Everett True’s Favourite Albums of 1980
Back then, I couldn’t write. So I kept lists all the time. And I graded all the shows I went to (shudder). Here. Let’s have a peek.
I seem to recall the first column is for how well I felt the band performed (out of six) (plus or minus fractions or variables, depending on outside factors like sound, audience etc) and the second column is for my enjoyment (out of six) (plus or minus, etc). Even then I must have realised that it’s impossible to reduce a performance to one simple score. If the score was over ***½ or aggregated the same then that meant I enjoyed the band.
Wow. Check out that opening grade.
Looks like I was put off Depeche Mode by the Depeche Mode fans.
Psychedelic Furs ******(-½) *****(+½)
Depeche Mode ***(-*½) *(-½)
Siam *** **
(Tues 2/6/81 Hammersmith Palais £3.00)
Low score for enjoyment of Gang of Four. I would have been there for Scars.
Gang of Four ****½(-*) **½(-*)
Seething Wells ****(+*) ***½
Scars ****(-*½) ****(-½)(+*)
Pigbag ****(-½) ***½
(Sun 7/6/81 Lyceum Ballroom (-****) £3.00)
Great show. Might have been the one where I led the chants of “All about you” on the Tube afterwards.
Scars ***** ****½
Josef K *****(+½) ****
Ariel FX *** ***(-*)
(Tues 16/6/81 The Venue £2.00)
I didn’t realises Savages had been going for so long. I was clearly conflicted about Screaming Lord Sutch. Wish I knew why. Maybe there was a fight during the set. It was a Meteors show, after all.
The Cramps *****(+½) ****½
The Meteors *****(-*) ***
Screaming Lord Sutch + the Savages ****(-****) ****½ (-******)
Red Beat **** ****
(Mon 22/6/81 Hammersmith Palais £3.50)
Would it be too elitist to say I was at this next gig for the support band? It’s true, but there was nothing wrong with the main band either (who by the end of the year would become my most seen band, ahead of The Raincoats and Blurt even).
The Birthday Party ****½ *****
The Transmitters *****½ *****(+*)
(Thu 9/7/81 West Hampstead Moonlight Club £1.75(!))
The really sad thing about reproducing all these diary entries is, of course, I can barely remember a single note of any of these shows.
Delta 5 ****(+*½) ****(+*)
The Visitors **(-*) *½
Flying Club ***½(+*) ****
(Thu 30/7/81 The Venue £2) (only)
I didn’t know how to spell Joseph K’s name.
Josef K **** ***½(+*½)
Aztec Camera ****(+**) ****
Missing Kind **½ **(+* for last no.)
(Wed 5/8/81 The Venue £2)
Shaky start for a band who would soon become one of my firm favourites. And no, I ain’t talking about The Bluebells.
Orange Juice ***½ ****½(+**)
The Bluebells *** **½
(Thus 6/8/81 The Venue £2.50) (happy crowd!)
Anyway. The chart. I did it by the month (of course) – the most notable couple of omissions are the first Dexys album, Ramones’ End Of The Century (which I probably discounted for being too mainstream) and Metal Box (which I absolutely fucking loved at the time: I can only imagine it came out the same month as Closer). Incidentally, I would love to see Breaking Glass (the movie) again one of these years.
Look at those three mighty Rough Trade albums, rightfully marked out in capital letters. (The Raincoats album was actually released November 1979 – but do me a favour. I had to buy all of these.)
Jan: THE RAINCOATS
Feb: Elvis Costello And The Attractions – Get Happy!!
Mar: YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS
Apr: The Slits – Y?
May: The Fall – Totale’s Turns
Jun: The Distractions – Nobody’s Perfect
Jul: Joy Division – Closer
Aug: A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard And The Ballroom
Sep: Hazel O’Connor – Breaking Glass
Oct: THIS HEAT
Nov: The Jam – Sound Affects
Dec: ATV – Vibing Up The Senile Man (part one)
I have no idea how I worked this next chart out. It wouldn’t surprise me if I kept a record of all the plays, and based it round that. I certainly used to compile weekly charts, based on plays (mostly of singles).
ALBUMS ’80 OVERALL
1. Joy Division – Closer/Hazel O’Connor – Breaking Glass
2. YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS/THE RAINCOATS
3. A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard And The Ballroom
4. The Fall – Totale’s Turns/PiL – Metal Box
5. The Jam – Sound Affects/PSYCHEDELIC FURS
6. The Distractions – Nobody’s Perfect/Ramones – End Of The Century/Dalek I Love You – Compass Kum’pass
By May 1982, my favourite three albums from 1980 were:
1. Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
2. PiL – Metal Box
3. Joy Division – Closer