Monday, December 31, 1979

Top Songs from 1970-1979

First posted 3/4/2011; last updated 10/26/2020.

Top 100 Songs of the Decade:


These are the top 100 songs from the 1970s according to Dave’s Music Database. Rankings are figured by combining sales figures, chart data, radio airplay, video airplay, streaming figures, awards, and appearances on best-of lists.

Check out other “songs of the decade” lists here.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody…Queen (1975)
2. Imagine…John Lennon (1971)
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water…Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
4. Hotel California…Eagles (1976)
5. Stayin’ Alive…Bee Gees (1977)
6. Stairway to Heaven…Led Zeppelin (1971)
7. American Pie…Don McLean (1971)
8. Let It Be…The Beatles (1970)
9. Layla…Derek & the Dominos (1970)
10. Dancing Queen…Abba (1976)

11. Born to Run…Bruce Springsteen (1975)
12. I Will Survive…Gloria Gaynor (1978)
13. What’s Going On…Marvin Gaye (1971)
14. Superstition…Stevie Wonder (1972)
15. Another Brick in the Wall Part II…Pink Floyd (1979)
16. Maggie May…Rod Stewart (1971)
17. Your Song…Elton John (1970)
18. Le Freak…Chic (1978)
19. My Sweet Lord…George Harrison (1970)
20. You Light Up My Life…Debby Boone (1977)

21. Heart of Glass…Blondie (1979)
22. Let’s Stay Together…Al Green (1971)
23. Killing Me Softly with His Song…Roberta Flack (1973)
24. Y.M.C.A….Village People (1978)
25. “Night Fever” Bee Gees (1978)
26. Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree…Tony Orlando & Dawn (1973)
27. “How Deep Is Your Love” Bee Gees (1977)
28. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…Roberta Flack (1972)
29. The Way We Were…Barbra Streisand (1973)
30. “You’re the One That I Want” Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta (1978)

31. London Calling…The Clash (1979)
32. Sweet Home Alabama…Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
33. No Woman, No Cry…Bob Marley & the Wailers (1975)
34. My Sharona…The Knack (1979)
35. Let’s Get It On…Marvin Gaye (1973)
36. Without You…Harry Nilsson (1971)
37. Free Bird…Lynyrd Skynrd (1973)
38. Seasons in the Sun…Terry Jacks (1974)
39. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)…Rod Stewart (1976)
40. Anarchy in the U.K….Sex Pistols (1976)

41. Won’t Get Fooled Again…The Who (1971)
42. Go Your Own Way…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
43. Sultans of Swing…Dire Straits (1979)
44. Joy to the World…Three Dog Night (1971)
45. Love Will Keep Us Together…Captain & Tennille (1975)
46. Walk on the Wild Side…Lou Reed (1972)
47. Three Times a Lady…Commodores (1978)
48. You’re So Vain…Carly Simon (1972)
49. It’s Too Late…Carole King (1971)
50. Fire and Rain…James Taylor (1970)

51. I’ll Be There…The Jackson 5 (1970)
52. Theme from Shaft…Isaac Hayes (1971)
53. Heroes…David Bowie (1977)
54. Brown Sugar…The Rolling Stones (1971)
55. We Are Family…Sister Sledge (1979)
56. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough…Michael Jackson (1979)
57. Piano Man…Billy Joel (1974)
58. Alone Again (Naturally)…Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)
59. God Save the Queen…Sex Pistols (1977)
60. Play That Funky Music…Wild Cherry (1976)

61. Rapper’s Delight…The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
62. Paranoid…Black Sabbath (1970)
63. “I Honestly Love You” Olivia Newton-John (1974)
64. You Are the Sunshine of My Life…Stevie Wonder (1973)
65. Baker Street…Gerry Rafferty (1978)
66. Just the Way You Are…Billy Joel (1977)
67. Dreams…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
68. “Shadow Dancing” Andy Gibb (1978)
69. Good Times…Chic (1979)
70. Comfortably Numb…Pink Floyd (1979)

71. Midnight Train to Georgia…Gladys Knight & the Pips (1973)
72. Angie…The Rolling Stones (1973)
73. They Long to Be Close to You…Carpenters (1970)
74. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart…Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976)
75. We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions…Queen (1977)
76. Dream On…Aerosmith (1973)
77. Old Time Rock and Roll…Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (1978)
78. In the Summertime…Mungo Jerry (1970)
79. More Than a Feeling…Boston (1976)
80. Smoke on the Water…Deep Purple (1973)

81. Crazy Little Thing Called Love…Queen (1979)
82. Hot Stuff…Donna Summer (1979)
83. Just My Imagination Running Away with Me…The Temptations (1971)
84. “Baba O’Riley” The Who (1971)
85. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?...Rod Stewart (1978)
86. “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” The Temptations (1972)
87. Lola…The Kinks (1970)
88. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…Elton John (1973)
89. All Right Now…Free (1970)
90. Changes…David Bowie (1971)

91. Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)…Pretenders (1979)
92. Rhinestone Cowboy…Glen Campbell (1975)
93. Bennie and the Jets…Elton John (1974)
94. Crocodile Rock…Elton John (1972)
95. If You Leave Me Now…Chicago (1976)
96. I’m Not in Love…10cc (1975)
97. The Hustle…Van McCoy (1975)
98. Kung Fu Fighting…Carl Douglas (1974)
99. Best of My Love…The Emotions (1977)
100. Heart of Gold…Neil Young (1972)

Dave’s Faves: #1 Albums in the 1970s

First posted 10/14/2020; updated 10/17/2020.

Dave’s Faves:

#1’s: 1970-1979

These were my personal #1 albums during the 1970s. Check out my #1 albums from other decades here.





  • Jan. 5: Paul McCartney & Wings Band on the Run (4 wks)
  • Feb. 2: Bob Dylan & the Band Planet Waves (1 wk)
  • Feb. 9: Styx The Serpent Is Rising (3 wks)
  • Mar. 2: Gram Parsons Grievous Angel (2 wks)
  • Mar. 16: Steely Dan Pretzel Logic (2 wks)
  • Mar. 30: Lou Reed Rock and Roll Animal (3 wks)
  • Apr. 20: Eagles On the Border (2 wks)
  • May 4: Lynyrd Skynyd Second Helping (4 wks)
  • June 1: David Bowie Diamond Dogs (2 wks)
  • June 15: Neil Diamond His 12 Greatest Hits (2 wks)
  • June 29: Bad Company Bad Company (5 wks)
  • Aug. 3: The Beach Boys Endless Summer (1 wk)
  • Aug. 10: Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard (5 wks)
  • Sept. 14: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young So Far (4 wks)
  • Oct. 12: The Moody Blues This Is the Moody Blues (4 wks)
  • Nov. 9: Elton John Greatest Hits (3 wks)
  • Nov. 30: Styx Man of Miracles (3 wks)
  • Dec. 21: Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (3 wks)

  • Jan. 11: Supertramp Crime of the Century (4 wks)
  • Feb. 8: Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (3 wks)
  • Mar. 1: Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (3 wks)
  • Mar. 22: David Bowie Young Americans (2 wks)
  • Apr. 5: Bad Company Straight Shooter (4 wks)
  • May 3: Aerosmith Toys in the Attic (5 wks)
  • June 7: The Rolling Stones Made in the Shade (1 wk)
  • June 14: Eagles One of These Nights (3 wks)
  • July 5: Cat Stevens Greatest Hits (1 wk)
  • July 12: Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac (5 wks)
  • Aug. 15: Bob Dylan & the Band The Basement Tapes (2 wks)
  • Aug. 30: Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (4 wks)
  • Sept. 27: Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (4 wks)
  • Oct. 25: The Who By Numbers (1 wk)
  • Nov. 1: John Lennon Shaved Fish (1 wk)
  • Nov. 8: Paul Simon Still Crazy After All These Years (1 wk)
  • Nov. 15: Patti Smith Horses (1 wk)
  • Nov. 22: Queen A Night at the Opera (3 wks)
  • Dec. 13: America History (1 wk)
  • Dec. 20: Chicago Chicago IX – Greatest Hits (2 wks)




  • Jan. 20: Queen Jazz (2 wks)
  • Feb. 3: Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits 1974-1978 (2 wks)
  • Feb. 17: Olivia Newton-John Totally Hot (4 wks)
  • Mar. 17: Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown (2 wks)
  • Mar. 31: Supertramp Breakfast in America (6 wks)
  • May 12: Squeeze Cool for Cats (3 wks)
  • June 2: Journey Evolution (2 wks)
  • June 16: Van Halen Van Halen II (2 wks)
  • June 30: Various Artists K-Tel: High Energy (4 wks)
  • July 28: The Rolling Stones Time Waits for No One (2 wks)
  • Aug. 11: Various Artists K-Tel: Starlight (4 wks)
  • Sept. 8: Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door (2 wks)
  • Sept. 22: Pat Benatar In the Heat of the Night (1 wk)
  • Sept. 29: Eagles The Long Run (3 wks)
  • Oct. 20: The Police Reggatta de Blanc (2 wks)
  • Nov. 3: Styx Cornerstone (3 wks)
  • Nov. 24: Blondie Eat to the Beat (3 wks)
  • Dec. 15: Various Artists K-Tel: Wings of Sound (2 wks)
  • Dec. 29, 1979: Pink Floyd The Wall (10 weeks)

Dave’s Faves: #1 Songs in the 1970s

First posted 4/28/2020.

