Thursday, February 27, 2020

Notable Singles From February of 1980

Midnight Oil : Back on the Borderline

With "Back on the Borderline", released in February of 1980, Midnight Oil found the sound that would make them one of Australia's biggest rock'n'roll exports of the next decade. Lyrically, however, the song has none of the political fire to galvanize record buyers. The Head Injuries track failed to chart despite the music video, shot at a TV station.

Swell Maps : Let's Build A Car

Birmingham's Swell Maps released "Let's Build A Car", in February of 1980.  It was the first of the band's singles Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore purchased. This is from the liner notes he planned to write for a Swell Maps compilation:

the first swell maps singles (i bought for no reason cept what th' fuck) was “let's buy a car” which still to this day gives me a soul scorched buzz'n'rush. as soon as the nikki sudden gtr comes slicing slabbing and all out fuzzifying off the crackling indie vinyl groove you know yr gonna rock. this was important to a dickweed like me cuz the sensibility of the nyc creeps i was pubing with was towards the no wave trip (and if you don't know about no wave nyc 78/79 then..well, don't worry about it) which i of course totally flagwaved.

Notsensibles : ( I'm in Love With) Margaret Thatcher


Released in 1979, this post-punk attempt at humor did hit the Independent Singles Top 10 in February of 1980.

Spizzenergi : Where's Captain Kirk 


With "Where's Captain Kirk? "Spizzenergi became the first band to top the newly created UK Indie Chart early in 1980.More than two decades after its release, it was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time. 

The Laughing Clowns :  Laughing Clowns

When The Saints broke up guitarist Ed Kuepper moved back to Brisbane and formed Laughing Clowns. In February of 1980 the band released its first single, also called "Laughing Clowns". Saints fans were confused by the new sound. Australian musicologist Ian McFarlane wrote 

"Part of the problem was that the band's sound defied categorization. Having to overcome such ludicrous labels as 'jazz-punk' ... [it] was diverse yet moody, at turns melodic or dissonant. It ranged from rock and soul to avant-jazz".

Another Pretty Face : Whatever Happened to the West

Finally, February of 1980 was also the month the Scottish band Another Pretty Face released its debut single. Lead singer Mike Scott would eventually form The Waterboys in 1983.

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