Looking back, the three years between the disco and pop oriented sounds of 1976 and the majestic jumble of influences that fill 1979 are a huge gulf. By 1979, disco was on it’s last legs, punk had firmly given airtime to what we now think of as new wave and the pop music of the day was about as strong as it had been since 1975.
The year saw superb and almost timeless singles from The Jam, Tom Petty and The Police, while Madness – and enduring favourite throughout the first half of the decade to come – made their first inroads into the public consciousness. On the albums front, things were equally strong, with classics from Electric Light Orchestra, Supertramp, Talking Heads and Rainbow. A debut album from Judie Tzuke – the terrific ‘Welcome To The Cruise’ – now sounds very much like a product of its time, which perhaps goes a long way to it being overlooked, but if you can tune into retro sounds, it’s still an album with plenty of charm and lots to give. Fleetwood Mac’s over-indulgent double set, ‘Tusk’, on the other hand, sounds as vibrant and bonkers as ever.
Despite all that fantastic music, two tracks from the year stand out a mile. Both Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ and The Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ look towards the future; these tracks, perhaps more than any others, signify changes in the decade to come. These songs are so 80s, they’re often included erroneously on 80s compilations.
We’ve taken a look at all of the above and far more besides. Get ready for Boney M, ABBA and Cliff to bring back some memories, while The Clash, Elvis Costello, Cold Chisel, Camel and The Cars are ready to prove that 1979 is a mixed bag like no other.
So, sit back, crank the volume and take a trip back to the 70s with Real Gone for one last time. We promise you, it’s worth it.
For everyone who has dipped in and out of the playlists over the past ten weeks, we say a massive thank you. For those who’ve not had the pleasure, it’s never too late – just follow the “Great 70s Project” tag at the bottom of this post to check out and stream the previous playlists.
At a later date, we’ll take another journey into the past with a different decade, but for now, have a great weekend…and, as always, happy listening!