Girish Mahajan

1981 in British music

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1981 in British music

This is a summary of 1981 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Contents

Events

  • 9 February - Phil Collins releases his first solo album (although he will not leave the band Genesis until 1995)
  • 14 February - Billy Idol leaves Generation X to begin a solo career
  • 4 April - Bucks Fizz win the Eurovision Song Contest with "Making Your Mind Up"
  • 7 April - Former Who manager Kit Lambert dies after falling down a flight of stairs in his mother's home in London.
  • 17 April - Eric Clapton is released from St. Paul's Hospital in Minnesota following a month-long treatment for bleeding ulcers.
  • 18 April - Yes announce that they are breaking up. (They would however reunite frequently in years to come).
  • 25 April - Paul McCartney's band, Wings, breaks up
  • 2 May - Working as a local wedding singer 12 months previously, Scottish vocalist Sheena Easton hits No.1 in the US with "Morning Train (9 to 5)"
  • 11 May - The musical Cats begins its 8,949 performance run on London's West End.
  • August - 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.
  • 14 September - Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices record the album A Feather on the Breath of God in St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London.
  • 17 October - Performance artist Laurie Anderson achieves a surprise #2 hit when her eight-minute experimental song O Superman is championed by Radio 1 DJ John Peel. To date, this remains the only avant-garde song to enter the British music charts.
  • Year-end charts

    The tables below include sales between 1 January and 31 December 1981: the year-end charts reproduced in the issue of Music Week dated 26 December 1981 and played on Radio 1 on 3 January 1982 only include sales figures up until 12 December 1981.

    Notes:

    Classical music: new works

  • Peter Maxwell Davies - Piano Sonata
  • George Lloyd - Symphony No 10, November Journeys (for brass)
  • Adrian Williams - String Quartet No. 2
  • Opera

  • Iain Hamilton - Anna Karenina
  • Musical theatre

  • 11 May - Cats, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opens in London's West End.
  • 16 December - Alan Ayckbourn's Making Tracks, with music by Paul Todd, opens at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
  • Musical films

  • Concert for Kampuchea
  • Dance Craze
  • Urgh! A Music War
  • Births

  • 11 January
  • Jamelia, singer
  • Tom Meighan, lead singer of Kasabian
  • 19 January - Thaila Zucchi, English singer (allSTARS*) and actress
  • 24 February - Gwilym Simcock, pianist and composer
  • 11 March - Russell Lissack, guitarist with Bloc Party
  • 13 March - Ivo Neame, jazz pianist and saxophonist
  • 26 March - Jay Sean, singer
  • 1 April - Hannah Spearritt, actress and singer (S Club 7)
  • 7 April - Kelli Young, singer (Liberty X)
  • 10 April - Liz McClarnon, singer (Atomic Kitten)
  • 21 April - Mike Christie, baritone (G4)
  • 26 April - Ms Dynamite, singer
  • 5 May - Craig David, singer
  • 20 May - Sean Conlon, musician (5ive)
  • 23 May - Gwenno Saunders, singer
  • 22 June - Chris Urbanowicz, guitarist (Editors)
  • 23 June - Antony Costa, singer (Blue)
  • 12 July - Rebecca Hunter, singer (allSTARS*)
  • 19 July - Didz Hammond, English singer and bass player (Dirty Pretty Things and The Cooper Temple Clause)
  • 8 August - Bradley McIntosh, singer (S Club 7)
  • 11 August - Sandi Thom, singer-songwriter
  • 2 September - Paul Jennings, drummer
  • 29 September - Suzanne Shaw, British singer (Hear'Say) and actress
  • 10 October - Una Healy,Irish singer (The Saturdays)
  • 13 October -Kele Okereke, English singer (Bloc Party)
  • 17 November - Sarah Harding, British singer (Girls Aloud)
  • 20 November - Kimberley Walsh, British singer (Girls Aloud)
  • 26 November - Natasha Bedingfield, singer
  • 19 December - Sam Bloom, singer (allSTARS*)
  • Deaths

  • 19 February – Olive Gilbert, actress and singer, 82
  • 21 February – Ron Grainer, Australian-born electronic music pioneer and composer involved with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 58 (spinal cancer)
  • 10 March - Bill Hopkins, pianist, composer and critic, 37 (heart attack)
  • 7 April - Kit Lambert, manager and producer, 45
  • 8 April - Eric Rogers, composer, 59
  • 14 April - Christian Darnton, composer, 75
  • 21 April - Ivor Newton, pianist and accompanist, 88
  • 12 May - Frank Weir, orchestra leader and jazz musician, 70
  • 15 October – Elsie Randolph, actress, dancer and singer, 77
  • 13 December - Cornelius Cardew, experimental music composer, 45 (hit-and-run car accident)
  • date unknown
  • Frank Merrick, pianist, 95
  • Albert Ernest Sims, composer, conductor and music director of The Central Band of H.M. Royal Air Force, 85
  • References

    1981 in British music Wikipedia


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