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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #1 Super Freak


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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #19 In The Air Tonight
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86. The Kinks “Destroyer” (from Give the People What They Want)  https://youtu.be/_WJ6FbcWYRU The Kinks were actually a pretty good 80s band, as Ray Davies still had some songwriting chops l

67. Journey “Stone In Love” (from Escape)  https://youtu.be/kFqXFE8OSG4 Sorry @wikkidpissah there’s going to be a few more standard type rockers coming up here. What can I say? They were big i

44. Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (from Bella Donna)  https://youtu.be/H5i7j0VhEHw The music to this song was written by Mike Campbell (l

2 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

One of the two or three most iconic drum fills ever. 

It’s great. 
What makes me sad is that he went from stuff like this and “Man on the Corner” to the music he released only a few short years later, which I couldn’t ever stand. 

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49 minutes ago, timschochet said:

19. Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” (from Face Value

https://youtu.be/YkADj0TPrJA

Probably the best song of Phil Collins’ long career. It’s also one of the most famous videos ever to appear on MTV, and I hate it (the video, not the song.) It’s as annoying as hell. I just want to punch that ghostly face. 

The urban legends surrounding the lyrics are timeless. 

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58 minutes ago, timschochet said:

19. Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” (from Face Value

https://youtu.be/YkADj0TPrJA

Probably the best song of Phil Collins’ long career. It’s also one of the most famous videos ever to appear on MTV, and I hate it (the video, not the song.) It’s as annoying as hell. I just want to punch that ghostly face. 

Apparently, Ahmet Ertegan used to play it for newly signed artists and tell them that their goal should be to create something like it.

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2 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Growing up with hippie kids turned you to punk/new wave? 😆

I don't think a single post has ever gotten to my roots so well.

The Dead were everywhere...literally. band members, their kids, the music- I never liked the music, and couldn't escape it. I was surrounded by all the hippies who had come to the area in 68 and taken root. Never had a problem with them- just always was drawn to rhythm and hooks more than endless jam-melodies. I played piano/keyboard too, so new wavey synth stuff appealed, as well as most of the post-punk stuff. I've only come around to punk straight up as an adult.

1 hour ago, Apple Jack said:

Bolinas is one of a kind.

A magical place with some magical people. Was just explaining it to some colleagues here in nyc...combo of really dumb but earnest hippies living off the land, intellectual creatives- musicians, writers, filmmakers, artists, and whackadoodle super intellectuals (a friend's dad was a nuclear physicist who had painstakingly charted prevailing winds and geological maps to figure out the closest, optimal place to live near SF where when the atomic blasts take it out, is still safe). I knew a guy named Heironymus and twins named Raspberry and Cream from there, as well as a couple of my better friends. You always knew the bobo kids were going to have the best pot (grown by their whackaddodle scientist parents)

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #18 Don’t Stop Believin’

18. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’” (from Escape

https://youtu.be/1k8craCGpgs

My oldest daughter was in 8th grade band. They were absolutely dreadful and they played this song over and over. In fact, we have the Huntington Beach Marathon here, and my daughter and her band serenaded them as they ran past- I’m sure it speeded them up, exhausted as they were, to run by as fast as possible. 
I have no other thoughts about this. 

 

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I thought this would be number 1 or 2, especially since this, unbelievably, is now in the conversation for most popular rock song ever.  It used to probably be Stairway to Heaven, but Don't Stop Believin' and Bohemian Rhapsody have probably both surpassed it in recent years.

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The last 3 have been played to death to the extent I have no interest in hearing them anymore - like change the channel when they come on because I'm bored with them. I suppose that's a testament to their popularity.

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On 3/12/2021 at 11:13 AM, zamboni said:

I liked the later short-lived effort by the Setzer-less Stray Cats, with Earl Slick replacing Brian on guitar (Lee Rocker on vocals).

Phantom, Rocker & Slick - “Men Without Shame”

this somehow makes Brian Setzer palatable.

I feel about Stray Cats the way @wikkidpissah feels about Rush.  

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2 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

this somehow makes Brian Setzer palatable.

I feel about Stray Cats the way @wikkidpissah feels about Rush.  

I remember in 6th grade (1982-83) being a bit annoyed by my classmates being so gung-ho over the Stray Cats and Men at Work when I was more interested in the Who and the Stones. But I don't feel strongly about them either way at this point. 

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Just now, Pip's Invitation said:

I remember in 6th grade (1982-83) being a bit annoyed by my classmates being so gung-ho over the Stray Cats and Men at Work when I was more interested in the Who and the Stones. But I don't feel strongly about them either way at this point. 

knuckleheads ...hoi polloi

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34 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I thought this would be number 1 or 2

Ditto. Amazing what an appearance on a TV show about a glee club did for that song. 

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25 minutes ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Ditto. Amazing what an appearance on a TV show about a glee club did for that song. 

