1981

<19801982>

Jan

6

  • Hans Werner Henze’s Dramatische Szenen aus Orpheus II for orchestra premiered in Zürich

7

  • Chink Martin (94) dies in New Orleans

9

  • Kazimierz Serocki (58) dies in Warsaw

10

  • John Lennon has the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with Imagine

12

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Fünfte Abgesangsszene for orchestra premiered in Kiel

13

  • George Crumb’s Apparition-elegiac songs and vocalises for soprano and amplified piano premiered in New York

18

  • Vladimir Ussachevsky’s Suite for twelve trombones premiered in Baltimore, MD

19

  • Lejaren Hiller’s Piano Sonata no.3 premiered in Buffalo, NY

21

  • Russell Procope (72) dies in New York

23

  • Samuel Barber (70) dies in New York of lymphatic cancer
  • Carl Feaster (50) dies in New York of cancer

24

  • Adam & The Ants have the UK number one album for the first of thirteen weeks over two runs with Kings Of The Wild Frontier
  • Andrzej Panufnik’s Concertino for timpani, percussion and strings premiered in London

25

  • Adele Astaire (84) dies in Scottsdale, AZ following a stroke

31

  • Justin Timberlake born (Memphis, TN) American pop singer, songwriter, actor.
  • Cozy Cole (71) dies in Columbus, OH of cancer
  • Blondie have the Billboard number one single for one week with The Tide Is High

releases

  • Blondie – Rapture / Walk Like Me (Chrysalis)
  • Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight / The Roof Is Leaking (Virgin UK)
  • Fire Engines – Get Up And Use Me / Everything’s Roses (Codex UK)
  • Freeez – Southern Freeez / version (Beggars Banquet UK)
  • Jam – That’s Entertainment / Down In A Tube Station At Midnight (Polydor Germany)
  • Madness – The Return of the Los Palmas 7 / That’s the Way to Do It (Stiff)
  • Passions – I’m In Love With A German Film Star / Don’t Talk To Me I’m Shy (Polydor UK)
  • Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime / Seen & Not Seen (Sire)
  • Teardrop Explodes – Reward / Strange House in the Snow (Mercury)
  • Teen Idles – Minor Disturbance EP (Dischord)
  • Ultravox – Vienna / Passionate Reply (Chrysalis)
  • Elvis Costello – Trust (F-Beat)
  • dB’s – Stands For Decibels (Albion) Rock group formed in New York in 1978. Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple (vo, g) Gene Holder (b) Will Rigby (d)
  • Fire Engines – Lubricate Your Living Room (Accessory UK) Rock group formed in Edinburgh in 1979. Davy Henderson (vo, g) Murray Slade (g) Graham Main (b) Russell Burn (d)
  • Marvin Gaye – In Our Lifetime (Motown)
  • Emmylou Harris – Evangeline (Warner Bros)
  • Metal Urbain – Les hommes morts sont dangereux (Celluloid France)
  • Television Personalities – …And Don’t the Kids Just Love It (Rough Trade UK)

Fire Engines – Lubricate Your Living Room (Accessory)

Feb

1

  • Roscoe Holcomb (68) dies in Kentucky of emphysema
  • Mischa Mischakoff (85) dies in Petoskey, MI
  • Ernst Pepping (79) dies in Berlin
  • Geirr Tveitt (72) dies in Oslo

5

  • Isang Yun’s Novellette for flute and harp premiered in Bremen

7

  • Kool & the Gang have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks with Celebration
  • John Lennon has the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Woman
  • John Lennon & Yoko Ono have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with Double Fantasy

9

  • Bill Haley (55) dies in Harlingen, TX following a heart attack
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Garden of Joy and Sorrow for flute, harp and viola with speaker premiered in Moscow

11

  • Kelly Rowland born (Atlanta, GA) American R&B and pop singer, songwriter, actress. Member of Destiny’s Child and solo artist.
  • Dmitri Shostakovich’s unfinished opera Bol′shaya molniya [The Great Lightning] & Scherzo in E flat for orchestra premiered in St Petersburg

13

  • Gunther Schuller’s In Praise of Winds for band premiered in Ann Arbor, MI
  • Morton Subotnick’s Axolotl for cello and electronics premiered in Washington, DC
  • Iannis Xenakis’s Aïs for solo percussion, baritone and orchestra premiered in Munich

14

  • Oliver Knussen’s Songs and a Sea Interlude for soprano & orchestra premiered on BBC radio

15

  • Mike Bloomfield (36) dies in San Francisco of a cocaine overdose
  • Karl Richter (54) dies in Munich following a heart attack

21

  • Ron Grainer (58) dies in Cuckfield, Sussex of spinal cancer
  • Phil Collins has the UK number one album for the first of three weeks with Face Value
  • Charles Wuorinen’s Ecclesiastical Symphonies for orchestra premiered in Rock Island, IL

23

  • Shep Fields (70) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack
  • Toru Takemitsu’s A way a lone for string quartet premiered in New York

25

  • The 23rd Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles. Christopher Cross wins record of the year for Sailing and album of the year for Christopher Cross. Other winners include Itzhak Perlman, John Williams, George Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, George Benson, Bill Evans, Bette Midler, Billy Joel and Bob Seger.

