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1979 music

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July 12, 1979, disco sucks

The 'Disco Sucks' campaign was a white, macho reaction against gay liberation and black pride more than a musical reaction against drum machines. In England, in the same year as the 'Disco Sucks' demo in America, The Young Nationalist - a British National Party publication - told its readers: 'Disco and its melting pot pseudo-philosophy must be fought or Britain's streets will be full of black-worshipping soul boys.' [...]

Trends in music: The Breaks (1979) - Kurtis Blow - Rapper's Delight (1979) - The Sugarhill Gang - 'Disco Sucks' - Lee Perry burns the Black Ark Studios - dancehall reggae (start)

Disco Singles

  1. Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
  2. Atmosfear - Dancing In Outer Space
  3. Chicago - Street Player
  4. Risco Connection - Ain't no Stoppin' Us Now
  5. Machine - There but for the Grace of God
  6. Dee Dee Bridgewater - Bad For Me
  7. First Choice - Double Cross
  8. Taana Gardner - When You Touch Me
  9. Jean Carn - Was That All It Was
  10. Harvey Mason - Groovin' You
  11. Candido - Thousand Fingerman
  12. Inner Life - I'm Caught Up
  13. Tamiko Jones - Can't Live Without Your Love
  14. Patti Labelle - Music Is My Way Of Life
  15. Candido - Dancin' & Prancin'
  16. Sister Sledge - Lost In Music
  17. Sergio Mendes - I'll Tell You
  18. Eddy Grant - Walking On Sunshine
  19. Chantal Curtis - Get Another Love
  20. Martin Circus - Disco Circus
  21. Giorgio Moroder - I Wanna Rock You
  22. Positive Force - We Got The Funk
  23. Donna McGhee - It Ain't No Big Thing
  24. Salsoul Orchestra - How High
  25. Roy Ayers - Don't Stop The Feeling
  26. Candido - Jingo
  27. George Duke - I Want You For Myself
  28. Instant Funk - I Got My Mind Made Up
  29. Skyy - First Time Around
  30. Loleatta Holloway - Greatest Performance Of My Life
  31. Billy Nichols - Give Your Body Up To The Music
  32. Brides of Funkenstein - Never Buy Texas From A Cowboy
  33. Five Special - Why Leave Us Alone
  34. Bruce Johnson - Pipeline
  35. Jackie Moore - How's Your Love Life Baby
  36. Double Exposure - I Got The Hots For You
  37. Alfredo de la Fe - Hot to Trot
  38. Black Ivory - Mainline
  39. Dinosaur 'Kiss Me Again' (1979) [Arthur Russell]
  40. Azymuth - Jazz Carnival
  41. Roy Ayers - Love Will Bring us Back Together
  42. Herb Alpert - Rotation
  43. Sister Sledge - Thinking Of You
  44. Ashford & Simpson - Stay Free
  45. Stephanie Mills - Put Your Body in it
  46. Chic - Good Times
  47. Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
  48. PiL - Death Disco (Megamix)
  49. Two Man Sound - Que Tal America
  50. Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
  51. Baise Moi (Kiss Me) - Pam Todd and Gold Bullion Band
  52. Sister Sledge - Thinking Of You


  1. The Clash - London Calling [Amazon US]
    By the time 1979 rolled around, the Clash were no longer, strictly-speaking, a punk group. They had a lot more to offer, fusing their punk style with ska, reggae, blues, traditional rock, pop. From the driving bass opening to the title track to the untitled pop love song, "Train in Vain", this is as flawless an album as they get. [...]

  2. Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes et Cetaera [1 CD, Amazon US]
    In 1976 he became the first white guy to do major recording in Kingston, Jamaica, beginning a long stint with the great reggae rhythm duo, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. He also employs Marley's Wailers. In 1979, a feisty Gainsbourg produces "Aux Armes Etcetera," which parodies the militaristic overtones of the "sacred" "La Marseillaise," to a reggae beat, much the way Hendrix reconfigured the "Star Spangled Banner" as antiwar song. Denunciations by generals, priests, and politicians follow. Former paratroopers and crusty war vets protest at his concerts, threaten fans. In Marseilles the protests led to cancellations. In Strasbourg, a bomb threat and 400 paratroopers vowing vengence spooked the Wailers so much that they refuse to play. So Gainsbourg took the stage alone, singing "La Marseillaise" without musical accompaniment. The goons join in to sing along and afterward file meekly from the hall. Gainsbourg has charmigly blindsided them. His album sells over 500,000 copies, goes gold -- his first. He wins "best male performer" and "best album" awards at that year's music awards in Cannes. Eugenie Sokolov, his first novel, describes the turbulence of this time. "Eugenie Sokolov" is also a great nose-tweaking "song" -- a series of farting sounds, "scat flatulence" if you will, set to a reggae beat. -- Bart Plantenga [...]

