Only The Stones Remain

by John Holbo on July 31, 2007

In 1980. The Soft Boys, of course. The Only Band That Mattered.

Or possibly, Elvis Costello, “Peace, Love and Understanding”.

In other, less consequential 1980 news: XTC, “We’re Only Making Plans For Nigel”; Boomtown Rats, “I don’t like Mondays”. Pretenders, “Brass In Pocket”. Devo, “Whip It”. Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime”; The Cure, “A Forest”.

UPDATE: by popular request, The Young Marble Giants, “Collasal Y”.

(I just felt like my claptrapese joke had spent enough time at the top of the page.)

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Crooked Timber » » Candy Floss Evaporates, Honey/Only the Stones Remain
08.02.07 at 1:43 pm



Eric Rauchway 07.31.07 at 2:59 pm

In my neck of the woods, the 1980 headlines include London Calling.


John Holbo 07.31.07 at 3:03 pm

Nah, never heard of ’em.


Scott McLemee 07.31.07 at 3:29 pm

That was the year of Young Marble Giants. Then it was over.


IProd 07.31.07 at 4:04 pm

Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”


John Holbo 07.31.07 at 4:06 pm

Hey, it turns out Young Marble Giants were playing with the Soft Boys at that very festival. And YouTube has it. Time for an update!


Mark 07.31.07 at 4:12 pm

Or “Going Underground”


Darius Jedburgh 07.31.07 at 4:32 pm

Magazine, The Correct Use of Soap


norbizness 07.31.07 at 4:46 pm

Surely Hall and Oates must have come up with something that year. Sara Smile? Private Eyes?


Kieran Healy 07.31.07 at 5:03 pm

That was the year of Young Marble Giants.

That was the year of my first communion.


sharon 07.31.07 at 6:33 pm

I was 13 and it was the year of Madness. And I can’t quite believe this but ‘Stop the Cavalry’ came out in 1980 too.

Time for a Stiff session…


Eric Rauchway 07.31.07 at 6:40 pm

Truly, I never get anything.


a 07.31.07 at 7:03 pm

Iprod you beat me to it. Far and away the best song of 1980 was “Love will tear us apart.”


bob mcmanus 07.31.07 at 8:00 pm

Well, I really have no idea what this post is about. I always listened to albums rather than songs, and never to the radio. If this is about what was good around 1980, Ian Hunter was at another peak, released Never Alone With a Schizophrenic in 1979 and Short Back & Sides in 1981, which are close enough for me.

At 70, Ian Hunter has released a terrific new album in 2007, Shrunken Heads, which is about how much he hates America and getting old, so I guess he is still around, only the good die young. I bet it is the sunglasses.


alphie 07.31.07 at 8:03 pm

1980 #1 songs in America (in order):

Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
Please Don’t Go
Rock With You
Do That To Me One More Time
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)
Call Me
Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Upside Down
Another One Bites the Dust
Woman in Love
(Just Like) Starting Over


Jim Flannery 07.31.07 at 8:30 pm

Let’s be serious. Clock DVA mattered too.


kate 07.31.07 at 8:43 pm

1980 was the year I left my wannabe punk rocker ways, ditched high school graduation and ran off with an asshat who kept me isolated for 10 years. I have known all those popular songs (not Soft Boys, but it is to like) but have never seen the videos, thanks.

That Brass In Pocket video shows well how I felt all through the eighties; removed from my own generation.

Ok, moving on, that was then, this is now.


thag 07.31.07 at 11:11 pm

Yeah, that Pretenders video is weird–not a great narrative for what is to my mind a fabulous song.

If you filmed what the song says, Chrissy would wind up queen of the fucking world, with adoring masses scattered at her feet.

I’m just as glad I’ve never seen it before.


gz 08.01.07 at 3:21 am

Good pick. I hadn’t listened to them in years–I had only vinyl version of the records from college–but finally got the Soft Boys’ Underwater Moonlight on CD a few weeks ago. Was happy to find that they aged very well.


josh 08.01.07 at 4:56 am

Ahem. Mission of Burma, Academy Fight Song.


martin g l 08.01.07 at 8:52 am

God I love the 80s.


Sam C 08.01.07 at 10:17 am

Gang of Four (Entertainment! came out in 1979, which is close enough…). Cabaret Voltaire. The Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.


Jordan 08.01.07 at 12:58 pm

For your consideration: The Teardrop Explodes, “Ha Ha I’m Drowning.”

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