As the new year draws closer, we’ve decided to take a look the music that’s gotten us to where we are today. So in an effort to broaden our musical horizons and our understanding of contemporary artists, we’re counting down 2012 by counting up from 1952, taking a look at a handful of songs from a different year every day until January 1st. You can find the full list here. Today we’re heading back to 1982!
Hall and Oates – “Maneater”
Few bands embody the camp and goofiness of eighties pop as well as Hall and Oates, and their 1982 record H2O is no exception. The dated album cover is as ill-conceived as the album’s name, and this music video for “Maneater” is the music video equivalent of your dad sitting backwards on a chair and giving you sex advice. The song also contains history’s most middling saxophone solo.
Talking Heads – “I Zimbra”
This hypnotic, Afro-flavoured cut from Talking Heads’ third record Fear of Music draws its nonsense lyrics from dadaist Hugo Ball’s poem “Gadji beri bimba.” I imagine Byrne and co. also approve of Ball’s on-stage attire.
Sonic Youth – “The Burning Spear”
Sonic Youth’s career begins with an isolated drum hit. That’s how they kick off this first track off their first EP, a grooving no-wave cut wrapped in noise and looming chaos. This comes around the time that NYC’s post-punk scene was fully blossoming, later giving us great bands like ESG and Liquid Liquid.
Bruce Springsteen – “Atlantic City”
Nebraska was supposed to be a demo tape. Springsteen recorded the recorded the entire record on cassette, with the intent of fully flushing out the songs with The E-Street band. Instead, he released the collection in all its intimate, lo-fi glory. “Atlantic City” is an obvious choice to put here, and if you’re wondering, yes, there is a Boardwalk-Empire-over-Springsteen YouTube supercut.
Siouxsie and The Banshees – “Slowdive”
Siouxsie Sioux (real name Susan Ballion) made her first public appearance standing behind the Sex Pistols during their iconic live interview with Bill Grundy, during which he made a pass at her (“We’ll meet after, shall we?”), prompting Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones to call him a “dirty fucker” – it was the first time swearing had been on live early-evening television. Her 1982 record with The Banshees was met with praise across the board, marking a turning point for the band and setting the stage for shoegaze bands like, um, Slowdive.