26

  • Howard Hanson (84) dies in New York
  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Symphony no.2 premiered in Boston

27

  • William Schuman’s Night Journey for 15 instruments premiered in Albany, NY

releases

  • Crass – Nagasaki Nightmare / Big A, Little A (Crass UK)
  • Depeche Mode – Dreaming of Me / Ice Machine (Mute UK)
  • Duran Duran – Planet Earth / Late Bar (EMI)
  • Liliput – Eisiger Wind / When the Cat’s Away (Rough Trade UK)
  • Liquid Liquid – Liquid Liquid EP (99)
  • Names – Nightshift / I Wish I Could Speak Your Language (Factory UK)
  • Roxy Music – Jealous Guy / To Turn You On (Polydor UK)
  • Television Personalities – I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives / Arthur The Gardener (Rough Trade UK)
  • Steve Winwood – While You See a Chance / Vacant Chair (Island)
  • Stevie Wonder – Lately / If It’s Magic (Tamla)
  • John Cale – Honi Soit (A&M)
  • Clock DVA – Thirst (Fetish UK) Experimental rock band formed in Sheffield in 1978. Adie Newton (vo) Judd Turner (b) David J. Hammond (g) Roger Quail (d) Charlie Collins (sax, cl)
  • Phil Collins – Face Value (Virgin UK)
  • Brian Eno & David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (EG UK)
  • Dick Gaughan – Handful of Earth (Topic UK)
  • Iron Maiden – Killers (EMI UK)
  • New Age Steppers (On-U Sound UK)
  • Rush – Moving Pictures (Anthem Canada)
  • Scientist Meets the Space Invaders (Greensleeves UK)
  • Stranglers – The Gospel According to the Meninblack (Liberty)
  • Stray Cats (Arista) Rockabilly trio formed in Massapequa, NY in 1980. Brian Setzer (vo, g) Lee Rocker (b) Jim Phantom (d)

Scientist Meets the Space Invaders (Greensleeves)

Mar

7

  • Kirill Kondrashin (67) dies in Amsterdam following a heart attack

10

  • Peter Mennin’s Symphony No.9 premiered in Washington, DC

13

  • Michael Gore’s music for Alan Parker’s film Fame wins the best original score Oscar at the 53rd Academy Awards

14

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Tutuguri I for orchestra premiered in Paris
  • Roxy Music have the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Jealous Guy

15

  • David Matthews’s Ehmals und Jetzt premiered in Cheltenham

17

  • Joaquín Rodrigo’s Como una fantasía for cello premiered in Mexico City

19

  • Tampa Red (78) dies in Chicago

23

  • Vladimir Ussachevsky’s Dances and Fanfares for a Festive Occasion for orchestra premiered in Springfield, MO

26

  • Morton Feldman’s The Turfan Fragments for orchestra premiered on Swiss radio

28

  • Blondie have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks with Rapture

29

  • Siro Rodriguez (81) dies in Regla, Cuba
  • André Boucourechliev’s Ulysse premiered in Paris

30

  • Edith Wilson (84) dies in Chicago
  • Francoise Hardy marries Jacques Dutronc
  • Iannis Xenakis’s Embellie for viola premiered in Paris

releases

  • Adam & the Ants – Stand & Deliver / Beat My Guest (CBS UK)
  • Altered Images – Dead Pop Stars / Sentimental (Epic UK)
  • Associates – Tell Me Easter’s On Friday / Straw Towels (Situation 2 UK)
  • Aztec Camera – Just Like Gold / We Could Send Letters (Postcard UK)
  • B-Movie – Remembrance Day / Institution Walls (Deram UK)
  • Cure – Primary / Descent (Fiction UK)
  • Dexys Midnight Runners – Plan B / Soul Finger (Parlophone UK)
  • Gang Of Four – What We All Want / History’s Bunk (EMI UK)
  • Heaven 17 – Fascist Groove Thang / The Decline Of The West (Virgin UK)
  • Jacksons – Can You Feel It / Everybody (Epic)
  • Josef K – Sorry For Laughing / Revelation (Crepescule Belgium)
  • New Order – Ceremony / In A Lonely Place (Factory UK)
  • Orange Juice – Poor Old Soul parts 1 and 2 (Postcard UK)
  • Past Seven Days – Raindance / So Many Others (4AD UK)
  • Public Image Ltd – The Flowers Of Romance / Home Is Where The Heart Is (Virgin UK)
  • Soft Cell – Memorabilia / Persuasion (Some Bizzare UK)
  • Dome 2 (Dome UK)
  • Gang Of Four – Solid Gold (EMI UK)
  • MX80 Sound – Crowd Control (Ralph)
  • Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Lustwandel (Sky Germany)
  • SPK [System Planning Korporation] – Information Overload Unit (Side Effects UK) Australian experimental and electronic group formed in Sydney in 1981. Graham Revell (vo, electronics) Mike Wilkins (vo, g, b, tapes) Dominik Guerin (electronics) Ashley Revell (technician)
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra – BGM (A&M)

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Apr

3

  • Einar Englund’s Concerto for 12 Cellos premiered in Helsinki
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen’s opera Donnerstag aus Licht, lib. Stockhausen, premiered in Milan (complete version)

4

  • Vivian Fine’s Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano premiered in Oak Park, IL
  • Anthony Payne’s Evening Land premiered in Norwich

