Overview · Events · Releases · Sessions · Images


1980 is the year that some of the second wave of goth bands- Danse Society, Play Dead, Sisters of Mercy- formed, and when several goth classics- "Dark Entries", "A Forest", "Seventeen Seconds", "In the Flat Field" were released.

It's also the year when New Romantic started emerging. I've included a sizable quote from a Duran Duran interview at the end of the year which underlines the essential differences between New Romantic and Goth.

Towards the end of the year, according to Abbo from UK Decay, came the first slight inklings of a goth "movement": "suddenly there seemed a pool of bands- us, Killing Joke, Bauhaus... and that was when people started talking about a movement, but none of the bands really got on with each other."

Chronological list of events, releases and sessions:

(Note: bands listed in green are major goth forerunners, bands listed in blue are later goth groups, bands listed in red are groups associated with the scene, bands listed in grey are electro/New Romantic groups who had nothing really to do with the scene and bands listed in white are groups who either have some relevance to the scene or are listed out of general interest)


Jan 3: Bauhaus broadcast their debut Peel session: A God in an Alcove, Spy in the Cab, Double Dare and Telegram Sam.

Jan 4: Japan release "Quiet Life" (LP)

Jan 8: Cabaret Voltaire release "Silent command" (single)

Jan 8: Joy Division's gig tonight at the University of London Union is reviewed by Chris Bohn, who says: "Joy Division are masters of this gothic gloom..."

Jan 9: UK Decay release their second single, the "Black 45" EP on Plastic records.

Jan 10: John Foxx releases "Underpass" (single)

Jan 11: The Sound release their debut single, "Physical World"

Jan 14: Wasted Youth release "Jealousy"/"Baby"

Jan 16: Bauhaus release "Dark Entries" on Axis records via Beggars Banquet. Axis records is shortly to become 4AD.

Jan 17: John Foxx releases "Metamatic" (LP)

Jan 20: A Certain Ratio release a limited edition of 400 cassettes called "Graveyard and the Ballroom"

Jan 20: Siouxsie comes third in the NME reader's poll for "Best Female Singer" (first was Kate Bush, second was Debbie Harry).

Jan 24: Adam and the Ants split, with all the group bar Adam going on to form Bow Wow Wow

Jan 30: Psychedelic Furs release their second single, "Sister Europe"


Feb 1: OMD release "Red Frame White Frame" (single)

Feb 4: The Lemon Kittens split, leaving only Karl Blake and Danielle Dax.

Feb 9: Lydia Lunch releases her first solo LP, "Queen of Siam"

Feb 16: The Boys Next Door become The Birthday Party and move to England, releasing one last single as Boys Next Door, "Riddle House".

Feb 17: Bauhaus get a half-page article in Sounds, who say: "Whatever it is that these Phantoms of the Teenage Opera have got, it's worth checking out".

Feb 22: OMD release their debut LP.


Mar 2: Joy Division are voted 8th "Best New Band" in the Sounds Reader's Poll

Mar 3: Psychedelic Furs release their debut LP.

Mar 6: Siouxsie and the Banshees release "Happy House"

Mar 6: Killing Joke release "Wardance/Pssyche"

Mar 7: Adam and the Ants release "Kick/Car Trouble"

Mar 10: The Cure broadcast their second Peel session: A Forest, , 17 Seconds, Play For Today and M.

Mar 11: DAF release "Kebabtraume" (single) on Mute.

Mar 15: Chrome release "New Age2 (single) on Beggars Banquet.

Mar 17: Killing Joke record their second Peel session: Change, Tomorrow's World and Complications.

Mar 18: Joy Division release "Licht und Blindheit", a single limited to 1578 copies and featuring "Atmosphere" and "Dead Souls".

Mar 18: Throbbing Gristle release a "conceptual box" called "24 Hours".

Mar 19: Fad Gadget releases his second single, "Ricky's Hand", on Mute

Mar 19: Japan release "I Second That Emotion", a Smokey Robinson cover.

