2011/10/19

NC17 Top 75 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 VI: A Brief Taste of the Future


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



75. The Durutti Column
"Requiem For a Father"  5:08
Return of The Durutti Column
Manchester, England

For some reason, most journalists have labeled this a punk/post-punk. There is not much punk here about this instrumental- and no, finally, there is no singing on the whole album. Therefore, I came up with my own description: Pre-post-rock. As in, pre, for preceding, and post-rock, as in Tortoise. This Manchester band plays a huge factor on the sound that would later shape Chicago.

74. The Alan Parsons Project
"Time"  5:04
Turn of a Friendly Card
London, England

Though often lumped between Supertramp and Styx, this masterpiece, which was a top 40 hit, actually fits in superbly with chill out mellow psychedelia of this period such as The Durutti Column and even Roxy Music. Great music has the ability to transcend time and space, and while this song may not take people to another world altogether, and it can invoke memories to take the listener to another time period; even if he/she was never there.

73. Cllimax Blues Band
"I Love You"  4:05
Flying the Flag
Stafford, England

Around here, discrimination is a crime. How's this for comprehensive? Where else can you listen to a set of songs that includes The Residents, delve into unknown territory, then no-wave, an artist going through a divorce, and now, the perfect wedding song. Generally speaking, even being labeled "a wedding song" gets your record Frisbee-ed right into garbage disposal. Music ia a rare aspect of life that provides a multitude of marvelous qualities.

72. Stevie Wonder
"Lately"  4:05
Hotter Than July
Saginaw/Detroit, MI

To follow the perfect wedding song, it is best to play the song in which most marriages end. Stevie Wonder is blind and even he can tell when his girlfriend is hanging out with a douch. What an awful feeling that is: when your girlfriend hangs out with some guy who is a serious douch, knowing when she comes back you'll have to hear about their conversations; the ones she's willing to relate as an attempt to cover up what really happened. Not saying this entire album compares to the likes of Inner Visions, but this particular song is as good as any of Stevie Wonder's ballads and was, sadly, his last great song. Stevie himself a few years later did his own douch impersonation with the career suicide I Just Called to Say I Love Your Stupid Ass, You Douch Whore, Yea, I Really Fucking Care, And I Mean That Shit, Bitch, From the Bottom of My Chair.

71. John Cougar (Mellencamp)
"Ain't Even Done With the Night"  4:39
Nothin' Matters and What If it Did
Seymour, IN

Finally! Some real music. An actual hit...and not by some freak. And, 3 of them in a row now. I bet that Jennifer is so happy! Great news for the tea party movement, John Mellencamp (Mellencamp is his actual birth name, Cougar was just a moniker the label wanted to use at the time) is one of us. Yup, he too is a "freak", some left-wing nutjob, a Libra like John Lennon... personality-wise, just a quality individual. The Elected would slightly borrow a portion of this piano for their brilliant 2006 hit "Not Going Home."

70. Knutsen & Ludvigsen
"Hallo! Hallo!"  2:32
Fiskepudding! Lakrisbåter!
Trondheim, Norway

In order to make quality children's music, it's also important to incorporate a bit of weirdness and possibly even resort to illicit drugs to enhance creativity. Although listed as children's music in the registry, and that is a dangerous genre to explore because some of it is wretched, Kuntsen & Ludvigsen take all the necessary means to make not only the best music of this genre, but quality music for any genre. They are extremely talented musicians, brilliantly creative, and their vocal harmonies are superb. A must hear for fans of Jim Henson and They Might Be Giants, and 1982's Juba Juba is even better.

69. Lydia Lunch
"Lady Scarface"  3:15
Queen of Siam
New York, NY

Lydia Lunch is also on the list of most influential artists on this list. Her previous band Teenage Jesus & The Jerks were among the pioneers of the 70's NYC no-wave scene. Also has to be considered for most drastic change. Queen of Siam is not nearly as noisy as her previous material, and here is where she entrenches herself as the queen of goth. This song, is reminiscent of a Broadway performance. Once upon a time, she was the hottest woman in the music industry... up until 1988 when she released this.

68. Pere Ubu
"Misery Goats"  2:41
The Art of Walking
Cleveland, OH

Another prominent holdover from the '70s. Though 67 bands managed to creep in ahead of Cleveland's Pere Ubu for one year of 1980, few bands even through today has yet to match the brutal intensity this band once displayed- 1975's 30 Seconds Over Tokyo pre-dates and exceeds the triumphs of most other accomplished experimental/art-punk acts. Misery Goats remains an excellent track off a great album that also featured Mayo Thompson of The Red Krayola on guitar.

67. Wipers
"Potential Suicide"  3:35
Is This Real?
Portland, OR

I know, you've been sitting around wondering, just what in the hell is the difference between punk and hardcore. And I understand you've done nothing but dwell on this to the extreme your constant pondering has ruined the past two Thanksgivings. Well good news, you can listen to this and ruin next Thanksgiving also. Potential Suicide is the bridge between punk and hardcore. Now, all you have to do is listen and differentiate which elements are punk, and which are hardcore.

