Author Topic: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music  (Read 58487 times)

Johnny Yesno

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Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2850 on: January 13, 2021, 08:37:48 PM »
Indeed, perhaps a claim to the best ever year?

I think you might be right.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2851 on: January 13, 2021, 09:09:46 PM »
Siouxsie and The Banshees - into the light

https://youtu.be/6w0A9RhyFxg



From their Peel session of 10 February 1981. The studio version appears on Juju, their third album.


Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2852 on: January 13, 2021, 09:29:08 PM »
Japan - Ghosts



Doesn't quite fit the thread remit as it was a sizeable chart hit, but I couldn't let 1981 go by without including this.

Quote
"Ghosts" is a song by English band Japan. It was released in edited form in March 1982 as the third single from their 1981 album Tin Drum.

It reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart in April. Although "Ghosts" was their biggest hit, this was not enough to stop the band splitting eight months later. Journalist Todd Hutlock called it "one of the most remarkable and unlikely entries in British chart history."[2]


Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2853 on: January 13, 2021, 09:51:12 PM »
The Bumble Bee Rap - Bumblebee Unlimited  Released on Salsoul in 1981.





I feel a 'bumblebee' motif going on here.

Bumblebee Unlimited were a disco group led by Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael.
In the same collective with Cloud One, The Universal Robot Band, Inner Life etc. Their sole album includes the mythical classic "Lady Bug".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcqirmbwOz4

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2854 on: January 13, 2021, 10:04:32 PM »
Miharu Koshi - Pocketful Of Love Song



Some actual pop music from Japan, the young folks would probably call this City Pop nowadays.

Quote
Miharu Koshi (コシミハル, Koshi Miharu, born January 3, 1960) is a Japanese singer and musician. Her career started in the late 1970s performing Japanese new music. By the mid-1980s she was performing music with electronic instruments, with many albums produced by Haruomi Hosono. Her later work has led to European classical music, French chanson and early 20th-century European Jazz, which she sings in several languages (most often French).[2]

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2855 on: January 13, 2021, 10:17:54 PM »
Roky Erickson & The Aliens - I Walked with a Zombie



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcGb24n9hvM

A strangely moving paean to perambulating with the undead. Its title is taken from the 1943 American horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton.

Quote
Roky Erickson was a founding member and leader of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre.

The Elevators were vocal proponents of marijuana and psychedelic drug use, and were subject to extra attention from law enforcement agencies. In 1969, a year after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Erickson was arrested for possession of a single marijuana joint in Austin. Facing a potential ten-year incarceration, Erickson pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to avoid prison.

He was first sent to the Austin State Hospital. After several escapes, he was sent to the Rusk State Hospital in Texas, where he was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatments, ultimately remaining in custody until 1972. During his time at Rusk, he continued writing songs and poetry.

Following his release, he formed a new band called The Aliens, who exchanged the psychedelic sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators for a more hard rock sound that featured lyrics based on old horror film and science fiction themes.

Although it was released in 1981, the songs on his album The Evil One were recorded in 1979. In an obituary for Erickson after his 2019 death, British music magazine Kerrang! singled out The Evil One as perhaps Erickson's most influential album, calling it "an important precursor to the psychobilly and horror metal genres" for its "strange, cinematic approach to psychedelia."

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2856 on: January 13, 2021, 10:18:49 PM »
Buckner & Garcia ‎– Pac-Man Fever



Released in December 1981 - reached #9 in the US and Canada in March 1982

Quote
"Pac-Man Fever" capitalized on the video game craze of the early 1980s, the song, about the classic video game Pac-Man, peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in March 1982. A follow-up release in May 1982, "Do the Donkey Kong", just missed the Billboard chart, ranking number 103.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2857 on: January 13, 2021, 11:29:25 PM »
To The Finland Station - Domino Theory

https://youtu.be/PIBJ6CkMgeQ



Only release by this highly obscure band from Islington. Great track though, and great name and great lyrics that sound like an agit-pol manifesto.

The junta and the westernised elite
is bound together with US forces,
giving us the same old excuses –
the domino theory.

Someone who saw them live reported:
My memory is that they stood to one side of the stage as a statement about the commodification of art in a bourgeois society

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2858 on: January 13, 2021, 11:31:33 PM »
The Birthday Party - Nick The Stripper



More unhinged chaos from Nick and the boys, this time with a live recording of a single from the second Birthday Party LP, Prayers On Fire released in 1981. INSEEECT! INSEEEEECT!

