In August of 1980 UB40 released their debut album.
Robert Christgau –
“Eight black-and-whites from Birmingham who named themselves after the dole card they know so well, they don’t play no ska–they’re songsmiths in a deep reggae groove. They take their time instead of pressing on to the next one, and more than one instrumental outwears its welcome.”
Let’s talk UB40, Signing Off!
In September of 1980 Tom Waits released his 7th studio album.
Why it’s in here when Swordfish Trombones is just three short years away, who knows?
Let’s talk Tom Waits, Heartattack and Vine!
In late November of 1980 The Jam released their 5th studio album.
Taking musical cues from many post-punk luminaries including Gang of Four, Joy Division, and Wire, with drummer Rick Buckler paying special attention to the drums on Off the Wall.
It is The Jam’s crowning achievement and truly one for the book.
Lets talk The Jam, Sound Affects!
In April of 1980, The Undertones released their second album.
Recorded at both Wisseloord Studios in The Netherlands and Eden Studios in London over the course of two months, the band cranked out more of the same material that endeared them so well to John Peel.
Lets talk The Undertones, Hypnotised!
In April of 1980 Iron Maiden released their debut studio album.
Recorded at Kingsway Studio the previous December, the album is a shot across the bow for heavy music. With breakneck speeds, ferocious riffs, anthemic melodies, and the dulcet tones of original singer Paul Di’Anno, the album heralded the arrival of The British New Wave of Heavy Metal.
Let’s talk Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden!
In July of 1980 Joy Division released their final studio album.
Once again produced by Martin Hannett but released two month after the tragic passing of lead singer, Ian Curtis, the album represents a high watermark of the post-punk genre.
Lets talk Joy Division, Closer!
In October of 1980 Talking Heads released their 4th studio album.
With Brian Eno back at the helm, the band continues their trajectory as the best group to come out of the CBGB’s scene, and the album deserves every accolade that has been thrown at it.
Lets talk Talking Heads, Remain in Light!
In October of 1980 Circle Jerks released their debut album.
With fourteen songs clocking in at just over fifteen minutes, the album is a true classic of the hardcore punk genre.
Let’s talk Circle Jerks, Group Sex!
In April of 1980, known hellbent for leather Turbo Lovers, Judas Priest, released their 6th studio album.
Taking lyrical cues from AC/DC this time around, the band dropped some of the darker themes featured on their earlier releases, opting for a more party time feel.
The record announced the arrival of The New Wave of British Heavy Metal and would help inspire the thrash metal genre of a few years later.
Lets talk Judas Priest, British Steel!
In October of 1980 Killing Joke released their debut album.
“Bass, lead, to tell the killing joke, we mean it man! Total exploitation, no information, anonymity” was the rallying cry posted in Melodie Maker Magazine by keyboardist/singer Jaz Coleman and drummer Paul Fergeson in 1979. With the addition of guitarist Geordie Walker and bassist Youth, the band headed into the studio in August of 1980.
Recorded at Marquee Studios in London and self-produced by the band, the album trail-blazed a sound that the Chicago indie scene of 5 years later would owe a true debt.
Lets talk Killing Joke, Killing Joke!
In November of 1980 Motörhead released their fourth studio album.
Recorded in August and September of the same year, the illustrious producer Vic Maile managed to capture the raw power of the trio all while tightening up their sound.
Though the band hated being lumped into The New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the record is a true watershed moment where the fury of punk and the speed of metal were fused together by one of the best rock n roll bands around.
Lets talk Motörhead – Ace of Spades!
In July of 1980 Echo & the Bunnymen released their debut album.
Recorded over the course of about three weeks and produced by Bill Drummond, David Balfe, and Ian Broudie, the album is considered one of the finer debut records in the 80s.
Let’s talk Echo & the Bunnymen, Crocodiles!
In April of 1980 known sad bois from West Sussex, The Cure, released their second studio album.
Due to being cash strapped, the record was recorded and mixed down in seven days with the band pulling 16 – 17 hour per, with the majority of the songs being conceived and written by lead singer Robert Smith in his parent’s house on a Hammond organ.
