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What Were You Doing in 1979? (part 3)

Bauhaus released “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Brooke Shields was starring in The Blue Lagoon.

Bruce Chatwin was preparing to publish The Viceroy of Ouidah (1980).

Cabaret Voltaire released their first album, Mix-Up.

Can released Can and broke up. (Founding member Holger Czukay was minimally involved, having quit the band in 1977.)

Carl Sagan was preparing his television miniseries Cosmos (broadcast in 1980).

Carly Simon released Spy.

Charlemagne Palestine made Dark Into Dark.

Charlemagne Palestine, "Dark Into Dark" (still).

C. P. Snow was nearing the end of his life (he would die on 1 July 1980).

Charles Mingus passed away (on 5 January).

Cheap Trick released Dream Police and Live At Budokan.

Chic released Risqué; its hit single “Good Times” would be sampled by The Sugarhill Gang for “Rapper’s Delight.”

Chick Corea won a Grammy for Friends.

Chris Claremont and John Byrne were preparing to publish the Dark Phoenix Saga (Uncanny X-Men issues 129–138), which among other things would debut the popular characters Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost.

Uncanny X-Men 129, page 1 (detail).

Christopher Wood published James Bond and Moonraker.

Czesław Miłosz was about to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1980).

Daniel Manus Pinkwater published Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars.

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson published the first edition of Film Art.

Dave Sim announced that his young comic Cerebus, initially a crude Conan the Barbarian parody, would become a 300-issue-long series, culminating in the death of its title character in 2004.

Cerebus 12 (cover).

David Attenborough was broadcasting his television miniseries Life on Earth.

David Lynch was directing his second feature-length film, The Elephant Man.

Deep Purple, which had broken up in 1976, released The Mark II Purple Singles.

Def Leppard, which had formed in 1977, released their debut album, The Def Leppard E.P.

Denise Levertov published her Collected Earlier Poems.

Devo released Duty Now for the Future.

Diana Ross began recording diana.

Dionne Brand published Earth Magic.

Dire Straits released their second album, Communiqué.

Disney released The Black Hole.

Dolly Parton won a Grammy for her 1977 album Here You Come Again.

Don Adams was starring in The Nude Bomb.

Donald Barthelme published Great Days, his last book with Farrar, Straus and his penultimate story collection. Putnam (his new publisher), meanwhile, was preparing to publish Sixty Stories.

Donna Summer, having recently kicked her prescription drug habit, released her concept album Bad Girls, which contained numerous hit singles: “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” and (with Barbara Streisand) “No More Tears (Enough is Enough).” She also released On the Radio (Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2).

Dorsey Burnette passed away (on 19 August).

Douglas Adams published the novel adaptation of his radio program The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He was already preparing its sequel, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (which would be published the following year).

  • A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.

6 thoughts on “What Were You Doing in 1979? (part 3)

  1. What a great year that was! I am so happy to have been alive then. I love the thoroughness of this piece. Fun.

  2. I was living on the streets as a teen — living hand-to-mouth

    Good to know the capitalist culture was chugging along just fine.

    Been catching up with your writings Adam–good to know you are still going strong!

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