1979 – The Year In Music

The Knack release their first album, “Get The Knack” (produced by Mike Chapman), and see their debut single, “My Sharona” spend six weeks at #1.

WLUP disc jockey Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition Night takes place at Chicago’s Comiskey Park between games of a doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. Dahl blows up a pile of disco records in centerfield and, in doing so, causes damage to the playing field. Thousands of fans storm the field, starting fires of their own and causing a min-riot leading to the cancellation of the second game.

Stevie Wonder’s “Journey Through cnccabins The Secret Life Of Plants” is the first notable pop album to be digitally recorded. Despite being mostly instrumental and featuring no actual hit singles, the album peaked at #4 on the Billboard Albums chart.

In February, the Clash play their first U.S. concert date in Berkeley, CA. Opening the show is Bo Diddley.

In May, the Who perform their first concert after the death of original drummer Keith Moon.

Kiss release “Dynasty”, which goes Top 10 on the strength of the disco-tinged single “I Was Made For Loving You” (#11).

Dead Kennedys release their first single, “California Über Alles,” in June.

After a near-fatal car accident the year before, Peter Frampton returns with the album” Where I Should Be”, which peaks at #19 and features the Top 20 single “I Can’t Stand It no More”.

Eric Clapton marries George Harrison’s ex-wife Patti Boyd in March.

After selling briskly as a Japanese import, Cheap Trick’s “At Budokan” is released stateside, selling over a million copies and featuring the Top 10 hit single, “I Want You To Want Me”.

Pat Benatar’s debut album, “In The Heat Of The Night” (produced by Mike Chapman), is released in September and hits the Top 20 on the strength of the Top 40 singles “Heartbreaker” and “we Live For Love”, as well as her cover of John Cougar’s “I Need A Lover”.

In October, Joe Perry quits Aerosmith to form the Joe Perry Project.

In June, The Cars follow the platinum success of their debut album with the release of “Candy-O”, which peaks at #3 on the U.S. albums chart.

PiL release their second album, Metal Box, so named because of it’s unique packaging; a 16mm film canister that holds three 12″ vinyl records.

Supertramp hit #1 with their sixth album, “Breakfast In America”, which includes the Top 10 singles “The Logical Song” and “Take The Long Way Home”. To date, the album has sold over 18 million copies worldwide.

Rupert Holmes tops the Pop singles chart with “Escape (The Piña Colada Song”), making it the final #1 single of the 70’s.

Rod Stewart enjoyed four weeks at #1 on the singles chart with the disco-flavored “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”.

In May, Donna Summer releases her third consecutive double-album, “Bad Girls”, and enjoys the largest commercial success of her career. The singles “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” would spend a combined eight weeks at #1 on the Pop singles chart.

After hitting #1 earlier in the year with “Heart Of Glass” (from the “Parallel Lines” album), Blondie enjoy their second Top 20 album in a row with the release of “Eat To The Beat” (produced by Mike Chapman) in October. The band filmed a video for each song on the album and simultaneously released both an audio (vinyl/cassette/8-track) and video (VHS) version of the album.

Peaches & Herb spend four weeks at #1 with the hit single “Reunited”.

Barry Manilow releases his eight studio album, “One Voice”, scoring the final Top 10 album of his career…that is, until 2006’s chart-topping “The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties”.

In July, AC/DC release their sixth studio album “Highway To Hell”. It is their first Top 20 album in the U.S and includes the immensely popular title track, which, despite being a popular radio hit, fails to dent the Top 40 Pop singles chart.

The Eagles’ “final” studio album, “The Long Run”, is released in September. It includes three Top 10 hit singles; “Heartache Tonight”, “I Can’t Tell You Why”, and the title track and spends eight weeks at #1.

In May, David Bowie releases “Lodger”, the last of his “Berlin Trilogy” (three albums recorded in Berlin with Brian Eno). The album wasn’t recorded in Berlin, though, but, New York and Switzerland instead. Despite no apparent hit single, the album would manage to hit the U.S. Top 20 while peaking at #4 in the UK.

In October, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers release their breakthrough album, “Damn The Torpedoes”. It peaks at #2 on the U.S. albums chart, kept from the top spot by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

November sees the release of Adam & The Ants’ debut album, “Dirk Wears White Sox”, on UK indie label Do It Records).

Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is released in December and peaks at #1, where it stayed for fifteen weeks. The double-album includes the band’s only #1 single, “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2”.

In early ’79, Chic’s disco smash “Le Freak” spends four weeks at #1 on the Pop charts. They then return to the #1 spot later in the year with “Good Times” from the album “Risqué”.

The Village People score their final Top 10 hit single with “In The Navy”, which lands at #3 on the U.S. charts.

Gary Numan scores a huge radio hit (and one of the first “new wave” pop hits) in the U.S. with “Cars” (#9), from the album “The Pleasure Principle”.


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