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Giggles Radio - 1980 - Prepare to travel through time as we indulge in some 80s nostalgia

Published by Alex Andronov

Welcome back! It’s been a while but Series 2 of Giggles Radio is here!

Is music the soundtrack to our lives? Join host Alex Andronov as he features a year from his life and plays the songs that either came out in each year or he experienced for the first time in that year. He’s calling it, rather clumsily, his Audio Biography. It’s supposed to sound like Auto Biography but with Audio... Oh never mind... Quick... Distraction technique... Alex knows his music, look here he was as a young boy already selecting tracks for this very show:

This show features 1980. A year when Voyager confirmed the existence of Saturn’s moon Janus, the Soviet Union had it’s first ever rock music festival and Ethernet, Empire Strikes Back and Pac-Man were released. Oh and Alex was born!

Join us for 2 hours (ish) of music, chit chat and random biographical information as we welcome back Giggles Radio from 4pm.

As it happened: Giggles Radio Audio Biography (1980)

  • 15:45

    Hello and welcome, good Sunday afternoon to you all!

  • 15:46

    Today is the official return of Giggles Radio for series 2 - an audio biography of Sir Giggles' life.

  • 15:46

    You can find out more about the first series over on the site:

  • 15:46

    But stay here for now, because in 15 minutes, the Giggles Radio spectacular will begin.

  • 15:47

    If you're planning to join us in the comments, head to for super duper live updates.

  • 15:48

    Or the direct thread is available here:

  • 15:50

    QuoteComment from Kai: It's a rainy Sunday. Perfect for a Giggle show.

  • 15:52

    You should be able to view the show live on Ustream when it begins:

  • 15:54

    For this series opening, we're heading straight back to 1980, when Mr Giggles was born.

  • 15:54

    Baby GigglesHe's always been a bit of a music fan.

  • 16:00

    Green flagGiggles Radio 1980 is go!

  • 16:01

    SONG: Fade To Grey by Visage.

  • 16:02

    Visage formed in 1978, founded by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan.

  • 16:03

    Midge Ure was involved too.

  • 16:05

    Giggles has a guest today, the lovely Kat.

  • 16:07

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: all of my 80's culture knowledge will come from grand theft auto vice city and various bad TV programs :)

  • 16:07

    SONG: Start by The Jam.

  • 16:09

    The Jame made their breakthrough in the 70s, and had 18 consecutive top 40 UK singles.

  • 16:10

    What were you doing in 1980? Let us know in the comments!

  • 16:12

    SONG: (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon.

  • 16:13

    1980 was the year of John Lennon's death.

  • 16:13

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: John Lennon was shot 31 years ago? Doesn't seem possible that it is that long ago

  • 16:14

    The B-Side to this song was Yoko Ono's Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, and the cover of the single featured them doing just that!

  • 16:16

    There are two versions of the song, one twenty seconds longer than the other.

  • 16:18

    SONG: Atomic by Blondie.

  • 16:18

  • 16:19

    ( Also this one for earlier: )

  • 16:20

    Atomic is the single sandwiched between Call Me and The Tide is High all released in 1980.

  • 16:21

    It spent two weeks at number one in the UK charts.

  • 16:22

    QuoteComment from Mr C: how old is debbie harry now? how can she still be touring?

    Ms Harry is 65 years old.

  • 16:24

    SONG: Funkytown by Lipps Inc.

  • 16:25

    Funkytown may be the only song in the world with it's own dedicated website:

  • 16:25

    Couldn't find one for the band, but who needs it when your songs have their own?

  • 16:26

    Funkytown has been used in a gazillion TV shows including but not limited to: Friends, ER, South Park, Will and Grace, Doug (DOUG!!), Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond.

  • 16:27

    QuoteComment from Journeyer: Big tech names in 1980 were... IBM and HP. Who had one of them HP scientific calculators?

  • 16:29

    SONG: Enola Gay by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

  • 16:29

  • 16:31

    If you are in Spain, there's good news from OMD: We are pleased to announce OMD will be playing two headline shows in Spain! June 14th at Madrid Arena June 15th at Barcelona Apollo

  • 16:32

    I'm reading that one of OMD's notable instruments was the Mellotron. I have no idea what that is but it sounds fun.

  • 16:36

    SONG: Geno by Dexy's Midnight Runners.

  • 16:37

    As Mr Giggles said, this was the first of two number ones for Dexy's in the UK charts.

  • 16:37

    This song appears on the soundtrack for the rather popular BBC show Ashes to Ashes.

  • 16:39

    Geno single coverHere's the cover of the single.

  • 16:42

    SONG: There's No One Quite Like Grandma - St. Winifred's School Choir

  • 16:42

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: Giggles radio + giggles saying it's a guilty pleasure = prepare.

  • 16:43

    Interestingly, as a UK number one, this was sandwiched between two John Lennon songs - the aforementioned (aforeplayed?) Just Like Starting Over, and Imagine.

  • 16:46

    SONG: Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders.

  • 16:47

  • 16:48

    The only fact that matters is that Chrissie Hynde made a most excellent appearance in Friends, stealing Phoebe's singing spot in Central Perk.

  • 16:48

    Apparently she was also a voice artist in the animated movie Rugrats Go Wild, and did a duet with Bruce Willis!

  • 16:49

    Back to The Pretenders though, they toured along with Blondie last year, double-headliners.

  • 16:51

    SONG: All Out of Love by Air Supply.

  • 16:52

  • 16:53

    Described as an Australian soft rock duo, Air Supply consists of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell.

  • 16:53

    One first name is the same as the other's last name. That's confusing.

  • 16:54

    As with a lot of these 80s bands, though, there are a lot of past members. Ten for Air Supply.

  • 16:56

    SONG: Xanadu by Electric Light Orchestra.

