John Lennon signs his last autograph...

You knew the 80s were going to be a bad decade when 1980 began with Pink Floyd‘s pompous ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ topping the charts and ended with John Lennon being shot and St Winnifred’s School Choir at the number 1 slot.

Gone: ‘Fame’. Alan Parker’s film about the struggles of aspiring teenagers at a New York performing arts school spawned all manner of sentimental pop crimes and various fashion disasters involving legwarmers.

Album of the year: ‘Closer’ – Joy Division

Single of the year: ‘Atomic’- Blondie

1980 belonged to Blondie: Three Number 1 hits and drug consumption not yet at crisis point.

Event of the year: John Lennon signs his last autograph and a grateful Mark Chapman returned the favour with five bullets to the torso. It wasn’t all bad, though. Blondie, The Jam and Abba dominated the charts; 2-Tone was at its peak, Dexy’s were searching for the young soul rebels, while a generation of serious young men found solace in the sombre sounds of Joy Division and Echo & The Bunnymen. Ian Curtis duly topped himself, selflessly providing a martyr for their cause. All this and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation.

While the old farts continued to make like punk never happened, Glasgow’s Postcard Records spearheaded an explosion of indie labels, while in London Steve Strange‘s Blitz Club was providing the breeding ground for a new generation of teen idols. Synthesizers were about to do battle with guitars for the hearts and souls of the nation’s youth. Never mind, August saw the first, and muddiest, Donnington Monsters Of Rock festival. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal had begun. Nuclear annihilation suddenly seemed rather attractive.