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   » » Wiki: 1981 In Music
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This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1981.


Specific locations
  • 1981 in British music
  • 1981 in Norwegian music


Specific genres
  • 1981 in country music
  • 1981 in heavy metal music
  • 1981 in hip hop music
  • 1981 in jazz


Events

January–April
  • – Nearly a year after the suicide of , the surviving members of plus Gillian Gilbert, now under the name New Order, release their debut single "Ceremony"; the single and its B-side, "In a Lonely Place", are both re-recordings of songs originally written and performed by Curtis.http://www.neworder.com/newordernow/2018/12/19/movement-definitive-edition.html The single's release marks the band's first public use of the "New Order" moniker, which they would retain for the remainder of their career.
  • 10 January – A revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan The Pirates of Penzance opens at Broadway's Uris Theatre, starring and .
  • 18 January – Wendy O. Williams of is arrested in for simulating masturbation with a sledgehammer on stage. In a scuffle with the police Williams is pinned to the floor and receives a cut above the eye requiring twelve stitches.
    (1981). 9780312687847, Virgin Books Ltd.. .
  • 24 January – lead singer is injured in a motorcycle crash that leaves him hospitalized for two months.
  • 9 February – releases his first solo album, Face Value; while the album would end up a smash success, Collins would remain a member of Genesis until 1995.
  • 12 February – Rush release the highly regarded album Moving Pictures which eventually becomes the band's sixth platinum album.
  • 14 February – leaves the band Generation X to begin a solo career.
  • 14 March – Suffering from bleeding ulcers, is admitted to United Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Clapton's 60-city tour of the US is cancelled, and he remains in hospital for a month.
  • 27 March – bites the head off a dove at a record label gathering in Los Angeles.
  • 1 April – The Go-Go's sign to .
  • 4 April – British pop group Bucks Fizz wins the 26th Eurovision Song Contest, held at the RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion, Dublin, with the song "Making Your Mind Up".
  • 11 April – 's lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen marries actress Valerie Bertinelli.
  • 18 April – Yes announce that they are breaking up. (They would reunite frequently in years to come).
  • 20 April – The Mamas & the Papas' John Phillips is sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to drug possession charges. Phillips' sentence would be suspended after thirty days in exchange for 250 hours of community service.
  • 22 April – is taken to the hospital suffering from bruised ribs and a lacerated shin, following a car accident in .
  • 27 April – and marry, in London, England.


May–August
  • 2 May – British vocalist hits No. 1 in the US with "Morning Train (9 to 5)" following a swift rise to fame as the result of a reality TV show.
  • 14 May – signs with ( internationally), leaving , her label of two decades. The $20,000,000 deal is the most lucrative recording contract in history at that time.
  • 15 May – A riot breaks out at The Ritz rock club in New York when Public Image Ltd plays behind a videoscreen while completely different music plays over the club's speakers.
  • 4 June – U2 appears on the Tomorrow show with , their first U.S. television appearance.
  • 5 June – The TV series Night Flight, a variety show featuring music documentaries and videos, is premiered on the .
  • 6 June – Kerrang! magazine publishes its first issue. of AC/DC is on the cover.
  • 30 June – Jerry Lee Lewis is rushed to hospital in Memphis for emergency surgery for a tear in his stomach. Despite being given less than a 50% chance of survival, he eventually pulls through.
  • 1 August
    • MTV broadcasts for the first time on cable television in the United States, playing music videos 24 hours a day. First to air is "Video Killed the Radio Star" by .
    • the success of Stars On 45 leads to a short-lived medley craze. The most successful imitator of the Stars On 45 format is, rather unexpectedly, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra whose "Hooked On Classics (Parts 1&2)" reaches number two in the charts.
  • 23 August – The are discovered by members of busking outside a venue and are invited to play a 10-minute acoustic set as a second opening act in the Pretenders' show that night.


