Kali and the ’80s have arrived to destroy what you now know about 45-33s. These slowed down 45s sound bigger and bolder than anything that’s come before. The decade is so replete with awesome big hair vocals and gated snares that it’s going to take more than one episode to cover everything. If you’d like a visual representation of what I’m trying to accomplish here, just play that Olivia Newton-John “Physical” video in reverse. Wow.

  1. Call Me (45-33) | Blondie
    1980
    I figured I needed to bring a healthy dose of female energy on Kali. Giorgio may be keeping time, but Debbie is the driver.
  2. Shock, Shock The House (45-33) | DJ Hollywood
    1980
    Still shaking the disco shrapnel out of my hair here. I gotta say, this first-wave MC not only ups his goof game at 33.33, but that beat also manages to gain some ground in terms of hardness.  
  3. Africa (45-33) | Daryl Hall & John Oates
    1980
    I’m not sure how best to reconcile the issues I have with lyrics like, “Lions and tigers try to jump on her bones,” with my enjoyment of this Vampire Weekend prototype.
  4. Race With The Devil (45-33) | Girlschool
    1980
    While I was let down by the pathetic results of turning down Judas Priest’s “Parental Guidance,” Girlschool comes correct. Those guitars still shred at 33 and a third!
  5. We Got The Beat (45-33) | The Go-Go’s
    1981
    After doing this for a summer, I became pretty good at knowing when I found a real gem in the crates. Silly me, the Go-Go’s make this 45-33 thing sound too easy.
  6. Since You’re Gone (45-33) | The Cars
    1981
    Oh, so John Maus is going for a Ric Osalek at 3/4 speed. Yeah, that works for me.
  7. Hot In The City (45-33) | Billy Idol
    1981
    Full disclosure: Billy Idol was, for me as a child in the ’80s, the best rock vocalist ever. It was Billy who exposed me to the terror of seeing yourself sing in the mirror whilst fantasizing about impressing some lucky girl. Blind narcissism badge, check.
  8. Physical (45-33) | Olivia Newton-John
    1981
    Okay, just watch this “Physical” video. If you can slow it down with the song, even better. I have nothing more to add.

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