2011/10/19

NC17 Top 50 Traxxx of 1980

1980: The Year of Radical Change
Part 1: The Influence of Both Reggae and Satan
Part 2: The Biggest Change in History
Part 3: Metalheads, Sissies, and Stoners Unite
Part 4: Factory Records, Ralph Records, and the Jennifer Triolo Disturbance
Part 5: Citation Needed
Part 6: A Brief Taste of the Future
Part 7: The Different Types of Douches
Part 8: The Standouts: As Selected by Harold the Alien

Part VII: The Different Types of Douches


Press play on the image below to hear this selection of songs in this exact order.



As promised, of the 180 songs to make this list, two of them were #1 hits on the Billboard charts (this list also features two songs that hit #1 on the "adult-contemporary" charts, though they didn't reach #1 on the regular chart). This section of the countdown features the first of the two #1 hits. Also, the other #1 of the adult contemporary charts is in this portion as well. Thus far, the biggest mainstream hit of the countdown Dan Fogelberg's Longer, which went to #2 and was the other #1 adult contemporay hit.

50. X
"Nausea"  3:40
Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

One day, just while going to the store to get a cup of coffee, you reach the harsh realization that pretty much everybody in town is a douche. You wonder how it got this way. And, you wonder just what in the hell it is, musically, that all these douchy people are into. Perhaps if they listened to X, they would be significantly less of a douche. So, just ride in your car, blasting this song, picturing what all the douchy people would be like should they ever listen to this.

49. Bruce Springsteen
"Ramrod"  4:06
The River
Freehold, NJ

Bruce Springsteen has been a prominent artist of the NYC scene and has been a CBGB staple while working with acts such as Patti Smith and Lou Reed. Commonly known as “The Boss”, Springsteen has cited numerous NYC punk acts as major influences, been enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is widely reknown as one of the top lyricists in history. Furthermore, like John Cougar Mellencamp, Springsteen has always been a left-wing political advocate and his songs often depict the struggle of the working class. Many consider The River to be his best album, and is frequently referenced in the excellent NYC film Reign On Me.

48. Half Japanese
"Till Victory"  2:16
1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts
Coldwater, MI

Then it occurs to you, as seen by others, many of your friends, family, and co-workers are perceived as a douche. You may even be in a relationship with a douche. You even admit to yourself, that even you find these people douchy. None of them listen to Half Japanese, that's not why they are such douchebags, it's their reaction when unconventional experimental punk comes into their exposure that is so unsettling.

47. Chrome
"Isolation"  4:35
Red Exposure
San Francisco, CA

We've all gone home and have been forced to embrace the worst epidemic known to man: coming home, and there's a douche in the house. It's almost equivalent to seeing a centipede on the wall. Centipedes, however, are aware of their surroundings and will quickly scurry into a crevice once spotted. They also eat fruit flies and at least provide some use in the home. A douche, on the other hand, equally grotesque to look at, and provides none of these attributes. Being as many douchebags who enter the home are excessively fat, it is impossible to merely squish him with a rolled up newspaper. Furthermore, the house douche has no manners, will take off his/her shoes and put his/her feet on the couch or table.

Often, the house douche's present is equally heard as it is seen, for the house douche will not shut the fuck up and go on and on excessively about topics he/she knows nothing about. Most tragic, the house douche is often related to someone you are living with. The very presence of the house douche makes you uncomfortable. Excessive exposure makes you feel like this song. However, it is effective to play this song on repeat just to annoy the house douche. With the holidays nearing, the presence of the house douche is emerging. IF your in-law can be categorized as a house douche, and is planning a visit, do something to ensure this classic song by Chrome is in your collection immediately; this song can act as douche-i-cide and may cause the house douche to retreat into the basement.