66. Swell Maps
"The Helicopter Skies"  4:18
Jane From Occupied Europe
Solihull, England

Not on Factory records, nor from Manchester, this band has been extremely influential to modern music, and another song featuring another great bass riff. Unfortunately, the other recurring trend: one of the highlights of 1979 dropped from the elite rankings after just one year. Still, this is quality material, #66 is a good ranking, meaning Swell Maps enjoyed top 100 rankings for 2 years straight- more than most can say.

65. Mars; DNA
"New York Blues"  2:26
John Gavanti
New York, NY

One might get the impression that no-wave and punk rock experimentalism seems to draw some favoritism, and 62% of the population are disturbed to find this style of music in the same setting as wedding songs. Mars & DNA were also prominent members of the NYC no-wave scene of the late 70's. In 1980, the two bands collaborated for what is to be the first ever no-wave opera.

64. Ilitch
"Peripherikredcommando"  4:17
10 Suicides
Paris, France

Is there anyone who annoys the piss out of you? If you're anything like me, chances are that annoying person serves as a huge explanation why this song was never a hit. To begin, the music itself is so uncoventional it makes brainless twits feel as if their brain is hemmoraging- similar to not being able to wear flip-flops in the wintertime. Also, the pronunciation of the title is too demanding for some. Just imagine that ditzy bimbo saying: "so, yea, like, my favorite song is, like, Peripherikredcommando by Ilitch! Like I was totally listening to it the other day when I was Blockbuster trying to return my Redbox video, because, like, the Redbox machine was broken at Pick n Save."

63. Matabolist
"King Quack"  5:57
Hansten Klork
London, England

One of the earliest incarnations of goth and industrial, and a clear indication how the two merged. Also incorporating elements of no-wave (particularly the horns) this is more definitive of goth than The Cure and would go on to influence bands such as Alien Sex Fiend and Christian Death. Furthermore, the industrial influence is prevelant, and would be towards the top of the Skinny Puppy/Nine Inch Nails family tree. Unfortunately, few even know of Metabolist's existence and Hansten Klork is out of print.

62. S.Y.P.H.
"Partir"  2:19
S.Y.P.H.
Solingen, Germany

In the universal time table of transcending trends and accounts, the band S.Y.P.H. did not register any clear indication of validity. After the world ended, several centuries later as the result of clerical malfunction from the misplaced formation of a galaxy directly obstructing the path of the Earth's orbit, species from a different parallel plane of the universe gathered the remnants of various particles left behind to conclude a study on the habitual patterns of those who once inhabited the planet. Seymour Livingston became the chief researcher in the project, and soon became obsessed with deciphering the time period in which all had originated. With music, he had a 97% accuracy rating, and easily pin-pointed various elements as to what defined the 80's. The world had ended, however, in the year 3429, and Seymour had mistakenly assumed that S.Y.P.H. was released in the year 2016. Based on this notion, we can assume the direction in which music will be heading in the next four years.

61. U2
"Out of Control"  4:14
Boy
Dublin, Ireland

I would loved to have left U2 off the list. And Ted Nugent. But, a great song is a great song no matter who records it or what has happened since. There are some U2 songs, particular recent U2, that make my skin cringe. However, 1984's The Unforgettable Fire is one of the best albums ever, and unfortunately, the only whole U2 album I like. However, Out of Control is a 5-star masterpiece and represents what I always wanted to hear more of in classic U2.

60. Judas Priest
"Rapid Fire"  4:08
British Steel
Birmingham, England

Sure, this album has Living After Midnight and we just don't like that song anymore. Rocka Rolla is our favorite Judas Priest album because it had the most experimentalism, and didn't sound like the rest of it. In 1980, Priest was at the crossroads in their career. But, for 1980, pre-thrash, Rapid Fire was in the top few heaviest songs at the time- a ripping raging badass!


59. Motörhead
"Ace of Spades"  2:51
Ace of Spades
London, England

For 1980, this was the fastest, heaviest thrash metal band on Earth. In fact, Motorhead started thrash metal. If it weren't for Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and the band coming up next, metal would be considered pussy shit Lemmy ranks in the top few coolest bad asses in rock and roll history. They should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

58. Diamond Head
"Am I Evil?"  7:41
Lightning to the Nations
Stourbridge, England

In the course of rock and roll history, there are but a few bands who were able to re-define the way an instrument sounded. As of 1980, the guitar riffs created by Diamond Head had a different style of crunch that had yet not been identified, and is the perfect 50/50 punk/thrash hybrid. Although genius and original, their formula was relatively simple. Like punk bands did with rock and roll, Diamond too sounded as if they were tired of shit like Boston and Journey claiming to be metal. They re-invented the old style riffage employed by the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin, stripped away all the glossy components that Van Halen was using, and sped up the tempo several notches. This was the kick in the ass the world needed! Unfortunately, as far as commercial success is concerned, they were slightly ahead of their time and did not quite sell as many albums as Night Ranger would, although they are historically more revered than 92% of the bands from this period.

