Paul Simon was making One Trick Pony.
Art Garfunkel was starring in Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing.
Jean-Luc Godard had returned to making feature films, working on Sauve qui peut (la vie).
George Lucas was making The Empire Strikes Back.
Stanely Kubrick was making The Shining (at Elstree Studios, next door to The Empire Strikes Back).
Woody Allen released Manhattan:
…and was beginning production on Stardust Memories.
Jenny Holzer was in the midst of realizing her Truisms series.
Kathy Acker completed writing Blood and Guts in High School (though she wouldn’t publish it until 1984).
John Cheever’s The Stories of John Cheever won the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
David Bowie released Lodger, the end of his Berlin period:
Brian Eno, having made his name as part of the glam scene, was composing ambient music:
…as well as producing Talking Heads’s Fear of Music.
Rod Stewart released “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
Afrika Bambaataa was organizing the Universal Zulu Nation. He had not yet released an album.
The Sugarhill Gang recorded “Rapper’s Delight,” the start of commercial hip hop.
DJ Kool Herc, who’d more or less invented hip hop in 1973 by isolating the break sections in hard funk records, was already retreating from that burgeoning scene.
John Lennon had given up music in order to focus on his family, and writing and drawing.
McDonald’s was about to roll out its newest product, the Happy Meal, to its franchises nationwide.
Sony’s Betamax video format was steadily losing market share to JVC’s VHS.
Sony first marketed the Walkman.