Dave’s Faves:

#1’s: 1970-1979

September 18, 1982. I can peg my fascination with music charts to that date. After listening to a local radio station’s countdown of the hits of the summer, I decided to make my own list of favorites (see original list here). I ended up revising it every few days, eventually developing my own charts which I maintained into the ‘90s.

I’ve also projected before and after those lists to create speculative lists of #1 songs for eras not covered by those original charts. You can check out those links here, but this page is focused on the #1 songs that might have been for me in the 1970s.


  • Jan. 10: Arlo Guthrie “Alice’s Restaurant” (3 wks)
  • Jan 31: Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 28: Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 21: The Doors “Roadhouse Blues” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 11: The Beatles “Let It Be” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 25: Van Morrison “Moondance” (2 wks)
  • May 9: The Guess Who “American Woman” (2 wks)
  • May 23: Neil Young “Cinnamon Girl” (2 wks)
  • June 6: The Beatles “The Long and Winding Road” (2 wks)
  • June 20: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young “Teach Your Children” (3 wks)
  • July 11: The Kinks “Lola” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 1: Chicago “25 or 6 to 4” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 15: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young “Ohio” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 5: Neil Young “Southern Man” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 19: James Taylor “Fire and Rain” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 10: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young “Our House” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 31: The Who “See Me, Feel Me” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 14: Cat Stevens “Wild World” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 28: Eric Clapton “After Midnight” (1 wk)
  • Dec. 5: Elton John “Your Song” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 19: Santana “Black Magic Woman” (1 wk)
  • Dec. 26: Cat Stevens “Father and Son” (1 wk)


  • Jan. 2: George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 23: Stephen Stills “Love the One You’re With” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 6: John Lennon “God” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 20: Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 6: Janis Joplin “Me and Bobby McGee” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 20: Three Dog Night “Joy to the World” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 10: Jethro Tull “Aqualung” (3 wks)
  • May 1: Derek & the Dominos “Layla” (4 wks)
  • May 29: John Denver “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (3 wks)
  • June 19: The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar” (2 wks)
  • July 3: James Taylor “You’ve Got a Friend” (4 wks)
  • July 31: Cat Stevens “Moon Shadow” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 14: The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 4: The Doors “Riders on the Storm” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 18: Rod Stewart “Maggie May” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 2: Cat Stevens “Peace Train” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 9: John Lennon “Imagine” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 30: The Who “Behind Blue Eyes” (1 wk)
  • Nov. 6: Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 4: Don McLean “American Pie” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 18: The Grateful Dead “Truckin’” (1 wk)
  • Dec. 25: John Lennon & Yoko Ono “Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)” (2 wks)


  • Jan. 8: America “A Horse with No Name” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 22: Yes “Roundabout” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 19: David Bowie “Changes” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 18: Neil Young “Heart of Gold” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 8: Elton John “Tiny Dancer” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 22: Loggins & Messina “Danny’s Song” (2 wks)
  • May 6: Elton John “Rocket Man” (2 wks)
  • May 20: Bill Withers “Lean on Me” (3 wks)
  • June 10: Neil Young “Old Man” (3 wks)
  • July 1: Eagles “Take It Easy” (4 wks)
  • July 29: Alice Cooper “School’s Out” (1 wk)
  • Aug. 5: Gary Glitter “Rock and Roll Part 2” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 19: Chicago “Saturday in the Park” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 9: Chuck Berry “My Ding-A-Ling (live)” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 23: Three Dog Night “Black and White” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 7: Mott the Hoople “All the Young Dudes” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 28: Styx “What Has Come Between Us” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 18: Loggins & Messina “Angry Eyes” (1 wk)
  • Nov. 25: Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 23: Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (2 wks)


  • Jan. 6: John Denver “Rocky Mountain High” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 27: Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show “The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 10: Carly Simon “You’re So Vain” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 3: Stealers Wheel “Stuck in the Middle with You” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 17: Steely Dan “Reeling in the Years” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 31: Stevie Wonder “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 7: Paul McCartney & Wings “My Love” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 21: Eagles “Desperado” (4 wks)
  • May 19: Pink Floyd “Money” (3 wks)
  • June 9: Deep Purple “Smoke on the Water” (2 wks)
  • June 23: Led Zeppelin “Over the Hills and Far Away” (3 wks)
  • July 14: Aerosmith “Dream On” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 4: Joe Walsh “Rocky Mountain Way” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 25: The Doobie Brothers “China Grove” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 8: The Rolling Stones “Angie” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 22: Bruce Springsteen “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 6: Todd Rundgren “Hello It’s Me” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 27: Elton John “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 10: The Who “Love Reign O’er Me” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 1: Jim Croce “Time in a Bottle” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 22: Golden Earring “Radar Love” (3 wks)


