Enjoy
Suzanne Vega- Tom’s Diner
An early eighties disco hit. It’s Saturday, so we may dance in the evening. Therefore, I wanted one of my favourite disco records to be song of the day, and that’s this song. Everything seems to be right in this song. The voice, music, it all matches. Enjoy and dance to
Marcia Hines- Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees
A week ago, I had my driving lesson, and whilst driving home, I heard this song through the car. I always liked the song and it put me in a good mood! Therefore, and since it’s a big hit coming from 1981, it is featured in the History Of Music! So I was looking up some information, and I discovered the song was not from 1981! Or at least the original song isn’t. The cover is, but okay, the original was made in 1952. A cover was made in 1959 by Carl Mann, which largely was the base for this song. I never heard the original, but I will search for it, since it could be interesting to compare! Enjoy
Alvin Stardust- Pretend
Well, we’ve got a hard working singer here! Although I don’t think she can do all the work at the same time. Who would be able to use a type writer and a lawn mower at the same time?
I think this song is one of Dolly’s best: uptempo and if you hear it, you would like to get to work! So enjoy
Dolly Parton- 9 To 5
Today we go back to the beginning of the eighties. That was the time Tainted Love by Soft Cell was released. It actually was a cover of a sixties song by Gloria Jones, but I think it was a bigger hit than the original…
At least it was a good dance track, and it still is. It sounds sunny, and therefore it’s song of the day!
Enjoy Tainted Love, tomorrow another song!
And vote for the Summer Song of the Day Top 20, you have one week left! >>>>