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Listen: FUV Throwback Thursday: 1981

1981 Throwback Thursday (collage by Laura Fedele for WFUV)

1981 Throwback Thursday (collage by Laura Fedele for WFUV)


We hope you heard our 1981 Throwback Thursday! No doubt about it — change was afoot in 1981 as releases by rock behemoths like Journey, Styx, and The Rolling Stones faced a flood of post-punk, New Wave, New Romantic upstarts like Adam Ant, Depeche Mode, and The Go-Go's.

Below a full Spotify playlist of the songs our DJs picked for our #FUVTBT day, a surreal trip back 40 years.

Whether you were a fascinated viewer of early MTV, launching on August 1 of that year with an unpredictable mix of videos by the likes of The Specials and .38 Special — a war of wildly different genres, due to MTV's nascent video library — or you ventured deep into New York's club scene, dancing to Tom Tom Club, Grace Jones, New Order, and Prince, you knew that that the corporate rock bulwark of the '70s was finally giving away to other beats, genres, and greater diversity.

The music of 1981 was a wild mashup of chance too: Phil Collins collaborated with Earth, Wind & Fire's Phenix Horns for Face Value, his smash solo debut, and an American music journalist in London, Chrissie Hynde, ended up leading three crack British musicians as one of the year's most electrifying young bands, The Pretenders.

Catch up to all of FUV's 1981"Album ReCue" features, taking a closer look at albums by Tom Tom Club, Grace Jones, The Go-Go's, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.



#FUVTBT1981 (Spotify playlist compiled by WFUV air staff)