1001 Albums Book: 1981

It’s been ten days so it’s a ten year jump forward since the last post about this book. Way less albums this year to listen to this time, is that 18 as the grand total for 81? Let’s just get on with it now so that’s my quickest intro ever over!

Kollaps by Einstürzende Neubauten: What away to start the year, I haven’t raved on about how much I love this band on my blog for a little while now. Pity it’s the one and only album by these German nutcases in this book but I know and love this band so well. This one is the debut album by them but totally love just about every album they have released so off course I’m going to recommend it to you.

Juju by Siouxsie & The Banshees: This album sounds really boring to me or like a wet blanket landing after the unbelievable creative on the last album. Maybe I shouldn’t compare the albums but a lot of people put these two acts together, you know every Goths I knew loved both bands but to me this sound piss weak compare to insane genius of the last album by EN.

Penthouse and Pavement by Heaven 17: It’s amazing how somethings sound so dated and awful, so stuck in the time it was made like this album and others at the very same time can somehow just sound still so flesh or something but NOT this!

Beauty and The Beat by The Go-Go’s: This is like pop-punk band ten years before Green Day and Blink-182 or whatever, 11 songs in 35 mins. of perfection. Also the one and only Belinda Carlisle album in the book, unfair I love her solo stuff anyway it’s got to be second highly reco by me today.

No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith by Motörhead: Amazingly the only metal album for this year but it could be the best and one hell of a live album. Now most likely Motörhead were a better live act than any studio albums they released but I never got to see them live and with both Lemmy and Animal no longer with us so not going to happen now.

Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret by Soft Cell: Three great LPs in a row but totally different acts from the early 80’s. I can’t believe Sex Dwarf was released as a single back then too! It’s all just total pure genius of synth-pop and yeah my fourth reco for this post.

Architecture & Morality by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Nowhere near as cool or wicked as Soft Cell but it’s more synth-pop music if you like that kind-of stuff and want more to listen too. It’s way more mellow but I’m pasting this one it’s a bit boring really.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts by Brian Eno & David Byrne: Two of the biggest names together on one album but I didn’t really like any of it at all, can’t name one song that I like better than the other because it seem some what to flow as one big long song.

Damaged by Black Flag: American west coast punk and one of the greatest, still one of the harshest punks even today too. If you’ve not heard it just listen to it right now, my fifth reco for you now and I would say the second best album from 81 after Kollaps.

Wild Gift by X: This is another American west punk band but I like the Aussie punk band called X way best and this don’t ever sound real punk after Damaged it sound like lame rock music and no wondering I never like them after this.

Talk Talk Talk by The Psychedelic Furs: This album is most well because a movie couple of year used Pretty In Pink as the title of it and used on the soundtrack but the one liked the best is I Wanna To Sleep With You.

Dare by The Human League: Now I know them from jokes in say BBC TV show like The Young Ones and The Mighty Boosh, I was just watching this one the other day so here’s Vins and Howard with the silly and funny Jazz vs. The Human League argument.

Fire Of Love by The Gun Club: Yet another west coast American punk band, it seems this is the only kind of punk liked by this book from this year. It’s got to be my third fave album here and also my sixth and final reco from it today.

Mask by Bauhaus: When I meet now a very old ex-gf she was wearing a Bauhaus t-shirt but one of the guys in the band was wearing an Eraserhead movie t-shirt. She never seen it I told her about it and she told me about Bauhaus because I never listen to them so we show each other them each and now I wouldn’t call it a fair trade. Eraserhead is one of the greatest 70’s film and Bauhaus is just another goth band from the 80’s but I did dig the song Kick In The Eye the best.

The Poet by Bobby Womack: 80’s R&B album which is not bad really but I liked the track If You Think You’re Lonely Now which was a big hit at the time, you know?

Self-titled by Tom Tom Club: So it’s the band Talking Heads side project, while David was stuffing about with Brain on the album above the other two of them did this which is pointless rubbish after one listen. Talking Heads might be a great band but I don’t think much about these two albums.

Moving Pictures by Rush: Never liked this band and this early 80’s album haven’t changed my mind.

The Visitors by ABBA: What is it with this book? Do you really need or must listen to two ABBA albums before you die? This one don’t even have a hit on it!

So that’s the year 1981 by the book, so I’ve just got to ask you who’s looking/reading this now, what’s your fave album from 1981? Was it above? Or was it something else missing? I myself would have to say Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing which preceded by Warm Leatherette which I’d already wrote about it in my CA posts.

What’s your fave album/s dear reader from 1981?

My pick of this year just has to be this epic album by Einstürzende Neubauten.


  1. Hi William, Another nice post. 1981 seems a pretty barren year compared to the years that preceded it or even some that followed it, with lots of minor albums by bands that did better before or after. I l agree that Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing was one of the best of that year. I have heard about half of the above, but none are favourites. I never came across Einstürzende Neubauten in those days (sound a bit like Throbbing Gristle) and I think it’s too late for me now. Despite being a big Talking Heads fans, neither of the 1981 spin-offs did it for me. The only 1981 albums I’d listen to semi-regularly now is UB40s Present Arms, and Grace Jones. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, I love EN check them out and a bit like Throbbing Gristle in the early years but change alot over the years too! It’s Blixa from The Bad Seeds in EN, you know the German guy who sung Weeping Song with Nick Cave? I don’t know UB40s Present Arms, I’ll have listen 🙂 Cheers again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh right, you like that one! Maybe I’ll have have another listen to it without Black Flag before hand? Didn’t seem very punk, Are you a big fan of them? Is that the best album by them? Have ever listen to the Aussie band called X too?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like them but I’m not a huge fan. It’s mainly a case of a weak year – good album by a good band is enough to be a top album for that year. Either this or the debut is the best I think – the debut has some over the top organ from Ray Manzarek, which is funny.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi William. Great post!
    I feel 1981 was a great year for all things punk and post-punk, which are my main genres if I’m honest. I love the Bauhaus, Black Flag, Gun Club, Motorhead, and X entries. I must also mention that the Siouxsie and the Banshees album is one of my absolute favourites of all time. I encourage you to have another listen. The guitar playing from John McGeoch is phenomenal – very atmospheric and original. He used to be in Magazine with Barry Adamson. Siouxsie is also in fine form vocally, although the lyrics to “Arabian Knights” are pretty racist.
    My other favourites from that year that aren’t in the book are Prayers on Fire by The Birthday Party, Blood on the Moon by Chrome, Faith by The Cure, Penis Envy by Crass, What’s This For? by Killing Joke, Flowers of Romance by PiL, Paganicons by Saccharine Trust (another west coast punk band, but pretty strange), Deceit by This Heat, and Youth of America by the Wipers (probably my favourite of the year along with Juju).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Cristian! I should really have put together a post-punk and punk list of 81 albums but you’ve done it now! Some great albums that I need to listen too that’s totally missing for that book and just for you I’ll try Juju again! Thanks again 🙂


    1. That’s an old post but OK, i should! Maybe that could a new post blog? Listening to all albums and everything by… you know who, I’ll have to in the right mood and i’ll try and listen to them with open ears, if you know what i mean? But growing up in Australia i do know them and have heard them a million times before, you know? I’ll try again sometime soon, OK?
      Cheers Henke 🙂


      1. Cheers mate. It was a tongue in cheek comment by me. Felt like I should stand up for my fellow Swedes… 🙂

        ABBA was really big in Australia, weren’t they?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, they were HUGE! it’s a fair call and sorry it’s too easy to be mean about them but on a good day i do enjoy them and i will add them to list of acts to do for my TTT posts!
        Cheers again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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