46. Buggles
"Video Killed the Radio Star"  4:13
The Age of Plastic
London, England

A douche is person who is completely incapable of conjuring an original idea on his/her own. Another definition is any person who has ever been on, or even worst, watched regularly, MTV's The Real World. On one hand, this song was the first ever video played on MTV, which later went on to define douche nation. However, with the intertwining vocals and musical arrangements, The Buggles themselves are far from douchy because they, at least, were capable of creating something original. They tried to de-douche society but it backfired. Also, if you are attempting to guess the #1 hit song in this section, and guessed this, you guessed- WRONG! Although this did reach #1 in reportedly 16 countries, it only reached #40 in the US.

45. The Clash
"The Sound of Sinners"  4:01
Sandinista!
London, England

Following the consensus #1 album of 1979, Sandinista! is in no way shape or form a total disappointment. Nor is it an entire religious gospel like Bob Dylan's Saved, The Sound of Sinners is the only song with heavy religious references, and it could be argued the song may even be about Bob Dylan. It's not the lyrics that make this song so great, it's the song's unique structure and arrangements that make it a standout.

44. Magazine
"You Never Knew Me"  5:27
The Correct Use of Soap
Manchester, England

You wonder how you can escape and live a douche-free lifestyle. Maybe, there's hope that after the LCD Soundsystem show, the douches will be less douchy. Perhaps that concert, with thousands of people, will have the same effect as The Sex Pistols show had on the 42 people in Manchester. Magazine features Howard DeVoto of Buzzcocks and Barry Adamson who later was a member of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Members of Magazine were at that Sex Pistols show, therefore, they are not douchy.

43. The Method Actors
"Bleeding"  4:41
This is It
Athens, GA

Before R.E.M. rose to stardom later in the 80's, there was already a scene brewing in Athens, GA. Furthermore, as great of a band as R.E.M. was in the early going, they were not the best band from Athens, not a proper representation of the definitive sound. Simply put, R.E.M. were more accessible and a bit mainstream-ized so to say than the rest of the punk scene coming out of Athens. On that note, The Method Actors could possibly be described as a more punk, more experimental R.E.M. Or better yet, take R.E.M. out of the equation completely because they sound nothing alike at all. In comparison to Manchester, R.E.M. is more like The Smiths, Pylon is that scene's The Fall, and The Method Actors would be, maybe, Blurt. As huge as the Manchester scene blew up, and as influential as it has become, make due note that of these three comparisons, aside from The Fall, the Athens bands pre-dates the Manchester bands.

42. Glaxo Babies
"Flesh"  4:58
Put Me on the Guest List
Bristol, England

Then you go to a concert, a band you like, and find everybody at the show is a douche. How did they get here? How did they find out? Any Dave Matthews concert can be defined as douchefest. You thought that's where they all hung out. LCD Soundsystem was packed full of douches. LCD Soundsystem was heavily influenced by bands such as Glaxo Babies, particularly this song. Shouldn't all the douchy people know this? If they are going to attend an LCD Soundsystem show, they mustn't act like a douche as if they were at Dave Matthews. A douche is expected to know Glaxo Babies before being put on the guest list, else he/she will be considered a douche and delegated to the crappy section of the venue.

41. Maanam
"Szał Niebieskich Ciał"  7:53
Maanam
Warsaw, Poland

Some people mistakenly think that listening to certain bands automatically makes them not a douche. These people claim to be music snobs, not mainstream, free thinkers, and too many times cite Florence + The Machine as their favorite punk band. Never mention Florence + The Machine while claiming to be into weird music; its a guilty pleasure at best. In fact, don't namedrop The Pixies, The Cure, Talking Heads, and now The Arcade Fire and expect to be taken as a music coinasseur. Simply listening to any of those bands just because somebody at work you have a crush on burned you the CD or because some character on some douchy TV show like CSI listened to on an episode is nothing special. Merely being attracted to the image is even more douchy than actually liking Boston for their musicianship. Now, mention this band from Poland, you can talk music with anybody. Argue with Boston fan how the guitar playing in this song smokes anything those polished afro hippies ever released puts you in elite territory. Translate the lyrics in several different languages; I will turn into a douche and follow you around requesting you make CD's for me (and I'll tell all my friends about you; you will be all I will talk about and I will devote my entire life just making you happy). Also, like The Cure just for their image is less douchy than liking Boston because that's all you know, or liking Boston for their image, or modeling your image after Boston just to be ironic.

