So, in honor of the upcoming 35th annual CMJ Music Marathon, we sent a trio of archeologists deep into the bowels of CMJ HQ to bring back the college radio charts from circa 35 years ago this week. They came back covered in some sort of green/greyish slime, telling hazy tales of gremlins, foot-long insects, and jutting their hands out for lunch money. So while they hit up Pret a Manger to revive, we thought we’d peruse what they uncovered. The closest they came up with was this week in 1982.
It turns out that of the top 10 acts that week, eight are still active in some form or another:
1. Elvis Costello – There’s always another album and tour…
2. The Clash – Bassist Paul Simonon and guitarist Mick Jones are still active in various bands and producer chairs.
3. Joe Jackson – Has remained incredibly prolific, with his 26th album, Fast Forward, out now.
4. X – Have been on and off the road with most of the original lineup for the last few years.
5. Go-Gos – They still do the casino and county fair beat.
6. Romeo Void
7. Roxy Music – Leader Bryan Ferry had a new album and tour last year.
8. Billy Idol – Still tours, had a new album last year.
9. Translator – Had a new album three years ago, play occasionally and Omnivore recently released a fine collection of their early demos.
10. Steve Winwood
Elvis Costello also held the #1 spot on the very first CMJ chart in 1979; Pete Townshend and the Who had separate albums in the top 20; Duran Duran were at #19 (they have a new album, Paper Gods, out now); and hidden among classic rock stalwarts like Bad Company, King Crimson and Crosby Stills & Nash sat little R.E.M. with their Chronic Town EP, essentially creating the indie rock vibe that today defines much of CMJ’s chart action.
Uh-oh, the archeologists are back, and they seem angry, so we have to go. Until next time…