5

  • Marissa Nadler born (Washington, DC) American rock and folk singer, songwriter, painter.
  • Bob Hite (38) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack

12

  • Hendrik Andriessen (88) dies in Haarlem, Netherlands

14

  • Christian Darnton (75) dies in Hove, Sussex
  • Ivan Galamian (78) dies in New York

15

  • John Adams’ Harmonium for chorus and orchestra premiered in San Francisco
  • PolyGram, Philips and Sony introduce the Compact Disc Digital Audio System at a festival in Salzburg

22

  • Witold Lutoslawski’s Grave for cello and piano premiered in Warsaw

23

  • Arvo Pärt’s Concerto for violin, cello and chamber orchestra premiered in London

24

  • Carlisle Floyd’s opera Willie Stark, lib. Floyd, premiered in Houston

25

  • Arvo Pärt’s De Profundis for chorus, percussion and organ premiered in Kassel
  • John Tavener’s Sappho: Lyrical Fragments for two sopranos and strings premiered in London
  • Charles Wuorinen’s The Celestial Sphere for chorus, orchestra and tape premiered in Rock Island, IL

26

  • Isang Yun’s Teile dich Nacht for soprano and chamber ensemble premiered in Witten

28

  • Steve Currie (33) dies in a car crash near Val Da Parra in Portugal

29

  • Cat Anderson (64) dies in Norwalk, CA from a brain tumour
  • Richard Burgin (88) dies in Gulfport, FL

30

  • Justin Vernon born (Eau Claire, WN) American folk singer, songwriter, guitarist. Recorded as Bon Iver.
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Descensio for three trombones, three percussionists, harp, piano and celesta premiered in Paris

releases

  • Another Pretty Face – Soul To Soul EP (Chicken Jazz UK)
  • B Movie – Rememberance Day / Institution Walls (Deram UK)
  • Clash – The Magnificent Seven / The Magnificent Dance (CBS UK)
  • Discharge – Why? EP (Clay UK)
  • Duran Duran – Careless Memories / Khanada (EMI)
  • Fall – Slates EP (Rough Trade) recorded 2/81
  • Fire Engines – Candyskin / Meat Whiplash (Pop:Aural UK)
  • Human League – The Sound of the Crowd / version (Virgin UK)
  • Japan – The Art of Parties / Life Without Buildings (Virgin)
  • Madness – Grey Day / Memories (Stiff UK)
  • Scars – All About You / Author Author (Pre UK)
  • A Certain Ratio – To Each… (Factory UK)
  • Adolescents (Frontier) American punk band formed in Fullerton, CA in 1980. Tony Cadena (vo) Steve Soto (v) Frank Agnew, Rikk Agnew (g) Casey Royer (d)
  • Birthday Party – Prayers on Fire (4AD UK)
  • Cure – Faith (Fiction UK)
  • Flesh Eaters – A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (Ruby) 
  • Funkadelic – The Electric Spanking of War Babies (Warner Bros)
  • Modern English – Mesh and Lace (4AD UK) English rock band formed in Colchester, Essex in 1979. Robbie Grey (vo) Gary McDowell (g, vo) Michael Conroy (b, vo) Richard Brown (d) Stephen Walker (keys)
  • PIL – Flowers of Romance (Virgin UK)
  • Scars – Author! Author! (Pre UK) Rock band formed in Edinburgh in 1977. Robert King (vo) Paul Research (g) John Mackie (b) Calum Mackay (d)
  • Tuxedomoon – Desire (Ralph)
  • Van Halen – Fair Warning (Warner Bros)
  • Vangelis – Chariots of Fire OST (Polydor)

Arvo Pärt b.1935

May

1

  • Dominick Argento’s opera Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night premiered in Minneapolis, MN, lib. John Olon-Scrymgeour after Charles Dickens

2

  • Alan Hovhaness’s Symphony no.46 “to the Green Mountains” premiered in Vermont

3

  • Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar premiered in Tokyo

6

  • Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Angel of Dusk: Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra premiered in Helsinki

8

  • Sonic Youth play their first show at Club 57 in New York
  • Isang Yun’s Exemplum in memoriam Kwangju for orchestra premiered in Cologne

9

  • Adam & The Ants have the UK number one single for the first of five weeks with Stand And Deliver
  • Mauricio Kagel’s opera Aus Deutschland premiered in Berlin

11

  • Bob Marley (36) dies in Miami, FL of cancer
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, T. S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne’s musical Cats opens in London (8949 performances)

15

  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Tailitnama Song for chamber ensemble premiered in Sydney

16

  • Ernie Freeman (58) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack
  • Kim Carnes has the Billboard number one single for the first of nine weeks over two runs with Bette Davis Eyes

17

  • Hugo Friedhofer (80) dies in Los Angeles
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Pantomime for double bass and piano premiered in Moscow

18

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Dritte Abgesangsszene for baritone and orchestra premiered in Freiburg

23

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Piano Sonata premiered in Bath

25

  • Roy Brown (55) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack

27

  • Leonard Bernstein’s nocturne Halil for flute, strings and percussion premiered in Jerusalem

28

  • Adam Green born (Mt Kisco, NY) American folk and pop singer, songwriter, guitarist. Member of Moldy Peaches and solo artist.

