1979 in British music

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1970s in music in the UK
Number-one singles
Number-one albums
Best-selling singles
Best-selling albums
Summaries and charts
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
1969 1980
Top 10 singles
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
1969 1980

This is a summary of 1979 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year. 1979 saw the beginning of a few trends in British music. The start of the New Romantic movement and synthesiser bands began to gather momentum (although both these trends had to wait for the eighties for real growth) and the first rap hit in the UK for the Sugar Hill Gang. The 2 Tone movement also emerged with early work from bands like The Specials and Madness. Disco music was still the most popular music of the year, although showed signs of dying out in later months. 1979 remains the biggest-selling year ever for physical format singles sales in the UK.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number one singles[edit]

Date Song Artist Weeks
6 January "Y.M.C.A." Village People 3
24 January "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" Ian Dury and the Blockheads 1
3 February "Heart of Glass" Blondie 4
3 March "Tragedy" Bee Gees 2
17 March "I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor 4
14 April "Bright Eyes" Art Garfunkel 6
26 May "Sunday Girl" Blondie 3
16 June "Ring My Bell" Anita Ward 2
30 June "Are 'Friends' Electric?" Tubeway Army 4
28 July "I Don't Like Mondays" The Boomtown Rats 4
25 August "We Don't Talk Anymore" Cliff Richard 4
22 September "Cars" Gary Numan 1
29 September "Message in a Bottle" The Police 3
20 October "Video Killed the Radio Star" The Buggles 1
27 October "One Day at a Time" Lena Martell 3
17 November "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman" Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show 3
8 December "Walking on the Moon" The Police 1
15 December "Another Brick in the Wall Part II" Pink Floyd 3

Number one albums[edit]

Date Album Artist Weeks
6 January Greatest Hits Showaddywaddy 2
20 January Don't Walk - Boogie Various artists 3
10 February Action Replay Various artists 1
17 February Parallel Lines Blondie 4
17 March Spirits Having Flown Bee Gees 2
31 March Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Barbra Streisand 4
28 April The Very Best of Leo Sayer Leo Sayer 3
19 May Voulez-Vous ABBA 4
16 June Discovery Electric Light Orchestra 5
21 July Replicas Tubeway Army 1
28 July The Best Disco Album in the World Various artists 6
8 September In Through the Out Door Led Zeppelin 2
22 September The Pleasure Principle Gary Numan 1
29 September Oceans of Fantasy Boney M 1
6 October The Pleasure Principle Gary Numan 1
=13 October Eat to the Beat Blondie 1
=13 October Reggatta De Blanc The Police 4
10 November Tusk Fleetwood Mac 1
17 November Greatest Hits Vol. 2 ABBA 3
8 December Greatest Hits Vol.1 Rod Stewart 4

Year-end charts[edit]

1979 appears to be the only year since 1977 for which "full year" year-end charts do not exist. The British Market Research Bureau (BMRB), which compiled the official UK charts from 1969 to 1982, used a cut-off date for the collection of sales data sometime in early December each year, in order for the "end of year" chart to be published in the year's final issue of Music Week and to be broadcast on BBC Radio 1. However, from 1977 to 1982 BMRB produced updated charts a few months later which included the missing final weeks' sales for each year.

No updated chart appears to exist for 1979, so the tables below include only sales between 1 January and 8 December 1979. The two singles most affected by the lack of a full year chart are the records that were at number one and number two for the final three weeks of the year, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" by Pink Floyd and "I Have a Dream" by ABBA: neither of these records appear in the end of year list for 1979.

Best-selling singles[edit]

[3]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Bright Eyes" Garfunkel, ArtArt Garfunkel 1
2 "Heart of Glass" Blondie 1
3 "We Don't Talk Anymore" Richard, CliffCliff Richard 1
4 "I Don't Like Mondays" Boomtown Rats, TheThe Boomtown Rats 1
5 "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman" Dr. Hook 1
6 "I Will Survive" Gaynor, GloriaGloria Gaynor 1
7 "Are Friends Electric" Tubeway Army 1
8 "Dance Away" Roxy Music 2
9 "Sunday Girl" Blondie 1
10 "One Day at a Time" Martell, LenaLena Martell 1
11 "Message in a Bottle" The Police 1
12 "Pop Muzik" M 2
13 "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" Dury, IanIan Dury and the Blockheads 1
14 "Oliver's Army Costello, ElvisElvis Costello and the Attractions 2
15 "Tragedy" Bee Gees 1
16 "Chiquitita" ABBA 2
17 "Video Killed the Radio Star" Buggles, TheThe Buggles 1
18 "Cars" Numan, GaryGary Numan 1
19 "Every Day Hurts" Sad Café 3
20 "Ring My Bell" Ward, AnitaAnita Ward 1
21 "Some Girls" Racey 2
22 "Boogie Wonderland" Earth, Wind & Fire with the Emotions 4
23 "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 3
24 "Woman in Love" Three Degrees, TheThe Three Degrees 3
25 "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Queen 2
26 "Y.M.C.A." Village People 1
27 "Reunited" Peaches and Herb 4
28 "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" ABBA 3
29 "Lucky Number" Lovich, LeneLene Lovich 3
30 "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" Bellamy Brothers, TheThe Bellamy Brothers 3
31 "Cool for Cats" Squeeze 2
32 "Something Else"/"Friggin' in the Riggin'" Sex Pistols 3
33 "Silly Games" Kay, JanetJanet Kay 2
34 "Bang Bang" Robertson, B. A.B. A. Robertson 2
35 "Dreaming" Blondie 2
36 "Wanted" Dooleys, TheThe Dooleys 3
37 "Can You Feel the Force?" The Real Thing 5
38 "Knock on Wood" Stewart, AmiiAmii Stewart 6
39 "Contact" Starr, EdwinEdwin Starr 6
40 "I Want Your Love" Chic 4
41 "Hooray Hooray, It's a Holi-Holiday" Boney M 3
42 "Theme from The Deer Hunter (Cavatina)" Shadows, TheThe Shadows 9
43 "Does Your Mother Know" ABBA 4
44 "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" Jacksons, TheThe Jacksons 4
45 "Since You've Been Gone" Rainbow 6
46 "Up the Junction" Squeeze 2
47 "Love's Gotta Hold on Me" Dollar 4
48 "Still" Commodores, TheThe Commodores 4
49 "In the Navy" Village People 2
50 "Whatever You Want" Status Quo 4

