And now for Round 2: Last month, we launched the successor to our wildly popular best-albums-of-the-’80s polls, asking you, the readers of Slicing Up Eyeballs, to weigh in with your favorite songs of the year 1980, the first step in a year-long series of polls to pick the best tracks of the decade. Today, we move on to the second installment: 1981.

VOTING: For the album polls, we presented you with a list, sometimes hundreds of titles long, to choose from, plus the ability to offer write-ins. We inevitably missed titles, and some argued this skewed the results. So this time, it’s a (mostly) free-for-all. You may vote for any songs you’d like — singles, B-sides, album cuts, etc. It’s all fill-in-the-blanks this time, not multiple choice.

A few important things to note — including some changes from last month’s poll:

  • To be eligible, songs must have been released in some format — whether it be on an album, EP or a single — for the first time during the year 1981. That means, for example, that a song that’s released as a single in 1982 will be eligible for the 1981 poll if it first appeared on an album released in 1981. Splitting hairs? Sure, but we have to draw the line somewhere, and the rules for last month’s poll were a bit too vague.
  • By popular demand, we’re increasing the number of songs you include on your ballot. This time around, you may vote for up to 25 songs. That, of course, doesn’t mean you must come up with 25 — you can just vote for one, if that’s all you want to do. The votes are not weighted by raking; each album listed counts the same in the final tally.
  • In the past, acknowledging the theme of this website, we limited voting to artists that fall under the very loose and ill-defined “alternative” banner, generally acts from the punk, post-punk, goth, college rock, indie, synthpop, industrial, New Wave and related genres. Not the case anymore — although that’s still likely how the results will skew. This time, vote for whatever you want. 
  • Well, there is one limit. To prevent one-note fans from, say, simply listing every track off REO Speedwagon’s Hi Infidelity, you may only vote for a maximum of two songs by the same artist when filling out your Top 25. Any ballots submitted with more than two songs by the same artist will be disqualified.

DEADLINE: Voting will be open through 5 p.m. EDT Friday, March 13, and results will be posted by the end of the month — after which we’ll launch the 1982 poll and take it from there.

Sound good? Then vote away via the survey widget posted below.

And because there’s not a pre-set list to choose from, we encourage you to lobby for your picks, and maybe sway some votes, in the comments below.

Finally, if you’re drawing a blank on what came out that year, take a look back at our Top 100 albums of 1981 poll results, or check out these other resources: