40 Records in 40 Years (8/40 – 1981)

Back in ordinary life again after what felt like an eternity lifetime in the army. What also means back in a regular job again. My company offered me for god’s sake a job in the back office, so that I didn’t had any physical contacts with our customers to offer them some financial products. Week after week I more and more accustomed to the daily routine in the bank. And also day by day I got more routine to do my job. So I took the chance to get more contact to my colleges that was close to my age. Sometimes after finishing work we took the chance to spent the time on a couple of pints in one of the pubs close to our office. It was a wonderful time to do your job and nearly no one gives you any commands you have to follow exactly. In the first month after my time in the army I felt safe and harm but still knowing that something essential is missing. After a few weeks listening to what my mind and stomach told me, I knew that the next step in my life would be to look for a small apartment where I can life without any rules that my parents gave to me. Towards the end of the year a good friend offered me his apartment because he wanted to life together with his girlfriend in a bigger one. So I grabbed the chance although it was not my favorite place I wanted to life because it was in a little village close to the place I’ve been grown up. But the apartment was very well and cheap and so I grabbed my packs and moved away. I can still see the tears in my moms eyes, when her eldest son left his home. So I layed my hands around her and told her that I’m not going away, but only living elsewhere. She dried her tears and let me go with an unforgettable smile in her face. The basic equipment of the apartment does have cost me some of my savings, but it was worth it in any case. And then it was done: Finally to stand on my own two feet and to be responsible for me in all respects even.

What was the sound of 1981?

Joe Dolce and Shaddup you face: Just one more one hit wonder, but the sound of summer in 1981
Roxy Music – Jealous guy: Great smooth song with a genius whistle by Mr. Ferry
Soft Cell – Tainted love: The best track this year. A monument of a song
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin: Pure pop with elements of Phil Spector’s wall of sound
Billy Idol – Dancing with myself: Former Genreration-X singer starts a solo career
Visage – Fade to grey: Birth of the New Romantics?
Tom Tom Club – Genius of love: Side project from Talking Head’s Tina Weymouth gave us a funky upgrade and opened our ears to the upcoming club sounds
Haircut 100 – Favorite shirts: Nick Heyward’s epochal interpretation of British styled funk
Depeche Mode – Just can’t get enough: Nice song that became a fan chant
Kristy MacCall – There’s a guy ….: Another great pop song – it wouldn’t appear here if it is not sung by her
Memorable records released in this year:
This Heat – Deceit: Arty music. This Heat combined Krautrock and other progressive stuff with also influence of dub reggae and early Can to a radical post-punk, industrial music style.

Bruce Cockburn – Inner City Front: Canadian singer-songwriter with political background brought some good songs to me.

The Lounge Lizards – same: Saxophonist John Lurie mixed Jazz like Charles Mingus with punk roots.

Trio – same: German minimalism with punk roots (more on one of the next posts)

The dB’s – Stand for decibels: Jangle power pop from America

David Byrne & Brian Eno – My life in the bush of ghosts: First collaboration from two great musicians

Motörhead & Girlschool – St. Valentines’ Day Massacre: Another great collaboration. It was just an EP but listen to their version of Johnny Kidd’s ‘Please don’t touch’.

Greatful Dead – Recocknin’: The hippies are back – but a wonderful relaxed double LP for the summer

Black Uhuru – Red: Reggae sounded like this in that year.

Motörhead – No Sleep Till Hammersmith: Hard rock at his highest level.

Kurtis Blow – Deuce: New sound from big apple. Never heard Rap before.

Stray Cats – same: The return of rockabilly music. Stray cat strut, Rumble in Brighton tonight, Fishnet stockings … awesome.

 Wall of Voodoo – Dark Continent: Synthesizer based new wave combined with Ennio Morricone

The Gun Club – Fire Of Love: Jeffrey Lee Pierce appears with remarkable songs like ‘She’s like Heroine to me’.

Heaven 17 – Penthouse And Pavement: Groundbreaking record for electric music.

Elvis Costello – Almost blue: On step over the Atlantic ocean. Mr. McManus goes country.

Bow Wow Wow – See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy: Crazy title for a record, but I loved the sound of her young and clear voice. Great songs and a cracking cover-sleeve.

Soft Cell – Non Stop Erotic Cabaret: A perfect record – timeless.

Remarkable movies in this year:
Raiders Of The Lost Arc: Harrison Ford shows us the real historic searcher

Excalibur: Back on the round table in Camelot

Das Boot: Underwater in a boat during world war II

Christiane F., wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo: Teenagers on drugs and the whole damned scene in Berlin. Based on memories of Christiane F.

Gallipoli: Peter Weir showed us the terrible fights between Australian and Turkish troops in World War I (according to ‘The band played waltzing Mathilda’).

The Postman Always Rings Twice: Great actors – Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange

A little looking back what was interesting in the world in 1981:
The 54 American hostages in Iran were released after 14 month; Chiang Ching (“Madame Mao”) was sentenced to death after trial against the gang of four; Stardust fire in a nightclub in Altana Dublin  kills 48 and injures 247; Bobby Sands a member of the IRA begins a hunger strike for political status in Long Kesh prison and was the first of 10 who died a couple of month later; Rioters throw petrol bombs, attack the police and loot shops in Brixton; Pope John Paul II was shot and nearly died by Ali Agca a Turkish gunman; Peter Sutcliff is found guilty as the Yorkshire ripper; Bangladesh President Rahman is assassinated; Seven coaches of an overcrowded passenger train fell off the tracks in Bihar, India – over 800 died; South African troops invate Angola; Egyptian president Answar Sadat was also assassinated – Hosni Mubarak was elected as the new president; Iran-Contra affair: Reagan’s administration sold weapons to Iran although there was an embargo to sponsor the Nicaraguan Contras; Muhammad Ali made his last-ever fight.

Vini Rilly released in 1981 his second album with Durutti Column called LC. There is a lot of stories written about him, his career and the record. One of the best ones I’ve ever read was over at The ‘old’ Vinyl Villan before Google closed JC’s blog. So just a few words to him and this record: 
Vini Reilly is probably a political thinking person – if not I can’t explain why he give the band this name. The Durutti Column, derived for a misspelling of the name Buenaventura Durutti, woh led a column of anarchiststs during the Spanish Civil War. nLC means ‘Lotta Continua’ Italian for ‘continuous struggle’. It was originally taped at home on a four-track recorder and shows the abilities of Vini Reilly at his best. He is no gunslinger but it impresses me so much, when he slowly picking the strings of his guitar and the tones pour out like one pearl after the other. For me this record will ever be the place where I can go to when I need something to relax. 

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