  • Jan. 12: Bob Dylan “Forever Young” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 26: John Denver “Sunshine on My Shoulders” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 16: Billy Joel “Piano Man” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 16: Elton John “Candle in the Wind” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 30: ZZ Top “La Grange” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 13: Paul McCartney & Wings “Band on the Run” (4 wks)
  • May 11: Steely Dan “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (2 wks)
  • May 25: Hues Corporation “Rock the Boat” (3 wks)
  • June 15: Bachman-Turner Overdrive “Takin’ Care of Business” (3 wks)
  • July 6: Lynyrd Skynyrd “Sweet Home Alabama” (3 wks)
  • July 27: Eric Clapton “I Shot the Sheriff” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 17: The Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock and Roll But I Like It” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 31: Olivia Newton-John “I Honestly Love You” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 21: Bachman-Turner Overdrive “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 7: Harry Chapin “Cat’s in the Cradle” (5 wks)
  • Nov. 9: Styx “Golden Lark” (7 wks)
  • Dec. 28: Lynyrd Skynyrd “Free Bird” (4 wks)


  • Jan. 25: The Doobie Brothers “Black Water” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 22: David Bowie “Fame” (1 wk)
  • Mar. 1: Led Zeppelin “Kashmir” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 22: John Denver “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 12: Bad Company “Shooting Star” (4 wks)
  • May 10: America “Sister Golden Hair” (2 wks)
  • May 24: Van McCoy “The Hustle” (2 wks)
  • June 7: Aerosmith “Sweet Emotion” (3 wks)
  • June 28: Glen Campbell “Rhinestone Cowboy” (2 wks)
  • July 12: Peter Frampton “Show Me the Way” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 2: ZZ Top “Tush” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 16: Eric Clapton “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 13: Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 11: Pink Floyd “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” (4 wks)
  • Nov. 8: Barry Manilow “I Write the Songs” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 22: Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (7 wks)


  • Jan. 10: Nazareth “Love Hurts” (1 wk)
  • Jan. 17: Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 31: Styx “Suite Madame Blue” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 6: Paul Simon “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 27: John Sebastian “Welcome Back” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 3: Pratt & McLain “Happy Days” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 10: Paul McCartney & Wings “Silly Love Songs” (3 wks)
  • May 1: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band “Turn the Page (live)” (3 wks)
  • May 22: Thin Lizzy “The Boys Are Back in Town” (3 wks)
  • June 12: Rod Stewart “Tonights the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (2 wks)
  • June 26: Peter Frampton “Baby I Love Your Way” (4 wks)
  • July 24: Heart “Magic Man” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 7: Blue Öyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 21: Chicago “If You Leave Me Now” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 11: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “Blinded by the Light” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 9: Boston “More Than a Feeling” (4 wks)
  • Nov. 6: Styx “Mademoiselle” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 27: Aerosmith “Walk This Way” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 11: Kansas “Carry on Wayward Son” (3 wks)


  • Jan. 1: Steve Miller Band “Fly Like an Eagle” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 15: Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 22: Boston “Foreplay/Longtime” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 5: REO Speedwagon “157 Riverside Avenue (live)” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 26: Eagles “Hotel California” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 26: Jimmy Buffett “Margaritaville” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 9: Peter Gabriel “Solsbury Hill” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 23: Andrea McCardle “Tomorrow” (3 wks)
  • May 14: Styx “Crystal Ball” (2 wks)
  • May 28: Elvis Costello “Alison” (2 wks)
  • June 11: REO Speedwagon “Ridin’ the Storm Out (live)” (3 wks)
  • July 2: John Williams “Star Wars (Main Theme)” (4 wks)
  • July 30: Alan Parsons Project “Breakdown” (4 wks)
  • Aug. 27: Debby Boone “You Light Up My Life” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 10: Styx “Come Sail Away” (7 wks)
  • Oct. 29: David Bowie “Heroes” (1 wk)
  • Nov. 5: Queen “We Will Rock You” / “We Are the Champions” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 26: Billy Joel “Just the Way You Are” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 6: Jackson Browne “The Load-Out/Stay (live)” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 17: Bing Crosby & David Bowie “Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” (3 wks)


  • Jan. 7: Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 28: Kansas “Dust in the Wind” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 11: Styx “Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 18: Jackson Browne “Running on Empty” (1 wk)
  • Mar. 25: Gerry Rafferty “Baker Street” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 15: Paul McCartney & Wings “With a Little Luck” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 22: Van Halen “Ice Cream Man” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 24: the Police “Roxanne” (2 wks)
  • May 20: Eric Clapton “Wonderful Tonight” (2 wks)
  • June 17: Barry Manilow “Cocacabana (At the Copa)” (2 wks)
  • July 1: Journey “Feeling That Way” / “Anytime” (3 wks)
  • July 22: Commodores “Three Times a Lady” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 12: Foreigner “Hot Blooded’ (4 wks)
  • Sept. 9: Meat Loaf “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 30: Journey “Lights” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 14: Alan Parsons Project “What Goes Up” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 28: Chic “Le Freak” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 18: Village People “Y.M.C.A.” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 2: Kenny Rogers “The Gambler” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 23: Rush “The Trees” (2 wks)