This may have caused the biggest spike in popularity, but the song was used in the series finale of The Sopranos. It was also featured at Detroit Red Wings home games and in the Broadway play/movie "Rock of Ages". At times the song seemed to be everywhere.

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10 minutes ago, northern exposure said:

This may have caused the biggest spike in popularity, but the song was used in the series finale of The Sopranos. It was also featured at Detroit Red Wings home games and in the Broadway play/movie "Rock of Ages". At times the song seemed to be everywhere.

SF Giants home games, too

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21 hours ago, timschochet said:

20. Rush “Limelight” (from Moving Pictures

https://youtu.be/ZiRuj2_czzw

 

I’ve stated in other threads, but the site of this video was the famous, and now defunct, Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec. Rush recorded a lot there and a few other videos from Moving Pictures (one of which may still appear in this countdown) were also filmed there. A Police song from this year was also recorded there as was a video from a few years earlier by thread MVP April Wine.

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On 3/12/2021 at 12:13 PM, zamboni said:

I liked the later short-lived effort by the Setzer-less Stray Cats, with Earl Slick replacing Brian on guitar (Lee Rocker on vocals).

Phantom, Rocker & Slick - “Men Without Shame”

I don't know what to make of this.  This really caught me off guard, but I think I like it.  Didn't expect the neon and spandex.  If there is a Spinal Tap II, it could be this.

OK, I'm in.

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16 minutes ago, northern exposure said:

This may have caused the biggest spike in popularity, but the song was used in the series finale of The Sopranos. It was also featured at Detroit Red Wings home games and in the Broadway play/movie "Rock of Ages". At times the song seemed to be everywhere.

ETA - My nephews are in what is referred to as a Melodic Death Metal band. They are in their 20s and when this song was played at a pre-COVID wedding, they were loving every minute of it. In fact, they asked the DJ to repeat the song later in the evening.

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3 minutes ago, FairWarning said:
On 3/12/2021 at 12:13 PM, zamboni said:

I liked the later short-lived effort by the Setzer-less Stray Cats, with Earl Slick replacing Brian on guitar (Lee Rocker on vocals).

Phantom, Rocker & Slick - “Men Without Shame”

I don't know what to make of this

I’d aim for a hat, a brooch or a pterodactyl.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #17. Stray Cat Strut
17 minutes ago, timschochet said:

17. The Stray Cats “Stray Cat Strut” (from The Stray Cats

https://youtu.be/vEtbfzMLVWU

An all time rockabilly classic by the era’s greatest retro band. That guitar solo by Setzer in this song is simply awesome. But the entire song is almost flawless in its presentation. 

I’ve always really liked this tune - much more than Rock This Town. And agree on Setzer’s solo and tone here - good stuff.

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I loved this song like crazy back in the day. I still like it, but this was one of the videos that was in regular rotation on MTV when we first got cable TV, so it will always take me back to being 7 years old again. :cool: 

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14 hours ago, timschochet said:

Journey “Don’t Stop Believin

Didn't realize how big this song had gotten.  Its arigh... but ah...

Used to tease one of the guys we hung with in high school because he liked Journey so the success this song had surprised me.  When I was a disc jockey I used to play THIS two-song combo by Journey and think that is the best from Journey.

9 hours ago, timschochet said:

The Stray Cats “Stray Cat Strut

LOVED the Stray Cats.  Blew my doors off first time I heard this one. 

Could have sworn that I heard an interview back in the 80s with a rocker like Dave Edmonds or someone of that ilk who claimed to have written the tune and sat on it waiting for a group like the Cats who were a better vehicle for the song but can't track down that story anywhere. 

In any case the Cats, Setzer's pompadour, with the guitar solo (the October 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine, Brian Setzer's solo from "Stray Cat Strut" ranked No. 92 on the "Top 100 Guitar Solos of All Time" list.) in this tune are rock and roll perfection.  

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3 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Didn't realize how big this song had gotten.  Its arigh... but ah...

Used to tease one of the guys we hung with in high school because he liked Journey so the success this song had surprised me.  When I was a disc jockey I used to play THIS two-song combo by Journey and think that is the best from Journey.

LOVED the Stray Cats.  Blew my doors off first time I heard this one. 

Could have sworn that I heard an interview back in the 80s with a rocker like Dave Edmonds or someone of that ilk who claimed to have written the tune and sat on it waiting for a group like the Cats who were a better vehicle for the song but can't track down that story anywhere. 

In any case the Cats, Setzer's pompadour, with the guitar solo (the October 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine, Brian Setzer's solo from "Stray Cat Strut" ranked No. 92 on the "Top 100 Guitar Solos of All Time" list.) in this tune are rock and roll perfection.  

Edmunds produced the track but the writing credit is Setzer. 

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16 minutes ago, Pip's Invitation said:
3 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Didn't realize how big this song had gotten.  Its arigh... but ah...

Used to tease one of the guys we hung with in high school because he liked Journey so the success this song had surprised me.  When I was a disc jockey I used to play THIS two-song combo by Journey and think that is the best from Journey.

