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Related: 1980s

Films: Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980) - Bad Timing (1980) - Cannibal Holocaust (1980) - Deathwatch (1980) - Elephant Man (1980)

Tramonto a New York (1980) - Gaetano Pesce

Dressed to Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma [Amazon.com]

Disco is a Dirty Word

By 1980, disco had become a dirty word. The term was banished from the language as an added security measure [because remember, the disco that Ron and Frankie played was called 'house' even before house was], but the music was exported to England, where it was de-gayed and re-exported to the States under a new name: "new wave dance music." The rock majority was satisfied by the replacement of explicitly gay Sylvester with flamboyantly closeted Boy George. As the playlist segued from "I'm Coming Out" into "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me," the pulverization of the liberal imagination became a political fact. Ronald Reagan was elected president, and the following June, a mysterious new "gay cancer" appeared. - by Peter Braunstein

Adrian Sherwood

In 1980, Adrian Sherwood launches On U Sound records.

Grace Jones [...]

With the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work produced by the noted reggae team of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

Top Dance Twelves

  1. Loose Joints - Is It All Over My Face
  2. Pharoah Sanders - You Got To Have Freedom (started the whole acid jazz thing)
  3. Eddy Grant - Nobody's Got Time (Timewarp)
  4. Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation
  5. Sylvester - I Need You
  6. Ramona Brooks - I Don't Want You Back
  7. Taana Gardner - Work That Body (Levan Remix)
  8. Kinky Foxx - So Different
  9. Sylvia Striplin - Give Me Your Love
  10. First Choice - Breakaway
  11. Gayle Adams - Stretchin' Out
  12. Geraldine Hunt - Can't Fake The Feeling
  13. Trussel - Love Injection
  14. Invisible Man's Band - All Night Thing
  15. Sparkle - Handsome Man (Levan Mix)
  16. Fantastic Aleems - Hooked On Your Love
  17. Edwin Birdsong - Rapper Dapper Snapper
  18. Visage - Fade To Grey
  19. Sharon Redd - Can You Handle It
  20. MFSB - Mysteries Of The World
  21. Chico Hamilton - Magic Fingers
  22. Chaka Khan - Clouds
  23. Two Tons Of Fun - Just Us
  24. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five - Super Rappin' Theme
  25. Brothers Johnson - Stomp
  26. The Fantastic Aleems feat. Leroy Burgess - Hooked On Your Love
  27. Billy Frazier & Friends - Billy Who?
  28. Talking Heads - Born Under Punches
  29. Yello - Bostich
  30. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Riot in Lagos
  31. Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved
  32. High Frequency - Summertime
  33. Richie Havens - Going Back To My Roots

Kurtis Blow (1980) - Kurtis Blow

Kurtis Blow (1980) - Kurtis Blow [Amazon.com]

1. Rappin' Blow, Pt. 2 2. Breaks 3. Way Out West 4. Throughout Your Years 5. Hard Times 6. All I Want in This World (Is to Find That Girl) 7. Takin' Care of Business 8. Christmas Rappin' [*] 9. Breaks [*][Instrumental]

Kurtis Blow, (born Curtis Walker on August 9, 1959), is one of the most influential early rappers and hip hop's first mainstream star. "The Breaks" (1979) is one of hip hop's undisputed classics (basically a catchy disco tune with rapping) and Nas made a new version of Blow's "If I Ruled The World". He was influenced by DJ Hollywood. Bob Dylan appeared on Kurtis Blow's 1986 album "Kingdom Blow".

Blow began his career in New York in the mid-1970s, when he was a breakdancer until switching to DJing and then rapping. He was the first rapper to record a full lengh album on a major label (1980). This occurred after recording "Christmas Rappin", his first single; during this time, "Rappers Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang became the first hit for hip hop. The whole field was derided as a fad, though, and thus there was much resistance to signing Kurtis Blow. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurtis_Blow [Apr 2005]

Remain in Light (1980) - Talking Heads

Remain in Light (1980)- Talking Heads [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Remain in Light is an album by Talking Heads, released on October 8, 1980 . Featuring funky African rhythms, the album became an influential post punk, world music and New Wave recording. Remain in Light uniquely blended African-American, continental African and white American musical forms; Rolling Stone magazine's Ken Tucker noted at the time that there had rarely been "a larger gap between what black and white audiences were listening to". Living Colour's Vernon Reid describes its African polyrhythms: "Instead of alienation turning into dark angst it turns into celebration, the dance".

