The Great 80s Project: 1981

For a lot of people, 1981 is a year where the 1980s really found its feet.  It’s a year where fewer things carry a feel of the 70s; it’s a year where the New Romantics and the new wave of synth pop stars dominated the charts.  As well as being a solid year for pop, 1981 also found the New Wave of British Heavy Metal reaching its crescendo.

Adam Ant’s career reached its peak, Phil Collins launched a bid for world domination and Sir Cliff released one of his best singles.  Digging deeper, the year bore great stuff from across the Atlantic, with Rick Springfield making an important leap from syrupy teen idol to power pop god, Minutemen released a genre-bending disc that showed how punk’s energy could be applied to tight funk grooves and The Replacements’ debut LP flaunted a hardcore thrashiness that attempted to challenge Husker Du for the alternative crown.

Join us on a lengthy voyage through the hits, the misses and (hopefully) a few unfamiliar moments from 1981…