LOVED the Stray Cats.  Blew my doors off first time I heard this one. 

Could have sworn that I heard an interview back in the 80s with a rocker like Dave Edmonds or someone of that ilk who claimed to have written the tune and sat on it waiting for a group like the Cats who were a better vehicle for the song but can't track down that story anywhere. 

In any case the Cats, Setzer's pompadour, with the guitar solo (the October 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine, Brian Setzer's solo from "Stray Cat Strut" ranked No. 92 on the "Top 100 Guitar Solos of All Time" list.) in this tune are rock and roll perfection.  

Edmunds produced the track but the writing credit is Setzer. 

There was no way Dave was slipping away from that tune.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #16. Start Me Up
1 hour ago, timschochet said:

16. The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” (from Tattoo You

https://youtu.be/SGyOaCXr8Lw

The last truly great Stones song, with a classic opening guitar riff. It’s anthemic, meant to be played loud. I’ve always loved the video too. 

run, krista, run!!!!

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15 hours ago, timschochet said:

17. The Stray Cats “Stray Cat Strut” (from The Stray Cats

https://youtu.be/vEtbfzMLVWU

An all time rockabilly classic by the era’s greatest retro band. That guitar solo by Setzer in this song is simply awesome. But the entire song is almost flawless in its presentation. 

The Cats were so popular you could get a fake tattoo of a cat and pompadour -- The Stray Cat -- at carnies everywhere in rural CT/MA back around this time.

I know. I think I got one. :bag: Man, those cats.

They are still a darn fine band in my estimation to this day, Setzer's swing career notwithstanding. Setzer hits all the poor white boy checkmarks. Rock, check. Rockabilly, check. Texas and Western guitar-style swing, check, and with a heapin' helpin of sassafrass jazz. Guy's a do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades, crazy tomcat.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

16. The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” (from Tattoo You

https://youtu.be/SGyOaCXr8Lw

The last truly great Stones song, with a classic opening guitar riff. It’s anthemic, meant to be played loud. I’ve always loved the video too. 

Making a dead man come is wrong on so many levels.

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30 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Why, does @krista4 hate this song? 

her kid view of the vid, with ol boneyass lipflab wavin his finger & syllablather at the camera, is 103% of why she's such a big Beatles fan

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4 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

her kid view of the vid, with ol boneyass lipflab wavin his finger & syllablather at the camera, is 103% of why she's such a big Beatles fan

Yeah, his chicken clucking gyrations here are a bit much even for him.

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10 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:
2 hours ago, timschochet said:

The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up

THIS was the quintessential song of 81.  May even have been the #1 Billboard top 100 tune.  

Without looking it up, I think that title belongs to Physical.

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22 minutes ago, Navin Johnson said:
1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Without looking it up, I think that title belongs to Physical.

Bette Davis Eyes

Right - good call.

ETA: Physical was 1982 because it was released later in 1981.

Edited by zamboni
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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Without looking it up, I think that title belongs to Physical.

Holy crap.

Not single song from the Stones made the list.

Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1981

I have no idea how that is possible.  I have to imagine Tatoo You came out later in the year or they have an OAR hot-100 list because Start Me Up was a ubiquitous tune whenever we were cruising around.

Nope.  Not on 82's hot-100 either.  Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1982

At least waiting on a friend cracked the list at #94.  Wow.

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14 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Holy crap.

Not single song from the Stones made the list.

Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1981

I have no idea how that is possible.  I have to imagine Tatoo You came out later in the year or they have an OAR hot-100 list because Start Me Up was a ubiquitous tune whenever we were cruising around.

Nope.  Not on 82's hot-100 either.  Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1982

At least waiting on a friend cracked the list at #94.  Wow.

There is no year you can pull up of the Billboard Hot 100 where you will say, man, what great music!

It's the reflection of the stuff that appeals to the widest spectrum of people. It's always ####. 

*Theme  from Greatest American Hero at #11 is a great snapshot of 1981 musical purgatory. 

There is great music in 1981, obviously. There's great music every year. But when it was bad, ohhhh baby. 

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10 minutes ago, Navin Johnson said:
43 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Right - good call.

ETA: Physical was 1982 because it was released later in 1981.

To be fair, I knew it but wasn't sure enough about it without looking it up before posting.

BDE was number one for 9 weeks, Physical for 10, so it would have been a tight race for number one overall had they both peaked in 1981.

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  • timschochet changed the title to The 100 Greatest Songs of 1981 #15 Centerfold

15. J Geils Band “Centerfold” (from Freeze Frame

https://youtu.be/BqDjMZKf-wg

Peter Wolf and company had been around a long time before 1981 but it took MTV and this hilarious tune to turn them into huge stars for a short while. Yes the video has a bunch of scantily clad women in it but Wolf’s personality (and dancing skills) also feature; plus its a very catchy song. 

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

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