40. New York Gong
"Jungle Windo(w)"  6:19
About Time
New York, NY

By far, the biggest douche of the entire 80's was Ronald Reagan. Some historians may attempt to credit Reagan, or his douchy counterpart Margaret Thatcher for all of the change that took place in 1980; maybe even suggesting this is the model blueprint to successfully initiate change whereas current politicians only speak of it rather than implement it. However, it is the opposite and Reagan may be responsible for suppressing any notion that a change such as what occurred in 198 would ever happen again. Artists such as New York Gong serve as proof that current state of tyrannical American politics had been happening for years. Whereas Reagan promoted corporate sponsorship, douch-ism, while delegating power, privileges, and wealth to brainless conservative conventional ordinary ass kissers who imposed no threat to the corporate merger, those responsible for the positive change were revolting against it. The only thing Reagan should be credited for in modern society is reality TV, stadiums being named after corporations, and the anti-American hatred that is a direct retaliation to all of the citizens from left-wing supporting nations that Reagan murdered with his cowardly air strikes (Grenada comes to mind immediately).

39. Fire Engines
"Lubricate Your Living Room Part 1"  4:34
Lubricate Your Living Room
Edinburgh, Scotland

Alcohol consumption can turn even an ordinary person into a douche. Also, consuming too much alcohol can make a person already a douche unbearable. On the contrary, consuming alcohol is sometimes necessary in order for a decent person to be able to tolerate a douche- particularly a house douche. Smoking marijuana, however, makes people less douchy. It is best to attempt to engage a house douche into smoking a bowl. An excellent guitar riff can also de-douchize people, after all, it is what differentiates a douche from a cool person. This is The Fire Engines. You will need to that for when people ask who it is, and the question will take place around the 1:32 mark when everything stops except the rhythm guitars. Pack a bowl, crank this up, and encourage your house douche to shut the fuck up and jam along with the song--the house douche's persona changes significantly for the better with each repeated listen. This song is douche medication.

38. Queen
"Another One Bites the Dust"  3:38
The Game
London, England

The typical douche looks nothing like any of the members of Queen, and would probably find their behavior shocking. Douchy people often stare at homosexuals, or attempt to engage in conversation and say douchy things that embarrass friends. However, this is the song of this section that reached #1. Furthermore, like so many of the other punk/new-wavers on this list, this track features what many have voted the best bass riff in history to accompany its' tight rhythms, and periodic experimental noise fills. That said, if this hit #1, Glaxo Babies & The Method Actors should have at least enjoyed top 40 hits.

37. Bauhaus
"Double Dare"  4:54
In the Flat Field
Northampton, England

One genre that we’ve discussed this entire countdown that was coming into its own was goth music. Bauhaus is widely consider the kings of goth and means as much to this genre as Black Sabbath to metal; Stooges to punk; etc. This is the best Bauhaus song ever, and defines why they are regarded as legends. The guitar crunch immediately alters your feelings, and Peter Murphy’s shout of “I dare you! To despise! Beurocracy!” is the type of signature mayhem goth artists would attempt to imitate for the span of the entire existence of the human race.

36. Inner City Unit
"Cars Eat With Autoface"  3:22
Passout
London, England

Inner City Unit is a band that features Hawkwind saxophonist Nik Turner. Hawkwind, to some degree, was considered progressive rock. Punk was formed in opposition of progressive rock. No-wave is the most extreme form of punk rock, and for whatever reason, featured erratic saxophone playing. Hawkwind, is primarily known as space rock with some punk elements. For 1980, former Cream drummer Ginger Baker played drums (see Motorway City). One former Hawkwind member, Lemmy Kilmister, had formed Motorhead, the definitive thrash metal band in history. Nik Turner, with his saxophone, played on this raging no-wave masterpiece. No-wave is the #1 genre in which mainstream radio avoids at all costs. Inner City Unit, a noisy no-wave spawned directly from a space-age progressive rock band that never had a hit, somehow, amazingly, in 1980, allegedly scored a mild hit with Space Invaders. Where, I don't know, but supposedly it was "chart-topping".