29

  • Throbbing Gristle play their final show (until 2004) in San Francisco
  • Charles Wuorinen’s The Blue Bamboula for piano premiered in Tokyo

30

  • Devendra Banhart born (Houston, TX) American rock and folk singer, songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist.
  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s The Bairns of Brugh for piccolo, bass clarinet, piano, marimba, viola and cello premiered in Bergen
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium for violin and orchestra premiered in Vienna
  • Luigi Nono’s Das atmende Klarsein for chorus, bass flute and electronics premiered in Florence

31

  • Krzysztof Penderecki’s Agnus Dei for chorus premiered in Warsaw
  • Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Tree for three percussionists or keyboard players premiered in Tokyo

releases

  • Cramps – Goo Goo Muck / She Said (IRS)
  • Dead Kennedys – Too Drunk To Fuck / The Prey (Alternative Tentacles)
  • ESG – ESG EP (99)
  • Grandmaster Flash – Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel / Party mix (Sugar Hill) Live studio recording of Flash mixing and scratching using three turntables. One of the first examples of turntablism
  • Jam – Funeral Pyre / Disguises (Polydor)
  • Josef K – Chance Meeting / Pictures (Postcard UK)
  • Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator / Dentaku (EMI UK)
  • Kirsty MacColl – There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis / Hard to Believe (Polydor UK)
  • Need – Let Them Eat Valium / Seduction (Vitriol UK)
  • Odyssey – Going Back to My Roots / Baba Awa (RCA)
  • Pigbag – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag / Backside (Y UK)
  • Simple Minds – The American / League Of Nations (Virgin UK)
  • Bruce Springsteen – The River / Independence Day (CBS UK)
  • Talking Heads – Houses in Motion / The Overload (Sire)
  • Art Bears – The World as It Is Today (Recommended UK) 
  • Au Pairs – Playing With a Different Sex (Human UK)
  • Black Uhuru – Red (Island)
  • Chrome – Blood On The Moon (Don’t Fall Off The Mountain UK)
  • Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven up Here (Korova UK)
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Les Chants Magnétiques (Dreyfus France)
  • Grace Jones – Nightclubbing (Island UK)
  • Kraftwerk – Computer World (Kling Klang Germany)
  • Squeeze – East Side Story (A&M)
  • UB40 – Present Arms (DEP International)
  • X – Wild Gift (Slash)

Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) b.1958

Jun

1

  • Jan Zdeněk Bartoš (72) dies in Prague

6

  • Alfred Schnittke’s Three Scenes for soprano and instrumental ensemble premiered in Moscow
  • The first issue of Kerrang! Magazine is published

7

  • Ernst Krenek’s String Quartet no.8 premiered in New York

9

  • Anoushka Shankar born (London) Anglo-Indian sitar player, composer. Daughter of Ravi Shankar (b.1920), half-sister of Norah Jones (b.1979).

11

  • David Matthews’s String Quartet No.4 premiered in Portsmouth

13

  • Smokey Robinson has the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Being With You

19

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Lullaby for Lucy for chorus premiered in Kirkwall, Orkney
  • (to 21st) The 1981 Glastonbury Festival is held at Worthy Farm, Somerset featuring New Order, Hawkwind and Aswad

20

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s children’s musical The Rainbow premiered in Stromness, Orkney

21

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s monodrama for mezzo-soprano The Medium premiered in Stromness, Orkney
  • Isang Yun’s O Licht… for chorus, violin and percussion premiered in Nuremberg

23

  • Zarah Leander (74) dies in Stockholm following a stroke

26

  • George Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter premiered in Snape, Suffolk

27

  • Michael Jackson has the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with One Day In Your Life
  • Motorhead have the UK number one album for one week with No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith

28

  • Heinrich Strecker (88) dies in Baden bei Wien, Austria
  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Nocturnal for piano premiered in North Caulfield, Victoria

releases

  • Associates – Q Quarters / Kissed (Situation 2 UK)
  • Black Flag – Six Pack // I’ve Heard It All Before / American Waste (SST)
  • Kate Bush – Sat in Your Lap / Lord of the Reedy River (EMI)
  • Clock DVA – 4 Hours / Sensorium (Fetish UK)
  • Depeche Mode – New Life / Shout! (Mute UK)
  • Grace Jones – Pull Up to the Bumper / Feel Up (Island)
  • Minor Threat – Minor Threat EP (Dischord)
  • Psychedelic Furs – Pretty in Pink / Mack the Knife (CBS UK)
  • Specials – Ghost Town / Why / Saturday Night – Sunday Morning (2 Tone UK)
  • Zounds – Demystification / Great White Hunter (Rough Trade UK)
  • Bad Religion – How Could Hell Be Any Worse? (Epitaph)
  • Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry (Mercury)
  • Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft – Alles ist gut (Virgin UK)
  • Duran Duran (EMI)
  • Peter Hammill – Sitting Targets (Virgin UK)
  • George Harrison – Somewhere in England (Dark Horse)
  • Keith Hudson – Playing It Cool (Joint UK)
  • Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive (A&M)
  • Kid Creole and the Coconuts – Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places (Ze)
  • Magazine – Magic, Murder and the Weather (Virgin UK)
  • Motorhead – No Sleep Till Hammersmith (Bronze UK) recorded live between 28 & 30 Mar 1981 in Leeds and Newcastle
  • Colin Newman – Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish (4AD UK)
  • Raincoats – Odyshape (Rough Trade UK)
  • Red Crayola with Art & Language – Kangaroo (Rough Trade UK)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – Juju (Polydor UK)
  • Tom Tom Club (Sire)