Mar 19: The Virgin Prunes support U2 at Acklam Hall and are reviewed by Dave McCulllough of Sounds, who says they are: "part glam-rock, part punk-shock, part pure innovatory outrage... a swathing, scything music form thart is Banshees-like but less staid, less sslef-consciously new and stylistically uninhibited".

Mar 20: John Foxx releases "No-one's Driving".


April 1: Einsturzende Neubauten make their live debut in Berlin.

April 1: The Cramps release "Songs The Lords Taught Us" (LP) on IRS.

April 1: Cabaret Voltaire release a 12" single, "Three Mantras"

April 2: A tape of Neubauten's gig, "Moon 1st April" is available from Blixa Bargeld's second hand store, Eisengrau (and is on the Eisengrau label).

April 3: The Cure release "A Forest"

April 5: Chrome release "Red Exposure" (LP)

April 17: The Cure release "Seventeen Seconds" (LP)

April 18: Joy Division release a free flexi-disc, "Incubation/Komakino"

April 19: Echo and the Bunnymen release their second single, "Rescue".

April 28: Joy Division film the video for "Love Will Tear Us Apart" in a disused rehearsal studio in Manchester.

April 29: UK Decay broadcast their debut Peel session: Rising From The Dead, Unwind Tonight, Sexual and For My Country.

April 30: Throbbing Gristle release "Zyklon B Zombie" (single)


May 5: Blancmange release a six-track EP called "Irene and Mavis".

May 11: SPK release their Factory single (on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial records) in the UK - it was released in Australia in 1979.

May 13: Gary Numan releases "We Are Glass" (single)

May 15: The Human League release their second album, "Travelogue"

May 15: Artery release a double single, "Unbalanced"

May 18: Ian Curtis of Joy Division hangs himself in his old house in Macclesfield.

May 25: Bauhaus are reviewed in Sounds by Phil Sutcliffe, who says "The band... have an aggressively weird stage act using lots of make-up, freak hairstyles and darkness cut by strobes, back-lighting and a floodlight occasionally fired at the audience."

May 26: Crisis release their "Hymns of Faith" of Faith" EP. Tony Wakeford and Douglas Pearce later go on to form Death In June.

May 27: Einsturzende Neubauten release their first single, "Fur Den Untergang/Stahlversion" on Monogram Records.

May 29: The Birthday Party release their first LP as such, the self-titled The Birthday Party, which is available only in Australia. It includes some tracks recorded as The Boys Next Door.

May 30: Siouxsie and the Banshees release "Christine/"Eve White, Eve Black".


Jun 14: DAF release "Die Kleinen und Die Bosen" (LP) on Mute records.

Jun 19: Modern English release "Swans on Glass"/"Incident" on 4AD.

Jun 20: Joy Division release "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

Jun 20: Ultravox release "Sleepwalk" (single)

Jun 21: Throbbing Gristle release "Heathen Earth" (LP)

Jun 28: The Birthday Party release "Mr Clarinet"/"Happy Birthday" in the UK on 4AD. It was previously available in Australia on Missing Link.

Jun 29: The Birthday Party make their UK debut at The Rock Garden.


Jul 6: Wasted Youth's show tonight at the Fulham Greyhound is reviewd for Sounds by Steve Keaton, who says: "Throughout, the music proves itself to be a Gothic Mansion, haunted by electronic bats"

Jul 11: Ultravox release "Vienna" (LP)

Jul 11: John Foxx releases "Burning Car"

Jul 12: Wasted Youth release their second single, "I'll remember you"/"My Friends Are Dead"

Jul 17: Joy Division release "Closer"

Jul 18: Echo and the Bunnymen release their first LP, "Crocodiles"

Jul 25: Adam and the Ants release "Kings of the Wild Frontier" (single). It features two drummers, and Adam goes on at length about his "tribal" sound in an interview with Sounds.

Jul 29: New Order make their live debut at the Beach Club in Manchester, playing a purely instrumental set.

Jul 29: The Face, a new style/music magazine, has its debut issue, featuring Toyah, The Human League, Echo and the Bunnymen, U2, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ultravox, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd.

