1980 – 2010, Imporant 30th Anniversaries in Music

A selection of 30th Anniversaries in music being celebrated in 2010


John Bonham

John Bonham 31/5/1948 - 25/9/1980

2010, although brand new and still got that new car smell, is an important year of 30th anniversaries in the world of popular music. From the decaying age of sixties and seventies rock excess to the dawn of electro pop and funk, the three decades between 1980 and 2010 have arguably been some of the most important in the long, storied history of the music industry.

Beginning with January and February, there are some important anniversaries coming up within the next few weeks. Most notably would be the 30th anniversary on the 19th of February of the late, great Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC and all round hell raiser. His autopsy read “death by misadventure” but fans and critics all believe the story of him choking on vomit. To quote the immortal Spinal Tap however, nobody knows if it was his own vomit. Sadly missed but aptly remembered by the superb album Back in Black, a fitting tribute to the man and a fantastic introduction to replacement singer Brian Johnson.

Another death that shocked the rock world was that of Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham. Much like his Scottish/Australian counterpart Bon, Bonham was a notorious alcoholic and furious drunk who was as famous for his binges as he was for his triumphant drumming. More importantly his death marked the end of Led Zeppelin as a band, the remaining members deciding to disband rather than continue without Bonham. Arguably this was coupled with the frankly appalling condition some of the members were in at the time and the waning popularity of the band’s music. Thirty years on however and Led Zeppelin are as popular as ever with record sales, t-shirts and merchandise now gracing high streets once again and with the constant rumour they will reform for another show at Glastonbury later in the summer, their popularity has definitely grown in the past three decades.

On one final, rather morbid note, on the 18th of May 1980, the pioneering and frankly genius Ian Curtis took his own life, spelling the end of Joy Division. However like with so many other tragic moments in life, not all was at a loss as the remaining members formed New Order and would go on to be one of the most popular recording artists of the twentieth century, their electro, alt-rock and house sounds becoming the anthems of generations growing up and filling nightclubs around the UK and the globe.

1980 also saw the release of a number of highly influential and classic albums in the world of rock and roll and beyond. The Ace of Spades album from Motorhead brought the heavy metal outfit from the borderline cult to the public’s attention, the signature song of course becoming a massive hit in both the rock world and remaining a constantly played classic on rock radio stations throughout the known world. The Blizzard of Ozz also marked Ozzy Osbourne’s first foray into the solo market having just been fired from Black Sabbath. Not a classic album by any great means but should be noted as featuring “Crazy Train”, a staple of his career and arguably the single which made Ozzy a mainstay on television and radio to the present day.

Moving away from a more metal oriented area, the thirtieth anniversary of Never Forever by Kate Bush. Although a distinctly average album, this effort by the talented vocalist proved to be the very first UK number one by a British female artist and the very first album released by a female artist to head straight into the charts at number one. Yet more evidence that Bush was already on her way to being an important bastion and champion of female recording in rock and popular music. The ever controversial Ted Nugent released Scream Dream in June, yet another hard rock, screaming album form the very talented guitarist who does his best to create chaos and hunt endangered animals with his bow and arrow.

There we have it, a small selection of albums and bands who celebrate landmark thirtieth anniversaries in 2010. We shall just have to wait and see how the year pans out and what if anything will be seminal enough to warrant a thirtieth anniversary in 2040.

Jonathan Whitelaw


Check out iTunes or Amazon for albums and artists featured here. Also check out: www.ledzeppelin.com, www.ozzy.com, www.katebush.com, www.acdc.com, www.tednugent.com, www.neworderonline.com, www.imotorhead.com

2 Responses to “1980 – 2010, Imporant 30th Anniversaries in Music”

  1. Paul says:

    You’re articles are so info packed and well researched, you should write an encyclopaedia of rock 😉 ha. seriously though, nice one.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the positive feedback, always appreciate it.

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