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Sunday, 20 June 2021

2000 AD - May 1983.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

I've often thought of keeping a diary, so I can record, for posterity, the thrilling events of my life, such as, "Wrote a new blog post today," and, "Wrote another new blog post today."

And you know who else has often thought of keeping a diary?

Not Adolf Hitler.

Not that Stern seemed aware of that, because, in May 1983, the German magazine startled the world by publishing the contents of his personal journal which turned out to be a forgery.

That was a mega-fail for the publication but, in the real world, that month, there was a startling triumph for Aberdeen F.C. who beat Real Madrid 2–1 to pick up the European Cup Winners' Cup, thus becoming only the third Scottish side to win a European trophy.

Also triumphing in his own field was George Lucas, as the 3rd (or 6th) Star Wars film Return of the Jedi was released in the United States, astounding us all with its daring use of teddy bears.

Over in Blighty, the singles chart experienced three Number Ones, that May. They were; True by Spandau Ballet, Candy Girl by New Edition and Every Breath You Take by the Police. I'm not that fussed about any of those songs but, given a choice, I'd probably go for the Police one.

Over on the British albums chart, events were dominated by David Bowie's Let's Dance, Spandau Ballet's True and Michael Jackson's Thriller, all three of which hit the top spot, in that order.

But what of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic? Could it prove to be as memorable as those LPs and singles?

To the surprise of possibly no one, it was still giving us Robo-Hunter, Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd, Skizz, Tharg's Time Twisters and Nemesis the Warlock.

However, there was one new development.

And that was in Prog 317 which introduced us to the spectacularly anarchic and anti-social D. R. & Quinch, with D.R. & Quinch Have Fun on Earth, yet another product of the Alan Moore and Alan Davis content machine. For once, it's a new feature I actually remember.

I also remember liking it.

So, well done to me.

2000 AD Prog 315 Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 316, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 317, Rogue Trooper

2000 AD Prog 318, Judge Dredd


Anonymous said...

Yes, well done on actually remembering a story from one of the progs, Steve.

On the other hand, 2000AD wasn't still giving us Nemesis the Warlock - that hasn't been in the progs for over a year at this point...


Steve W. said...

Sean, I can only blame the Grand Comics Database for leading me astray by mentioning that Nemesis appears on one page in Prog 318.

Anonymous said...

Had a look at that GCD entry Steve. "Sleep is No Refuge for Impure Thoughts", 1 page by Kevin O'Neill - I'm pretty sure that was a Torquemada pin-up.

DR & Quinch... was obviously the best of this month's batch of Moore's Time Twisters, but The Big Clock in prog 315 - a guide to how time is produced by people working in a giant clock "suspended at the centre of eternity" - was a memorable one too.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie categorically states that, not withstanding the first british invasion of around 1964, this was the best summer of music ever.

Cars blasting "Every Breath You Take" or the bombastic "Let's Dance!" or the pulsing beat of "Billy Jean."

Big bad fraternity guys crooning "True."

And on and on...

Charlie would gladly surrender one of [Crom's] Testicles to return to that summer.

(Though in the USA we had to live with "Flashdance" as the number one song through July.)

Anonymous said...

Sean's beaten me to the obligatory Alan Moore comment but its worth mentioning that he had at least two stories in each of these issues (Skizz plus a Time Twister) and all were pretty good. I suspected the Mutant Potato time travel story credited to Stavros was actually Moore, but a quick google suggests it was Alan Grant. I can't help but feel the Mutant Potato time travel genre wasn't fully exploited.


Anonymous said...

Charlie - 1983? 1983? What about "Say, Say, Say", by Sir Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson?


Anonymous said...

Charlie - Also do you know that, in 1983 (admittedly, later), on Paul McCartney's "Pipes of Peace", Adrian Brett (who did the album 'Echoes of Gold' - see compilations albums, recently) was responsible for the flute music?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Very interesting tangent Phillip!

Per Wiki SSS was written and recorded generally 2 years before it was released in later 1983!

McCartney biographer Ray Coleman asserted that the majority of Say Say Say's lyrics were written by Jackson and given to McCartney the next day.[4] Recording began at AIR Studios in London in May 1981. At the time, McCartney was recording Tug of War, the former Beatle's second solo album after the breakup of his group Wings.

Apparently SSS is / was a huge commercial success world wide. I didn't realize that. I do like the song and thought the video was pretty clever as far as music videos go.

But then I thought dressing like it's the middle ages, adding a dwarf, and prancing around making giant "S" shapes with the arms was pretty clever too for 1983. Can you guess the song I'm thinking of?