September–December
  • 11 September – fires lead singer Paul Di'Anno.
  • 19 September – Simon & Garfunkel perform a free reunion concert in New York City's attended by over 500,000 fans.
  • 25 September – The Rolling Stones open their US tour in , Pennsylvania.
  • 26 September – hires Samson lead singer Bruce Bruce AKA to replace Paul Di'Anno, will finish off the last 7 dates of the Killer World Tour.
  • 26 October – plays its first show with as the new lead singer in Bologna, Italy.
  • 27 October – The British Phonographic Industry takes out newspaper ads unveiling its new slogan: "Home Taping Is Killing Music". The ads advocate a levy on blank cassette tapes.
    (1982). 9780312687854, Virgin Books Ltd..
  • 31 October – Punk band Fear makes a memorable appearance on Saturday Night Live. A group of fans storm the stage and damage TV equipment while , resulting in the show cutting to commercial.
  • 18 November – While sitting in Tom's Restaurant in New York City, composes the song "Tom's Diner".
  • 18 December – An estimated 35 million people around the world watch a live satellite transmission of a concert at the Los Angeles Forum. It is the first broadcast of its kind since Elvis Presley's "Aloha from Hawaii" special in 1973.
  • 31 December – The tenth annual New Year's Rockin' Eve special airs on ABC, with appearances by , , , Alabama and .


Also in 1981
  • The organ at the famous Heinävesi Church in Finland is renewed, using locks from the original organ.
  • drastically changes his appearance, leaving behind his trademark make-up and donning a military uniform.
  • enjoys mainstream popularity in the UK, with groups such as , , Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Human League releasing hit singles and albums.
  • Menudo's golden era (1981–1985) begins in Latin America, parts of Europe and Asia.
  • leaves and is replaced by .
  • "invents" the modern with Amacord Nino Rota.


Bands formed


Bands disbanded
  • Amon Düül II
  • Bay City Rollers
  • (they reform in 1989)
  • City Boy
  • Cluster (they reform in 1989)
  • Generation X
  • Klaatu
  • (reformed in 1991, onwards)
  • Luv' (they reform in 1989, 1993 and 2005)
  • Sam & Dave
  • Starland Vocal Band
  • State of Alert
  • (They reform in 1993)
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Toots & the Maytals (they reform in the early 90s)
  • Paul McCartney & Wings


Albums released

January–March
J
A
N
U
A
R
Y
1
15
19
23
28
?
F
E
B
R
U
A
R
Y
1
2UK
3
9solo debut
12
17
Compilation
24
26
?EP
Live
EP
M
A
R
C
H
1Live
6
10
13
16
20
26
27
30EP
31
?
EP


April–June
A
P
R
I
L
1Live
2
6
7
10
11
13
14Compilation
15
17
20
27EP
29
?
Soundtrack
Live
M
A
Y
3
5
10
11
Live
14
15
17
18
20
22
25
29Live
30
?
J
U
N
E
5
6
8
15
16
19
25
27Live
29
30
?
Compilation
EP


July–September
J
U
L
Y
2
4EP
8
11
20
21
26
27
29
31
?
Soundtrack
Soundtrack
Compilation
Remix
Broadway cast recording
A
U
G
U
S
T
10Live
15
18
21
24
26Live
28
31
?
EP
Live EP
S
E
P
T
E
M
B
E
R
2
4
7 singer
11
14
Live
19
21
22
23
24
25EP
?
Compilation
Live
Live


October–December
O
C
T
O
B
E
R
2
3
5
7
8solo debut
Compilation
10Remix
12
14
16
18
19
21
23
24EP
26The J. Geils Band
29Live
31Compilation
?
Compilation of previously unreleased material
Christmas
N
O
V
E
M
B
E
R
2
4
6
7
8
Compilation
9Australia, debut
10
11Live
13
14
15
16
18
20
23Compilation with alternate mixes
27
29Live
30EP
Compilation
?
Compilation
Christmas
Compilation
Compilation +3 new tracks
D
E
C
E
M
B
E
R
5
7Compilation
15
30
?
EP


Release date unknown


Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1981.