Black Uhuru. L-R: Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Michael Rose

Jul

1

  • Rushton Moreve (32) dies in Los Angeles in a motorcycle accident

4

  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Mountains for piano premiered in Sydney

6

  • Alberto Ginastera’s Cello Concerto no.2 premiered in Buenos Aires

11

  • The Specials have the UK number one single for the first of three weeks with Ghost Town

13

  • George Lloyd’s Symphony no.4 premiered in Cheltenham

16

  • Harry Chapin (38) dies in a road accident in New York (he suffered a heart attack, but whether it was before or after the crash has never been determined)
  • Milton Babbitt’s Ars combinatoria for small orchestra premiered in Bloomington, IN

19

  • Morton Feldman’s Principal Sound for organ premiered in Hartford, CT

21

  • Snub Mosley (75) dies in New York

25

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Hill Runes for guitar premiered in Dartington, Devon
  • The Moody Blues have the Billboard number one album for the first of three weeks with Long Distance Voyager

27

  • Edward Manukyan born (Yerevan, Armenia) Armenian composer.

releases

  • Crispy Ambulance – On A Hot August Night EP (Factory Benelux Belgium)
  • Dif Juz – Huremics EP (4AD UK)
  • Duran Duran – Girls on Film / Faster Than Light (EMI)
  • Echo & The Bunnymen – A Promise / Broke My Neck (Korova UK)
  • Flux Of Pink Indians – Neu Smell EP (Crass UK)
  • Gang Of Four – To Hell With Poverty / Capital (EMI UK)
  • Go-Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed / Surfing and Spying (IRS)
  • Human League – Love Action (I Believe in Love) / Hard Times (Virgin UK)
  • Kraftwerk – Computerlove / The Model (EMI UK)
  • REM – Radio Free Europe / Sitting Still (Hibtone)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – Arabian Knights / Supernatural Thing (Polydor)
  • Soft Cell – Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go? (Some Bizzare UK)
  • Spandau Ballet – Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) / Feel the Chant (Chrysalis)
  • UB40 – One in Ten / Present Arms in Dub (Dep International)
  • U2 – Fire / J. Swallow (Island)
  • Blue Öyster Cult – Fire Of Unknown Origin (Columbia)
  • Crass – Penis Envy (Crass UK)
  • Miles Davis – The Man with the Horn (Columbia)
  • Foreigner 4 (Atlantic)
  • Go-Go’s – Beauty and the Beat (IRS)
  • Josef K – The Only Fun in Town (Postcard UK)
  • The Lounge Lizards (EG) 
  • Mission of Burma – Signals, Calls and Marches (Ace Of Hearts)
  • Penguin Cafe Orchestra (EG) 
  • Tom Verlaine – Dreamtime (Warner Bros)
  • Wailing Souls – Fire House Rock (Greensleeves UK)
  • Was (Not Was) (Ze)

Mission of Burma

Aug

1

  • MTV debuts on cable television in the United States

3

  • David Matthews’s The Company of Lovers (5 songs) premiered in Sydney

5

  • The Beastie Boys play their first gig at guitarist John Berry’s house in New York. Original line-up: Adam Yauch (b) Kate Schellenbach (d) John Berry (g) Michael Diamond (vo)

7

  • Friedrich Cerha’s opera Baal, lib. Bertolt Brecht, premiered in Salzburg

14

  • Karl Böhm (86) dies in Salzburg

15

  • Diana Ross and Lionel Richie have the Billboard number one single for the first of nine weeks with Endless Love

17

  • Arvo Pärt’s Fratres for violin and piano premiered in Salzburg

18

  • Robert Russell Bennett (87) dies in New York of liver cancer

19

  • Jessie Matthews (74) dies in London of cancer

20

  • John Tavener’s Akhmatova: Requiem for soprano, bass and orchestra premiered in Edinburgh

21

  • Henry Rollins plays his first show as Black Flag singer

22

  • Foreigner have the Billboard number one album for the first of seven weeks over two runs with 4

23

  • Hans Werner Henze’s Cherubino for piano premiered in Berlin

24

  • Bill Coleman (77) dies in Toulouse

26

  • Lee Hays (66) dies in Croton-on-Hudson, NY from diabetic cardiovascular disease

29

  • The Electric Light Orchestra have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with Time

releases

  • Associates – Kitchen Person / An Even Whiter Car (Situation 2 UK)
  • Aztec Camera – Mattress of Wire / Lost Outside the Tunnel (Postcard UK)
  • Birthday Party – Release The Bats / Blast Off (4AD UK)
  • John Foxx – Europe After the Rain / This Jungle (Virgin UK)
  • Bruce Gilbert & Graham Lewis – Ends With The Sea / Hung Out To Dry (4AD UK)
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates – Private Eyes / Tell Me What You Want (RCA)
  • Japan – Quiet Life / A Foreign Place (Hansa)
  • Junior – Mama Used to Say / instrumental version (Mercury)
  • Minutemen – Joy / Black Sheep / More Joy (New Alliance)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Souvenir / Motion & Heart (DinDisc UK)
  • Rolling Stones – Start Me Up / No Use in Crying (Rolling Stones)
  • Scritti Politti – The “Sweetest Girl” / Lions After Slumber (Rough Trade UK)
  • Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood / version (Sire)
  • Robert Wyatt – Grass / Trade Union (Rough Trade UK)
  • Comsat Angels – Sleep No More (Polydor UK)
  • Devo – New Traditionalists (Warner Bros)
  • Bob Dylan – Shot of Love (Columbia)
  • Gun Club – Fire of Love (Ruby)
  • Matt Johnson – Burning Blue Soul (4AD UK)
  • Pretenders II (Real)
  • Replacements – Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (Twin Tone UK)
  • Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (Rolling Stones)

