Monday, December 31, 1979

Top Songs from 1970-1979

First posted 3/4/2011; last updated 3/23/2020.

Top 100 Songs of the Decade:

1970-1979

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.

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

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

31. You’re the One That I Want…Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta (1978)
32. Sweet Home Alabama…Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
33. No Woman, No Cry…Bob Marley & the Wailers (1975)
34. My Sharona…The Knack (1979)
35. Without You…Harry Nilsson (1971)
36. Let’s Get It On…Marvin Gaye (1973)
37. Anarchy in the U.K….Sex Pistols (1976)
38. Joy to the World…Three Dog Night (1971)
39. Free Bird…Lynyrd Skynrd (1973)
40. Heroes…David Bowie (1977)

41. Seasons in the Sun…Terry Jacks (1974)
42. Sultans of Swing…Dire Straits (1979)
43. You’re So Vain…Carly Simon (1972)
44. Fire and Rain…James Taylor (1970)
45. Play That Funky Music…Wild Cherry (1976)
46. I’ll Be There…The Jackson 5 (1970)
47. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)…Rod Stewart (1976)
48. Three Times a Lady…Commodores (1978)
49. Brown Sugar…The Rolling Stones (1971)
50. Theme from Shaft…Isaac Hayes (1971)

51. Go Your Own Way…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
52. Won’t Get Fooled Again…The Who (1971)
53. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough…Michael Jackson (1979)
54. Walk on the Wild Side…Lou Reed (1972)
55. Love Will Keep Us Together…Captain & Tennille (1975)
56. It’s Too Late…Carole King (1971)
57. Paranoid…Black Sabbath (1970)
58. Alone Again (Naturally)…Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)
59. God Save the Queen…Sex Pistols (1977)
60. Just the Way You Are…Billy Joel (1977)

61. They Long to Be Close to You…Carpenters (1970)
62. Rapper’s Delight…The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
63. We Are Family…Sister Sledge (1979)
64. You Are the Sunshine of My Life…Stevie Wonder (1973)
65. Dreams…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
66. Piano Man…Billy Joel (1974)
67. In the Summertime…Mungo Jerry (1970)
68. Baker Street…Gerry Rafferty (1978)
69. Good Times…Chic (1979)
70. Shadow Dancing…Andy Gibb (1978)

71. I Honestly Love You…Olivia Newton-John (1974)
72. Angie…The Rolling Stones (1973)
73. Crazy Little Thing Called Love…Queen (1979)
74. Comfortably Numb…Pink Floyd (1979)
75. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart…Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976)
76. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?...Rod Stewart (1978)
77. Old Time Rock and Roll…Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (1978)
78. Lola…The Kinks (1970)
79. Midnight Train to Georgia…Gladys Knight & the Pips (1973)
80. We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions…Queen (1977)

81. Dream On…Aerosmith (1973)
82. Smoke on the Water…Deep Purple (1973)
83. More Than a Feeling…Boston (1976)
84. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…Elton John (1973)
85. Bennie and the Jets…Elton John (1974)
86. Crocodile Rock…Elton John (1972)
87. Changes…David Bowie (1971)
88. All Right Now…Free (1970)
89. Just My Imagination Running Away with Me…The Temptations (1971)
90. Hot Stuff…Donna Summer (1979)

91. Kung Fu Fighting…Carl Douglas (1974)
92. The Hustle…Van McCoy (1975)
93. I’m Not in Love…10cc (1975)
94. Best of My Love…The Emotions (1977)
95. Rhinestone Cowboy…Glen Campbell (1975)
96. Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)…Pretenders (1979)
97. Heart of Gold…Neil Young (1972)
98. ABC…The Jackson 5 (1970)
99. If You Leave Me Now…Chicago (1976)
100. You’ve Got a Friend…James Taylor (1971)

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.


1970:

1971:

1972:

1973:

1974:
  • 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)

1975:
  • 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)

1976:

1977:

1978:

1979:
  • 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.


1970:

  • 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)

1971:

  • 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)

1972:

  • 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)

1973:

  • 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)

1974:

  • 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)

1975:

  • 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)

1976:

  • 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)

1977:

  • 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)

1978:

  • 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)

1979:

  • 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

Rating:


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


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Award(s):


Saturday, December 8, 1979

Styx hit #1 with “Babe”

First posted 3/13/2020.

Babe

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

Awards:

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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