50 Years - 50 Songs - 50 Weeks: 1979

 

By Jack Sharkey, October 6, 2017

 

1979

"I met your children." "What did you tell them?" "Video Killed the Radio Star." Everything was changing - rapidly - as the Seventies came to a close, but disco and New Wave were still the order of the day.

 

Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles When this song first arrived on the scene there was a whole lot of "What. Is. That?" going on, but what's mind-blowing now is just how prescient the song and video turned out to be.     

 

Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division From the drum beat (which would appear regularly in songs in the early 80s), to the band's mopey countenance (which would appear regularly in pretty much every male-performed pop song in the 2000s), to that glorious fat analog string synth, Joy Division were influential far beyond the actual length of the band's career (frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980).     

 

Le Freak - Chic The song itself was a light-weight AM radio staple and discotheque mainstay, but Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' influence over the music of the 80s was immense. From Bowie to Madonna and from Britney Spears to Daft Punk and Pitbull, from Diana Ross to Debbie Harry to members of Duran Duran you've heard and fallen in love with a song Nile Rodgers (guitar in this video) or Bernard Edwards (bass in this video) produced. Their mark on popular music is deep and undeniable.  

 

My Sharona - The Knack They were supposed to be bigger than the Beatles (their words not mine nor anyone else's) and you couldn't escape this song over the summer of 1979, but alas, the were kind of one-hit wonders. But...that guitar solo! And for you music nerds out there, if you ever wanted to know the difference between how a Les Paul (left channel) and a Stratocaster sound (right channel), this is the song. 

 

Too Much Heaven - The Bee Gees A beautiful recording of the Brothers Gibbs' stunning vocals. The Bee Gees absolutely ruled the last four years of the 1970s and this is probably their most iconic hit from the time period after Stayin' Alive

 

 

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