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 singles 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.” They had three other top-10 singles in the UK. The song hit #1 in 32 different countries, SF but in the United States it peaked at #73, just like its parent album. It is the only Boomtown Rats’ song to chart.

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.” WK Spencer’s family tried to prevent the song’s release in the United States. 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.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Boomtown Rats
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 249.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 10/1/2022.

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:

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.

Saturday, July 21, 1979

Nick Lowe “Cruel to Be Kind” charted

Cruel to Be Kind

Nick Lowe

Writer(s): Nick Lowe, Ian Gomm (see lyrics here)

Released: August 17, 1979

First Charted: July 21, 1979

Peak: 12 US, 12 CB, 10 GR, 15 HR, 6 RR, 36 AC, 5 CL, 2 CO, 12 UK, 12 CN, 12 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 11.41 video, 23.18 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter, musician, and producer Nick Lowe was born in 1949 in England. He started his career in 1967 with the band Kippington Lodge, which later became Brinsley Schwarz. He left that group in 1975 and started playing bass in Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. He released his first solo single, “So It Goes,” in 1976. The next year, he had his first UK chart entry with the top-10 song “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass.”

In 1977, Edmunds had a top-30 UK hit with a cover of Lowe’s “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll.” Two years later, Elvis Costello recorded “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding,” a song Lowe wrote in 1974 while in Brinsley Schwarz. In 1979, Lowe finally had an international hit of his own with “Cruel to Be Kind.” It was his only top-40 hit in the United States. It reached #12 there – the same peak it achieved in the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Lowe wrote the song with Ian Gomm while the two were in Brinsley Schwarz and recorded it as a demo. It was intented for the final Brinsley Schwarz album, It’s All Over Now, but it was never released. WK Once Lowe was a solo artist at Columbia Records, A&R man Gregg Geller convinced Lowe to re-record the song, whose title comes from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. SF Lowe said, “I didn’t think it would do anything, but he kind of bullied me into it.” WK He recorded it with Rockpile and it appeared on Lowe’s second solo album, Labour of Lust.

Musically, it was inspired by “The Love I Lost” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Lowe said, “We loved that Philly disco stuff from the ‘70s, the O’Jays, all that stuff.” WK He originally said “Cruel to Be Kind” was a pop sell-out song and “wimpy,” SF but later said, “It’s a pretty good little song…I really love it. It cheers people up.” WK

A video for the song featured actual footage of Lowe’s marriage to singer Carlene Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash. Dave Edmunds appears in the video as their limo driver. It was one of the videos aired on MTV on their first broadcast day on August 1, 1981. WK


First posted 1/15/2023.

Saturday, July 14, 1979

Little River Band “Lonesome Loser” charted

Lonesome Loser

Little River Band

Writer(s): David Briggs (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 14, 1979

Peak: 6 US, 7 CB, 11 GR, 4 HR, 13 RR, 15 AC, 19 CL, 3 CN, 19 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 8.0 video, 42.45 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Little River Band formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975. The original lineup included three singers – Graeham Goble, Glenn Shorrock, and Beeb Birtles. They landed three top-30 hits in Australia before they broke through to the American market with “It’s a Long Way There,” a #28 hit. It was their first of a dozen top-40 hits in the U.S. from 1976 to 1983.

While most of the band’s songs were written by the singers, “Lonesome Loser” was penned by guitarist David Briggs. He uses gambling imagery to tell the story of a man unlucky in love. He realizes he isn’t going to solve his problems just by having a woman in his life. He has to get his life together first.

“Lonesome Loser” was the lead single from their 1979 album First Under the Wire. It came in the midst of the band’s four consecutive top-10 hits in 1978 and ’79. Goble, Shorrock, and Birtles all sing together at the opening of the song, giving it a distinctive a capella intro.

On a personal note, I generally consider 1979 – when I turned twelve – to be ground zero for when I first actively started paying attention to music. I wouldn’t start my own charts until 1982 (see first chart here), when I was fifteen years old. However, I retroactively created a list of My Top 100 Songs Pre-1982 which included “Lonesome Loser” and its follow-up, “Cool Change.”


First posted 6/30/2022; last updated 12/27/2022.

Journey “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” charted

Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’


Writer(s): Steve Perry (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 14, 1979

Peak: 16 US, 15 CB, 12 HR, 6 RR, 4 CL, 12 CN, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 31.12 video, 37.34 streaming

About the Song:

After three albums with more progressive leanings, Journey veered more toward mainstream rock with their 1978 album, Infinity. The band owed much of their new-found audience to the arrival of new frontman, Steve Perry. “Wheel in the Sky,” “Anytime,” and “Lights” were all minor hits at the time – none reached the top 40 of the Billboard pop charts – but have since become staples at classic-rock radio.

It propelled the album to #21 and triple platinum status, the first of six consecutive Journey studio albums to achieve multi-platinum status. That certainly raised the bar for next album, 1979’s Evolution, but Journey stepped up to the challenge. The lead single, “Just the Same Way,” and third single, “Too Late,” had similar success to the singles from Infinity in that they charted on Billboard’s Hot 100, but failed to reach the top 40. The middle single, however, was the big step forward.

“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” was the second single from the album and not only gave Journey its first taste of the top 40, but the top 20. The song was written solely by Steve Perry, although the band’s future hits were typically co-writes between him and/or guitarist Neal Schon and future keyboardist Jonathan Cain.

This is “a gut-wrenching tale of love-gone-wrong, with the desperate opening lines, ‘You make me weep, I wanna die,’ and an extended fade of ‘na na’s as there are no more words to describe the pain.” SF “Perry didn’t make this stuff up…this was a true story. He watched through the window as his girlfriend at the time got out of a Corvette and gave the driver a long, loving kiss goodbye. He calls this song ‘love justice.’” SF


Related Links:

First posted 7/8/2022.