57. Clock DVA
"Consent"  5:07
White Souls in Black Suits
Sheffield, England

The sound of resisting anger for too long. For too many years, he tried to hold it back. But, the more his anguish built up inside, the more adversity he was stricken with; the more those in his immediate surrounding mistreated and abused his resistance to hostile confrontation. As it intensified even longer, the more distraught his outlook on society became. One day, while sitting at home alone, reflecting on the madness that had taken over his daily routine, he flipped out and finally lost his mind.

56. MX-80 Sound
"Man in a Box"  4:14
Out of the Tunnel
Bloomington, IN/San Francisco, CA

It was the year 2010. Bored with the likes of Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons, the douches from the office opted to allow the freak to select the music for one day. The main purpose of this was because he never participated in their conversations, shunned the company picnic, and nobody knew his last name. They were curious what this son of a bitch was going to choose and many of them had conversed all day about what kind of music he even liked. He put on MX-80, and "Man in a Box" played throughout the entire office suite over the intercom. Although several of them claimed to like the song because it was something new and exciting-something they had never heard before; others hated it and were appalled in which direction music was headed "these days" and the current state of new music was growing too profound, disturbing, noisy, and evil...many of these only listened to old classics, such as Poison or Ratt. This freak told them that the song came out in 1980, before Ratt and Poison were even around. These people thought good and hard about how music went from this to Fleet Foxes, and it suddenly altered their perception of Ratt.

55. Fad Gadget
"State Of The Nation"  3:46
Fireside Favourites
London, England

The woman fell to the floor. She was an older woman and walked with a cane. However, she was a completely different person than when she came in. Upon entering, she seemed fine. Somewhere in the midst of things, she dozed off for a minute. When she woke back up, she was a different person altogether, and made sexual advances to the employees- two guys and one girl; she was over the age of 60. Then, she fell out of her stool and laid in floor. She said she was in pain; she said she was OK; she had been several people throughout the evening. An ambulance was called. However, she did not have health insurance and refused any treatment; but could not get up off the floor. Therefore, the ambulance driver called the police. The cop had a different attitude entirely; he searched her purse illegally, took money out of her billfold to pay her tab. Upon seeing the cop rummaging through her purse, pulling out money without permission, she once again changed into a different person and expressed disapproval of this man going through her purse. In turn, the cop removed her from the premises and arrested her. The state of our nation was summed up in quite easily; the war against fascism was a waste of time, the U.S. simply became the 4th Reich.

54. Friction
"Big S"  3:28
Friction
Tōkyō, Japan

The ultimate cure for the car douch is this band from Japan, who represent one of the pioneers of Japanese noise-rock and served as a key member of the no-wave scene for this period. Friction paved the way for other excellent Japanese noise-rock bands such as Boredoms (one of the best bands in history!), Boris, and Acid Mothers Temple (one of the best live bands in history!). Any of these bands should make the car douch jump out the passenger door.

53. The Specials
"I Just Can't Stand It"  4:03
More Specials
Coventry, England

The goal to bring about positive change in today's world. Play this song by The Specials several times daily, and create a list of things that you simply cannot stand anymore. Once the list has been created, go over the list with several people around the community, and check with some people who you hardly know just to make sure that the problem with the world isn't you. Once you have figured out some common ground the aspects that people do that are annoying, such as pissing themselves on the bus, ask yourself why these people do the things they do, and attempt to come up with a logical answer. If no logic can be found based a series of thorough reasoning, whenever you see somebody conducting themselves in a manner in which nobody else can stand, then call the person out on it, inform him/her that she has made several lists of things that irritate people, then consider getting her/him in the headlock and tossing her/him out of the establishment.

52. Visage
"The Dancer"  3:40
Visage
London, England

At some point in every single Rocky movie, Rocky himself is a douch. However, with the assistance of the Rocky theme song (Gonna Fly Now), Rocky works hard in order to not be a douch anymore. I have this same dream for the rest of the world. The Dancer, an instrumental somewhat similar to Rocky's theme, is the perfect soundtrack for visualizing the world putting forth maximum effort and de-douchizing themselves and transforming into respectable human beings.

51. Hawkwind
"Motorway City"  6:48
Levitation
London, England

By 1980, Hawkwind had been around for 10 years, Levitation was already their 10th album. Think real good hard about bands today and how so few bands ever even release a 10th album; how bands have recorded a 10th album this good (maybe five if you really thought about it...Led Zeppelin only recorded nine during their entire career. Hawkwind is a good place to start with the de-douching of society. Lemmy from Motörhead was a former member of Hawkwind; former Cream member Ginger Baker plays the drums on this record.




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




Top Image by : http://www.futurerocklegends.com/blog_files/lemmy-finger.jpg
Bottom Image by: http://coolvibe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/paris-year-3000.jpg
Diamond head cover by http://fanoegerm.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/dheaddeluxe.jpg?w=627

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