My Favorite Songs of 1979


This was a deep year, but a weak one. I’m actually not a huge Floyd fan, but in 1979 they were the cream of the crop with three of the five best songs (at least, according to my tastes). This was the year that Sony released the first Walkman. Remember those?

The “awesome” rankings here would be in the lower tier of awesome in other years. Again, lots of disco influence. At one point, disco songs made up eight of Billboard’s Top 10 songs. And I didn’t realize just how huge Donna Summer was, but she was pumping out the No.1 hits. I’m not a fan of that style, but I have to respect what she did to music and popular culture at that time.

In late August, My Sharona hit No.1 on the Billboard chart and it was the first time in a year that neither a disco song nor a ballad (slow song) was No.1. Rock ‘n roll broke through once again. This was also the first year that rap started to emerge, though it would be some years before it would become widespread.

Unlike most rankings, I won’t be simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because I know better than anybody that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow, if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment. So I’ll group them:
Not Bad
…with inter-group splitting.

First, videos of the best of the best from this year…

16 Great Songs from 1979

Beautiful Child – Fleetwood Mac

Underrated, beautiful tune

Breakfast In America  – Supertramp

I love this song, and have from the outset. Again, this one reminds me of shifts as a stockboy at Zellers in Stratford. It often played over the loudspeaker. I’m very disappointed to have to use this video, rather than the actual Supertramp version. But Roger Hodgson and the band have been disputing songs for decades now, and any official version of the song on YouTube will just get pulled down shortly after I post. So here is Hodgson’s concert version, which he will leave up. His voice still holds up well and the version is actually pretty good.

Highway To Hell  – AC/DC

Let’s Go  – The Cars

My Sharona  – The Knack

Tusk  – Fleetwood Mac

I Got You – Split Enz

Take The Long Way Home  – Supertramp

For the same reasons noted above, here is the non-Supertramp version of this great song. I love how each of Hodgson’s songs on YouTube make it very clear (in the title) that he wrote and composed them. True greatness gets credit via their legend. But some greats would rather not leave it to chance.

Music Box Dancer  – Frank Mills

Okay, completely off the rails here. This is the opposite of rock n’roll. But try to stop this song once it’s been going for 10 seconds. You can’t. You’ll want to hear more. And by the time you’ve heard enough, it’s either done or practically done. Also – Frank Mills is Canadian.

Hey You  – Pink Floyd

All My Love  – Led Zeppelin

Chiquitita  – ABBA

Heartache Tonight  – Eagles

My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)  – Neil Young

Babe  – Styx

Fool In The Rain  – Led Zeppelin

5 Truly Awesome Songs from 1979

Another Brick In The Wall (part II)  – Pink Floyd

Comfortably Numb  – Pink Floyd

Say Hello  – April Wine

Mother  – Pink Floyd

Don’t Bring Me Down  – Electric Light Orchestra

The above great tunes are on a YouTube playlist that you can find here

Here is the full list of my favorites from 1979…

Awesome – 1 Another Brick In The Wall (part II) Pink Floyd
Awesome – 1 Comfortably Numb Pink Floyd
Awesome – 1 Say Hello April Wine
Awesome – 4 Mother Pink Floyd
Awesome – 4 Don’t Bring Me Down Electric Light Orchestra
Great – 6 Breakfast In America Supertramp
Great – 6 Highway To Hell AC/DC
Great – 6 Let’s Go The Cars
Great – 6 My Sharona The Knack
Great – 6 Tusk Fleetwood Mac
Great – 6 I Got You Split Enz
Great – 6 Take The Long Way Home Supertramp
Great – 13 Music Box Dancer Frank Mills
Great – 13 Hey You Pink Floyd
Great – 13 All My Love Led Zeppelin
Great – 13 Chiquitita ABBA
Great – 13 Heartache Tonight Eagles
Great – 13 My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) Neil Young
Great – 13 Babe Styx
Great – 13 Fool In The Rain Led Zeppelin
Solid – 21 Video Killed The Radio Star Buggles
Solid – 21 I Have A Dream ABBA
Solid – 21 Message In A Bottle The Police
Solid – 21 Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Rupert Holmes
Solid – 21 The Logical Song Supertramp
Solid – 26 Train In Vain The Clash
Solid – 26 Bad Case of Loving You Robert Palmer
Solid – 26 Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen
Solid – 26 Goodbye Stranger Supertramp
Solid – 26 In The Evening Led Zeppelin
Solid – 26 London Calling The Clash
Solid – 26 Refugee Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Solid – 26 Dance The Night Away Van Halen
Solid – 26 Walking On The Moon The Police
Solid – 26 Cleveland Rocks Ian Hunter
Solid – 26 Money The Flying Lizards
Solid – 26 Fire Pointer Sisters
Solid – 26 Renegade Styx
Solid – 26 September Earth, Wind & Fire
Not Bad – 40 Every 1’s a Winner Hot Chocolate
Not Bad – 40 Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) The Jackson 5
Not Bad – 40 Stumblin’ In Chris Norman & Suzi Quatro
Not Bad – 40 Reunited Peaches & Herb
Not Bad – 40 I Fought the Law The Clash
Not Bad – 40 Cars Gary Numan
Not Bad – 40 Don’t Do Me Like That Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Not Bad – 40 Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) ABBA
Not Bad – 40 I Can’t Tell You Why Eagles
Not Bad – 40 Rock With You Michael Jackson
Not Bad – 40 Rock Lobster The B-52’s
Not Bad – 40 I’m Gonna Crawl Led Zeppelin
Not Bad – 40 Is She Really Going Out With Him? Joe Jackson
Not Bad – 40 Like a Lover, Like a Song April Wine
Not Bad – 54 Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson
Not Bad – 54 Hot Stuff Donna Summer
Not Bad – 54 In The Navy The Village People
Not Bad – 54 Making Plans For Nigel XTC
Not Bad – 54 Voulez-Vous ABBA
Not Bad – 54 Wonderful Christmastime Paul McCartney
Not Bad – 54 Here Comes My Girl Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Not Bad – 54 I Don’t Like Mondays The Boomtown Rats
Not Bad – 54 I Was Made For Lovin’ You Kiss
Not Bad – 54 In the City Eagles
Not Bad – 54 Joe’s Garage Frank Zappa
Not Bad – 54 Lay It On The Line Triumph
Not Bad – 54 The Long Run Eagles
Not Bad – 54 Sara Fleetwood Mac
Not Bad – 54 Tragedy Bee Gees
Not Bad – 54 Shine a Little Love Electric Light Orchestra
Not Bad – 54 Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ Journey
Not Bad – 54 Dreaming Blondie
Not Bad – 54 Does Your Mother Know ABBA
Not Bad – 54 We Don’t Talk Anymore Cliff Richard
Not Bad – 54 Heartbreaker Pat Benatar
Not Bad – 54 Born to be Alive Patrick Hernandez
Not Bad – 54 We Are Family Sister Sledge
Not Bad – 54 Working My Way Back To You The Spinners
Not Bad – 54 You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond
Not Bad – 54 You Can’t Change That Raydio

1970  1971  1972  1973  1974  1975  1976  1977  1978  1979

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s


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