35. The Rolling Stones
"Emotional Rescue"  5:38
Emotional Rescue
London, England

The ultimate douche activity is karoaking. This event allows the most douchy of all people take the stage and pretend for a few moments they are rock stars; and embrace sympathy applause. Any person is especially douchy if he/she karaokes Don't Stop Believing by Journey; for, that is the ultimate douche song and "performing" an even worse rendition of that crapfest speaks volumes (especially if you are only doing so to be ironic, because the joke is officially a cliche and you may now add "tells stupid tired jokes" to list as to why you are perceived as a douche). The other way to be regarded as an extreme douche is to karaoke a song that you have no business singing. These are songs that are sung particularly well, but the serious douche thinks he/she is able to pull it off- even though they sing horrendously.

Emotional Rescue serves as the ultimate douche test. To determine if a person is a douche or not, play Emotional Rescue, regularly if needed. If the person in question begins singing the song, badly, and even attempts to hit all the high notes (and fails miserably) you will know that person is a douche and should the person ever come over for a visit, you would then know to take the precautions for dealing with a house douche. Should the person ask who sings it, or possibly insinuate it's The Bee Gees...douche. Should the person simply shut up and listen to the song- cool. Should the person complain because it is nowhere near the best Stones song and names off several others that are better, including mostly rarities that have not been played on the radio and a list of new bands influenced by the Stones and some of Ron Wood's best guitar solos while with The Faces, relatively cool! Never heard of The Rolling Stones? They probably live in Waukesha, WI.



WARNING!!! SHOCKING ENTRY ALERT!!! NEXT SONG MAY CAUSE SEVERE TRAUMA!!!


A definitive douch is a poser who attempts to be something he/she is not and has no business even trying to be. On that note, a person can do douchy things and cease to being considered a douch for he/she is simply being him/herself and not attempting to be otherwise.

What I’m getting at: you see, this is my blog, and all I am doing is expressing my own personal opinion. These songs are being ranked in order how I like them. The next will be my favorite of the countdown, the one after that I’ll like better, and so forth. I am not affiliated with any organization, no one is paying to promote their items, and I am not attempting to rank these songs on how they appeal to the public. I have no formula, don’t care about record sales, hits, or descriptions.

However, there is a slight formula to determine what I like. At this point in the countdown, simply being basic is not going to cut it. My collection consists of tens of thousands of albums, and I do not have time for amateurs. I expect musicians at this point to have the ability to add something extra to their music. Being able to play your instruments is a must, adding additional layers and dimensions are qualities I look for, changes in rhythm and tempo, experimenting with new sounds, perhaps incorporating other ideas, advanced qualities of musicianship, such as duel vocals, multiple instruments, or blending different genres.

Yes, I am a full-fledged music snob, and from here on, you better be damn good at something. I prefer punk rock; I prefer punk that has all the aforementioned elements. However, if all of these elements are present, genre doesn’t matter. If you can provide advanced qualities of musicianship, you will get repeated plays in my rotation, maybe even for 30 years, even if you are a douche.

Why am I ranting about this? One, perhaps to give better understanding of what I am looking for in a quality song. Two, perhaps I feel the need to justify the next entry; which provides all of the aforementioned attributes, is a work of pure genius, and I can shamelessly say is the 34th best song of one of the best years in history. This next song is a full-fledge 10, and contrary to what you’ve been misled to believe, is ideal listening on headphones at a moderate-loud volume.

