Did your T-shirt have these band logos in the early 80s

From the classifieds in a music paper in 1981. The full range of teen cults that proliferated in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s. You have the tale end of punk with the Cockney Rejects, the new wave with bands like The Police, synth pop with Human League, more traditional 70s rock with Led Zeppelin, a ska/2Tone symbol, New Romantics with Duran Duran and a nod to reggae with UB40.

Best tunes in the first half of 1981

The NME in 1981 – at the height of its influence

Hard to imagine a time when the New Musical Express was a style and music bible we read voraciously from cover to cover. And yet it was. What the NME told us was good….we generally believed.

NME journalists polled themselves in July 1981 to see what they thought were the best tunes so far that year.  Some of the songs I wouldn’t argue with while others seem a strange choice looking back.

1 – Me No Pop!     Coati Mundi

2 – We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang     Heaven 17

3 – Being With You     Smokey Robinson

4 – Walking on Thin Ice     Yoko Ono

5 – Adventures on the Wheels of Steel     Grandmaster Flash

6 – Reward    Teardrop Explodes

7 – Chequered Love     Kim Wilde

8 – Pull Up to the Bumper     Grace Jones

9 – Birthday Party     Grandmaster Flash

10 – Pocket Calculator     Kraftwerk

Top album was Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places by Kid Creole and the Coconuts.   Germanic misery merchants DAF came fourth with Alles ist Gut.  Black Uhuru were deservedly in the chart and the Au Pairs.