  • Jan. 6: Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 20: Poco “Crazy Love” (1 wk)
  • Jan. 27: Blondie “Heart of Glass” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 24: Styx “Renegade” (8 wks)
  • Apr. 21: Supertramp “The Logical Song” (4 wks)
  • May 19: Cheap Trick “I Want You to Want Me (live)” (2 wks)
  • June 2: Squeeze “Up the Junction” (3 wks)
  • June 23: Sniff ‘N’ the Tears “Driver’s Seat” (3 wks)
  • July 14: Little River Band “Lonesome Loser” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 4: Nick Lowe “Cruel to Be Kind” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 25: Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays” (1 wk)
  • Sept. 1: Alan Parsons Project “Damned if I Do” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 22: The Police “Message in a Bottle” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 6: Eagles “Heartache Tonight” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 13: Styx “Babe” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 10: Little River Band “Cool Change” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 24: Blondie “Shayla” (1 wk)
  • Dec. 1: Kenny Rogers “Coward of the County” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 22: Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (4 wks)

Friday, December 14, 1979

The Clash released London Calling: December 14, 1979

Originally posted 12/14/11. Updated 2/22/13.

Release date: 14 December 1979
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) London Calling (12/7/79, #11 UK) / Brand New Cadillac / Jimmy Jazz / Hateful / Rudie Can’t Fail / Spanish Bombs / The Right Profile / Lost in the Supermarket / Clampdown / The Guns of Brixton / Wrong ‘Em Boyo / Death or Glory / Koka Kola / The Card Cheat / Lover’s Rock / Four Horsemen / I’m Not Down / Revolution Rock / Train in Vain (3/22/80, #23 US)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 27 US, 9 UK


Review: “There were more than a few outraged faithful who thought their heroes had sold out because the sound was too smooth to be punk,” TL but this is an “invigorating, rocking harder and with more purpose than most albums, let alone double albums.” AMGLondon Calling proved that a band could be anti-establishment and pro-melody.” TL The album “is a remarkable leap forward, incorporating the punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music.” AMG

This may be no better expressed than on the album’s cover, which “features the most famous photo in rock, Paul Simonon the moment before his guitar becomes thousands of expensive toothpicks, bracketed by the same font and colors used on Elvis Presley’s debut.” TL

The record’s “eclecticism and anthemic punk function as a rallying call.” AMG The Clash “explore their familiar themes of working-class rebellion and antiestablishment rants” TL “Many of the songs – particularly London Calling, Spanish Bombs, and The Guns of Brixton – are explicitly political, [but] by acknowledging no boundaries the music itself is political and revolutionary.” AMG

London Calling

The Clash, however, “also had enough maturity to realize that, while politics was inseparable from life, it was not life’s entirety.” TL Their songs were tied “in to old rock & roll traditions and myths, whether it’s rockabilly greasers or ‘Stagger Lee,’ as well as mavericks like doomed actor Montgomery Clift.” TL “Before, the Clash had experimented with reggae, but that was no preparation for the dizzying array of styles on London Calling. There’s punk and reggae, but there’s also rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock.” AMG “The result is a stunning statement of purpose and one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded.” AMG

Train in Vain

Resources and Related Links:


Saturday, December 8, 1979

Styx hit #1 with “Babe”

First posted 3/13/2020.


Dennis DeYoung

Writer(s): Dennis DeYoung (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 28, 1979

Peak: 12 US, 13 CB, 12 HR, 13 RR, 9 AC, 1 CL, 6 UK, 16 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.25 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 20.0 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, arguably the four pillars of what has become known as “arena rock” or “corporate rock” found themselves in similar positions. Foreigner, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Styx all emerged in the 1970s as staples on album rock radio. The four also shared another commonality – their greatest commercial successes came because of power ballads. These slower love songs evoked eye-rolling amongst some die-hard fans who considered such fare schmaltzy and selling out, but gave the bands even greater followings. Styx singer and keyboardist Dennis DeYoung said, “According to some people, you’re either a rock and roll band, or you’re not. And anybody who plays ballads was looked down upon by the radio establishment.” BR1

REO Speedwagon topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Keep on Loving You” in 1981, Foreigner’s “Waiting for a Girl Like You” spent a whopping 10 weeks in the runner-up slot in 1981 and ’82, and Journey nabbed six weeks at #2 in 1982. Before any of those three, however, Styx paved the way with their 1979 #1 hit “Babe.”

