Sharon Van Etten on why 1981 was the Greatest Year in Music

We asked musician Sharon Van Etten to pick her favorite year in music.

The New Jersey native released an EP called I Don’t Want to Let You Down earlier this year (which you can learn more about via NPR here), following up last year’s Are We There Yet full-length. Read her case for 1981 below and vote for your favorite year here.


 

I was born in 1981. My parents raised me on rock & roll, oldies, folk music, and musicals. My siblings got me into funk and soul and pop music on the radio. As I entered into adulthood, I came to find that my favorite moment in time was the year I was born: the post-punk era.

The mood, beats, instrumentation, experimentation, and the angst represented in this time frame really turned me on. To imagine that at one time all of these bands were playing shows and recording and even collaborating with each other… it blows my mind! The list [of great albums] is so long and it can keep going.

Duran Duran – “Girls on Film”

The Ramones – “The KKK Took My Baby Away”

Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough”

Jim Carroll – “People Who Died”

Kraftwerk – “Computer Love”

Ultravox – “The Voice”

Gary Newman – “She’s Got Claws”

English Beat – “Drowning”

Blondie – “The Tide is High”

Television Personalities – “This Angry Silence”

Killing Joke – “Follow the Leaders”

Durutti Column – “Never Known”

The Clean – “Tally Ho!”

Sonic Youth – Their first live recording (PRE studio album!)

The Birthday Party – “Nick the Stripper”

Delta 5 – “Shadows”

The Raincoats – “Only Loved at Night”

And …

Pretenders
New Order
The Fall
Gang of Four
Wire
Joy Division
Siouxsie and the Banshees
The Cure
OMD
The Human League
Echo & The Bunnymen
Psychedelic Furs
The Go-Go’s
​Bauhaus
The Cars
Simple Minds
Devo
Brian Eno
The Church
The Cramps
Modern English
Joe Jackson
Felt
Iggy Pop
Trio​

… You get the picture.

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Category: 80s

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Bruce Warren

Article by: Bruce Warren