I Remember: 1981

Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been in office for two years in 1981; policies to push privatisation of state-owned industries and utilities and the reform of the trade unions, combined with mass closure of heavy industry and factories contribute to the highest postwar levels of unemployment and a year remembered for a summer of civil unrest as the spending cuts and monetary policy bite deep.  100,000 people from across Britain march to Trafalgar Square in London for the TUC's March For Jobs.
After racial tension builds up, riots break out in Brixton, Peckham, Toxteth and Handsworth and by the end of summer riots against police occur in many towns and cities.

"Ghost Town" by The Specials hits number one in the UK charts, capturing the political mood of the summer.
John Lennon spends 6 consecutive weeks at number one with "Imagine" spending 4 weeks at the top, to be replaced by "Woman"; Adam and the Ants also have two number ones with "Stand and Deliver" and "Prince Charming".
Bucks Fizz win the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with the song "Making Your Mind Up".
MTV hits the airwaves for the first time, Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" is the first song to be played.

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I Remember: 1980

1980, unemployment is on the rise, reaching a postwar high of over 2,000,000 and the country slides into recession.
26 people are taken hostage after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington.  After six days and the death of a hostage the SAS end the siege by storming the building, killing another hostage and all but one of the gunmen.
Philips and Sony launch the Compact Disc, although it is several years later before Audio CDs hit the stores and several years after that before the phrase "B side" is confined to history.

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