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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #1 Super Freak


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36. AC/DC “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” (from For Those About to Rock We Salute You

https://youtu.be/8fPf6L0XNvM

For 40 years AC/DC has closed their live shows with this song and the roar of cannon. It may not be their best ever tune but it’s certainly one of their most epic. The live video I linked is absolutely legendary. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #36 For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
2 hours ago, Kal El said:

That’s one of their more fun songs, because who doesn’t like hearing cannons at a rock show?

I am probably totally off here, but I remember hearing something way back then about a cannon being fired, but making no sound. That it had some sort of Satanic symbolism or something like that. You can see it here in the original video (5:18 mark).

Probably nothing, but I like to remember it that way. :devil:

Edited by zamboni
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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #35 Don’t You Want Me

And just like that, the list is back on track for me.  Just love the sound of the guitars in AC/DC.  Malcom and Angus found the sound and kept at it for decades.  Smart move.  Don’t You Want Me is really catchy.  What a gift to be able to write songs with a hook.  

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #34 Spellbound

34. Siouxie and the Banshees “Spellbound” (from Juju)

https://youtu.be/TjvvK-Rj0WI

Goth made its presence known in 1981 with this band, and also Bauhaus and The Cure (both of whom released pretty good albums that year but without any songs quite good enough for this list.) One of the most underrated guitarists of the 80s was John McGeogh of the Banshees; “Spellbound” features some of his best, most intricate work. 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

34. Siouxie and the Banshees “Spellbound” (from Juju)

https://youtu.be/TjvvK-Rj0WI

Goth made its presence known in 1981 with this band, and also Bauhaus and The Cure (both of whom released pretty good albums that year but without any songs quite good enough for this list.) One of the most underrated guitarists of the 80s was John McGeogh of the Banshees; “Spellbound” features some of his best, most intricate work. 

Great tune. More than makes up for Leader Of The Band.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #33 Burnin’ For You

33. Blue Oyster Cult “Burnin’ For You” (from Fire of Unknown Origin

https://youtu.be/ipqqEFoJPL4

This was to be BOC’s only top 40 hit other than their classic “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. The lyrics were written by rock critic Richard Meltzer, not an official member of the band. 
I’ve always loved this song. It’s unremarkable, straightforward rock and roll, and yet there’s something about it that makes it still memorable and worth listening to 40 years later. 

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

33. Blue Oyster Cult “Burnin’ For You” (from Fire of Unknown Origin

It's a subtle thing, and maybe not the cleanest technique ... but I always thought Buck Dharma's string scraping sounded kinda cool on this track.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #32. I Love Rock ‘N Roll

32. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” (from I Love Rock ‘N Roll

https://youtu.be/d9jhDwxt22Y

After a stint in The Runaways (Ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb!!) and scoring a post punk radio hit on her debut solo effort with “Bad Reputation”, Joan Jett achieved stardom in late 1981 with this cover of an obscure song by an obscure 70s band (The Arrows). While it was a cleaner sound for Jett, it was still much more raw than anything appearing in the top 40 at that time. 

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15 minutes ago, timschochet said:

32. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” (from I Love Rock ‘N Roll

https://youtu.be/d9jhDwxt22Y

After a stint in The Runaways (Ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb!!) and scoring a post punk radio hit on her debut solo effort with “Bad Reputation”, Joan Jett achieved stardom in late 1981 with this cover of an obscure song by an obscure 70s band (The Arrows). While it was a cleaner sound for Jett, it was still much more raw than anything appearing in the top 40 at that time. 

I would have guessed this would be top 10. 

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If I had to list songs that I have heard the most that I have never owned in any format (CD, album, mp3, etc.) or never intentionally turned on to listen to, I Love Rock & Roll might be number 1 on the list.  

Edited by Ghost Rider
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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

32. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” (from I Love Rock ‘N Roll

https://youtu.be/d9jhDwxt22Y

After a stint in The Runaways (Ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb!!) and scoring a post punk radio hit on her debut solo effort with “Bad Reputation”, Joan Jett achieved stardom in late 1981 with this cover of an obscure song by an obscure 70s band (The Arrows). While it was a cleaner sound for Jett, it was still much more raw than anything appearing in the top 40 at that time. 

Had this on a 45 and loved it as a kid, but this just doesn't seem to have aged well.  I wouldn't care if I never heard it again.

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34 minutes ago, shuke said:

Had this on a 45 and loved it as a kid, but this just doesn't seem to have aged well.  I wouldn't care if I never heard it again.

Throw away and forgettable. All the edge and interest of Bad Reputation sanitized away.

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15 hours ago, timschochet said:

Blue Oyster Cult “Burnin’ For You

You are picking off everything.  Great tune.

15 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

Man, I thought that song was from like '75 or something.

Exactly why I thought Tim would accidentally miss it and leave it for my next -100 list.  

Not going to be much left at the top of my list unless I get creative.

Edited by Bracie Smathers
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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #31 Abacab

31. Genesis “Abacab” (from Abacab

https://youtu.be/QbjfesCI254

The word “Abacab” is meaningless; it’s derived from the chord structure of the melody. Nonetheless this is a terrific rock song, among their best of this era. I also personally think it represents the best ever vocals by Collins- he really shows off some power here. 

