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"One of the earliest uses of the Roland TR-808 for a live performance was by Yellow Magic Orchestra in December 1980 in the song "Thousand Knives," composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1978. The hand-clap sound was later publicized by YMO's innovative album BGM, released March 1981 in Japan, used again on "Thousand Knives," as well as in another of Sakamoto's songs, "Music Plans."" --Sholem Stein

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<< 1979 1981 >>

1980 is the 980th year of the 2nd millennium, the 80th year of the 20th century, and the 1st year of the 1980s decade.


Art and culture


Guilty pleasures




Visual art


  • Disco becomes a dirty word
    • By 1980, disco had become a dirty word. The term was banished from the language as an added security measure [because remember, the disco that Ron and Frankie played was called 'house' even before house was], but the music was exported to England, where it was de-gayed and re-exported to the States under a new name: "new wave dance music." The rock majority was satisfied by the replacement of explicitly gay Sylvester with flamboyantly closeted Boy George. As the playlist segued from "I'm Coming Out" into "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me," the pulverization of the liberal imagination became a political fact. Ronald Reagan was elected president, and the following June, a mysterious new "gay cancer" appeared. --Peter Braunstein
  • Adrian Sherwood
  • Grace Jones
    • With the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work produced by the noted reggae team of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.


  • Taana Gardner - Work That Body
  • Geraldine Hunt - Can't Fake the Feeling
  • Trussel - Love Injection
  • Invisible Man's Band - All Night Thing
  • Sparkle - Handsome Man
  • Visage - Fade To Grey
  • Sharon Redd - Can You Handle It
  • Chico Hamilton - Magic Fingers
  • Chaka Khan - Clouds
  • Two Tons Of Fun - Just Us
  • Brothers Johnson - Stomp
  • The Fantastic Aleems feat. Leroy Burgess - Hooked On Your Love
  • Billy Frazier & Friends - Billy Who?
  • Yello - Bostich
  • High Frequency - Summertime




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