The Replacements

Sep

2

  • Tadeusz Baird (53) dies in Warsaw

4

  • Beyoncé Knowles born (Houston, TX) American R&B and pop singer, songwriter, actress. Member of Destiny’s Child and solo artist.

5

  • Stevie Nicks has the Billboard number one album for one week with Bella Donna
  • Soft Cell have the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Tainted Love

6

  • Iannis Xenakis’s Serment-Orkos for chorus premiered in Athens

7

  • 10,000 Maniacs play their first gig in Jamestown, NY
  • William Walton’s The First Shoot for brass premiered in London

9

  • Helen Humes (68) dies in Santa Monica, CA of cancer
  • Sandra Tilley (35) dies in Las Vegas of a brain tumour

13

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Umhergetrieben, aufgewirbelt for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus and flutes premiered in Frankfurt

14

  • Yasuji Kiyose (81) dies in Tokyo
  • Furry Lewis (88) dies in Memphis, TN of pneumonia

16

  • Erik Bergman’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra premiered in Helsinki

17

  • Alexander Goehr’s Deux études for orchestra premiered in Glasgow

19

  • Adam & The Ants have the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with Prince Charming
  • The Rolling Stones have the Billboard number one album for the first of nine weeks with Tattoo You
  • Simon & Garfunkel give a free concert in New York’s Central Park in front of over 500,000 people

20

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Tutuguri VI (Kreuze) for six percussionists premiered in Cologne

21

  • Tony Aubin (73) dies in Paris

22

  • Harry Warren (87) dies in Los Angeles
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra premiered in Helsinki

23

  • Leonard Bernstein’s Olympic Hymn for chorus and orchestra premiered in Baden-Baden

24

  • Luigi Nono’s Io, frammento dal Prometeo for three sopranos, chorus, bass flute, contrabass clarine, and electronics premiered in Venice

26

  • Genesis have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with Abacab

30

  • Boyd Neel (76) dies in Toronto

releases

  • Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough / Any Second Now (Mute UK)
  • Madness – Shut Up / A Town With No Name (Stiff)
  • Maximum Joy – Stretch / Silent Street (Y UK)
  • Meat Puppets – In A Car EP (World Imitation)
  • New Order – Procession / Everything’s Gone Green (Factory UK)
  • Police – Invisible Sun / Shambelle (A&M)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Red Mecca (Rough Trade UK)
  • You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath – Deaf (Self Immolation UK)
  • Genesis – Abacab (Charisma UK)
  • John Foxx – The Garden (Virgin UK)
  • Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement (Virgin UK)
  • King Crimson – Discipline (EG UK)
  • Misty In Roots – Wise and Foolish (People Unite UK)
  • Residents – Mark of the Mole (Ralph)
  • Simple Minds – Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call (Virgin UK)
  • Teardrop Explodes – Passionate Friend / Christ versus Warhol (Mercury)
  • Ultravox – Rage In Eden (Chrysalis)
  • Yello – Claro Que Si (Vertigo UK)

Central Park, New York 19/9/81. An estimated 500,000 people show up for a free Simon & Garfunkel reunion show

Oct

2

  • Hazel Scott (61) dies in Chicago of pancreatic cancer
  • Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding announce that they have left the Specials to form the Fun Boy Three

5

  • Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories for piano premiered in London

8

  • Oscar Moore (64) dies in Las Vegas

9

  • Arvo Pärt’s Credo for piano, chorus and orchestra premiered in Edinburgh

10

  • The Police have the UK number one album for the first of three weeks with Ghost In The Machine
  • William Walton’s A Birthday Fanfare for seven trumpets and percussion premiered in Recklinghausen

11

  • John Tavener’s Prayer for the World for 16 solo voices premiered in London

13

  • Marius Casadesus (88) dies in Paris

17

  • Elena Firsova’s cantata Tristia premiered in Moscow

18

  • Pierre Boulez’s Répons for percussion, orchestra and electronics premiered in Donaueschingen

19

  • John Tavener’s Risen! for chorus, brass, percussion, piano and strings premiered in Bedford

21

  • Alfred Schnittke’s Minnesang for chorus premiered in Graz

23

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Walzer 1 “Sehnsuchtswalzer” for orchestra premiered in Stuttgart
  • Roger Sessions’s Concerto for Orchestra premiered in Boston

26

  • Bruce Dickinson makes his live debut as lead singer for Iron Maiden in Bologna

27

  • Nico Dostal (85) dies in Salzburg
  • Louis Metcalf (76) dies in New York

29

  • Georges Brassens (60) dies in Saint-Gély-du-Fesc, France of cancer

30

  • Vladimir Ussachevsky’s Divertimento for electronics, orchestra and tape premiered in Brooklyn, NY