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I graduated HS in 1983 so this is right in my wheelhouse. Props to @timschochetfor putting it together. I check it ever day to relive a little bit of my misspent youth.

That said, and no knock on the thread or it's purpose, but some of this music was so bad. We were coming out of the disco era, technology was working it's way into more music and the old icons that were birthed in the 60's were labeled old & out of touch by now. Temper all that with my love for Led Zeppelin & big hair bands that were starting to find their footing during this period and you can see were my bias lies. It was a rough couple of years for me when Men At Work dominated the airwaves :lmao:

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47 minutes ago, beer 30 said:

I graduated HS in 1983 so this is right in my wheelhouse. Props to @timschochetfor putting it together. I check it ever day to relive a little bit of my misspent youth.

That said, and no knock on the thread or it's purpose, but some of this music was so bad. We were coming out of the disco era, technology was working it's way into more music and the old icons that were birthed in the 60's were labeled old & out of touch by now. Temper all that with my love for Led Zeppelin & big hair bands that were starting to find their footing during this period and you can see were my bias lies. It was a rough couple of years for me when Men At Work dominated the airwaves :lmao:

Its definitely true that many of these songs don’t seem to have the staying power of other years I’ve done like 1969 or 1971 (I’m going to have to do 1970 pretty soon!). Those were legendary years for music; 1981 isn’t that. 
And yet if you lived through it, as you and I did (I also graduated in 83) there is a nostalgic element, even for the more cheesy stuff (Perhaps especially for the cheesy stuff!) I’m with @Ghost Rider when he wrote, for example, that “I Love Rock N Roll” is a song he would never own in any capacity. But I love discussing it here. 

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I will also add that it seems to me that 1981 was around the time that a great divide began among us young, white connoisseurs of popular music: those who gravitated towards New Wave and alternative music, and those who stuck with classic rock and progressive rock. The two groups began to dress differently, talk differently, listen to different radio stations. Musically they had little in common. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #30 Promises In the Dark
6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

30. Pat Benatar “Promises In the Dark” (from Precious Time

https://youtu.be/7qUFZwJb9GA

Probably my favorite song by her; I go back and forth between this one and “We Belong”. But she sings this ballad with such incredible passion. It’s her raw emotion that gives her vocals such power. A timeless classic. 

my most-watched video ever, cuz i wanted see Benatar's butt & li'l puppies innat jumpsuit and my gf @ the time wanted to see Geraldo's arms, hair & baby blues. truly underrated guitar solo -

 

ETA: dang! now ima be watching that vid all day...................................

Edited by wikkidpissah
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Just now, wikkidpissah said:

my most-watched video ever, cuz i wanted see Benatar's butt & li'l puppies innat jumpsuit and my gf @ the time wanted to see Geraldo's arms & hair. truly underrated guitar solo -

Yeah I should have mentioned that solo. He’s a great guitarist no question. 

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

30. Pat Benatar “Promises In the Dark” (from Precious Time

https://youtu.be/7qUFZwJb9GA

Probably my favorite song by her; I go back and forth between this one and “We Belong”. But she sings this ballad with such incredible passion. It’s her raw emotion that gives her vocals such power. A timeless classic. 

Also should correct this. It’s not really a ballad. This is a hard rock jam song. 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:
4 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

 i wanted see Benatar's butt & li'l puppies innat jumpsuit 

Yeah I should have mentioned that solo...

You should have mentioned Benatar's butt and that skin tight jumpsuit.  Locked into 1981 memories.

Edited by Bracie Smathers
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38 minutes ago, timschochet said:

30. Pat Benatar “Promises In the Dark” (from Precious Time

https://youtu.be/7qUFZwJb9GA

Probably my favorite song by her; I go back and forth between this one and “We Belong”. But she sings this ballad with such incredible passion. It’s her raw emotion that gives her vocals such power. A timeless classic. 

All Fired Up and We Belong come before this one for me but they're all good

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

I will also add that it seems to me that 1981 was around the time that a great divide began among us young, white connoisseurs of popular music: those who gravitated towards New Wave and alternative music, and those who stuck with classic rock and progressive rock. The two groups began to dress differently, talk differently, listen to different radio stations. Musically they had little in common. 

Probably the biggest music change was AM pop radio was really dying out.  FM music radio was more format-driven.

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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

my most-watched video ever, cuz i wanted see Benatar's butt & li'l puppies innat jumpsuit and my gf @ the time wanted to see Geraldo's arms, hair & baby blues. truly underrated guitar solo -

 

ETA: dang! now ima be watching that vid all day...................................

There were some pretty hot rockers back in that era - Benetar, Blondie, Joan Jett, the Wilson sisters for starters.  

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28 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Probably the biggest music change was AM pop radio was really dying out.  FM music radio was more format-driven.

There are still a few hold out AM stations playing everything that was big back then, but you are correct.  It used to be awesome to hear a Carpenters song followed up by something by Hendrix. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #29 Woody and Dutch On the Slow Train to Peking

29. Rickie Lee Jones “Woody and Dutch On the Slow Train to Peking” (from Pirates

https://youtu.be/qhBgGwr_Ktg

Jones’ second album was better than her first, and this was the most outstanding song, a tribute to 50s doowap featuring Steve Gadd on drums and one of the all time classic bass performances ever by the legendary Chuck Rainey. 

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #1 Super Freak

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