On This Date in 1981: The Teardrop Explodes released their second album, Wilder, which included the singles “Colours Fly Away”, “Passionate Friend”and “Tiny Children,” but every track on the album is amazing. Wilder reached position #29 on the UK albums chart but did not chart in the US, though it is certainly one of my very favorite albums of the 80s.
On This Date, September 15th, in 1981: Thomas Dolby released his second solo single, “Europa And The Pirate Twins,” from his debut album, The Golden Age Of Wireless. The single reached the #48 spot on the U.K. singles chart and the #67 spot on the U.S. singles chart. In “Europa And The Pirate Twins” Dolby makes use of a fantastic word economy to tell the story of a man who pines for a long-lost adolescent friendship with a woman who has grown up to become a famous starlet. For my money, it is one of the most gorgeous and painfully sentimental songs every written.
“Have another cigarette and have another cigarette…”
On this date, May 21st, in 1981: The Psychedelic Furs released their second album, Talk Talk Talk. The album charted in the US, breaking through to the #89 spot and spawned three singles, “Mr. Jones”, “Dumb Waiters” (#59 UK) and “Pretty In Pink” (#43 UK). Years later, when “Pretty In Pink” inspired the eponymous film, an inferior version of the song was recorded and re-released as a single, reaching the #18 spot in the UK and the #41 spot in the US. The group disbanded in 1991 with brothers Richard and Tim Butler forming Love Spit Love. In 2000, Psychedelic Furs re-formed with the brothers Butler and Jon Ashton back in the fold. Personally, I played the fuck out of this album both at home and on my radio shows, broadcast on KUCI, 89.9 FM in Irvine. As a side note, The Furs were perhaps the first “high profile band” I remember hanging out with back stage. Tim Butler changed out of his stage pants right in front of me, I swear.
On This Day, May 11th in 1981: BobMarley died of lung cancer and a brain tumor at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami. He was only 36 years old – way too young to go. According to his entry in the Wikipedia, Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread Jamaican music to a worldwide audience. Favorite Bob Marley song: “No Woman, No Cry.”