The music was produced on a multitrack tape machine with variable tape speed. The varispeed feature was indeed used by producer Brian Eno and the players. When David Byrne recorded the vocals to the already recorded rhythm tracks, he sped up the machine considerably. This speed-up was maintained when the mix was transferred to vinyl, and is the source of the nervous feeling. If one plays back the LP at a speed lowered by approximately 20%, the music becomes more expressive and danceable, and the lyrics become understandable, but the sound of the vocals and some instruments become slightly un-natural.

The single "Once in a Lifetime" sold poorly upon its original release but a quirky music video and its presence on the soundtrack to Down and Out in Beverly Hills helped make it a charting single and minor hit in 1986.

The album cover and liner notes were created by the notable graphic designer, Tibor Kalman. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remain_in_Light [Apr 2005]

B-2 Unit (1980) - Ryuichi Sakamoto

B-2 Unit (1980) - Ryuichi Sakamoto [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ryuichi Sakamoto (born January 17, 1952, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese musician, composer, producer and actor.

Sakamoto was a member of the internationally successful Japanese synth-rock/synth J-Pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra. The band charted a British top 20 hit with "Computer Game" in the late 1970s.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's work has been a seminal influence on the acid house and techno movements of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

David Toop writes:

In fact, Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Riot In Lagos" had anticipated Electro's beats and sounds in 1980. (David Toop, 1998)

see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryuichi_Sakamoto

See also: music - Ryuichi Sakamoto - 1980s music

Japanese reissue of the former YMO leader's second solo album, first released in 1980 and featuring XTC's Andy Partridge and British reggae musician/ producer Dennis Bovell.

More CDs

  1. Joy Division - Closer [1 CD, Amazon US]
    In retrospect, the second and final album by this Manchester postpunk band seems to point straight at singer Ian Curtis's suicide, which happened a few months before it was released. The band's reverberating mesh of minor-key lines and Curtis's tremorous bass voice are doomy enough on their own, and attention to the words reveals references to blacker-than-black stories by J.G. Ballard and Joseph Conrad; the void and its terrors were splitting Curtis apart from the inside. "I put my trust in you," he sings, and his voice leaves no doubt that that trust has been betrayed. But the music, grim and powerful as it is, points to the direction the surviving members took as New Order, incorporating the mechanical gravity of club rhythms. --Douglas Wolk for amazon.com [...]

  2. Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation [Amazon US]
    Contains "Love Sensation", which also exists in a superior 12 inch version [...]

  3. Lesson #1 (1980) - Glenn Branca [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Reprint in CD single of the first GLENN BRANCA's EP originally released in 1980 on 99 Records.

    After the experience with the punk bands Theoretical Girls and Statics GLENN BRANCA met the Minimal music and started, with this first production, a carreer that during the 80's will sign a new approach to the Minimal music and in the 90's to become one of the most complex and innovative composers of the American school.

    The band anticipate the ensembles of the 80s, full of guitarists. Here, beside BRANCA we find a second guitar player, Michael Gross, and a rhythmic section formed by Stephen Wischerth on drums, a constant presence in the BRANCA's bands through most of the eighties, F.L. Schroder on bass and a young Anthony Coleman on organ, a musician who collaborated in the following years with John Zorn and some of the most innovative improvisers becoming an important bandleader on his own today.

    The compositions on the CD are two, for a total of 20 minutes. The first one, Lesson No.1 for electric guitar, the title of the CD, is fully inside the Minimalist musical language of the period. A short phrase repeated by the various instruments at regular intervals. The influence of Minimalist vocabulary, in particular of Steve Reich, that has a very high consideration of BRANCA's music, is evident. The second track, Dissonance, is a mixture of the minimalist language with the atmosphere punk. The result is very wild and intense.

    A recording that after more than fifteen years still mantains the original innovative character and strength. --http://www.felmay.it/5032en.html

More films

  1. Alligator (1980) - Lewis Teague
    John Sayles brings as another memorable horror effort that mixes horror and comedy rather effectively. Giant alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows to giant size in the sewers of Chicago. Not finding much food down in the sewer, gator brings his act to the street and begins to make lunch meat of the city's population. Violent flick has a killer pace and never has a dull moment. Beware of the awful sequel though. -- Brandon L. Sites for imdb.com

  2. The Shining (1980) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon US]
    Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is less an adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel than a complete reimagining of it from the inside out. In King's book, the Overlook Hotel is a haunted place that takes possession of its off-season caretaker and provokes him to murderous rage against his wife and young son. Kubrick's movie is an existential Road Runner cartoon (his steadicam scurrying through the hotel's labyrinthine hallways), in which the cavernously empty spaces inside the Overlook mirror the emptiness in the soul of the blocked writer, who's settled in for a long winter's hibernation. As many have pointed out, King's protagonist goes mad, but Kubrick's Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is Looney Tunes from the moment we meet him--all arching eyebrows and mischievous grin. (Both Nicholson and Shelley Duvall reach new levels of hysteria in their performances, driven to extremes by the director's fanatical demands for take after take after take.) The Shining is terrifying--but not in the way fans of the novel might expect. When it was redone as a TV miniseries (reportedly because of King's dissatisfaction with the Kubrick film), the famous topiary-animal attack (which was deemed impossible to film in 1980) was there--but the deeper horror was lost. Kubrick's The Shining gets under your skin and chills your bones; it stays with you, inhabits you, haunts you. And there's no place to hide... --Jim Emerson for amazon;com