Quote
In Melbourne, in December 1980 and January 1981, they joined engineer and producer, Tony Cohen, in Armstrong's Audio Visual Studios (A.A.V. Studio 2) and Richmond Recorders, to record their tracks.[1] Music journalist, Toby Creswell, noted that the band "struggled with creating their own identity some of them also began indulging an appetite for alcohol and heroin".[3] Cave was embarrassed by "Zoo Music Girl" but noted "we were digging for something and we kind of just found it with some songs" and cited "King Ink" as an example of "a certain kind of sound that we wanted to work with on records after that".[3] Eight of the eleven tracks on Prayers on Fire were written or co-written by Cave, "[it] was a kind of reaction to the major disappointments we felt when we went to England... [we] began to see a vision and I don't think we were positively influenced ... we didn't want to be like the English New Wave pop groups of the time".[3] Pew observed "[it] stinks, quite honestly ... The engineer slept through the entire session for a start".[3]

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2859 on: January 13, 2021, 11:49:48 PM »
1. Futurologischer Congress - No Woman No Cry
Single released in Germany, 1981



German trio named after a Polish science fiction novel. Won a music competition organised by the Berlin Senate, expanded to thirteen members, recorded an album and then played a gig at an open-air amphitheatre, broadcast on national television, which saw them hailed by German media as the Deutsche Talking Heads. Their first single ‘Posthum’ was a collection of electro-minimalist covers of songs by dead pop stars (Lennon, Marley, Bolan) of which ‘No Woman No Cry’ is the pick of an amusingly odd bunch. Musically, they’ve somehow managed to recreate the sounds you’d expect to hear in a Carry On film if Barbara Windsor was playing ping-pong in slow motion. Which probably tells you that you need to reign in your expectations regarding that Talking Heads comparison before you click play.

Every sing gonna be alright.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Ht20tJeuQ

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2860 on: January 13, 2021, 11:54:53 PM »
Lee Majors - The Unknown Stuntman



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlB5ZufC0UY

The theme tune from hit TV series The Fall Guy was performed by its star, the erstwhile Six Million Dollar Man himself, and co-written by series producer Glen A. Larson.

As fans of the Top Flight Time Machine podcast will know, Larson was allegedly once punched with such force by a disgruntled James Garner, he flew through the wall of a static motor home and straight out the other side. No stuntman required.

Larson wasn't a novice songwriter either - before becoming the shamelessly derivative king of American TV in the '70s and '80s, he had been a member of '60s folk group The Four Preps.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2861 on: January 13, 2021, 11:59:47 PM »
I'll post some obscure post-punk one day but in the meantime here's

ZZ Top -  Heaven Hell or Houston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuvlVo1QdLU



Deguello from 1979 is their last great album for me, not so keen on 1981's El Loco apart from this, the last track.

Utterly bizarre and brilliant.

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2862 on: January 14, 2021, 12:00:00 AM »
Heroes And Angels ‎– Hey Diana (The Wedding Song)



Released as a picture disc in July 1981 - did not chart . . whatever . . . eeehhhh . . . 'chart' means!

Quote
Lady Di first met mumbling Royal stringbean Prince Charles when she was 16 in November 1977. He was then dating her older sister, Lady Sarah Spencer. They were guests at a country weekend during the summer of 1980 when she watched him play polo and he took a serious interest in Diana as a potential bride - I bet he did the dirty bollocks! The relationship progressed when he invited her aboard the royal yacht Britannia for a sailing weekend to Cowes to look at some cows. Charles proposed on 6 February 1981 at Windsor Castle, and Lady Di accepted, but their engagement was kept secret for two and a half weeks.

Following the engagement, Diana left her occupation as a nursery teacher's assistant and lived for a short period at Clarence House, which was the home of the Queen's Mum. Diana was the first Englishwoman to marry the first in line to the throne since Anne Hyde married the future James II over 300 years earlier, and she was also the first royal bride to have a paying job before her engagement.

   

The wedding was held at St Paul's Cathedral on 29 July 1981, and was watched by a global television audience of 750 million people while 600,000 spectators lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple en route to the ceremony.

(After hearing those ear-boggling "impressions" I'm wondering if this might actually be a piss-take!)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 12:12:21 AM by daf »

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2863 on: January 14, 2021, 12:02:37 AM »
Tunnelvision - Watching the Hydroplanes

https://youtu.be/zZySn7JDqog



Another of the Factory Records alumni, they came from Blackpool and released this solitary single, a fine slab of desolate miserocity, in January 81.