The album has gone on to be considered a pioneering example of gothic rock and an harbinger of the gloom to come.
Lets talk The Cure, Seventeen Seconds!
On June 28th of 1980 The Soft Boys released their 2nd studio album.
Recorded in parts during June of 79, and from January to June of 80 on both 4 and 8 track recorders for the low price of £600, the album hearkens back to the psychedelia of the 60s but with its feet firmly planted in the post-punk of it’s day.
Though not a commercial success upon it’s release,the album’s influence and legacy cannot be overstated (we see you, R.E.M).
Lets talk The Soft Boys, Underwater Moonlight!
In May of 1980, former Genesis alum Peter Gabriel released his third self-titled record.
Known by informally as Melt, (due to the altered Polaroid photo of Gabriel with half of his face melting off) the album became his first commercial breakthrough as a solo artist, showing him to be a true innovator and one of the finest musical artists of his day.
Let’s talk Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel!
In September of 1980 The Dead Kennedys released their debut album.
The stench of Reagan looms on the horizon, Jerry Brown is coming for your uncool niece, Harvey Milk’s assassin only gets 7 years in prison (but serves less than that) and the threat of global nuclear holocaust is at an all time high, whats a bunch of angry leftist punks to do?
Write a masterpiece of American Hardcore, that’s what.
Lets talk The Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables!
In 1980, The Cramps released their debut studio album.
Let’s talk The Cramps, The Songs the Lord Taught Us!
In July of 1980 AC/DC released their 7th studio album.
Following the tragic passing of front-man Bon Scott in February, the band decided to keep on going and brought on Brian Johnson as the new singer.
With Mutt Lange back as engineer, they defied all the odds by making one of the definitive rock albums of the 80s that would eventually go on to be certified 25x platinum stateside.
Let’s talk AC/DC, Back in Black!
In July of 1980 Dexys Midnight Runners released their debut album.
After disbanding his punk band, Kevin Rowland had a vision; to combine the urgency of punk rock with the Northern Soul scene. To quote Kevin himself:
“I’m going to do what I really want to do: form a great group. We’ll wear great clothes and make soulful music.”
Two outta three ain’t bad.
Let’s talk Dexys Midnight Runners, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels!
In November 1980 Adam & The Ants released their second studio album.
After getting his backing band stolen from him by Malcolm McLaren to form Bow Wow Wow, Adam went back into the studio armed with one Marc Pirroni on guitar and as a new writing partner.
The results? The pirate look became a very real thing in 1981.
Let’s talk Adam & the Ants, Kings of the Wild Frontier!
In October of 1979 The Specials released their debut album.
Produced by Elvis Costello and released on keyboardist Jerry Dammers 2 tone record label, the album was an anti-racist shot across the bow for disaffected youth in England, just as the country’s ugly right-wing turn and rise of Thatcher were taking hold.
Let’s talk The Specials, The Specials!
In September of 1979 Gary Numan released his debut solo album.
By the time Tubeway Army had released Replicas but before it hit #1 on the UK album charts, Numan had dropped the electric guitar all together, hired drummer Cedric Sharpley and keyboardist Chris Payne, and got started recording under his stage name.
Released just six months after Replicas, it would prove to be his second #1 UK album in the same year.
Let’s talk Gary Numan, The Pleasure Principle!
In November of 1979 The Damned released their third studio album.
The album is the first with the new lineup after the ouster of Brian James and Lu Edmunds. Dave Vanian is still on vocals, Captain Sensible now on the guitar, Rat Scabbies is back on drums and the new kid on the block, Algy Ward, taking up bass guitar.
We think its great.
Lets talk The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette!
In August of 1979, Michael Jackson released his 5th studio album.
It was the first album released for Jackson on Epic following his departure from Motown. The album is also the first with Quincy Jones at the helm, whom Jackson had met on the film set of The Wiz.
It is considered a classic of the disco era and possibly his greatest record.
Let’s talk Michael Jackson, Off the Wall!