31

  • The Human League have the UK number one album for one week with Dare

releases

  • ABC – Tears Are Not Enough / Alphabet Soup (Neutron UK)
  • Laurie Anderson – O Superman / Walk The Dog (Warner Bros)
  • Blue Nile – I Love This Life / Second Act (RSO UK)
  • Cure – Charlotte Sometimes / Splintered In Her Head (Fiction UK)
  • Dif Juz – Vibrating Air EP (4AD UK)
  • Discharge – Never Again / Death Dealers / Two Monstrous Nuclear Stockpiles (Clay UK)
  • Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) / Faith, Hope And Charity (Chrysalis)
  • Haircut One Hundred – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) / Boat Party (Arista)
  • Human League – Open Your Heart / Non-Stop (Virgin UK)
  • Jam – Absolute Beginners / Tales From the Riverbank (Polydor)
  • Liquid Liquid – Successive Reflexes EP (99)
  • Orange Juice – L.O.V.E… Love / Intuition Told Me Pt. 2 (Polydor)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Joan Of Arc / Romance Of The Telescope (DinDisc UK)
  • Pigbag – Sunny Day / Elephants Wish To Become Nimble (Y UK)
  • Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic / Flexible Strategies (A&M)
  • Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure / Soul Brother (EMI)
  • Tom Tom Club – Genius Of Love / Lorelei (Sire)
  • 23 Skidoo – The Gospel Comes To New Guinea / Last Words (Fetish UK)
  • Cluster – Curiosum (Sky Germany)
  • Elvis Costello – Almost Blue (F-Beat)
  • Depeche Mode – Speak & Spell (Mute UK)
  • Dome 3 (Dome UK)
  • Einstürzende Neubauten – Kollaps (ZickZack Germany)
  • Human League – Dare (Virgin UK)
  • Joy Division – Still (Factory UK) Studio sides recorded 1978 to 1980, live sides recorded at the band’s final gig in Birmingham on 2 May 1980
  • Liaisons Dangereuses (Teldec Germany)
  • Madness – 7 (Stiff UK)
  • Police – Ghost in the Machine (A&M)
  • Prince – Controversy (Warner Bros)
  • Rip, Rig & Panic – God (Virgin UK)
  • Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Wenn der Südwind Weht (Sky Germany)
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto – Left Handed Dream (Alfa Japan)
  • Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Greensleeves UK)
  • The Return of the Giant Slits (CBS UK)
  • This Heat – Deceit (Rough Trade UK)
  • U2 – October (Island)
  • The Curse of Zounds! (Rough Trade UK)

This Heat – Deceit (Rough Trade)

Nov

1

  • Hans-Jürgen von Bose’s ballet Die Nacht aus Blei premiered in Berlin
  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Wölfli-Liederbuch for bass-baritone and piano premiered in Graz

2

  • Thea Musgrave’s Peripeteia for orchestra premiered in London
  • Conlon Nancarrow’s Study for Player Piano no.42 premiered in Los Angeles

5

  • António Fortunato de Figueiredo (78) dies in Panaji, Goa, India
  • Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No.3 premiered in Leipzig

7

  • Daryl Hall and John Oates have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks  with Private Eyes

8

  • Alfred Schnittke’s Passacaglia for orchestra premiered in Baden-Baden
  • Gunther Schuller’s Symphony for organ premiered in St. Paul, MN

9

  • Henri Pousseur’s La Seconde Apothéose de Rameau for instrumental ensemble premiered in Paris

13

  • David Matthews’s Introit premiered in Windsor

14

  • The Police have the UK number one single for one week with Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

17

  • Bob Eberly (65) dies in Glen Burnie, MD following a heart attack

19

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Luzifers Traum oder Klavierstuck XIII no.51 premiered in Metz

20

  • Harrison Birtwistle’s Pulse Sampler for oboe and claves premiered in Huddersfield

21

  • Harrison Birtwistle’s Clarinet Quintet premiered in Huddersfield
  • Queen And David Bowie have the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Under Pressure

22

  • John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras premiered in Metz
  • Iannis Xenakis’s Komboï for harpsichord and percussion premiered in Metz

24

  • Alan Hovhaness’s Symphony no.47 “Walla Walla, Land of Many Waters” premiered in Walla Walla, WA

25

  • Siegfried Matthus’s Holofernes premiered in Leipzig

26

  • Regino Sainz de la Maza (85) dies in Madrid

27

  • Lotte Lenya (83) dies in New York of cancer
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Giro for orchestra premiered in Tampere

28

  • Sergei Prokofiev’s opera Maddalena, lib. Prokofiev and Lieven and orchestrated by E. Downs, premiered in Graz (stage version)
  • Rudi Spring’s Szene 1 for cello and orchestra premiered in Prague