  3. Sitting Ducks (1980) - Henry Jaglom [DVD, Amazon US]
    Unruly but comically enterprising, Henry Jaglom's comedy Sitting Ducks is spirited, smart nonsense about a crime syndicate's bookkeeper, Simon (Michael Emil), who runs off with a pile of mob money. An essential Jaglom character, Simon is a born naif with no shortage of skewed observations about the world, crime, sex, and survival. Exhilarated, he takes off with cohort Sidney (Zack Norman) on an escape plan leading, eventually, to Latin America. Inevitably these losers complicate their lives by hooking up with a pair of sexy-neurotic exiles (Patrice Townsend, Irene Forest) who bring added dimension to thejourney. The result is a funny, twitchy, but expansive milestone in the early independent film movement, and timely proof in 1980 that the then-controversial Jaglom really was a talent worth watching. --Tom Keogh for amazon.com

  4. Dressed to Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma [Amazon.com]
    To condemn Dressed to Kill as a Hitchcock rip-off is to miss the sheer enjoyment of Brian De Palma's delirious 1980 thriller. Hitchcockian homages run rampant through most of De Palma's earlier films, and this one's chock-full of visual quotes, mostly cribbed from Vertigo and Psycho. But De Palma's indulgent depravity transcends simple mimicry to assume a vitality all its own. It's smothered in thickly atmospheric obsessions with sex, dread, paranoia, and voyeurism, not to mention a heavy dose of Psycho-like psychobabble about a wannabe transsexual who's compelled to slash up any attractive female who reminds him--the horror!--that he's still very much a man.
    Angie Dickinson plays the sexually unsatisfied, fortysomething wife who's the killer's first target, relaying her sexual fantasies to her psychiatrist (Michael Caine) before actually living one of them out after the film's celebrated cat-and-mouse sequence in a Manhattan art museum. The focus then switches to a murder witness (De Palma's then-girlfriend Nancy Allen) and Dickinson's grieving whiz-kid son (Keith Gordon), who attempt to solve the murder while staying one step ahead (or so they think) of the crude detective (Dennis Franz) assigned to the case. Propelled by Pino Donaggio's lush and stimulating score, De Palma's visuals provide seductive counterpoint to his brashly candid dialogue, and the plot conceals its own implausibility with morbid thrills and intoxicating suspense. If you're not laughing at De Palma's shameless audacity, you're sure to be on the edge of your seat. for amazon.com --Jeff Shannon [...]

  5. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) - Jimmy T. Murakami [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Twenty-first-century science fiction fans accustomed to special-effects orgies like The Matrix may snigger at the quaint, Flash Gordon-like spaceships in Battle Beyond the Stars. But executive producer Roger Corman's belated entry into the '70s sci-fi craze surpasses expectations with sharp performances and a witty script by John Sayles (his third for Corman, including 1978's Piranha). The story, lifted wholesale from Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), finds the dictator Sador (John Saxon) threatening the planet of Akira. Its pacifist inhabitants are no match for Sador's devastating weapon, the Stellar Converter, but young Shad (Richard Thomas) decides to fight back. Borrowing the ship of notorious mercenary Zed the Corsair, he recruits a band of mercenaries, each of whom has a personal reason to join the fight. Among them are a lizard-like humanoid (Morgan Woodward), an improbable space cowboy (George Peppard), a zaftig female warrior (Sybil Danning), and brooding killer-for-hire Gelt (Robert Vaughn, reprising his Magnificent Seven role). Battle's final showdown is somewhat anticlimatic, but the surprisingly stellar cast (which includes Sam Jaffe and Darlanne Fluegel) and the indie spunk of Sayles' script, with its light meditations on death and honor, will charm newcomers and repeat audiences alike. New Concorde's digitally remastered DVD features commentary by Sayles and Terminator 2 producer Gale Anne Hurd, Battle's assistant production manager. Oh, and those spaceships? Designed by Titanic director James Cameron. Still laughing? --Paul Gaita for amazon.com [...]

