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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1979

The British charts of 1979 saw the 70s end with a complete change as Blondie, Police, Abba, Gary Numan and the Sex Pistols make the scene.

 

  • Blondie was the top act of 1979 as punk and its influence changed the pop music scene completely. The band built on its success of 1978 by scoring two consecutive number one single hits: "Heart of Glass" and "Sunday Girl" followed by a number two with "Dreaming" and a top twenty hit "Union City Blue". Their album "Parallel Lines" was the biggest of the year, finally making the number one spot in February. It had been launched the previous September and sales built steadily.
Blondie, The Greatest Hits, 19 top tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Number two act for the year were Police. They enjoyed hits with both singles and albums. their singles included number ones with "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon" as well as a number two for "Can't Stand Losing You" and a top twenty entry with "Roxanne". Their albums included a number one position for "Reggatta de Blanc" and a top ten entry for "Outlandos D'Amour".
The Police - Greatest Hits, 14 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • In the top five list for the fourth year in a row were Abba. Their third position in 1979 was down to four top five singles "Chiquitita" (which peaked at number two), "Does Your Mother Know", "Voulez-Vous" and "Gimme Gimme Gimme". They also topped the album charts twice in the year, first with "Voulez-Vous" and later with "Greatest Hits Volume 2".
Abba - Voulez Vous, 12 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Gary Numan was number four performer for the year - sometimes calling his band Tubeway Army but eventually settling on Gary Numan. His electronic sound gave him two number one hits: "Are Friends Electric" (as Tubeway Army) and "Cars" along with a top ten entry for "Complex". He also managed a couple of chart topping albums. First was "Replicas" from Tubeway Army then "The Pleasure Principle" as Gary Numan.
Gary Numan Tubeway Army - Premier Hits, 18 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Fifth spot for the year goes to committed punk exponents the Sex Pistols. They made the top three twice, first with "Something Else" and then with "C'mon Everybody" while "Silly Thing" was also a top ten entry and "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" a minor hit. On the album scene they had top ten entries with both "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and "Some Product - Carri On Sex Pistols".
Jubilee - The Best Of The Sex Pistols, 17 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Unusually, none of the top five artists performed one of the top five singles - a sign of changing times and the increasing importance of the album chart. Top single of the year was "YMCA" by Village People, a million seller in the UK which they followed with a number two, "In The Navy". Number two single was Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes", also a million seller - he also enjoyed a number two album with "Fate For Breakfast". Pink Floyd released a rare single, "Another Brick in the Wall", and reached number one over Christmas for the third biggest single of the year and a million seller. Fourth spot went to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor while perennial favourite Cliff Richard enjoyed his first number one since "Congratulations" in 1968 with "We Don't Talk Anymore", fifth biggest single of the year.
The Best of 1978-1979, 40 tracks on 2 CDs Buy the Greatest Hits
  • The pick of the other acts in 1978 included Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. Michael Jackson had a top three hit with "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" and a top ten entry with "Off The Wall", while the Five peaked at number four with "Shake Your Body". Squeeze had two number two hits with "Cool For Cats" and "Up The Junction". Boomtown Rats followed their 1978 successes with a number one single "I Don't Like Mondays" and a top twenty hit "Diamond Smiles". And ELO were ever present in the top ten with four singles: "Shine a Little Love"," The Diary of Horace Wimp", "Don't Bring Me Down" (which reached number three) and "Confusion" along with the number three album of the year, "Discovery".

 

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