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What Were You Doing in 1979? (part 15)

The Jam released Setting Sons.

The Kinks released Low Budget.

They were also recording the live album One for the Road

…and Give the People What They Want (released in 1981).

The Knacks’s single “My Sharona” reached #1 on the Billboard charts.

Critics were quick to pronounce the death of disco.

The London Symphony Orchestra released Classic Rock: The Second Movement.

The Only Ones released Even Serpents Shine.

(You’ll have to crank the volume for that one, apologies.)

The Police released their second album, Reggatta de Blanc.

The Pop Group released their debut album, Y.

The Raincoats released The Raincoats.

The Raes released Dancing Up a Storm.

The Real Thing’s 1978 album Step Into Our World was retitled Can You Feel the Force and rereleased, following the success of their single of the same name.

The Roches, backed by Robert Fripp, released their debut album, The Roches.

Following the success of their single “Babylon’s Burning,” The Ruts released In a Crack.

The Selecter formed and recorded Too Much Pressure.

The Shadows released String of Hits.

The Skids released their debut album, Scared to Dance, scoring what would be their biggest hit with the single “Into the Valley.”

The Slits released their debut album, Cut.

The Specials, backed by Joe Strummer, released their debut single, “Gangsters.”

Later that year, Elvis Costello produced their first LP, Specials.

The Stranglers had recently released their cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk on By.”

Their manager advised them to break up, as the punk scene was over. Instead, they released The Raven.

Meanwhile, Jean-Jacques Burnel released a solo album, Euroman Cometh

…and Hugh Cornwell released Nosferatu with Robert Williams.

The Undertones released their debut album, The Undertones.

The Village People released Go West.

(You can find the original video here. Supposedly the US Navy lent the Village People use of the ship and some sailors in exchange for the right to use the video as part of a recruiting campaign. And the Navy would have been much more fun had they used it!)

Meanwhile, “Y.M.C.A.” (from their 1978 album Cruisin’) became the best-selling single of the year.

The Who released the soundtracks for The Kids Are Alright and Quadrophenia, and began performing without the late Keith Moon.

Later that year, eleven attendees were killed, and twenty-six injured, during one of their shows in Cincinnati.

The Yellow Magic Orchestra released Solid State Survivor.

Thin Lizzy released Black Rose: A Rock Legend.

Thomas Kinsella published One and Other Poems.

Thomas M. Disch was preparing to publish The Brave Little Toaster (1980).

Throbbing Gristle released 20 Jazz Funk Greats.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers released their third album, Damn the Torpedoes.

Tom Wolfe published The Right Stuff.

Toto released Hydra.

Meanwhile, their first album (Toto) was proving a sleeper hit.

  • 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.

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