US BB 1 – April 1981, Canada 1 – April 1981, France 1 – June 1981, Switzerland 1 – June 1981, Norway 1 – June 1981, Germany 1 – June 1981, Australia 1 for 5 weeks May 1982, Grammy in 1981, US CashBox 2 of 1981, Austria 2 – July 1981, South Africa 2 of 1981, Sweden (alt) 4 – May 1981, Italy 5 of 1981, Australia 6 of 1981, UK 10 – May 1981, Netherlands 16 – May 1981, RYM 16 of 1981, Germany 18 of the 1980s, OzNet 45, Scrobulate 66 of 80s, RIAA 268, Acclaimed 738
UK 1 – August 1981, Canada 1 – November 1981, France 1 – August 1981, Australia 1 for 3 weeks January 1983, Austria 2 – December 1981, Switzerland 2 – November 1981, Germany 2 – January 1982, Scrobulate 2 of 80s, Australia 3 of 1982, Sweden (alt) 4 – October 1981, RYM 4 of 1981, Netherlands 5 – October 1981, South Africa 5 of 1982, US BB 8 – May 1982, US BB 15 of 1982, POP 18 of 1982, Germany 37 of the 1980s, KROQ 38 of 1982, Virgin 41, US CashBox 50 of 1982, Party 142 of 2007, Acclaimed 163, Belgium 242 of all time, OzNet 451, WXPN 745
Netherlands 1 – February 1981, Sweden (alt) 1 – February 1981, Austria 1 – April 1981, Switzerland 1 – April 1981, UK 2 – January 1981, France 2 – March 1981, Germany 2 – March 1981, Canada 3 – June 1981, Norway 4 – March 1981, OzNet 7, Poland 12 – August 1982, Europe 13 of the 1980s, RYM 15 of 1981, POP 16 of 1981, US BB 19 – July 1981, Australia 23 of 1981, Italy 23 of 1981, US BB 27 of 1981, Germany 44 of the 1980s, Scrobulate 60 of pop, TheQ 87, Belgium 230 of all time, Acclaimed 1238
UK 1 – January 1981, Canada 1 – January 1981, Republic of Ireland 1 – February 1981, New Zealand 1 for 5 weeks February 1981, US BB 2 – January 1981, Switzerland 2 – March 1981, Austria 4 – March 1981, Norway 5 – February 1981, France 7 – March 1981, Germany 7 – February 1981, US CashBox 16 of 1981, Sweden (alt) 18 – February 1981, Netherlands 21 – March 1981, RYM 22 of 1981, US BB 30 of 1981, Italy 34 of 1981, POP 34 of 1981, Virgin 59, OzNet 139, Germany 213 of the 1980s
US BB 1 – May 1981, Netherlands 1 – January 1981, Austria 1 – May 1981, Switzerland 1 – May 1981, Germany 1 – March 1981, New Zealand 1 for 7 weeks June 1981, Australia 1 for 4 weeks June 1982, UK 2 – April 1981, Australia 2 of 1981, Germany 5 of the 1980s, Sweden (alt) 7 – June 1981, US CashBox 13 of 1981, Italy 54 of 1981


Chronological table of US and UK Number One hit singles
US Number One singles and artist
(Weeks at Number One)
  • "(Just Like) Starting Over" – (4 weeks)
  • "The Tide Is High" – Blondie (1)
  • "Celebration" – Kool & the Gang (2)
  • "9 to 5" – (2)
  • "I Love a Rainy Night" – (2)
  • "Keep on Loving You" – (1)
  • "Rapture" – Blondie (2)
  • "Kiss On My List" – Daryl Hall & John Oates (3)
  • "Morning Train (9 to 5)" – (2)
  • "Bette Davis Eyes" – (9)
  • "Stars on 45 Medley" – Stars On 45 (1)
  • "The One That You Love" – (1)
  • "Jessie's Girl" – (2)
  • "Endless Love" – & (9)
  • "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" – Christopher Cross (3)
  • "Private Eyes" – Daryl Hall & John Oates (2)
  • "Physical" – Olivia Newton-John (6)

UK Number One singles and artist
(Weeks at Number One)


Chronological table of US and UK Number One hit albums
US Number One album and artist
(Weeks at Number One)

UK Number One album and artist
(Weeks at Number One)

  • Super Trouper (3)
  • Kings of the Wild Frontier – Adam and the Ants (12)
  • & (2)
  • Face Value (3)
  • Stars on 45- Stars on 45 / Starsound (5)
  • No Sleep 'til Hammersmith – Motörhead (1)
  • Disco Daze and Disco Nites – Various Artists (1)
  • Love Songs (5)
  • The Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding – Various Artists (2)
  • Time – Electric Light Orchestra (2)
  • Dead Ringer (2)
  • – Genesis (2)
  • Ghost in the Machine (3)
  • Dare – The Human League (1)
  • Shaky – Shakin' Stevens (1)
  • Greatest Hits – Queen (4)
  • Chart Hits '81 – Various Artists (1)
  • The Visitors (3)


