All Time Top 10 from 1980

Thanks to the seminal Northampton post-punk outfit Coil for providing this press cutting from Smash Hits dated around Oct/Nov 1980. Their song “Motor Industry” was a particular favourite at the time, hence its appearance in this list which is posted among the photos on their MySpace page. Alas the UK motor industry no longer inhabits cathedral of power these days, but the lyric remains as evocative as ever.

TR's All-time Top 10 from 1980

This dates from long before U2 became an international best-selling phenomenon. I saw them play pub gigs in London like The Clarendon and the Nashville Room pub where they really were staggeringly good. They quickly graduated to the Marquee club where their gig in late 1980 is still one of the most remarkable live shows I’ve ever seen.   Richard Thompson meanwhile remains  the only artist I can think of who’s released consistently fresh and breathtaking records from the mid sixties to the present day. Including live releases and compilations I just counted 66 albums on his Wikipedia discography. The man’s a living legend.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Listen to Coil’s recent stuff on our website


  2. I second that suggestion – the address of Coil’s new pages is:

  3. To comment on U2. I first saw them at the Electric Ballroom bottom of the bill, I think it would have been supporting Talking Heads Xmas ’79 and to be honest they didn’t set the world on fire but saw them a few months later at The Nags Head pub Wolaston Northants and they were fantastically good.

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