(WOW! Could this become a new SDC feature along with "Reader - you pick the topic today?" Let's do "Name that video!")

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Safety Dance - Men Without Hats?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hee Hee! You nailed it Phillip! And here's the funny thing... my hip health club uses some kind of play lists for the music and Safety Dance has come up 3 times in the past two weeks whilst I'm there, along with Cream's "Sunshine of your Love."

I'm 60. Most everyone else in there is 20-ish? The little rat bastards all have their ear buds in and can't hear this great music over the speakers! They are missing out! Ha ha.

But we have YET to hear that Archies - Beatles mash up of a compilation that was so hot around 1989.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - Everything Counts (in large amounts). Don't know if your interest in early 80s synth pop extends to Depeche Mode. But, seeing as synth pop & apes are regular preoccupations of the blog, Martin Gore's released some kind of weird album, named 'The Third Chimpanzee', with new songs, each named after a species of monkey - e.g. 'Howler'. He's featured on the Haunted Generation. Crazy!


Redartz said...

Okay, I must join forces with Charlie here and raise the banner for 1983 music! Yes, there were some duds, but so many greats. That Second British Invasion was in full swing! Michael Jackson was Thrill(er)ing us! And most importantly, Thomas Dolby was Blinding Us With SCIENCE!

Right, I'll settle down. Hey, it was art school and "our music" was becoming 'THE music'. And that Thomas Dolby album was incredible...

Anonymous said...

Redartz - As regards Thomas Dolby, I always remember 'Hyperactive' (?) - featured on 'Now That's What I Call Music 3'.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Red and Phillip! You hit a nerve w/ Charlie! I have around 25 vinyl albums, mostly Beatles related, a few from Prince, a few from Human League...

And two from Thomas Dolby!

One of our Submarines and Hyperactivate being the fav from each!

And since I am toiling from home today, to avoid Mr. Corona (who, hee, hee, is also hiding out in my fridge) I will promptly put them on the turntable!!!

Anonymous said...

Charlie - Top choices! I'd place Safety Dance as one of the best of the 80s, too! You're a man of great musical taste!


Steve W. said...

Thanks for all your comments, so far, everyone.

As we're talking about such things, this is the UK singles chart for this week in 1983:

These are the tracks on it that I approve of:

Baby Jane - Rod Stewart.

I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues - Elton John.

When We Were Young - Bucks Fizz.

Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley & the Wailers.

Moonlight Shadow - Mike Oldfield.

In A Big Country - Big Country.

Pills and Soap - The Imposter.

Temptation - Heaven 17.

Come Live with Me - Heaven 17.

War Baby - Tom Robinson.

Bring Me Closer - Altered Images.

The Heat Is on - Agnetha Faltskog.

Our Lips Are Sealed - The Fun Boy Three.

Beat It - Michael Jackson.

Let's Dance - David Bowie.

All-Time High - Rita Coolidge.

Charlie Horse 47 said...


Now that "Our Lips Are Sealed" is really a gem by Fun Boy Three. So sweet... I'm not sure what else FBT released but that cover was so cool... I like it as much as the Go Gos original version in 1981 but they vibe so differently, not really comparable.

The GG version is so "amreican" and the FBT so "euro."

Best remake ever??? (Kids - keep that question in mind for SDC's next "readers choice!")

Not sure if you knew it was originally a huge hit for the Go Gos in the USA in 1981 since Go Gos didn't even chart with this in the UK and it was presumably #1 here. Redartz and I both attended their concert at Purdue University, though we didn't know each other until 2019 (or was it 2018 Red?)

The lead act was Flock of Seagulls. Wow... it smells of the 1980s New Wave here!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Copied this from youtube since I needed a Fun Boy Three fix, thanks to Steve-o the hipcat from SHeffield!

"For those that don't know, Terry Hall had a fling with Jane Wiedlin from The Go Go's when they were on tour together. He wrote this song about them and their secret relationship (Terry had a girlfriend back then), then sent the lyrics to Jane, who worked on the music. That's why both bands recorded it, and came out only a few months apart. Both songs were hits on opposite sides of the Atlantic. (Go Go's hit #20 in US, #3 in Canada, and FBT 's version peaked at #7 in UK). Gotta love that a story like this was told by both sides, albeit in different styles."

Anonymous said...