Significant singles

Published popular music


Classical music
    • Don, for piano four-hands
    • Ars Combinatoria, for small orchestra
  • Rob du Bois
    • String Quartet no. 3
    • Sonata for solo viola
  • Gnomic Variations for piano
  • Peter Maxwell Davies – Piano Sonata
  • Joël-François Durand – String Trio
    • Bass Clarinet and Percussion, for bass clarinet, cymbals and gongs
    • Triadic Memories, for piano
    • For Aaron Copland, for violin
    • Balletto
    • Arioso II
    • Variazioni sulla notte, for guitar
  • Cristóbal Halffter
    • Fantasia sobre una sonoridad de G. F. Haendel, for string orchestra
    • Ricercare, for organ
  • Voluntary on a Swedish Hymn Tune from Dalecarlia
  • Exodus, a vocal-symphonic poem for mixed choir and orchestra
  • George Lloyd – Tenth Symphony (for brass)
  • Tome Mančev
    • Symphonic Poem, for large orchestra, Op. 16
    • Dance, for piano and percussion, Op. 19
    • The Year 1014 , for mixed chorus, Op. 20
    • March of the Bicyclists, for children's chorus
  • Miroslav Miletić
    • Sonatina for violin and guitar
    • Sonata for viola and piano
    • Three Popular Songs from Dalmatia for voice and guitar
  • Tehillim
  • – Concerto for Orchestra (recorded by and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for which the composer receives the Pulitzer Prize for Music)
  • Robert Simpson
    • Quintet for clarinet and strings
    • Symphony No. 8
  • Stanislaw Skrowaczewski – Clarinet Concerto
    • Symphony No. 3
    • Minnesang, for 52 voices
    • String Quartet No. 2
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen
    • Klavierstück XIII
    • Traum-Formel, for basset horn


Opera
  • La figlia del mago
  • and Black River
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen – Donnerstag aus Licht (March 15, La Scala, Milan, but without act 3, due to a choir strike; first full performance on April 3)

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[[Musical theater/" itemprop="url" title="Wiki: musical_theate"> <hr class="us2411627114"> <span class="us896110720 us1353177739">[[Musical theater">musical_theate">
[[Musical theater
  • Barnum – London production opened at the on June 11 and ran for 655 performances
  • Bring Back Birdie – Broadway production
  • Cats (Andrew Lloyd Webber) – London production opened at the New London Theatre on May 11 and ran for 8949 performances
  • Dreamgirls – Broadway production opened on December 20 at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 1522 performances
  • March of the Falsettoes – off-Broadway production
  • Merrily We Roll Along – Broadway production opened at the on November 16 and ran for 16 performances
  • The Pirates of Penzance – Broadway revival
  • Song and Dance – London production
  • Woman of the Year – Broadway production opened at the Palace Theatre on March 29 and ran for 770 performances

