The B-52’s released their debut album, The B-52’s.
Talking Heads, who were breaking into the mainstream, released Fear of Music.
They were also still promoting 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food.
Australia’s Tarney Spencer Band released their third album, Run For Your Life.
(You can see the original video for it here.)
Tangerine Dream released Force Majeure.
Ted Berrigan and Harris Schiff published Yo-Yo’s With Money.
Ted Hughes published Moortown and Remains of Elmet.
The Beach Boys released L.A. (Light Album).
The Bee Gees released Spirits Having Flown…
…and their greatest hits compilation The Bee Gees Greatest. They also won four Grammys for their contributions to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
The Bellamy Brothers, taking a line from Groucho Marx, scored a hit single with “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.”
The Boomtown Rats released The Fine Art of Surfacing.
(That second video was the only embeddable copy of “IDLM” that I could find.)
The Buggles scored a hit with their single “Video Killed the Radio Star”…
Two years later, it would become the was the first video played on MTV.
The Buzzcocks released their third and last studio album, A Different Kind of Tension…
…as well as the singles and B-sides compilation they would eventually be best remembered for, Singles Going Steady.
Singles from The Cars’s self-titled debut album (1978) were still climbing the charts.
They followed it up with Candy-O.
The Clash released London Calling and embarked on their first American tour. Bo Diddley opened for them.
The Cure released their debut album, Three Imaginary Boys.
Two standalone singles were included on the US version of the album:
(You can see the original video for “Boys Don’t Cry” here.)
The Damned released Machine Gun Etiquette.
The Dead Kennedys, who had started performing in the summer of ’78, released their single “California Über Alles.”
The Doobie Brothers were still riding high on the success of their 1978 single “What a Fool Believes.”
The Dubliners released Together Again.
The Eagles released The Long Run, featuring the hit single “Heartache Tonight,” which would win them a Grammy in 1980.
The next year, they would disband following Don Henley’s arrest for drug possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The Electric Light Orchestra released the disco-influenced Discovery…
…and ELO’s Greatest Hits.
The Fall released their debut album, Live at the Witch Trials…
…and their second album, Dragnet.
The Flying Lizards released their eponymous first album, capitalizing on the success of their single “Money.”
The Germs released their only album, (GI)…
…and appeared in Penelope Spheeris’s documentary film The Decline of Western Civilization.
The following year, their leader Darby Crash would commit suicide.
The Jacksons had a hit single with “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).”
The J. Geils Band released Best of the J. Geils Band.
They had yet to record and release “Centerfold.”