Best-selling albums[edit]

[4]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 Parallel Lines Blondie 1
2 Discovery Electric Light Orchestra 1
3 The Very Best of Leo Sayer Sayer, LeoLeo Sayer 1
4 Breakfast in America Supertramp 3
5 Voulez-Vous ABBA 1
6 Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Streisand, BarbraBarbra Streisand 1
7 Spirits Having Flown Bee Gees 1
8 Greatest Hits Vol. 2 ABBA 1
9 Reggatta de Blanc Police, TheThe Police 1
10 Manilow Magic: The Best of Barry Manilow Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow 3
11 Greatest Hits Stewart, RodRod Stewart 1
12 Last the Whole Night Long Last, JamesJames Last 2
13 Armed Forces Costello, ElvisElvis Costello and the Attractions 2
14 Outlandos d'Amour Police, TheThe Police 6
15 The Best Disco Album in the World Various Artists 1
16 Replicas Tubeway Army 1
17 I Am Earth, Wind & Fire 5
18 C'est Chic Chic 2
19 Dire Straits Dire Straits 5
20 Manifesto Roxy Music 7
21 Eat to the Beat Blondie 1
22 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Wayne, JeffJeff Wayne 12[a]
23 Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf 11[b]
24 Do It Yourself Dury, IanIan Dury and the Blockheads 2
25 Tusk Fleetwood Mac 1
26 Out of the Blue Electric Light Orchestra 13[c]
27 New Boots and Panties!! Dury, IanIan Dury 5
28 20 Golden Greats Ross, DianaDiana Ross 2
29 Night Owl Rafferty, GerryGerry Rafferty 9
30 Don't Walk – Boogie Various Artists 1
31 Fate for Breakfast Garfunkel, ArtArt Garfunkel 2
32 The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 Earth, Wind & Fire 6
33 Black Rose: A Rock Legend Thin Lizzy 2
34 The Pleasure Principle Numan, GaryGary Numan 1
35 Action Replay Various Artists 1
36 In Through the Out Door Led Zeppelin 1
37 The Great Rock and Roll Swindle Sex Pistols 7
38 String of Hits Shadows, TheThe Shadows 4[d]
39 Live Killers Queen 3
40 Lodger Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie 4
41 A Collection of Their 20 Greatest Hits Three Degrees, TheThe Three Degrees 8
42 Nightflight to Venus Boney M 1
43 Wings Greatest Wings 5
44 Sky Sky 9
45 Off the Wall Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 5
46 Bridges Williams, JohnJohn Williams 5
47 Lionheart Bush, KateKate Bush 12[e]
48 Blondes Have More Fun Stewart, RodRod Stewart 7[f]
49 Bob Dylan at Budokan Dylan, BobBob Dylan 4
50 Country Life Various Artists 2

Notes:

  1. ^ Reached number 5 in 1978
  2. ^ Reached number 9 in 1981
  3. ^ Reached number 4 in 1977
  4. ^ Reached number 1 in 1980
  5. ^ Reached number 6 in 1978
  6. ^ Reached number 3 in 1978

Classical music: new works[edit]

Opera[edit]

Film and Incidental music[edit]

Musical theatre[edit]

Musical films[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zachary Woolfe "Richard Rodney Bennett, British Composer, Dies at 76", New York Times, 30 December 2012
  2. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/arthur-oldham-730288.html The Independent, 13 May 2003]
  3. ^ "Top Singles 1979". Music Week (London, England: Spotlight Publications): 27. 22 December 1979. 
  4. ^ "Top Albums 1979". Music Week (London, England: Spotlight Publications): 30. 22 December 1979. 
  5. ^ Hampton, Wilborn.Hugh Wheeler obituary, New York Times, July 28, 1987.
  6. ^ "Patto". Alexgitlin.com. 1979-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  7. ^ 'Hugh Ottaway', The Musical Times, Vol. 121, No. 1643 (Jan., 1980), p. 48
  8. ^ The Glasgow Herald, 25 January 1980