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38 tracks from 1981 have been recommended.
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Simply Thrilled Honey  performed by Orange Juice  1981
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

one of a clutch of four almost perfect pop songs released by Scots indie outfit on the Postcard Records label in the early 80s. They went on to be slicker, and mostly remembered for their 1985 hit "Rip It Up". But this is them at their best.

from non-LP single (Postcard Recordings Of Scotland)
available on CD - The Heather's On Fire (Postcard Recordings Of Scotland)



Dreams Never End  performed by New Order  1981
Recommended by Genza [profile]

New Order fans always love Technique. So do I. Some prefer Brotherhand, Lowlife - or the substandard Republic. But for me, there's only one Movement.

Slated by critics for sounding like a doomy post Joy Division clone - the album actually benefits from sharp rhythm guitar and sustained synth chords.

Key moment is the awesome Dreams Never End. The song thrashes around like a caged beast. And it's only brought down by bass player Peter Hook's dreary singing - but hey, I can live with that.

from Movement (Factory Fact 50)



  08 Mar 02 ·delicado: This track is utterly spine-tingling. I like the Technique album, but it really doesn't have the intensity of the best early tracks. It's worth noting that this track sounds instrumentally exactly like mid-80s Cure.
  28 Jan 05 ·zazz: erm.....dreams never end is a masterpiece for the very reason that hookies vocals are in stark contrast ....probably my favourite new order/joy division track...probably an accidental classic.
The Story Of The Blues pts. 1 & 2  performed by The Mighty Wah!  1981
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

A fantastic 8 minute epic from Pete Wylie's overlooked Wah! As part of the crucial three (along with Julian Cope and Ian McCulloch) Wylie deserved to be a superstar, but, alas, fate conspired agaist him. This is the best song in a strong back catalogue, the final four minutes containing some of the most inspiring lyrics in pop history.

from The Maverick Years
available on CD - The Maverick Years ... and then some! (Sanctuary Records Group)



  31 Aug 02 ·john_l: It is a great song, although I much prefer the sung first half, which has a lovely melody, to the spoken second half. He does have a wonderfully smooth and soulful voice.
Ghost on the Highway  performed by The Gun Club  1981
Recommended by popgoestheculture [profile]

I don't know if Jeffery Lee Peirce was a genius, but I find this song and album to be. ;)

from Fire of Love, available on CD



  30 Sep 04 ·TippyCanoe: Fyi---Long Gone John at Sympathy For the Record Industry is a fool for the Gun Club, too. He is about to re-release two or three of their early records.
White Car in Germany  performed by The Associates  1981
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

Post-punk "pop" at its most gorgeous/baroque/bewilderingly extreme - and the perfect introduction to the God-like genius of Alan Rankine and the late/great singer Billy Mackenzie. A four car-pile-up between Roxy Music (circa "For Your Pleasure"), Bowie (circa "Heroes"), Scott Walker's "Scott 3" and Kraftwerk's "The Man Machine", (with King Tubby and Shirley Bassey acting as ambulance attendants), this song is both empty and lush, creepy and hilarious, ice-cold and almost embarrassingly emotional. I have loved/lived/died by this song for almost two decades, and I still can't begin to tell you what its about. It's like something from outer space - like so many of the greatest pop songs are.

from The Fourth Drawer Down (Situation Two)
available on CD - From The Fourth Drawer Down (V2)


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