Saturday, July 28, 1979

Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays” hit #1 in UK

I Don’t Like Mondays

The Boomtown Rats

Writer(s): Bob Geldof, Johnnie Fingers (see lyrics here)

Released: July 13, 1979

First Charted: July 21, 1979

Peak: 73 US, 84 CB, 70 HR, 4 CL, 1 CO, 14 UK, 4 CN, 12 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.86 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 10.44 video, 68.09 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Boomtown Rats formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1975. The new wave band released its self-titled debut in 1977. It was followed by three top-10 albums, including 1979’s The Fine Art of Surfacing, which included the single “I Don’t Like Mondays.” The band didn’t earn near as much of a following in the United States where Surfacing was their highest charting album at #73.

From a singles’ standpoint, “I Don’t Like Mondays” was the second #1 for the Boomtown Rats in the UK, following 1978’s “Rat Trap.” That song “represented something of a departure from their normal fast and frantic punk output, and was an indication of a shift towards more structured and textured songs for the future.” HL “Mondays” was “driven by sturdy piano chords pitched somewhere between David Bowie’s early-1970s output and something from a stage musical.” TB The song hit #1 in 32 countries, SF but stalled at #73 in the United States, just like its parent album.

The piano ballad was written by singer Bob Geldof and keyboardist Johnnie Fingers. The pair were doing a radio interview at Georgia State University’s campus radio station, WRAS, on Jaunary 29, 1979. There was a telex machine beside Geldof and a report came in that 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer opened fire on the children on the playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary in San Diego, California, with a rifle her father gave her for Christmas. She killed the principal and a custodian and injured eight children and a police officer. When asked on the phone by a reporter why she did it, she said, “I just did it for the fun of it. I just don’t like Mondays.” SF

Geldof said, “It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it.” DT Spencer’s family tried to prevent the song’s release in the United States for fear that it would bias people regarding her impending court case. HL While unsuccessful, their efforts did leave radio stations leary of playing the song for fear of getting sued. KL Geldof later said he regretted writing the song because it made her famous. WK It won Ivor Novello Awards in the UK for Best Pop Song and Outstanding British Lyric.


First posted 10/1/2022; last updated 4/13/2023.

Friday, July 27, 1979

50 years ago: “Singin’ in the Rain” charted for the first time

Singin’ in the Rain

Cliff Edwards

Writer(s): Nacio Herb Brown (music), Arthur Freed (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 27, 1929

Peak: 3 GA, 13 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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

Singin’ in the Rain

Gene Kelly

Released: May 27, 1952 (movie)

Peak: 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 37.55 video, 24.0 streaming

Awards (Edwards):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Kelly):

About the Song:

Arthur Freed was inspired to write “Singin’ in the Rain” when he saw a man outside his sheet music shop in Seattle dancing during a downpour. Nacio Herb Brown, who often worked with Freed on MGM musicals, then put it to music. SF It was introduced in 1929 by Doris Eaton Travis in The Hollywood Music Box Revue. Months later, it was performed by Cliff Edwards and the Bronx Sisters in The Hollywood Revue of 1929. Edwards was among three artists who charted with the song in 1929. Earl Burtnett took it to #4, Gus Arnheim reached # 9, and Edwards’ version went to the top of the charts.

Edwards, known as Ukulele Ike, was one of the most successful artists of the pre-rock era. His “jazz-flavored musical style made him a popular phenomenon of the 20s.” PM He charted thirty times from 1924 to 1940, including fifteen top-10 hits. He hit #1 with “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” but was probably best known for singing “When You Wish Upon a Star” as Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s animated film Pinocchio.

Years later Freed, now a producer at MGM, pitched the idea of a musical based around his songs. SF It became the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain, one of the most celebrated musicals of all time. The most famous scene featured star Gene Kelly singing the song while dancing joyously in the rain and splashing in the puddles. The song became inseparable from “Kelly’s brilliant choreography.” LW

It found success again when Mint Royale recorded an electronica version in 2005. It was used in a Gene Kelly CGI-enhanced television ad for Volkswagen Golf SF and subsequently reached #20 on the UK charts. In 2008, 14-year-old George Sampson won Britain’s Got Talent replicating the routine from the ad. It revived the Mint Royale recording and it soared to #1.


First posted 11/4/2022; last updated 11/24/2022.

AC/DC released Highway to Hell

First posted 9/4/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

Highway to Hell


Buy Here:

Released: July 27, 1979

Peak: 17 US, 8 UK, 40 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: hard rock/heavy metal

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Highway to Hell (9/1/79, #47 US, #14 UK, #29 AR)
  2. Girls Got Rhythm
  3. Walk All Over You
  4. Touch Too Much (2/2/90, #29 UK)
  5. Beating Around the Bush
  6. Shot Down in Flames
  7. Get It Hot
  8. If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It
  9. Love Hungry Man
  10. Night Prowler

Total Running Time: 41:40

The Players:

  • Bon Scott (vocals)
  • Angus Young (guitar)
  • Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Cliff Williams (bass)
  • Phil Rudd (drums)


4.167 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


About the Album:

Highway to Hell is the final album recorded with “Bon Scott, AC/DC’s original lead singer who died just months after this album was released. Scott had a rusty, raspy, scream of a voice, like he might break into a coughing fit at any moment.” DC “He had the perfect instrument for such wild-living anthems” DC and “provided the group with a fair share of its signature sleaze;” STE “Scott literally partied himself to death, dying of alcohol poisoning after a night of drinking, a rock & roll fatality that took no imagination to predict.” STE

