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1979 Songs of the Year

Home > Everywhere > Lists | Music | Performing Arts | Quirky
by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler...Former teacher... Scientist... Published author... Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published January 14th 2019
1979 - even if you weren't there, enjoy
I have recently started an online friendship with a young lady. As part of trying to convince her that I am really a writer (of sorts), I gave her a link to my columns at Weekend Notes. She read a few, said she liked them, thought some were funny and offered her own suggestions. Therefore, at her insistence, I present the songs from 1979, the year she was born.

Now, in 1979 I was 8 years old, in year 4 at school. I was a kid, did kid things, read a lot, was bad at sports, apparently (according to my mum) wrote some strange stories, played with Lego and didn't have a real lot of friends. Just a typical kid, I guess. I don't remember a real lot about it, to be honest, except my teacher was frustrated with me and I finished all the year 5 work by the end of the year (ahead of myself), making the next few years of schooling a challenge for my subsequent teachers, but probably leading indirectly to the high school I ended up at.

turntable, record player, vinyl, album, hi-fi, stereo
THE latest in home hifi technology. (Pixabay)

I do remember, though, learning how to use the record player, and also getting my first "chart" album: Racey's Smash And Grab. And it was the year I discovered some commercial radio (when dad would let me listen to it). But most of my "modern" musical knowledge came from the other kids at Scouts and school.

However, looking back… Wow! The year 1981 and the year 1982 were great years for music, but 1979 was so close to being just as brilliant! The list of songs I like released in 1979 is phenomenal!

Now, this is a long list, so be warned and give yourself some time to listen to all the musical goodness. It's worth it.

Without further ado, the honourable mentions. And there are a lot of them! Wow (again)!
' All My Love' (Led Zeppelin); ' Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)' (Pink Floyd); 'Atomic' (Blondie); ' Bad Case Of Loving You' (Robert Palmer); ' Bang Bang' (B.A. Robertson); ' Boys Don't Cry' (The Cure); ' Boys Keep Swinging' (David Bowie); ' Cars' (Gary Numan); ' Cleveland Rocks' (Ian Hunter) (made famous by being used for a few series of The Drew Carey Show); ' Cool For Cats' (Squeeze); ' Coward Of The County' (Kenny Rogers); ' Crazy Little Thing Called Love' (Queen); ' Cruel To Be Kind' (Nick Lowe); ' Does Your Mother Know' (ABBA); ' Don't Cry Out Loud' (Melissa Manchester).

Got that? Next lot! ' Girls Talk' (Dave Edmunds); ' Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)' (Cold Chisel); ' Heartache Tonight' (Eagles); ' Heartbreaker' (Pat Benatar); ' Highway To Hell' (AC/DC); ' I Don't Like Mondays' (The Boomtown Rats); ' I Have A Dream' (ABBA) (2 ABBA songs, I know, but they are really good!); ' I Need A Lover' (John Cougar); ' I Was Made For Lovin' You' (Kiss); ' I'm Not Like Everybody Else' (Jimmy And The Boys); ' Lady Writer' (Dire Straits); ' Let's Go' (The Cars); ' Making Plans For Nigel' (XTC); ' Miami' (John Cougar).

Whew! One lot to go! ' My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)' (Neil Young); ' My Sharona' (The Knack); ' Nice Legs Shame About The Face' (Dave And The Derros); ' Rock Lobster' (The B-52's); ' Romeo's Tune' (Steve Forbert); ' Space Invaders' (Player 1) (no, really, it's cool!); ' Sure Know Something' (Kiss); ' The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan' (Marianne Faithfull); ' Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)' (Waylon Jennings) (oh, come on – it's awesome! You'd sing along if you heard it right now, admit it.); ' Up There Cazaly' (The Two-Man Band) (yes… sorry); ' We Live For Love' (Pat Benatar); ' What A Fool Believes' (The Doobie Brothers); ' Whatever You Want' (Status Quo).