Jul 31: Bauhaus release "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" on 4AD. The inspiration for the song is taken from a newspaper headline.

Jul; 31: Cabaret Voltaire release "Voice of America" (LP)


Aug 1: Siouxsie and the Banshees release their third LP, "Kaleidoscope"

Aug 1: The Associates release their debut album, "The Affectionate Punch".

Aug 13: Classix Nouveau release their debut single, "The Robots Dance"

Aug 14: The Gun Club get a few paragraphs write up in the new Slash magazine.

Aug 15: Gary Numan releases "I Die You Die"

Aug 19: UK Decay and Wasted Youth play the Number 1 Club in London.

Aug 27: UK Decay release "For My Country"/"Unwind" on Fresh records.

Aug 27: Danse Crazy, later to become Danse Society, play their debut gig at the Royal Hotel in Sheffield.

Aug 30: The Lemon Kittens, now just Karl Blake and Danielle Dax, release their debut album, "We Buy A Hammer For Daddy" on United Dairies records.


Play Dead form in Oxford
Danse Society record "There is No Shame in Death" and "Dolphins" in Manchester

Sep 1: The Cramps release "Garbageman" (single) in the US.

Sep 5: Gary Numan releases "Telekon" (LP)

Sep 6: The Sound release "Heyday"/"Brute Force"

Sep 9: The Cramps release "Drug Train" (single) in the UK.

Sep 9: Fad Gadget releases "Fireside favourites"/"Insecticide".

Sep 13: The Futurama Festival in Leeds features Soft Cell, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo & the Bunnymen, Wasted Youth, Clock DVA, Altered Images and Danse Crazy.

Sep 14: Stevo, the DJ at Billy's Club and general provider of the soundtrack to the new scene brewing in the electric underground has his current Top 20 records published in Sounds under the heading "Futurist Playlist". Top tracks are "Isolation by Joy Division, "I Die You Die" by Gary Numan, "Ashes to Ashes" by Bowie, "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" by Bauhaus and "Fireside Favourites" by Fad Gadget. Also featured are Modern English, Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and the Human League.

Sep 12: David Bowie releases "Scary Monsters" (LP)

Sep 19: Ultravox release "Passing Strangers" (single)

Sep 20: Chrome release "Half Machine Lip Moves" (LP)

Sep 22: The Damned release "History of the World (Part 1)" (single)

Sep 22: New Order begin recording "Ceremony" in Eastern Artists Recording Studios in the US.

Sep 25: OMD release "Enola Gay" (single)

Sep 25: The Birthday Party record their first Peel session: Cry, Yard, Figure of Fun and King Ink

Sep 28: New Model Army have a 5-track cassette available and play tonight at the adelphi Hotel in Harrogate.

Sep 29: Demons (formerly Demon Preacher) release "Action By Example"/"I Wish I Woz A Dog". Singer Nick Wade later went on to form Alien Sex Fiend, and "I Wish I Woz A Dog" would resurface on their first album.


Oct 1: Killing Joke release "Requiem"/"Change"

Oct 2: Echo and the Bunnymen release "The Puppet"/"Do It Clean"

Oct 3: Adam and the Ants release "Dog Eat Dog"/"You're So Physical", which is their first big hit, peaking at No.4. Adam later appears on TOTP waving a sabre around.

Oct 4: Joy Division release "She's Lost Control"/"Atmosphere" on American import.

Oct 8: Soft Cell release their debut EP, "Mutant Moments"

Oct 8: The Birthday Party play with DAF at The Moonlight Club whilst UK Decay play with The Dead Kennedys at the Music Machine (both in London)

Oct 9: DAF release "Tanz Mit Mir" (single) on Mute.

Oct 10: Japan release "Gentleman Take Polaroids" (single)

Oct 11: The Birthday Party release "The Friend Catcher" on 4AD.

Oct 13: Killing Joke release their self-titled debut LP on Malicious Damage.

Oct 24: OMD release their second album, "Organization"

Oct 24: Japan release "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" (LP)

Oct 27: The Sound release their debut LP, "Jeopardy"


Nov 1: Theatre of Hate release their first single, "Original Sin"/"Legion".

Nov 3: Spandau Ballet release their first single "To Cut A Long Story Short", which reaches No.5

Nov 3: Our Daughter's Wedding release "Lawn Chairs"

Nov 5: Fad Gadget releases his first LP, "Fireside Favourites", on Mute.

Nov 5: Bauhaus release their debut album, "In the Flat Field" and "Telegram Sam"(single). The album is slammed by Dave McCullough in Sounds, who says: "It features a lead singer who writes bad poetry... and a band behind him who combine to mistake the youth-club version of Joy Division for Mountain". In the NME, Andy Gill also slams it, calling it "doom for doom's sake. And in Sounds, Andy Gill slams Telegram Sam in the singles reviews.

Nov 5: The Sisters of Mercy release their debut single, "Damage Done"/"Watch". Robbi Millar in Sounds reviews it thus: "...sometimes I wonder if Ian Curtis knew what he was letting the world in for when he died for us. Certainly the Joy Division circus hasn't left us yet and its impressions grow increasingly gloomy by the day"

Nov 6: Adam and the Ants release their second LP, "Kings of the Wild Frontier"

Nov 8: Throbbing Gristle release two single simultaneously: "Distant Dreams" and "Something Came Over Me".

Nov 10: Visage release "Fade To Grey" (single), which reaches No.8 in the charts.

Nov 12: Modern English release "Gathering Dust" (single) on 4AD.

Nov 13: The Church release their debut single "She never Said"/"In a Heartbeat" in Australia.

Nov 25: Modern English record their debut Peel session: "Mesh and Lace", "A Viable Commercial", "Black Houses" and "Sixteen Days"

Nov 25: The Damned release "There ain't No Sanity clause"

Nov 27: Adam and the Ants release "Antmusic"

Nov 28: Stevo, self-styled "Futurist DJ", puts on an event at the Scala Cinema with Richard Strange, Naked Lunch, Soft Cell and Blancmange.

Nov 28: Siouxsie and the Banshees release "Israel"/"Red OverWhite"

Nov 30: Nurse With Wound release two albums simultaneously: "Merzbild Schwet" and "To the Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl", both on United Dairies.


Play Dead begin recording their first single at Hallmark studios
UK Decay record "Unexpected Guest" at Southern Studios

Dec 2: Flexi-Pop magazine makes its debut.

Dec 5: Killing Joke play with Theatre of Hate at the Cedar Ballroom in Birmingham.

Dec 8: Visage release their debut LP on Polydor.

Dec 13: Duran Duran get a two page article in Sounds, despite not having released a single yet. Talking of Spandau Ballet, Nick Rhodes says: "We're not trying to move away from that scene, the main chunk of our audience in Birmingham is those people, but we're not tied to it as Spandau obviously are. When people come and see us we'd much rather that they dance and have a good time rather than dress up in the clothes and just look, which a lot of them do." Andy Taylor chimes in "It's phenomenal. Friday night down the club (the Rum Runner) there' 600 of them. That's a lot of poseurs for Birmingham." John taylor says: "One of the est pouints Spandau made, which we certainly agree with, that's the whole good time thing. The last thing in the world we're ever going to sing about is bad times. There are already too many bands doing that.... I think it (the band's approach to music) can pick up on the teenybop market.. We're definitely aiming towards a mass market...".

Dec 16: Dead Or Alive release their debut single, "I'm Falling"/"Flowers"

Dec 29: Department S release "Is Vic There?", which reaches No.22 in the charts.

Dec 31: In The Sound's reader's poll, Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is voted No.2 in Singles of the Year (no.1 was "C30 C60 C90 Go!" by Bow Wow Wow, no.3 was "Going Underground by the Jam, No. 7 was "Holiday in Cambodia" by the Dead Kennedys, no.10 was "Staring at the rude Boys" by the Ruts). "Closer" is voted No.4 in the Albums of the Year (No.1 was the Talking Heads "Remain in Light", "Crocodiles" by Echo and the Bunnymen was No.10).