Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Best of The Rest : March 1981 Releases

Devo : Freedom of Choice Theme Song

In March of 1981 Warner Brothers experimented with selling EPs by some of their new acts that appealed to younger buyers. DEV-O Live is made up of six songs recorded live at the band's 1980 concert in San Francisco, including their US#14 hit "Whip It". American FM radio ignored the EP.

The Pretenders : Porcelain

The Pretenders' Extended Play was another Warner Bros/Sire extended play release that sold well at its discount price, peaking at US#27. It certainly seemed like a good deal to me at the time to get "Talk of the Town", "Cuban Slide" and "Message of Love" for $5.99, while we waited to hear Pretenders II, not out until August. In a way it backfired too, because we had already purchased the best songs on the album.

Romeo Void : White Sweater

415 Records has released the Romeo Void debut It's A Condition. The Bay Area band is fronted by Debora Iyall, who speaks/sings observations on empty love. The critics went nuts. Creem reviewer Iman Labadedi wrote that" if you tore Romeo Void's debut LP down to its essence , what you'd get wouldn't be a million miles away from a collection of torch songs. The type Billie Holliday once did so's easily one of the best albums I've heard all year". The album finished #17 on The Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll

The Greg Kihn Band : The Breakup Song

The Bay Area cult band breaks out with the hook-filled US#15 hit "The Breakup Song(They Don't Write 'Em)" from his mostly bland power pop album Rockihnroll. Greg Kihn, one of the original Beserkley label acts, would hit it big again in 1983 with his US#5 hit "Jeopardy".

The Producers : What's He Got

The Producers, a new wave quartet out of Atlanta, get some buzz from their debut album thanks to the ear worm "What's He Got".

Robert Plant and Rockpile : Little Sister

The line-up alone got record buyers excited about the double album, Concerts For The People of Kampuchea. Recorded in late 1979 as a fundraiser to benefit the starving refugees of Cambodia, the album featured British rock royalty highlighted by The Rockestra supergroup, featuring Wings, John Paul Jones and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, Ronnie Lane of the Faces, Kenney Jones and Pete Townshend of the Who, and Hank Marvin of the Shadows. But it was Robert Plant's cover of Elvis Presley's "Little Sister" that got my bandmates excited enough to do a cover at our final high school concert.

John Cale : Dead Or Alive

Much of John Cale's Honi Soit was written spontaneously in the studio. Critics acclaimed the album which reached #154 on the charts, the highest the former Velvet Underground member has yet to achieve. Cale toured the album beginning in April of the year.


  1. Thanks. Don't think I have ever heard of Romeo Void - need to check them out properly

    1. I'm sure you have. Never Say Never is their best known song. A Girl In Trouble another hit. From the debut "Love Is an Illness" is my fave