34. Air Supply
"Lost in Love"  3:52
Lost in Love
Sydney, Australia

I refuse to crack one single joke about this entry, and is in no way shape or form an attempt to be ironic. While part of me wishes they would have selected some better clothes for this photo shoot, I'm actually glad they didn't. First off, not one ounce of poser blood in their veins- they are not attempting to be anything other than who the really are. Best of all, despite all of its soft-pop sugary smooth qualities, this song provides every great quality that makes for an excellent song. The dual vocals blend perfectly, the rhythm changes are superb, they add multiple layers somewhat delving into both psychedlia and, seriously, thrash metal (the drum beat during the chorus is very similar to the drum beat in Rapid Fire by Judas Priest). The song has a climax, which alone is an advanced quality, in which more backing vocals are added, the hooks are infectious, and the musicianship is superb (this is not an easy song to play). Go ahead, laugh, call me a douche, but I challenge you to give this song a few quality listens and pay close attention to how many of the same aspects are represented here that are required to be considered a great punk song. This is just done on an entirely different level. If this came out in 2010, and was never played on the radio, people would then be talking about how much better this is than Belle & Sebastian.

Critics have stated: "The best of 1980 list was going ok, but then the dumb mother fucker went on-and-on about fucking Air Supply. What a fucking douche!A newspaper headline read: The douche liked Air Supply; The drummer wore penny loafers. Middle aged women in Waukesha, WI have been quoted: "I like this!"

33. Killing Joke
"The Wait"  3:43
Killing Joke
London, England

Overrated: Lead guitar solos.  Underrated:  rhythm guitar solos. Best part of the song: 2:52, rhythm guitar assault. By the way, this song is tied with about 5 others for the best song on the record, and the represented track could change daily. As for the band, in case you don't know, this killer debut ranks towards the top in all of the following genres: punk, hardcore, thrash metal, industrial, goth, post-punk, and respected in no-wave and new-wave. Doubt many diehard fans of Michael Bolton will like it though.

32. The Nuns
"Walkin' the Beat"  2:59
The Nuns
Terra Linda, CA

The first two seconds is why people dislike Air Supply and love Sonic Youth. The theme: not being a douch. No matter how stupid you are, put this on your headphones and take a stroll downtown...a walk to the beat of the song; for 2:59 you will not be a douch. Repeat, it will change the way you even look.

31. Roky Erickson & The Aliens
"I Walked With a Zombie"  2:49
Roky Erickson and the Aliens (5 Symbols)
Austin, TX/San Francisco, CA

Perhaps the worst kind of douch of all is the car douch. This is that asshole that gets in the car and will not shut the fuck up. The car douch may also chomp gum like a cow, eat potato chips, yap loudly on his/her cell phone, make unwanted comments about the driving, and worst yet, attempt to dictate the music. Best remedy for the car douche: lean over and tell him/her repeatedly about how you walked with a zombie last night. Keep repeating this until they jump out of the car. Lyrics: I Walked With a Zombie x 3, Last Night...repeat over and over with an occasional "He Walked a Zombie" fill-in. That's it. Prominent Influence: Super High, fronted punk/psych pioneers 13th Floor Elevators who even pre-date The Velvet Underground & The Stooges. Mental Stability in 1980: Low  Numerous similarities to Syd Barrett and possibly believed at the time he really did walk with a zombie. Current whereabouts: Free from the asylum, in good shape, recorded in 2010 with fellow Austinians Okkervil River and sounded decent.

30. Adam and the Ants
"Kings of the Wild Frontier"  3:57
Kings of the Wild Frontier
London, England

A difficult task is to pull off is performing a beat driven song that defies any sort of structural standard. Perhaps in one sense, there is a slight uniform standard, intro, verse, chorus...blah blah blah. But the way its performed is unique. No song on popular radio remotely compares to this except, ever-so-slightly Adam Ant's own Goody Two Shoes, and that's only for the drum beat. Maybe a slight comparison to Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Part 2 for the chants, or whatever the hell you call them. Just listen to it, and stop acting like such a douche.

29. Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark
"Bunker Soldiers"  2:54
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
West Kirby, England

This is the same band that had the exceptional hit song If You Leave that was on the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack and is now played on radio stations that also feature Air Supply. That however was 1986, this is 1980, and this would never be played on any such formatted station and is straight-up new-wave punk with more similarities to P.I.L. and Joy Division than Ambrosia and those other bands commonly associated with If You Leave (if you view my best of 1986, it's with Slayer, The Smiths, and Sade). Some knew this, some didn't, some maybe forgot. Whatever. Let's just have a car douch orgy in the back of an old station wagon with wood paneling on the side. Let's get right to the point.