'She Got Body She Got Soul' by Split Enz was so close as well. So very close. But the list is long enough as it is, so I just wanted to point this one out.

Now, to the long list. To start with, as usual, comedy songs don't feature in the list proper, so here's Monty Python's 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'.

The list! In alphabetical order. Just because.

'Comfortably Numb' by Pink Floyd

Live in 2005 version.
I saw Pink Floyd in 1988 and this track was great then; it's great on vinyl, it's just great from the double album The Wall.

'Computer Games' by Mi-Sex

Some New Zealand pop goodness. Mi-Sex had a couple of great hits, then faded. Shame. I liked them.

'Dance This Mess Around' by The B-52's

Live in 1983 version
I knew the song 'Rock Lobster' from The B-52's debut album, but that was about it. My great friend Mel in 1988 introduced me to the album, and this song was her favourite and it became mine. It's strange and glorious. And reminds me of Mel. I miss Mel.

'Don't Bring Me Down' by Electric Light Orchestra

I have much of ELO's recorded output, and so many of their songs are awesome. This is just one of them. So good…

'Dream Police' by Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick are one of those bands that people seem to forget, but when you mention their songs, they go, "Oh, yeah… they're good." They have a heap of awesome songs and this is one of their best.

'Escape (The Piña Colada Song)' by Rupert Holmes

Live version
Okay, yes, cheesy as hell. But don't tell me you don't know the words to the chorus and weren't singing along to it. It has such a cool story as well. Yeah, admit it, deep down, if you're my age or a bit older, you like it as well. At least a little bit.

'Guilty' by Mike Oldfield

Not a proper video
Mike Oldfield is one of the artists whose albums I have collected. This track is superb, a decent instrumental, with lots of guitars and keyboards and a really cool overall tune.

'I Fought The Law' by The Clash

A cover song that should have been in my column but, again, I forgot. The old Bobby Fuller Four classic turned into a punk anthem. Superb.

'Oliver's Army' by Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello when he was still playing with punk sensibilities , using intelligent lyrics and a driving rhythm, and, frankly, an awesome use of a piano.

'Pop Muzik' by M

Heralding the rise of electronic music in the 80s, this track was everywhere in 1979, and into 1980. It's an ear-worm. Listen to it and try to get it out of your head. Go on.

'Run Like Hell' by Pink Floyd

Live in 1994 version
Yes, another Pink Floyd song. The Wall was really a brilliant album, filled with fantastic songs.

'Shivers' by Boys Next Door

And let's go to Australia with Nick Cave's band, and a depressing song with a great opening chorus line: "My baby's so vain she is almost a mirror…"

'Since You Been Gone' by Rainbow

Rock greatness from a band that rarely gets a look in, but released one of the all time classic songs in the rock genre. This is yet another of my favourite shout-along songs.

'Some Girls' by Racey

And the best song from that album I bought! Between this and 'Lay Your Lovin' On Me' released in 1978, Racey were everywhere for a year or so. And then… Well?

'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' by The Charlie Daniels Band

Live version
Another song that tells a great story, a country song, with awesome fiddle playing and even a rock break in the middle. This is begging to be made into a movie (of course, it might have been, but if it was, I missed it and I can't be bothered doing the research).
Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels in 2017. (Wikipedia)

'The Logical Song' by Supertramp

Live version

Please tell me who I ammm…" Yes, it's that song. A cry for help, and just a wonderful bit of pop goodness.

'Tusk' by Fleetwood Mac

My favourite Fleetwood Mac song, made brilliant (for me) by the driving Mick Fleetwood drum beat. It's awesome.

'Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles

And, finally, a fun song from the band whose members would go on to join with Yes. Another of those songs that deserves to be screamed instead of sung. "Oh-wah, oh-wah…"indeed.

There you have it. What did I get wrong? What from the honourable mentions should have been in the main list? What did I miss? As always comments, etc. are welcome and encouraged. And still: What years would you like to see?

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Why? 1979 was a brilliant year for music!
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