They split in early 82.

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2864 on: January 14, 2021, 11:26:06 AM »
Survival - Red Beat.  Released on Manic Machine in 1981.





Not a million miles from what is happening in UK alternative rock today. Brilliant rubber brick bass playing.

Red Beat were a London post punk band that formed by brothers, Roy, Paul and Martin Jones in 1979 and broke up in 1982.

TRIVIA: The missing Jones brother in the line up was none other than 80s pop star, Howard Jones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNyrYvwwoRY&feature=emb_logo

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2865 on: January 14, 2021, 12:37:44 PM »
Tunnelvision - Watching the Hydroplanes

https://youtu.be/zZySn7JDqog



Another of the Factory Records alumni, they came from Blackpool and released this solitary single, a fine slab of desolate miserocity, in January 81.

They split in early 82.

Cracking single that I'd forgotten al about. Thanks for the reminder.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2866 on: January 14, 2021, 01:11:56 PM »
Survival Kit - Resistance

I know absolutely bugger all about this lot but this was in a set of singles my mum won in a raffle at the hospital she was being treated in at the time. Obviously donated by a local radio station to get rid of some of the stuff they didn't play. The only other one out  of the pile I can remember is Depeche Mode's debut, Dreaming Of Me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuKcBe5oITY


Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2867 on: January 14, 2021, 01:25:31 PM »
Wonderlust - Fallout Club


Another one for which I know absolutely nowt about the artist. My mate Brendan owned it though, and I remember it being played when we had a record player in our class for some reason.

(I think it was there because our English teacher had the great idea of asking pupils to bring in their favourite single and play them. It lasted one lesson when a girl called Claire brought in Rainbow's Since You've Been Gone, played it and then was asked to talk about it. She hadn't realised that was part of the deal so sat in embarrassed silence. As it was a Catholic school, I was tempted to say: "It's about Jesus, isn't it?" but chickened out.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuer4CupX8c

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2868 on: January 14, 2021, 04:42:15 PM »
Crashers - Flight To Jamaica



Released in 1981 - did not chart

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2869 on: January 14, 2021, 04:43:18 PM »
Chihuahua - Bow Wow Wow. Released on RCA in 1981.





The nemesis of B.A. Cunterson just misses the top fifty with this self-referential single.

Bow Wow Wow were formed in 1980 by Malcolm McLaren after the demise of the Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow were originally members of Adam And The Ants. On McLaren's advice, .they recruited a 14-year-old singer named Myint Myint Aye (Burmese for "High High Cool"), who was later renamed Annabella Lwin.  Typified by Burundi-style drumming and Lwin's singing, which veered between screaming and ritual chants, After signing with RCA Bow Wow Wow saw some early success in the UK, and eventually scored a minor hit in the US with their cover of the classic 1965 single "I Want Candy" originally by US group The Strangeloves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E12kuz-GaMg&feature=emb_logo

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2870 on: January 14, 2021, 06:06:19 PM »
Crispy Ambulance - Concorde Square

https://youtu.be/tR0xanNxRsM



Their third single, another on Factory Records.

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2871 on: January 14, 2021, 07:01:11 PM »
The Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt



Released in December 1981 in the UK - did not chart

Quote
The Jones Girls were an American R&B vocal trio of sisters from Detroit, Michigan, United States. Consisting of Brenda, Shirley and Valorie Jones. They performed as backup singers for Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, and our old friends Le Pamplemousse. They worked with Diana Ross from 1975–78 and were the backup singers on Linda Clifford's 1978 album 'If My Friends Could See Me Now'. Their biggest hit was "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else", which peaked at #38 in the Billboard Top 40 in May 1979.

   

After the release and failure of their fourth U.S. album, 'On Target', lead singer Shirley Jones pursued a solo career and had a number 1 R&B hit on Billboard in 1986 with "Do You Get Enough Love", from her top-ten debut album 'Always in the Mood'.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2872 on: January 14, 2021, 07:47:12 PM »
The Comsat Angels - Sleep No More

https://youtu.be/XUejaKGwmsE




1981 was a very Sheffield year wasn't it? This is the title track of their second album.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2873 on: January 14, 2021, 08:41:31 PM »
Gaynor Colbourn, Hugh Wisdom and Ronnie Hazelhurst - Sorry!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRjEWQn2kVQ

A sublime fusion of funk and reggae minimalism.