28. The Psychedelic Furs
"Sister Europe"  5:41
The Psychedelic Furs
London, England

Ever been stuck in traffic and realize that every single person on the road was a douche? You have to wonder what the road douche is listening to in his/her car. For, as you know, the road douche is capable of committing acts of downright stupidity. Often, the road douche has substituted music for senseless yapping on the cell phone. If you can't shut the fuck up for five minutes... look in the rearview mirror, and state to yourself: "Hi, I'm Barbara, I live in Milwaukee, and I'm a douche." Then, try to shut up for a span of 5:41, and listen to this song in the car, and observe the world around you. After that, just picture every single person you walk by, stating his/her name, stating where he/she is from, and then confessing. Hello, I'm Billy, I'm from Cincinnati, and I'm a douche. Hello, I'm Doug, from Austin, TX, I too, am a douche. Then get creative. Make a video, to this song, with everybody confessing to being a douche.

27. Echo and the Bunnymen
"Pictures on My Wall"  2:59
Crocodiles
Liverpool, England

Unfortunately, when a song reaches #1, douchy people jump onboard and act like a complete idiot whenever they hear the song. They will sing the lyrics out loud, even though they can't sing; they will dance frantically, even though they can't dance...they will fail to lose any weight, obtain any intellect, or anything to extinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd. Sadly, they know one cool song, and it goes into their collection with the rest of douchy shit they listen to. Should be, once a douche becomes familar with Queen, he/she should recognize the attributes of the band and no longer act like a tourist whenver other people with those same attributes are present. A douche should refrain from dancing or singing loudly in public whenever the song is on until the douche knows how to sing and dance- like an original. Then, ditch all Journey & REO Speedwagon albums once and for all, and move up to intermediate listening. Once you become relatively cool, you will no longer interrupt conversations about best songs by Echo and the Bunnymen to ask a repetitive series of silly questions about cheese.

We’ve said some shit. We’ve called each other a douch. We’ve discussed alcohol consumption, and we’ve discussed having sex in the back of a station wagon. And that damn Adam Ant song can’t be described. So, let’s review...

26. The Manhattans
"Shining Star"  4:45
After Midnight
Jersey City, NJ

You're in a car. The passenger is a douch. Someone in the backseat knows all about both The Specials and OMD. Your drunk as piss. Some stupid bimbo is in the backseat wearing a skimpy skirt saying how much she digs you, and wants to know if you’ll play Peripherikredcommando for her again. It turns her on. You, drunk, are getting turned on yourself. Even though she’s stupid, you’d love to stick your head up her skirt with her legs wrapped around your shoulders. And that other guy, he listens to The Specials, you’ve never experienced homosexuality before, but damn, he knew. And this fucking douch in the passenger seat! Eating all these damn potato chips and getting crumbs all over the seat. What a fat blubbering piece of shit! You look over, he catches your eye, she catches your eye, this fucking douch catches your eye. The Manhattans come on. Honey you, are my shining star. Drunk, they are all your shining star. Romance fills the air. The wood-paneled station wagon pulls to the side. The soft moon glistens as stopped station wagon bounces emphatically to the tune of love, lust, and some stupid fucking douch eating potato chips while he’s getting his ass emphatically pounded. And the soft sweet sounds of balls slapping up against your ass sooths you like a lullaby in the night. The douch nearly passes out. OMD fan declines, steps out to smoke a bowl. Just you, and her, all alone, in the back of a wood-paneled station wagon. The panties come off. The shocks of this stupid station wagon needs fixed. Her lust can’t be controlled. Nor can the stupid douch’s bladder. With an array of sexual energies in the air, the stupid douch tries to take a piss and falls tumbling down the hill off the side of the interstate. She unbuttons her blouse. Baby girl, I want you to be my ballsack lullaby that sooths the night. And when you cum, you leave; bitch!



NC-17 SXXX SONGS OF 1980: 200-176  175-151  150-126  125-101  100-76  75-51  50-26  25-#1




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