What did you lot in America need a British invasion for in 1983?
You had Herbie Hancock - from Miles Davis' 60s quintet to making the first hit record with scratching, how cool is that? - and Prince.
Not to mention old skool hip-hop, back when b-boys went for a bit of Jack Kirby/Earth Wind & Fire style -


Redartz said...

Steve- a nice eclectic list! I consulted the US Billboard chart for this week and add these as my favorites:
Eddy Grant, "Electric Avenue"
Kajagoogoo, "Too Shy"
Madness, "Our House"
Flock of Seagulls,"Wishing"
Laura Branigan,"Solitaire "
Duran Duran, "Is There Something I Should Know "
Donna Summer, "She Works Hard for the Money"
Prince, "1999"

Charlie- yes, what a concert! Loved the Go-Gos'cover of "Cool Jerk". Oh, and I think it was 2017. My how time does fly...

Sean- good point. You mentioned several great favorites, especially Prince. Truly spectacular. Perhaps my fondness for the "British Invasion " stems from my midwest residence, where our local radio was quite, shall we say, conservative. Heavy rotation of Kenny Rogers, Lionel Ritchie, Journey and such. Rather lugubrious...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Well, you are right (as usual, lol) we DID have all that. Some times you want the "other" you know?

Like Baltimora sang in Tarzan Boy, "Night to night, give me the other, give me the other..."

(Another 4 years and Steve-O can write about it in "40 years ago today!")

Anonymous said...

I remember riding around with my dad in his old pickup in the early '80's and he was turning the radio knob around (probably trying to find Johnny Cash, nothing wrong with that!) and he stopped on one station where they were playing "Our House". He left it there. I could tell he liked it right away.
Heck, who didn't?
Maybe that's the reason for the British/Irish/Australian music invasion of the U.S. in the '80's. A lot of it was very good, even brilliant at times. On average, things were getting pretty stale over here, in terms of popular music. Not that there wasn't any good stuff over here. We had Springsteen and Neil Young, for example. (And Rita Coolidge, as Steve mentioned. She is a goddess.)
Speaking of Young, any of you guys familiar with the album Trans?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ohhh my gawsh! Number 1 this week in the USA in 1981 was:


Anonymous said...

Charlie, that was the big hit when we were on family vacation.
Remember those old family vacations across country? It was a descent into madness. Hot car, everybody's sticky, everybody's sick of each other and being in a car. Worse yet, one of my older sisters had apparently just learned that males have testicles, and amused herself by hitting or kicking me in mine every chance she could. Good times. She's now a parole officer in Connecticut. She once made out with George Thorogood in a bar.
God help you if you break the law there, pal. She's pro-death penalty.
Anyway, that damn song didn't help matters, getting played on the radio every half-hour. It was like a knife in our brains. How come there's a medley where there are excerpts from a track from Shocking Blue, then one by the Archies, then the rest by the Beatles. What diabolical mind devised such a travesty?
Those summer vacations were a nightmare. I don't even remember where we went, what we saw. It was like Conrad's Heart of Darkness. My old man skipped that one, fixed things so he had too much work, and I don't blame him.
That goddam song. Why remind me of that, Charlie?


Anonymous said...

Trans? "Tonight Matthew, I will be Kraftwerk..."
Thats the album where Neil Young used synths and drum machines, and gave interviews claiming he was into Flock of Seagulls, isn't it M.P.?
Its alright I suppose, and you have to give it to him for doing something a bit less predictable than usual... but he kind of hedged his bets a bit, so its an odd mix. Better than the country records he made afterward in his Reaganite redneck period.



Anonymous said...

Yeah, well, Sean, that was during my Devo period.
I don't think it had much to do with Reagan, per se, Sean, other than being an ironic commentary of the 80's culture.
Although Reagan did have a lot to do with that. Maybe it did I guess.
Anyway, like I said, I figured it as being at least somewhat ironic. It wasn't just about that guy.
Hey, I didn't like Ronald Reagan any better than you did. History gives him a pass, for some reason. End of the Cold War, I guess. That and telling us we're better than everybody else.
What the American public didn't know or didn't wanna know is what made them the American public.


Anonymous said...

Neil Young is an odd one M.P. Hard to think of anyone else who could join an outfit like Crosby, Stills & Nash, and then go on to record with Devo.


McSCOTTY said...

I had forgotten what a good year 1983 was for music although being a Bowie fan "Let's Dance"wasn't my favourite of his LPs ( great single though). The Serious Moonlight tour on the other hand was a cracker. Aberdeen FC also won the European Super Cup in 1983 beating FC Hamburg 2-0 the only Scottish club to win 2 European trophies.