1982

The decade's obsession with narcissism and excess manifested itself with Duran Duran becoming the biggest band on the planet....

The decade’s obsession with narcissism and excess manifested itself with Duran Duran becoming the biggest band on the planet. Frills and cheekbones became more vital than the songs. The nation’s sweetheart, Princess Di, was their number 1 fan. Style mags like The Face took to tipping the stars of the future on dress sense alone. Cocaine, cappuccino and visible affluence were the order of the day. Pop hit a new nadir, with the charts dominated by tack like Tight Fit (the S Club 7 of their day) and The Goombay Dance Band.

Gone: Captain Sensible. Damned bassist and the man credited with inventing gobbing during punk suddenly became a household name with a cheesy cover of ‘Happy Talk’ from South Pacific. Pretty soon he was back trying to cover the mortgage repayments with an endless succession of Damned reunions.

Album of the year: ‘Junkyard’ – The Birthday Party

Single of the year: ‘The Message’ – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

Band of the year: Duran Duran

1982 belonged to: ‘Me!’ ‘No, me!’ ‘Me me me! And fuck the rest of you!’

Key event of the year: The Falklands War saved Thatcher’s bacon and ensured eight more years of her destructive rule with all its knock-on effect on pop music. Even the once proud Dexy’s released the risible but obscenely catchy ‘Come On Eileen’, securing themselves a place at every wedding reception disco from now til eternity. To compound the malaise, The Jam split and we got The Style Council in their place.

Things were getting so bad generally that Maggie declared war on Argentina. The nation forgot its troubles to rally behind ‘our boys’. At least anarcho-punks Crass kept their dignity, releasing ‘What’s It Like To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead?’ Questions were asked in Parliament. Years later pop stars would troop to Number 10 for champagne and canapis.