“In light of his passing, it’s hard not to see Highway to Hell as a last testament of sorts, being that it was his last work and all, and if Scott was going to go out in a blaze of glory” STE this collection of “crunchy, hook-heavy metal classics” DC was “certainly was the way to do it. This is a veritable rogue’s gallery of deviance, from cheerfully clumsy sex talk and drinking anthems to general outlandish behavior. It’s tempting to say that Scott might have been prescient about his end – or to see the title track as ominous in the wake of his death – trying to spill it all out on paper, but it’s more accurate to say that the ride had just gotten very fast and very wild for AC/DC, and he was simply flying high.” STE

“After all, it wasn’t just Scott who reached a new peak on Highway to Hell; so did the Young brothers, crafting their monster riffs into full-fledged, undeniable songs. This is their best set of songs yet, from the incessant, intoxicating boogie of Girls Got Rhythm to If You Want Blood (You've Got It).” STE There’s also “Get It Hot which is more roadhouse rock than metal” DC

“Some of the credit should also go to Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, who gives the album a precision and magnitude that…[earlier albums] lacked in their grimy charm.” STEHighway to Hell was the first AC/DC album not produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.” WK “Filtered through Mutt’s mixing board, AC/DC has never sounded so enormous, and they’ve never had such great songs, and they had never delivered an album as singularly bone-crunching or classic as this until now.” STE

“The change proved to be fortuitous, and the album was the band’s biggest yet.” WK “This would be the first solid success that AC/DC would achieve in the U.S.” WK “and it propelled AC/DC into the top ranks of hard rock acts” WK as Highway to Hell became the band’s “first album to break the U.S. top 100, eventually reaching #17.” WK “Lange would go on to produce the band’s next two albums and biggest sellers, Back in Black and For Those About to Rock We Salute You.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

AC/DC song “Highway to Hell” charted

Highway to Hell


Writer(s): Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young (see lyrics here)

Released: July 27, 1979

First Charted: September 1, 1979

Peak: 47 US, 57 CB, 57 HR, 1 CL, 2 AR, 14 UK, 24 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.5 US, 1.2 UK, 3.86 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 419.6 video, 1269.83 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The hard-rock band AC/DC formed in Australian in 1973. They released six albums in the 1970s before tragedy struck and lead singer Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning on February 19, 1980 at 33 years old. 1979’s Highway to Hell, Scott’s final album, became the group’s most successful up to that point, selling seven million copies in the United States.

The song “Highway to Hell” became a heavy metal classic. Guitarist Angus Young referred to the band’s gruelling tour schedule and the generally arduous nature of life on the road as “a highway to hell.” WK It was also a nickname for the Canning Highway in Australia. One end of the highway, near a pub called the Raffles, was known as a deadly spot where people were killed driving too fast. When Scott said he was on a highway to hell, it meant he was heading down Canning Highway to the Raffles to party. SF

Author Dave Thompson said “AC/DC have ripped out some of modern rock’s most remarkable anthems and timeless riffs. ‘Highway to Hell’ is the pinnacle of both.” DT Cashbox called the song a “bone crunching, gut-wrenching exercise in primal guitar rock.” WK Record World said that “growling vocals join a raunchy guitar assault for simple, high voltage, rock ‘n’ roll abandon.” WK

Up until that point, AC/DC’s albums had all been produced by Harry Vanda and George Young, brother of bandmates Malcolm and Angus. For Highway to Hell, the record company forced the band to work with Eddie Kramer, best known for working with Jim Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Kiss. When the band didn’t get along with him, Mutt Lange – best known for working with Boomtown Rats and Graham Parker – came on board. With his help, AC/DC was able to showcase their double-guitar sound. It became even more of a factor on Back in Black, the blockbuster album which came after Bon Scott’s death and the arrival of new lead singer Brian Johnson.


Related Links:

First posted 7/24/2023.

Electric Light Orchestra “Don’t Bring Me Down” charted

Don’t Bring Me Down

Electric Light Orchestra

Writer(s): Jeff Lynne (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 27, 1979

Peak: 4 US, 4 CB, 3 HR, 5 RR, 2 CL, 3 UK, 11 CN, 6 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.25 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 30.7 video, 204.01 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Don’t Bring Me Down” might be Jeff Lynne’s “greatest recorded legacy” UCR as well as his “most concise and representative musical statement.” UCR The song is “pure, vintage Lynne in a way that maybe no other ELO hit can claim.” UCR “You can hear a Jeff Lynne song from a couple miles down the road: It’s all in the bass drum…‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ has got those drums, and oddly enough, that’s about all it has.” UCR

This was the band’s first song that didn’t use strings “and by the Electric Light Orchestra’s ornate arrangement standards, it’s positively rudimentary.” UCR It is ironic that the group which can be summed up as “pop music with strings” AMG got its biggest American hit with a string-free song. It was “powerful enough for rock fans but dance-friendly enough for the disco set.” AMG

Lynne wrote this late in the sessions for the 1979 Discovery album. He wrote the song on piano and for the backing track he slowed down and looped the drums from an earlier song called “On the Run” WK “to create the tune’s trademark beat.” UCR It’s unknown if any other band members played on the track. Finally, he added lyrics “about a girl who thinks she’s too good for the guy she’s with.” SF

The song also included repeated use of the nonsense word “groose.” It was originally just a place-keeper word, but stayed in. SF Some fans though he was singing “Bruce” and, for fun, he has actually sung it that way in live performances. SF He was also informed by German engineer Reinhold Mack that “gruss” means “greetings” in Germany. SF


First posted 7/15/2022; last updated 7/22/2022.