DeYoung wrote the song for his wife Suzanne as a birthday present. The couple met in 1964 and married in 1970. As he said, “Being on the road…puts a strain on a relationship…I wanted to tell her how much I missed her when I was gone.” BR1 In the 2014 concert video Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx Live in Los Angeles, he joked that he hoped it would get him out of buying her jewelry, but it didn’t work. It wasn’t intended as a Styx song; he recorded “Babe” as a demo with Styx drummer John Panozzo and bassist Chuck Panozzo, singing all the harmonies himself. When the band decided to put it on their Cornerstone album, they overdubbed a Tommy Shaw guitar solo in the middle section. WK

Suzanne herself said she thought the song was as good as, if not better, than “Lady,” the band’s first top-ten hit. BR1 When the record company heard the song, they echoed her feelings and pushed for releasing it as a single. SF Their instinct proved correct; not only was it the band’s only #1 in the U.S., but their only top 40 hit in the UK, where it reached #6. It was also a chart-topper in Canada and South Africa.

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Saturday, November 24, 1979

Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants released

First posted 6/20/2008; updated 11/6/2020.

Journey Through the Secret Life of Planets

Stevie Wonder

Charted: November 24, 1979

Peak: 4 US, 4 RB, 8 UK, 25 CN, 24 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK, 4.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: R&B


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Earth’s Creation
  2. The First Garden
  3. Voyage to India
  4. Same Old Story
  5. Venus Flytrap and the Bug
  6. Ai No, Sono
  7. Seasons
  8. Power Flower
  9. Send One Your Love (instrumental)
  10. Race Babbling

Tracks, Disc 2:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks)

  1. Send One Your Love (11/3/79, 4 US, 5 CB, 12 HR, 12 RR, 1 AC, 5 RB, 52 UK, 7 CN)
  2. Outside My Window (3/1/80, 52 US, 55 CB, 43 AC, 56 RB, 52 UK, 77 CN)
  3. Black Orchid (1/26/80, 63 UK)
  4. Ecclesiastes
  5. Kesse Ye Lolo de Ye
  6. Come Back as a Flower
  7. Seed's a Star/Tree Medley
  8. Secret Life of Plants
  9. Tree
  10. Finale

Total Running Time: 90:05


3.352 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

About the Album:

Perhaps the most curious album in Stevie Wonder’s career, this concept album about plants was ostensibly a soundtrack for Walon Green’s documentary The Secret Life of Plants, based on the book of the same name by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. The film’s producer, Michael Braun, described each visual image to Wonder in detail and Gary Olazabal, the sound engineer, would specify the length the passage needed to be. Wonder then added appropriate musical accompaniment. WK

The record is loaded with ethereal experiments, many of them sound-effect laden instrumentals and dull intercultural experiments (Voyage to India). The album represented the first use of the Computer Music Melodian, a digital sampling synthesizer. WK It’s all so gently arranged that it might put you to sleep. The album can be seen as a precursor to New Age music.

There were a few oddball vocals. For example, on Same Old Story, Wonder tried translating the complex, scientific findings of Jagadish Chandra Bose as detailed in the book. Bose had developed instruments to measure plants’ response to stimuli. WK

Most observers didn’t know what to make of it at the time. It was seen as “too much of a departure from his string of melodic albums.” WK The album is now sometimes revered by critics looking for an argument (as someone once said about Dylan’s 1970 Self Portrait).

Still, Wonder was so popular that the album still peaked at number four on the pop albums chart. Send One Your Love was a hit and Outside My Window scraped the middle regions of the pop charts.

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Saturday, October 20, 1979

Little River Band charted with “Cool Change”

First posted 10/20/2020; last updated 10/24/2020.

Cool Change

Little River Band

Writer(s): Glenn Shorrock (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 20, 1979

Peak: 10 US, 13 CB, 12 HR, 5 RR, 8 AC, 15 CL (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 22.0 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

Formed in 1975, the rock group Little River Band found success right away, scoring a top-40 hit in the U.S. with “It’s a Long Way There” from their self-titled debut album. Over three subsequent albums, they racked up four more top-40 hits, including the #3 “Reminiscing” and #10 “Lady.” 1979’s First Under the Wire, their fifth album, became their most successful yet, reaching #10 and going platinum.