29

  • Eileen Joyce makes her final concert appearance at a fundraiser in London
  • Colin Matthews’s Oboe Quartet No.1 premiered in Nottingham

releases

  • Artery – Into The Garden / Afterwards (Armageddon UK)
  • Associates – White Car In Germany / The Associate (Situation 2 UK)
  • Clash – This Is Radio Clash / Radio Clash (CBS UK)
  • Dead Kennedys – In God We Trust Inc EP (Alternative Tentacles)
  • Fall – Lie, Dream Of A Casino Soul / Fantastic Life (Kamera UK)
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates – I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) / Unguarded Minute (RCA)
  • Human League – Don’t You Want Me / Seconds (Virgin UK)
  • Madness – It Must Be Love / Shadow on the House (Stiff)
  • Soft Cell – Bedsitter / Facility Girls (Some Bizzare UK)
  • Sugarhill Gang – Apache / instrumental (Sugar Hill)
  • AC/DC – For Those About to Rock We Salute You (Atlantic)
  • Adam & the Ants – Prince Charming (Epic)
  • African Head Charge – My Life in a Hole in the Ground (On-U Sound UK)
  • Agent Orange – Living In Darkness (Posh Boy)
  • Glenn Branca – The Ascension (99)
  • Gavin Bryars – Hommages (Crépuscule Belgium)
  • Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft – Gold und Liebe (Virgin UK)
  • Go Betweens – Send Me a Lullaby (Missing Link Australia)
  • Japan – Tin Drum (Virgin UK)
  • Minutemen – The Punch Line (SST)
  • Moebius & Plank – Material (Sky Germany)
  • New Order – Movement (Factory UK)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Architecture & Morality (DinDisc UK)
  • Soft Cell – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (Some Bizzare UK)
  • Sound – From the Lion’s Mouth (Korova UK)
  • Stranglers – La Folie (Liberty UK)
  • Teardrop Explodes – Wilder (Mercury UK)
  • Thin Lizzy – Renegade (Vertigo)
  • TV21 – A Thin Red Line (Deram UK)
  • Wipers – Youth of America (Park Avenue) 
  • Bobby Womack – The Poet (Beverly Glen)
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra – Technodelic (EMI)
  • Neil Young – Re-ac-tor (Reprise)

Black Flag – Damaged (SST)

Dec

1

  • Taft Jordan (66) dies in New York

2

  • Britney Spears born (McComb, MS) American pop singer.

3

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Tutuguri III for orchestra premiered in Karlsruhe

4

  • Mauricio Kagel’s Finale for chamber ensemble premiered in Cologne

5

  • Marius Constant’s ballet La tragédie de Carmen premiered in London

8

  • Walter Horton (64) dies in Chicago of heart failure

9

  • Sonny Til (53) dies in Washington, DC of heart failure

11

  • David Diamond’s Sonata for violin and piano no.2 premiered in Washington, DC

12

  • The Human League have the UK number one single for the first of five weeks with Don’t You Want Me

13

  • Cornelius Cardew (45) killed in London by a hit and run driver

15

  • Sam Jones (57) dies in New York of lung cancer
  • Charles Koechlin’s Vers le soleil: seven monodies for ondes martenot premiered posthumously in Verrières-le-Buisson, France

16

  • Thea Musgrave’s opera A Christmas Carol, lib. Musgrave after Dickens, premiered in Norfolk, VA

17

  • Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for oboe and strings premiered posthumously in New York

19

  • Abba have the UK number one album for the first of three weeks with The Visitors

26

  • AC/DC have the Billboard number one album for the first of three weeks with For Those About to Rock We Salute You

27

  • Hoagy Carmichael (82) dies in Rancho Mirage, CA of heart failure

28

  • Frank Turner born (Manama, Bahrain) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist.

31

  • Tom Waits marries Kathleen Brennan

releases

  • A Certain Ratio – Waterline / Funaezekea (Factory UK)
  • Abba – One of Us / Should I Laugh or Cry (Polar Sweden)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Eddie’s Out / Walls Of Jericho (Rough Trade UK)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Jazz The Glass / Burnt To The Ground (Rough Trade UK)
  • Fire Engines – Big Gold Dream EP (Pop:Aural UK)
  • Minor Threat – In My Eyes EP (Dischord)
  • New Order – Everything’s Gone Green / Mesh / Cries and Whispers (Factory Benelux)
  • Police – Spirits in the Material World / Low Life (A&M)
  • Abba – The Visitors (Polar Sweden)
  • Associates – Fourth Drawer Down (Situation Two UK)
  • Black Flag – Damaged (SST)
  • Can – Delay 1968 (Spoon Germany) Recorded 1968
  • Holger Czukay – On the Way to the Peak of Normal (EMI UK)
  • Durutti Column – LC (Factory UK)
  • Material – Memory Serves (Celluloid France)
  • Venom – Welcome to Hell (Neat UK)

Bobby Womack – The Poet (Beverley Glen)

date unknown

releases

  • Aswad – New Chapter (CBS UK)
  • Derek Bailey – Aida (Incus UK)
  • Dinosaur L – 24→24 Music (Sleeping Bag) 
  • Fred Frith – Speechless (Ralph) 
  • King Tubby Meets Roots Radics – Dangerous Dub (Copasetic UK)
  • Jon Hassell – Fourth World Volume Two: Dream Theory in Malaya (EG)
  • Die Krupps – Stahlwerksynfonie (ZickZack Germany)
  • Alvin Lucier – I Am Sitting in a Room (Lovely Music)
  • Prince Far I – Voice of Thunder (Trojan UK)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen – Der Jahreslauf (Deutsche Grammophon Germany)
  • John Surman – The Amazing Adventures of Simon Simon (ECM)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s