  6. Altered States (1980) - Ken Russell [Amazon US]
    It's easy to understand why the late, great screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky removed his name from the credits of Altered States and substituted the pseudonym Sidney Aaron. After all, Chayefsky was a revered dramatist whose original source novel was intended as a serious exploration of altered consciousness, inspired by the immersion-tank experiments of Dr. John Lilly in the 1970s. In the hands of maverick director Ken Russell, however, Altered States became a full-on sensory assault, using symbolic imagery and mind- blowing special effects to depict one man's physical and hallucinatory journey through the entire history of human evolution. It's a brazenly silly film redeemed by its intellectual ambition--a dazzling extravaganza that's in love with science and scientists, and eagerly willing to dive off the precipice of rationality to explore uncharted regions of mind, body, and spirit. William Hurt made his bold film debut as the psycho-physiologist who plays guinea pig to his own experiments; Blair Brown plays his equally brilliant wife, whose devotion is just strong enough to bring him back from the most altered state imaginable. From the eternal channels of sense memory to the restorative power of a loving embrace, this movie rocks you to the birth of the universe and back again. And while it's clearly not the story that Chayefsky wanted on the screen, the directorial audacity of Ken Russell makes it one heck of a memorable trip. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com

  7. Spetters (1980) - Paul Verhoeven [Amazon US]
    Paul Verhoeven's story of three dirt bike buddies with motocross dreams in a small Netherlands town is just the kind of working-class soap opera one would expect from the director of Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Conniving fox Renée Soutendijk (The Fourth Man) seduces all three boys in hopes of landing a ride out of her miserable existence selling fried snacks from a gypsy van. At least she's honest about her schemes of escape, and in this predatory world that makes her a prize. Verhoeven's tone is uneven as his melodrama of dirt track glory, casual sex, and small town restlessness bounces into Fassbinder territory with scenes of gay bashing, gang rape, and suicidal despair. Only Verhoeven could pull a happy ending from all of that. Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé make appearances as the dirt bike champion and a self-promoting sportscaster. --Sean Axmaker for amazon.com

  8. Airplane! (1980) - David Zucker, Jerry Zucker [DVD, Amazon US]
    The quintessential movie spoof that spawned an entire genre of parody films, the original Airplane! still holds up as one of the brightest comedic gems of the '80s, not to mention of cinema itself (it ranked in the top 5 of Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 funniest movies ever made). The humor may be low and obvious at times, but the jokes keep coming at a rapid-fire clip and its targets--primarily the lesser lights of '70s cinema, from disco films to star-studded disaster epics--are more than worthy for send-up. If you've seen even one of the overblown Airport movies then you know the plot: the crew of a filled-to-capacity jetliner is wiped out and it's up to a plucky stewardess and a shell-shocked fighter pilot to land the plane. Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty are the heroes who have a history that includes a meet-cute à la Saturday Night Fever, a surf scene right out of From Here to Eternity, a Peace Corps trip to Africa to teach the natives the benefits of Tupperware and basketball, a war-ravaged recovery room with a G.I. who thinks he's Ethel Merman (a hilarious cameo)--and those are just the flashbacks! The jokes gleefully skirt the boundaries of bad taste (pilot Peter Graves to a juvenile cockpit visitor: "Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?"), with the high (low?) point being Hagerty's intimate involvement with the blow-up automatic pilot doll, but they'll have you rolling on the floor. The film launched the careers of collaborators Jim Abrahams (Big Business), David Zucker (Ruthless People), and Jerry Zucker (Ghost), as well as revitalized such B-movie actors as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, who built a second career on films like this. A vital part of any video collection. --Mark Englehart for Amazon.com

  9. Used Cars (1980) - Robert Zemeckis [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    This 1980 film by director Robert Zemeckis gives no indication of things to come in his career (Contact, Forrest Gump), but it is representative of a certain cynical humor he shared early on with writer-partner Bob Gale. Kurt Russell and Jack Warden star in a sketchy comedy about competing used-car salesmen who resort to outrageous tactics to lure customers away from each other. The jokes, like the characters, are intentionally recycled, self-conscious comic fodder from a baby-boomer's lifetime (such as Gale's or Zemeckis's) of immersion in pop culture. That makes Used Cars more pastiche than original (the film's title itself suggests that), but as such it has some good, if vaguely familiar, laughs in it. Russell, particularly, is very funny as a practiced con man. --Tom Keogh for amazon.com [...]


  1. The Third Wave (1980) - Alvin Toffler [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Alvin Toffler's book The Third Wave, published in 1980, used a historical perspective to argue that the transition from an industrial society (the Second Wave) to an information society (the Third Wave) can be best understood by looking back in time to the transition from the agricultural society (the First Wave) to the industrial society. Since then, many writers and futurists have joined in the study of the transition from the manufacturing-orientation of industrial society to the information- and knowledge-orientation of the Third Wave.

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