  • 16:57

  • 16:58

    Olivia Newton-John and ELO recorded this song together, but there's also a version without her.

  • 17:00

    Xanadu was in the soundtrack for the film of the same name, which starred Olivia N-J, hence her inclusion on the song.

  • 17:01

    SONG: Upside Down by Diana Ross.

  • 17:01 (be warned, it just redirects to a Facebook page)

  • 17:02

    Did you know her full name is Diana Ernestine Earle Ross? That's a lot of letters.

  • 17:04

    Upside DownThe cover to the single. She's definitely not upside down there.

  • 17:05

    SONG: Celebration by Kool & The Gang.

  • 17:06

  • 17:08

    This only reached number 7 in the UK charts, which probably didn't need too much celebrating.

  • 17:08

    Famously covered by Kylie Minogue, in 1992, reaching number 20.

  • 17:13

    SONG: Alexander Beetle by Melanie.

  • 17:13

    Melanie, otherwise known as Melanie Safka is a Giggles Radio legend, thanks to the revelation that she had the original song behind I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester.

  • 17:15

    Alexander Beetle is from A. A Milne:

    I found a little beetle, so that beetle was his name,

    And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.

  • 17:17

    SONG: Fame by Irene Cara.

  • 17:17

    Although not technically a fact, I must share the anecdote that this always makes me think of.

  • 17:17

    From :

    The Brooklyn tea shop is playing an eclectic mix of '80s music. We've been there working for an hour or so when "Fame!" comes on, and the cashier turns it up.


    Bryan: Do you know who sings this?

    Me: No.

    Bryan: Maggie! She asked you to do one thing.

  • 17:18

  • 17:18

    Facts though. Irene Cara sang the song and starred in the film as well.

  • 17:21

    After Fame, Irene was in the pilot episode of a show called, predictably, Irene, but it wasn't picked up.

  • 17:23

    SONG: Call Me by Blondie.

  • 17:24

    Blondie originally got together in 1974, broke up in 1982, and then reformed in 1997.

  • 17:24

    They've got a new album scheduled for release this year, called Panic of Girls.

  • 17:25

    It's their first album since 2003, when they released The Curse of Blondie.

  • 17:26

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: I should explain uprising by muse is veeeerrrryyyy much influenced by this song. A lot. Thy didn't steal parts of it honest.

  • 17:27

    SONG: My Girl by Madness.

  • 17:28

    This song reached number 3 in the UK charts. Madness re-released it when they were a bit more successful, and it only reached 27. Fail.

  • 17:29

    My Girl coverMy Girl cover.

  • 17:32

    SONG: Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie.

  • 17:32

  • 17:33

    Jona Lewie's real name is John Lewis. Presumably he changed it so as not to be confused with the shop.

  • 17:34

    From his website: Apart from serious travelling from time to time and appearing in media events, and particularly also at Christmas time, owing to the great success of Stop The Cavalry, Jona has continued to indulge his hobby and love of ‘tinkering around’ in his studio.

  • 17:34

    Can't beat a bit of tinkering around.

  • 17:36

    SONG: I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross.

  • 17:38

    Back in 2003, the song was covered by Amerie specifically for the soundtrack to Maid in Manhattan. That film with Jennifer Lopez in it.

  • 17:41

    SONG: It's Still Rock And Roll To Me by Billy Joel.

  • 17:42

  • 17:43

    Billy has a biography coming out next month called: The Book of Joel.

  • 17:43

    From the blurb: Joel brings us along for the emotional ride, unveiling the life events that brought the original inspiration for his songs, then sharing insights into the process of writing and recording them.

  • 17:46

    SONG: Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie.

  • 17:46

  • 17:47

    Poor Major Tom. So heroic in his first appearance in Space Oddity, now turned into a junkie.

  • 17:52

    SONG: Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar.

  • 17:52

    Born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski. Woah.

  • 17:53

    Apparently, the song is in E Major. The things you learn.

  • 17:54

  • 17:56

    SONG: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division.

  • 17:58

    Joy Division comprised of Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner.

  • 17:58

    Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980. The remaining band members reformed as New Order.

  • 18:01

    SONG: Another One Bites The Dust by Queen.

  • 18:01


  • 18:01


  • 18:01

  • 18:02

    It's hard to know what facts to say about Queen. There are so many.

  • 18:03

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: How about 'The bestest thing in the history of anything'? :)

  • 18:06

    SONG: Romeo And Juliet by Dire Straits.

  • 18:08

    Fabulous song that's been covered many times, most recently by The Killers. There's an ongoing controversy on Sidepodcast over which is the better version.

  • 18:08

    The Factbyte Factbox will remain unbiased on this subject.

  • 18:09

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: Feels like a proper Sunday now we have Giggles Radio back.

  • 18:09

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: fbfb is being fair and honest. Wouldn't want anyone to turn into killers over such an argument.

  • 18:09

    QuoteComment from Giggles: I am surprised at the FBFBs impartiality... When it has the chance to present the situation as a fact.

  • 18:10

    There's also a possibility that the Factbyte Factbox was adamant in one direction to begin with but now isn't at all sure.

  • 18:12

    Chequered flag1980 is complete.

  • 18:13

    Thanks to Giggles and Kat for an excellent show, and thanks to everyone for joining in the fun!

  • 18:13

    Factbyte Factbox will be back before you know it, so have fun, stay safe, and see you then.

Welcome back! It’s been a while but Series 2 of Giggles Radio is here! Is music the soundtrack to our lives? Join host Alex Andronov as he features a year from his life and plays the songs that either came out in each year or he experienced for the first time in that year. He’s calling it, rather clumsily, his Audio Biography.

Event start

16:00GMT +00:00

6 March 2011