Like its predecessor, it was supported by two top-10 U.S. hits. The first single, “Lonesome Loser,” reached #6 and the follow-up, “Cool Change,” peaked at #10. Ironically, the song failed to chart in the band’s native Australia, but in May 2001, it was named by the Australasian Performing Right Association oas one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time. WK In 2018, Australian radio network Triple M named it one of the top 100 “most Australian” songs of all time. WK However, the band “could’ve come from anywhere.” SS Like “easy-listening peers Pablo Cruise and Ambrosia, they existed in a gauzy, purgatory free of musical, cultural, and geographic identity.” SS

“Cool Change” is a “piece of pleasant and competent soft-rock that goes down easy,” SS but things weren’t so easy-going with the band at the time. The band featured three songwriters who wrote and even recorded separately. They even toured in different buses. SS Glenn Shorrock wrote “Cool Change” amidst squabbles with Graeham Goble and essentially recorded it as a solo track, supported by session players Peter Jones on piano and Bill Harrower on saxophone. SS

The song used sailing as a means of embracing the need for time alone, referencing the tranquility of being on the “cool and bright clear water.” Shorrock later admitted the song was “a cry for help.” SF Amusingly, he wasn’t much of a seafarer when he wrote the song, but he took up sailing after the song’s success. SF

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Saturday, October 13, 1979

The Sugar Hill Gang charts with "Rapper's Delight": October 13, 1979

Originally posted October 13, 2012.

image from

The development of hip-hop culture dates back to the early ‘70s in the Bronx when DJs and MCs showcased the art form in night clubs and at house parties. NPR However, the movement didn’t hit the mainstream until 1979 when a New Jersey label called Sugar Hill Records introduced the Sugar Hill Gang and the group took “Rapper’s Delight” into the top 40, a first for rap music. FR

The trio of Master Gee, Wonder Mike and Big Bank Hank were unknown MCs recruited by Sugar Hill’s Sylvia Robinson. RS500 Sylvia had seen chart success – most notably with the 1957 song “Love Is Strange” (#11) and her own “Pillow Talk” (#3) in 1973. However, in 1979, the label she’d co-founded was on the verge of bankruptcy. When she saw a DJ talking to the crowd one night at a Harlem club, she thought it would be a great idea to make a rap record. Legend has it that Sylvia’s son Joey auditioned Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank) outside a pizza joint and his friends asked if they could participate as well. TB It has also been said that they were recruited on a Friday and recorded “Rapper’s Delight” in just one take on the following Monday. NPR

The 12-inch version of “Rapper’s Delight” released in September 1979 ran 15 minutes long. A shorter version went to pop radio. NPR The song borrowed the rhythm track from Chic’s #1 hit “Good Times,” HT itself a significant song in another important musical revolution of the ‘70s – disco. The practice of “borrowing” from another song became known as sampling and would become the basic approach for all raps songs to follow.

The song did not, however, deal with the heavier themes which would come to dominate rap music. While it sported the lyrical boastfulness which became typical for rap, MA “Delight” generated controversy because it was playful instead of reflective of the urban anger of other rap from the time. In addition, none of the three members had ever been a DJ or MC and two of them were from New Jersey. NPR

Rapper’s Delight

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Friday, October 12, 1979

Fleetwood Mac released Tusk

First posted 9/17/2020.


Fleetwood Mac

Released: October 12, 1979

Peak: 4 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.3 UK, 6.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Over & Over (C. McVie) [4:34]
  2. The Ledge (Buckingham) [2:08]
  3. Think About Me (C. McVie) [2:44] (3/80, 20 US, 39 AC, 24 CN)
  4. Save Me a Place (Buckingham) [2:42]
  5. Sara (Nicks) [6:22] (12/15/79, 7 US, 13 AC, 37 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  6. What Makes You Think You’re the One (Buckingham) [3:32]
  7. Storms (Nicks) [5:31]
  8. That’s All for Everyone (Buckingham) [3:03]
  9. Not That Funny (Buckingham) [3:11]
  10. Sisters of the Moon (Nicks) [4:42] (6/80, 86 US)
  11. Angel (Nicks) [4:54]
  12. That’s Enough for Me (Buckinham) [1:50]
  13. Brown Eyes (C. McVie) [4:27]
  14. Never Make Me Cry (C. McVie) [2:18]
  15. I Know I’m Not Wrong (Buckingham) [3:05]
  16. Honey Hi (C. McVie) [2:41]
  17. Beautiful Child (Nicks) [5:21]
  18. Walk a Thin Line (Buckingham) [3:46]
  19. Tusk (Buckingham) [3:37] (10/6/79, 8 US, 6 UK, 5 CN, 3 AU)
  20. Never Forget (C. McVie) [3:34]

Total Running Time: 74:25

The Players:

  • Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar, et al)
  • Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine)
  • Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
  • John McVie (bass)
  • Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)


3.968 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “a bracing, weirdly affecting work that may not be as universal or immediate as Rumours, but is every bit as classic. As a piece of pop art, it's peerless.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

About the Album:

“More than any other Fleetwood Mac album, Tusk is born of a particular time and place – it could only have been created in the aftermath of Rumours, which shattered sales records, which in turn gave the group a blank check for its next album. But if they were falling apart during the making of Rumours, they were officially broken and shattered during the making of Tusk, and that disconnect between bandmembers resulted in a sprawling, incoherent, and utterly brilliant 20-track double album.” AMG Editor’s note: is it possible to write a review of a double album without using the word “sprawling”?

