How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1979?

Not sure about you but I could do with some music nostalgia to offset the heavy duty threads about the costs of and future of the forum. Better get through some more of these polls whilst we still can!

2017 placed 22nd with 7.36 in a thread that took a winter break over listomania, but now we’re back with the first HGWTY of the new year and we jump back in at 1979.

A reminder of the premise of the thread

After a number of days of posting and reminiscing, we’ll be rating the music of the year out of ten, based on the albums, singles, gigs, whatever that stand out for you that year, and voting for our favourite nominated albums and songs.

Everyone can nominate one album and one song from the year which will then be collated into side-polls two days before the thread closes - please make it clear when you post a nomination for the poll (as opposed to just posting clips or lists of songs and albums you like, which are very welcome).


|Rank|Year|Rating|Top Album|Top Song|

Rank Year Rating Top Album Top Song
1 1991 8.98 Slint - Spiderland Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
2 1997 8.6 Radiohead - OK Computer The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
3 1967 8.48 Love - Forever Changes Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
4 1977 8.41 Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express Donna Summer - I Feel Love
5 1992 8.29 Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted Pulp - Babies
5 2013 8.29 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
7 2019 8.14 Self Esteem - Compliments Please Big Thief - Not
8 1975 8.13 Neil Young - Tonight’s the Night / Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer
8 2007 8.13 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver / Radiohead - In Rainbows LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends / M.I.A. - Paper Planes
10 2004 8.1 Madvillain - Madvillainy / Arcade Fire - Funeral The Walkmen - The Rat
10 2001 8.1 The Strokes - Is This It Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope) / Mogwai - My Father My King
12 1981 8.06 The Cure - Faith New Order - Ceremony
13 1982 7.76 The Cure - Pornography / Kate Bush - The Dreaming Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding / The Associates - Party Fears Two
14 2014 7.69 FKA Twigs - LP1 FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
15 2010 7.66 Kanye West - MBDTF / Joanna Newsom - Have One One Me / Beach House - Teen Dream Robyn - Dancing On My Own
16 1970 7.61 Neil Young - After the Goldrush Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
17 1990 7.47 Sonic Youth - Goo The Cure - Pictures of You
17 1976 7.47 David Bowie - Station to Station Bob Dylan - Hurricane
19 1986 7.42 Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
20 2005 7.39 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Amerie - 1 Thing
21 1965 7.38 The Beatles - Rubber Soul Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
22 1999 7.3 Mogwai - Come On Die Young Björk - All Is Full Of Love
23 2009 7.1 Fever Ray - Fever Ray Animal Collective - My Girls
24 1974 6.95 Neil Young - On The Beach Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
25 1985 6.53 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs Prince and the Revolution - Raspberry Beret
26 1962 6 Howlin’ Wolf - Howlin’ Wolf Dick Dale - Misirlou
27 1961 5.16 John Coltrane - My Favourite Things Roy Orbison - Crying


1979 began with the UK’s winter of discontent as public sector strikes continued, and was the year Margaret Thatcher became the UK’s first female prime minister, a partial meltdown occurred at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania and China announced the one-child policy to curb population growth.

We said goodbye to John Wayne, Charles Mingus, Conrad Hilton, Sid Vicious, Minnie Riperton, Nelson Rockefeller, Donny Hathaway, Lord Mountbatten, and hello to Oscar Isaac, Aaliyah, Heath Ledger, Kevin Hart, Jason Momoa, Courtney the Cardassian and Aaron Paul.

But how good was the music?

You have roughly ten days to nominate one album and one song which will then go into a poll along with a number rating poll for year overall out of 10, which will close a few days later.

Some lists for inspiration:

Best Albums of 1979 : Best Ever Albums
100 Greatest Albums of 1979
The 30 Best Albums of 1979 - Paste Magazine
1979 Best Albums And Tracks Of The Year - NME
100 Greatest Songs From 1979

Nominations will be tallied here as the week goes on:

Album Nominations

Song Nominations


You know what’s a great song from 1979? This one

The episode of Small Axe that featured this was one of the best uses of music on TV in recent times I think


nominate album: gang of four - entertainment!


Fucking great tbh


At some point I will probably nominate either this or a song from it (perhaps Lexicon Devil) but there’s so much stuff to think about it won’t be just yet


Album Nomination: Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps

Song Nomination: Neil Young - Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)

So much pain and doom, and one of the major foundations of all of my favorite music. The way his voice breaks and that guitar sound.


Album: Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady
Track: The Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette


Nominate album: Talking Heads - Fear of Music


Nominate song: Van Halen - Somebody Get Me A Doctor

1 Like

A comp?!

Thought about nominating this Damned one

Prog, disco, punk, post-punk, synthpop, new wave, industrial, soul, what’s it gonna be? Wonderful year but not overwhelming like 2017.

1 Like

yes as it’s their best work

love this. bought the small axe ost, highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t heard it.

1 Like



Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures


The Fall putting out both their debut LP and its follow up, both with almost entirely different lineups. Start as you mean to go on.


Only 6 Music fav Marc Riley plays on both, and even he switches from bass to guitar

1 Like

Album: M’Boom - M’Boom (led by Max Roach)


Song: The Number One Song In Heaven by Sparks


Nominate Album: The B-52s - The B-52s


Excellent choice. Was just listening to this and marvelling at how good it is.

1 Like

1979 !! My entry level to albums and an eternal affair with music. You snooze you lose, so have already missed 3-4 possible album nominations in a strong year that I regularly turn back to.

A few that still get trotted out, not mentioned so far, include: Magazine Secondhand Daylight; The Slits - Cut; Elvis Costello - Armed Forces.

But definitely Top 3 of that year and my nomination - Wire 154. So far ahead of its time but absolutely at the right moment.

A couple of stand outs for track/single of that year but I hope someone else will plump for Joy Division’s Transmission, so I nominate: The Pop Group - She Is Beyond Good & Evil. A monstrous slab of punked up funk with a dark heart. Also a mention for The Fall’s hit in an alternate universe - Rowche Rumble.

The streets may have been strewn with rubbish but my turntable was decorated in solid gold.