Quote
Sorry! is a sitcom based around Timothy Lumsden (Ronnie Corbett), a middle-aged librarian who still lives at home with his domineering mother Phyllis and henpecked father Sidney. Although quite shy around women, Timothy longs to find love and leave home, but Phyllis is always against the idea, and constantly manipulates her son into staying at home.

Ronnie Hazlehurst was an English composer, conductor and cultural colossus who, having joined the BBC in 1961, became its Light Entertainment Musical Director. He composed the theme tunes for many well-known British sitcoms and gameshows of the 1970s and 1980s, including Are You Being Served?, Blankety Blank, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Generation Game, Last of the Summer Wine, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, The Two Ronnies and Yes Minister.

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2874 on: January 14, 2021, 09:15:05 PM »
Johnny Mathis - Something To Sing About



Featured on the unreleased 1981 album 'I Love My Lady'

Quote
In late December 1980 and January 1981, Johnny Mathis recorded the album 'I Love My Lady' with Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers at the helm. All tracks for the album were written by the duo, whose songwriting credits included hits by their own band, Chic, as well as Sister Sledge and Diana Ross.

Johnny Mathis : “Nile and Bernard told me they wanted to write some things especially for me. They asked me to tell them about the things I was interested in, so I told them I was a high jumper and a hurdler, and I played golf, and I asked them how they were going to write about THAT!  Eventually, they got a little personal with me, and asked what kind of people I like, whether I was a romantic person, and what my thoughts were about society.  They asked me all sorts of crazy, off the wall things:  what did I listen to?  What did I like to eat?  How did I like to dress?  And they took little aspects of my answers and wrote songs about them.”

 

Mathis was quoted as having enjoyed the project: "What a joy to work and sing with Bernard and Nile ... A unique experience that introduced me to new and exciting singing, as though using musical notes and phrases as brush strokes. A true departure for me as a vocalist and a milestone in my career."

The album was completed, but was never released. Johnny Mathis : “nobody said anything over at Columbia, and a best-of album came out instead.”

When asked in a 2011 radio interview as to why the album had never been released, Mathis replied, "Probably because the record company is almighty when you're making music to sell. They have their likes and dislikes.... I guess because they didn't think it would sell". The album was finally released in December 2017.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2875 on: January 14, 2021, 09:31:28 PM »
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - She's Leaving

https://youtu.be/grfr-moPSBM



taken from their career highpoint, Architecture & Morality. Originally slated to be the last single taken from the album but cancelled at the last minute (perhaps because it wasn't about Joan of Arc?)

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2876 on: January 14, 2021, 10:09:14 PM »
Shadowed - Fingerprintz  Released on Virgin in 1981.





More skinny-tie post-punk pop fun.

Fingerprintz were a Scottish New Wave band founded in 1978, with a first single issued in January 1979. The debut album issued in September of the same year saw them without their original singer and main songwriter Jimmy O'Neill taking over lead vocals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAXWKilJUAI&feature=emb_logo

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2877 on: January 14, 2021, 10:34:46 PM »
Modern Eon - Splash!

https://youtu.be/rF6YeXpVPA0



formed in Liverpool in 1978. They released one album, Fiction Tales, before dissolving in late1981. This is the b-side to Mechanic, their fourth and final single.

They made some demos for a proposed second album but split soon after.

daf

  • Napoleon's Penis is in private hands
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2878 on: January 15, 2021, 12:00:00 AM »
Lenny Henry ‎– The (Algernon wants you to say) Okay Song OK



Flip side of 'Mole in the Hole', released in March 1981 - did not chart

Quote
In 1980, Lenny Henry performed in Summer Season in Blackpool with Cannon and Ball. He has since said that "the summer season was the first time I felt  that my act had received a proper response from an audience".

He co-hosted the children's programme Tiswas from 1978 until 1981 playing such characters as Rastafarian Algernon Winston Spencer Churchill Gladstone Disraeli Palmerston Pitt the Younger Pitt the Elder Razzmatazz (who had a fondness for condensed milk sandwiches) and Trevor McDoughnut (a parody of Trevor McDonald).

   

Improbably, both sides of this single got a few spins on John Peel's Radio 1 show in 1981.

John Peel : "A thing of rare beauty … someone told me it was the Beat providing the backing music."

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #2879 on: January 15, 2021, 12:13:37 AM »
Modern English - Move in Light

https://youtu.be/DxgrOG6UlHo



Taken from their debut album, Mesh and Lace.

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