  3. Risque (1979) - Chic [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Track Listings 1. Good Times 2. Warm Summer Night 3. My Feet Keep Dancing 4. My Forbidden Lover 5. Can't Stand to Love You 6. Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song) 7. What About Me
    Risque is disco for the dance crowd and musicians alike. So many were influenced by this album, and it is evident by all the bands that called on the production of the Chic rhythm section. Of course, everyone knows Rapper's Delight was founded on a sample of the song Good Times, but not so well known were the many collaborations: Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran (Notorious), Power Station, Missing Persons... the list goes on and on, and all of the work turned to gold in record sales and radio play. Nile Rogers also did solo work that was quite different from what he did with Chic... Land Of The Good Groove, B Movie Matinee, and a trio he put together called Outloud. Nile was very much into experimenting with all the new music technology that was so prevalent in the 80's. I think this was a turn-off for for Bernard and Tony, but it did allow Nile to go off on his own without the need for a real bass and drum player. All I can say is do a little research and seek out the work of all the players on the Chic albums. Lot's of great stuff to be heard. Robert Henning for amazon.com [...]

  4. Sting Like a Bee - Bumblebee Unlimited [Amazon US]
    1. I Got A Big Bee 2. Lady Bug 3. I Love You 4. Space Shuttle Ride 5. Honey Bunn 6. Love Bug 7. Funk For Days 8. Everybody Dance 9. Lady Bug (12" Version) [...]

  5. Y (1979) - Pop Group [Amazon US]
    Tracklisting 1. She Is Beyond Good And Evil 2. Thief Of Fire 3. Snowgirl 4. Blood Money 5. We Are Time 6. Savage Sea 7. Words Disobey Me 8. Dont Call Me Pain 9. The Boys From Brazil 10. Dont Sell Your Dreams
    [...] The Pop Group's debut will always have a special place in my heart and eardrums. I purchased my own secondhand vinyl copy as a 19 year-old back in 1991, and have never looked back. "Y" is simply one of rock's all-time essential groundbreaking albums. A motley crew of disgruntled Bristol teenagers who were inspired by everything from British punk (though perhaps not so much musically), Situationism, Fela Kuti, Jamaican dub, electric Miles Davis, John Cage, the Last Poets, Abbie Hoffman, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, James Brown and many other gems, their anarchic stew of barely-together deconstructed rock, abstract funk, heavy dub reverb and chaotic, free-jazz-inspired rhythms still sends a chill down my spine today.
    The overall package of "Y", its cryptic cover, its lyrical themes of corruption, lies, despair and alienation, the howling, desperate vocals of Mark Stewart and the amazing (and huge) fold-out poster that accompanies the LP combine to make up a truly alien piece of work that seems to exist within its own universe. Tracks like "Snowgirl" (part avant-garde show tune, part looming dirge), the anthemic "We Are Time" (7+ minutes of intense dub-inflected angst) and the closing screams of "Don't Sell Your Dreams" are permanently scorched on my brain.
    The Pop Group, like most groundbreakers, never made a dent commercially, though proved to be highly influential on the likes of Nick Cave's Birthday Party (Cave himself has repeatedly said that witnessing The Pop Group live for the first time twisted his brain in ways previously thought unimaginable, and has listed The Pop Group's "We Are All Prostitutes" 7" as the greatest song of the 20th century) and LA's seminal Minutemen (Mike Watt still plays Pop Group covers live to this day), as well as the Bristol scene of the '80s/'90s (Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, etc.). A simply brilliant, essential, unforgettable debut. Dave Lang for amazon.com

  6. The B-52's (1979) - B-52's [1 CD, Amazon US]
    This record shook up the snoozing world of rock in 1979, becoming a truly classic disc, one full of landmark moments and heavy with possibilities. Most "real" rockers in the late '70s tried hard to ignore the Sex Pistols and the Clash, claiming the punk tumult was a merely a fad; but fun-loving types couldn't resist the magnificent hooks and grooves of the B-52's debut. They fell into the "new wave" while dancing their tushes off. The magnificent "Rock Lobster" remains unmatched in terms of its relentless, spastic power to move one's feet; ditto "52 Girls," with its nod to '60s trash rock. A Cramps-ish guitar grinds through "Lava," which features his-and-hers innuendo-laden lyrics. "I'm not no limburger!" goes one line from "Dance This Mess Around," but you just never question why. Brilliant. --Lorry Fleming for amazon.com

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