A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
If there were a year I was least interested in music, it would be 1981. And it was a remarkable turn of events, because I had amassed quite a 7-inch collection the year before.
- Duran Duran, Duran Duran
- Lou Harrison, Three Pieces for Gamelan with Soloists / String Quartet Set
- Eurythmics, In the Garden
- U2, October
- The Police, Ghost in the Machine
- ABBA, The Visitors
- Black Flag, Damaged
- Brian Eno and David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
- Bucker and Garcia, Pac-Man Fever
- Rick Springfield, Working Class Dog
Other favorites from the year:
- Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat
- Gang of Four, Solid Gold
- Grace Jones, Nightclubbing
1981 marked the start of my fascination with the classic video games of the era. I would also take an interest in computers and programming. My parents actively discouraged me from pursuing either interest, but it would not stop me from sneaking away to the arcade when we went to the local malls.
That didn’t mean I was totally unaware of music. Of the titles on this list, I would have listened to the Police, ABBA, Rick Springfield, the Go-Go’s and Buckner and Garcia. And I would have definitely seen Grace Jones in the press.
If there was one album I really wanted to get at the time, it would have been Pac-Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia, mostly for the maze patterns on the inner sleeve that would have help you to win the game.