1980 – the Dadaism of music history

As I began thinking about my work and passion for music I wanted to identify the perfect year to explain how I feel about and think about music. And the year I came up with was 1980. It is to music what dadaism is to art. Hits by Blondie and Pink Floyd, Gary Newman and Prince. This was a year of tremendous change. Think about how strange the world was at that time. We were emerging from the 1970s and looking at the 1980s as literally the future. It was the end of Carter and the rise of Reagan and that was just the beginning. 1980 was a time of many sonic changes. Punk rock, disco, and arena rock were dying off and new wave, pop music, and post-punk were the new music styles. A lot was changing .

1980 as watershed year came into focus when I was listening to a replay of the top 40 songs of 1980. What I found was this was a time when form did not hold for any kind of music. It was a time when anything went. Just look at the top 100 songs of 1980 below. The year had everything; from a post-punk classic like Call Me by Blondie as the song of the year to disco hits by Donna Summer, rock standards by Billy Joel, and country music by Kenny Rodgers. There was something for everyone because nothing was king.

The year began with the closing of the 1970s and nothing signified the end of the 70s than in February, 1980 the iconic disco club Studio 54 had it’s last party. It was the end of an era. The year ended in December with the murder of John Lennon. It’s almost as if time itself was telling us change was here. Music like punk was being replaced with the new romantic and synth movements and music became less dark and more light on its feet and hopeful. It was also a time that the superstars of the 1980s rose to power. Michael Jackson and Prince had some of their first hits. We were ready to shed the 70s and move forward. So take a look at this list of great songs and marvel.

1. Blondie

Call Me

2

Pink Floyd

Another Brick In The Wall

3

Olivia Newton-John

Magic

4

Michael Jackson

Rock With You

5

Captain and Tennille

Do That To Me One More Time

6

Queen

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

7

Paul McCartney

Coming Up

8

Lipps, Inc.

Funkytown

9

Billy Joel

It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me

10

Bette Midler

The Rose

11

Rupert Holmes

Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

12

Gary Numan

Cars

13

Smokey Robinson

Cruisin’

14

Spinners

Working My Way Back To You-Forgive Me Girl

15

Air Supply

Lost In Love

16

Elton John

Little Jeannie

17

Cristopher Cross

Ride Like The Wind

18

Diana Ross

Upside Down

19

K.C. and The Sunshine Band

Please Don’t Go

20

Styx

Babe

21

Billy Preston and Syreeta

With You I’m Born Again

22

Manhattans

Shining Star

23

Commodores

Still

24

Teri De Sario With K.C.

Yes, I’m Ready

25

Dr. Hook

Sexy Eyes

26

Robbie Dupree

Steal Away

27

Ambrosia

Biggest Part Of Me

28

Kenny Loggins

This Is It

29

Spinners

Cupid/I’ve Loved You For A Long Time

30

Jermaine Jackson

Let’s Get Serious

31

Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes

Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer

32

Christopher Cross

Sailing

33

Dan Fogelberg

Longer

34

Kenny Rogers

Coward Of The County

35

Kool and The Gang

Ladies Night

36

Kool and The Gang

Too Hot

37

S.O.S. Band

Take Your Time

38

Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer

No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

39

Kim Carnes

More Love

40

M

Pop Muzik

41

Pretenders

Brass In Pocket

42

Ray, Goodman and Brown

Special Lady

43

Stevie Wonder

Send One Your Love

44

Shalamar

The Second Time Around

45

Cliff Richard

We Don’t Talk Anymore

46

Brothers Johnson

Stomp

47

Eagles

Heartache Tonight

48

Rocky Burnette

Tired Of Toein’ The Line

49

Dr. Hook

Better Love Next Time

50

Rupert Holmes

Him

51

Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

Against The Wind

52

Donna Summer

On The Radio

53

Rolling Stones

Emotional Rescue

54

Herb Alpert

Rise

55

Air Supply

All Out Of Love

56

Little River Band

Cool Change

57

J.D. Souther

You’re Only Lonely

58

Andy Gibb

Desire

59

Pete Townshend

Let My Love Open The Door

60

Steve Forbert

Romeo’s Tune

61

Anne Murray

Daydream Believer

62

Eagles

I Can’t Tell You Why

63

Isaac Hayes

Don’t Let Go

64

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Don’t Do Me Like That

65

Michael Jackson

She’s Out Of My Life

66

Irene Cara

Fame

67

Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

Fire Lake

68

Linda Ronstadt

How Do I Make You

69

Benny Mardones

Into The Night

70

Pure Prairie League

Let Me Love You Tonight

71

Genesis

Misunderstanding

72

Dirt Band

An American Dream

73

Carole King

One Fine Day

74

Donna Summer

Dim All The Lights

75

Billy Joel

You May Be Right

76

Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka

Should’ve Never Let You Go

77

Charlie Dore

Pilot Of The Airwaves

78

Linda Ronstadt

Hurt So Bad

79

Michael Jackson

Off The Wall

80

Peaches and Herb

I Pledge My Love

81

Eagles

The Long Run

82

Mickey Gilley

Stand By Me

83

Pat Benatar

Heartbreaker

84

Dionne Warwick

Deja Vu

85

Eddie Rabbitt

Drivin’ My Life Away

86

Supertramp

Take The Long Way Home

87

Fleetwood Mac

Sara

88

Daryl Hall and John Oates

Wait For Me

89

Boz Scaggs

Jo Jo

90

Neil Diamond

September Morn

91

George Benson

Give Me The Night

92

Anne Murray

Broken Hearted Me

93

Kenny Rogers

You Decorated My Life

94

Fleetwood Mac

Tusk

95

Prince

I Wanna Be Your Lover

96

Charlie Daniels Band

In America

97

Boz Scaggs

Breakdown Dead Ahead

98

Barry Manilow

Ships

99

Joe Walsh

All Night Long

100

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Refugee

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