Saturday, March 22, 1980

Pink Floyd hit #1 with “Another Brick in the Wall”

Last updated 4/12/2020.

Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)

Pink Floyd

Writer(s): Roger Waters (see lyrics here)


Released: November 23, 1979


First Charted: December 1, 1979


Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 15 HR, 42 AR, 15 UK, 16 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.1 UK, 4.26 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 643.0 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

In Pink Floyd’s early years, they released some successful singles in the UK, but gradually became much better known as an album act by their blockbuster 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. This helped establish the progressive and psychedelic group “as a credible group keen to distance themselves from the fads and fashions of the singles market.” HL

With their 1979 album, The Wall, Pink Floyd undertook their most ambitious endeavor yet, crafting a double album built around the concept of alienation as shaped by the album protaganist’s construction of an imaginary wall to shield him from the outside world.

To everyone’s surprise, the band opted to promote the album with their first single in eleven years. TB The song, “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II,” was singer/songwriter and bassist Roger Waters’ “vicious attack on teachers…inspired by the cruelty of his own schoolmasters.” RS500

The unexpected US and UK chart-topper owed its success to guitarist David Gilmour’s last-minute suggestion to have the chorus sung by school children. HL While initially intended only for the background, the strong results led to the choir being featured up front in the vocals instead. TB

The apartheid regime of South Africa ironically fed right into Waters’ message when they banned the song because the black school children were adopting it as a protest against the country’s repressive educational system. TB


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Wednesday, March 12, 1980

Billy Joel’s Glass Houses released

First posted 3/6/2011; updated 9/22/2020.

Glass Houses

Billy Joel


Released: March 12, 1980


Peak: 16 US, 9 UK, 17 CN, 2 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.1 UK, 11.2 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/rock singer-songwriter


Tracks:

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

  1. You May Be Right (3/15/80, 7 US, 2 CL, 48 AC, 6 CN, 28 AU, gold single)
  2. Sometimes a Fantasy (10/11/80, 36 US, 12 CL, 21 CN)
  3. Don’t Ask Me Why (8/2/80, 36 US, 8 CL, 1 AC, 4 CN)
  4. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (5/13/80, 1 US, 1 CL, 45 AC, 14 UK, 1 CN, 10 AU, 2x platinum single)
  5. All for Leyna (4/12/80, 17 CL, 40 UK)
  6. I Don’t Want to Be Alone
  7. Sleeping with the Television On
  8. C’Etait Toi (You Were the One)
  9. Close to the Borderline (25 CL)
  10. Through the Long Night


Total Running Time: 35:06

Rating:

3.653 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


Quotable: “The closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

“The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn’t bring him critical respect, and it didn’t dull his anger. If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker – a soft rocker – infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new wave kids were getting the praise that eluded him.” STE

“Instead of turning out to be a fiery rebuttal to his detractors, the album is a remarkable catalog of contemporary pop styles, from McCartney-esque whimsy (Don’t Ask Me Why) and arena rock (All for Leyna) to soft rock (C’etait Toi [You Were the One]).” STE

“Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, with a distinctly bitter edge, Glass Houses still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman and Phil Ramone the world-class hitmaker. Even its hardest songs – the terrifically paranoid Sometimes a Fantasy, Sleepin’ with the Television On, Close to the BorderlineSTE and “the snarl of the motorcycle-ridingt You May Be RightDB “have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements, ideal for radio play.” STE

“Plenty of panicked mainstream rock stars were trying to ‘go New Wave’ at the time. Thanks to his innate brattiness and gift for stylistic wandering, Joel was able to pull it off better than just about anyone.” DB With a sound that “ironically is closer to new wave pop than rock,” STEJoel showed on the “Cars-imitating It’s Still Rock and Roll to MeDB that it “came naturally to him.” DB

The Stranger and 52nd Street were fine albums in their own right, but it’s nice to hear Joel scale back his showman tendencies and deliver a solid pop/rock record… [that is] the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.” STE

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Monday, March 3, 1980

Air Supply’s Lost in Love released

First posted 1/18/2009; updated 9/20/2020.

Lost in Love

Air Supply


Released: March 3, 1980


Peak: 22 US, -- UK, -- CN, 21 AU


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: adult contemporary


Tracks:

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

  1. Lost in Love (2/9/80, 3 US, 1 AC, 13 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  2. All Out of Love (6/14/80, 2 US, 11 UK, 5 AC, 9 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  3. Every Woman in the World (10/25/80, 5 US, 2 AC, 8 AU, sales: 2 million)
  4. Just Another Woman
  5. Having You Near Me
  6. American Hearts
  7. Chances
  8. Old Habits Die Hard
  9. I Can’t Get Excited
  10. My Best Friend


Total Running Time: 36:37


The Players:

  • Russell Hitchcock (vocals)
  • Graham Russell (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • David Moyse (guitars)
  • Dave Green (bass)
  • Frank Esler-Smith (keyboards)
  • Ralph Cooper (drums)

Rating:

3.388 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Air Supply had released four albums from 1976 to 1979 without much impact. Even in their native Australia, they’d really only found success with one top-ten hit, 1976’s “Love and Other Bruises.” The group’s fate changed, however, when they signed a new contract with Arista Records. Producer Clive Davis, a future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, helped Air Supply finally break into the U.S. market. During the early ‘80s, they had “a successful run of soft pop love songs” AMG yielding ten top 40 hits over the next three albums.

“Graham Russell’s overly poetic, overly romantic lyrics were usually accompanied by the fragile plucking of an acoustic guitar or the soft tinkling of piano.” AMG “Throughout every album their insipid musical style never strayed” AMG from their “faithful allegiance to their sentimentally flavored tastes.” AMG

The title song hit #3 in the U.S. and is often considered the group’s signature song and Russell Hitchcock has said it is his favorite. WK An earlier version was released in Australia in 1979 on their Life Support album. The rerecorded version, however, is what gave the band its first taste of international fame.

The second single, All Out of Love, is “regarded as their most famous song,” WK reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by Every Woman in the World, giving the band its third top-five hit from the album. “The rest of the tracks on Lost in Love are carbon copies of the hits.” AMG

While never released as a single, Chances became one of the group’s better-known songs, thanks to its inclusion on multiple compilations of the group’s hits. Also of note – Just Another Woman was also first recorded – as a disco song – for the Life Support album. It was a hit in Malaysia. WK

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