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Births
  • January 5 – , Brazilian operatic soprano
  • January 7 – Ania, Polish singer, songwriter and composer
  • January 15
    • Pitbull, Cuban-American rapper
    • , American singer-songwriter
  • January 19 – , British singer and actress (allSTARS*)
  • January 21 – Andy Lee, South Korean singer and actor ()
  • January 22 – , American pop singer, songwriter, model, musician and actress
  • January 25 – , American singer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, actress, and activist
  • January 29 – , American blues artist
  • January 31 – Justin Timberlake, American singer (, , , )
  • February 1 – Jay R Sillona, Filipino singer
  • February 5 – , singer/songwriter, composer and record producer
  • February 9
    • , American musician (Avenged Sevenfold) (D. 2009)
    • , English actor, film producer and musician (Taylor Swift)
  • February 11 – American singer-songwriter, member of Destiny's Child
  • February 12 – , Irish singer, songwriter, musician, and voice actress.
  • February 15
    • Olivia, American singer-songwriter and actress
    • , American musician, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, ()
  • February 17 – , American singer-songwriter, DJ, youtuber and writer
  • February 18 – Kamasi Washington, American crossover jazz saxophonist
  • February 19 – , American singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur (Gossip)
  • February 26 – Sharon Van Etten, American singer-songwriter and actress
  • February 27 – , American crossover singer and songwriter
  • March 3 – Kim Yoo-jin, South Korean singer and actress
  • March 7 – , New Zealand operatic soprano
  • March 9 – , American musician/singer/songwriter member of New Found Glory
  • March 11
  • March 26
    • , British singer and songwriter
    • Anaïs Mitchell, American singer-songwriter, producer and musician (Rachel Ries, Jefferson Hamer, Ani DiFranco, Justin Vernon, Greg Brown and Ben Knox Miller)
  • March 29 - , American singer
  • April 1
  • April 5 – Mariqueen Maandig, a Filipino American musician and singer-songwriter. (How To Destroy Angels, West Indian Girl, )
  • April 6 – , Jamaican dancehall artist
  • April 8 – Gummy, Korean singer
  • April 10 – Laura Bell Bundy, American actress and singer
  • April 29 – Tom Smith (Editors)
  • April 30 – , American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer (Bon Iver)
  • May 3
    • , American singer-songwriter, actress (Destiny's Child)
    • , American singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer and record producer
  • May 5
  • May 12 – , Estonian singer-songwriter and pianist
  • May 20
  • May 21 – Stig Van Eijk, singer, composer and lyricist
  • May 23
  • May 30 – , a Venezuelan American singer-songwriter and visual artist
  • June 1 – , American folk rock and Americana singer-songwriter
  • June 2
    • Catherine Manoukian, Canadian violinist
  • , Of Brendan and Leah
  • June 7 – , American guitarist, songwriter, and producer (Earthlings? and )
  • June 8 – ()
  • June 15 – Billy Martin (guitarist), American guitarist
  • June 20 – , American singer, winner of season 10 of The Voice (US)
  • June 21 – , American singer/songwriter, musician, Multi-instrumentalist, advocate, member of ()
  • June 23 – (Blue)
  • June 28
    • , Australian singer-songwriter (Confession, I Killed the Prom Queen, Carpathian, and Bury Your Dead)
    • Savage (AKA Demetrius Savelio) New Zealand born Samoan rapper
  • July 3 – , New Zealand snowboarder, host, and ballroom dancer
  • July 6 – , American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • July 7 – , American musician (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • July 8 – , Estonian singer
  • July 12 – , (allSTARS*)
  • July 20 – Lowkey, American rapper and producer
  • July 21
  • July 22 – , American singer-songwriter and composer
  • July 31 – M. Shadows, American singer, songwriter, and musician (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • August 1 – , Estonian singer-songwriter guitarist, and producer
  • August 6 – Leslie Odom Jr., American singer and actor
  • August 8
  • August 11 – , Scottish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
  • August 28 – (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
  • September 4
    • Beyoncé, American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress (Destiny's Child, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Mathew Knowles, Tina Knowles)
    • , American singer-songwriter (Flyleaf)
  • September 7 – Do, Dutch singer
  • September 14 – American singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress, model, presenter, and television personality (The Pussycat Dolls)
  • September 18 – . , American music publisher, record producer, songwriter, and DJ.
  • September 25 – , American indie EDM musician, singer-songwriter and artist
  • September 26 – , American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress
  • September 29 – , English singer (Hear'Say) and actress
  • October 1 – , British singer
  • October 5 – , producer and DJ
  • October 13
  • October 15 – Nick White (Tilly and the Wall)
  • October 25 – , American actor, singer, and model
  • October 31 – (My Chemical Romance)
  • November 1
  • November 7 – , American singer-songwriter
  • November 16 – Kate Miller-Heidke, Australian crossover singer-songwriter, stage actress and actress
  • November 17 – , English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, and actress. ()
  • November 20
  • November 22
    • Jenny Owen Youngs, American singer-songwriter
    • (A1)
  • November 26 – Natasha Bedingfield, English singer-songwriter
  • November 30 – Mavado, Jamaican deejay, singer and songwriter
  • December 2 – , American singer-songwriter, dancer, performer, musician, clothes designer, author, activist and advocate
  • December 11 – (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • December 13 – , American singer-songwriter, musician and multi instrumentalist ()
  • December 16 - , American musician and actress
  • December 21 – , Mexican musician, singer and songwriter, and musician
  • December 23 – Beth, Spanish singer and actress
  • date unknown, Scottish accordionist, shinty player, and broadcaster


Deaths


Awards
_award">
Awards
  • Grammy Awards of 1981


Country Music Association Awards

Eurovision Song Contest
  • Eurovision Song Contest 1981


Charts

List of No. 1 Hits
  • List of Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles of 1981


See also
  • Timeline of musical events

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