About 100 Songs In 100 Days

Some of my pals have been doing on those viral challenges on Facebook, where someone tags a friend and nominates them do something. I’m a little bit disappointed that nobody has seen fit to tag me in the latest one: you have to choose your favourite singles of the 1980s, and post the videos on Facebook. The basic idea is to share one song a day for thirty days.
Now, I modestly think I’ve got a pretty broad taste in music, covering most bases and quite left-field bands. That’s why I thought I’d be a dead cert for a tag. So far, though, nobody’s seen fit to invite me. That’s why I’ve decided to crash the party. I’ve also decided to push the limits a bit further, and try and post one song a day for one hundred days.
I was never a big buyer of singles, so I’ve had to delve into the online archives for some of these. I was a keen reader of the music papers, and I used to watch Top of the Pops, The Tube, The Oxford Roadshow and The Old Grey Whistle Test, and John Peel’s Radio 1 show was compulsory listening in those days, so I’ve got a good knowledge of what was around at the time.
In spite of what you might (understandably) think from watching Top of the Pops 2, there was much more to the eighties than just jolly synth pop, jangly guitar bands, shoegazing feedback merchants, and The Hit Factory of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. The majority of the music I’m going to share here didn’t trouble the charts at all, of course; a lot of it made the all-important Indie Chart, but some of it is obscure to say the very least. However, you might be surprised at some of the more mainstream stuff I’ve chosen. It’s still great music, even three decades on.
Some are famous songs, which get played at weddings and fiftieth birthday parties, and occasionally on daytime Radio 2. You’ll probably hear others for the very first time. That’s probably in the spirit of the challenge.
I’ve taken a slight liberty by including a couple of B-sides and/or remixes. Nobody said you couldn’t do it, after all. (Note for younger readers: vinyl records used to have two sides; CDs had just the one side; mp3 downloads are the Euclidean points of the music scene.)
In most cases I’ve given a little preamble to go with the song. If it relates to content in my main blog, there’ll be a link to take you there. If I’ve got the hard copy at home, I’ll post the sleeve design too. If possible, I’ll give the line-up on the record (which isn’t always the line-up in the video), and include any sleevenotes which are worth preserving.
My choices won’t come out in any particular order. I’ve numbered the entries on my original list, and then drawn the numbers randomly to determine the running order. If there is any underlying pattern, I think it probably tends more to reflect the darker underbelly of the music scene, rather than the hedonistic power-dressing pop groups everyone associates with the Thatcher era. Having said that, you might be surprised by some of the brighter flashes which lit up a memorable decade. I hope you enjoy this leisurely stroll through my musical memories.

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