By comparison to Rumours, which sold 40 million copies worldwide, spent 31 weeks atop the U.S. Billboard album chart, and sported four top-ten singles, Tusk was destined to be viewed as a flop. It peaked at #4, had two top-10 hits, and stalled at a “measly” 6.5 million in sales. “The truth of the matter is that Fleetwood Mac couldn’t top that success no matter how hard they tried, so it was better for them to indulge themselves and come up with something as unique as Tusk.

The band seemed to acknowledge that right out of the gate with the strange “marching band-driven paranoia of the title trackAMG The song signalled that this wasn’t going to be an album that actively sought pop success, although that song did reach the top 10.

That track also made it clear that this album would be a Lindsey Buckingham-dominated affair. Like Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, Tusk offers “smooth, reflective work from all three songwriters,” AMG the others being Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks. The latter most notably offers up “Dreams Part II” with Sara, another top-10 affair.

However, even when McVie and Nicks take their turns at songwriting and singing, Buckinham’s presence is still felt with “an ethereal, floating quality that turns them into welcome respites from the seriously twisted immersions into Buckingham’s id.” AMG He composed nearly half the album and “owns this record with his nervous energy and obsessive production, winding up with a fussily detailed yet wildly messy record unlike any other.” AMG

Tusk “is the ultimate cocaine album – it’s mellow for long stretches, and then bursts wide open in manic, frantic explosions, such as the mounting tension on The Ledge or the rampaging That's Enough for Me.” AMG “This is mainstream madness, crazier than Buckingham’s idol Brian Wilson and weirder than any number of cult classics.” AMG It “is a bracing, weirdly affecting work that may not be as universal or immediate as Rumours, but is every bit as classic. As a piece of pop art, it's peerless.” AMG

Notes: A 2004 deluxe edition added a second disc of alternate versions of songs from the album. In 2015, a 5-CD version was released with unreleased demos, live tracks, and alternate versions.

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Monday, September 24, 1979

Eagles’ The Long Run released

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 10/17/2020.

The Long Run


Released: September 24, 1979

Peak: 19 US, 4 UK, 15 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.10 UK, 12.10 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. The Long Run (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [3:42] (11/30/79, 8 US, 10 CB, 1 CL, 34 AC, 66 UK, 9 CN)
  2. I Can’t Tell You Why (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Timothy B. Schmit) [4:54] (2/3/80, 8 US, 9 CB, 2 CL, 3 AC, 5 CN)
  3. In the City (Joe Walsh/Barrry DeVorzon) [3:46] (5 CL)
  4. The Disco Strangler
  5. King of Hollywood
  6. Heartache Tonight (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Bob Seger/J.D. Southern) [4:25] (9/28/79, 11 US, 11 CB, 1 CL, 38 AC, 40 UK, 12 CN, 13 AU, gold single)
  7. Those Shoes (Don Felder/Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:56] (8 CL)
  8. Teenage Jail
  9. The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks
  10. The Sad Café (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh/J.D. Souther) [5:32] (20 CL)

Total Running Time: 42:29

The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Don Felder (guitar, vocals)
  • Timothy B. Schmit (bass, vocals)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals)


3.634 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


About the Album:

“Three years in the making (which was considered an eternity in the ‘70s), the Eagles’ follow-up to the massively successful, critically acclaimed Hotel California was a major disappointment, even though it sold several million copies and threw off three hit singles.” AMG

“Those singles, in fact, provide some insight into the record. Heartache Tonight was an old-fashioned rock & roll song sung by Glenn Frey, while I Can’t Tell You Why was a delicate ballad by Timothy B. Schmit, the band’s newest member. Only The Long Run, a conventional pop/rock tune with a Stax Records R&B flavor, bore the stamp and vocal signature of Don Henley, who had largely taken the reins of the band on Hotel California.” AMG

“Henley also dominated The Long Run, getting co-writing credits on nine of the ten songs, singing five lead vocals, and sharing another two with Frey. This time around, however, Henley’s contributions were for the most part painfully slight. Only ‘The Long Run’ and the regret-filled closing song, The Sad Café, showed any of his usual craftsmanship. The album was dominated by second-rank songs like The Disco Strangler, King of Hollywood, and Teenage Jail that sounded like they couldn’t have taken three hours much less three years to come up with.” AMG

“Joe Walsh’s In the City was up to his usual standard, but it may not even have been an Eagles recording, having appeared months earlier on the soundtrack to The Warriors, where it was credited as a Walsh solo track.” AMG

“Amazingly, The Long Run reportedly was planned as a double album before being truncated to a single disc. If these were the keepers, what could the rejects have sounded like?” AMG

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