ON THE TURNTABLE: TOP 40 LPs of 1979: Courtesy of VILLAGE VOICE
Every January since 1965 my brother, KEVIN PATRICK and I would exchange lists of our favorite albums of the year. We both had eclectic tastes for teens. He tried to steer me toward MOTOWN records while I dragged him through Anglophile and English blues related groups. After we secured each others lists we would search far and wide to find published lists to see which of us garnered more points in the standings, which we made up: 20 points for #1, one point for #20, etc. As time went on others joined our small collective of nut jobs. Twenty plus years ago a college friend of my brother’s started an organized group and actually publishes the sometimes embarrassing results , but all in good fun.
My kid brother passed away in February at age 64 after a long fight with cancer and cancer related heart issues. Seems the chemo of the 70’s slowly wore away the walls to his heart. Up until his last breath he was a true collector of all kinds of music, and his lists each year reflected it.This is my first year without his list.
Searching my archives I found how strange our 1979 listing had us in almost a virtual tie. The scoring criteria that year and for many other years was the work of Robert Christgau and his annual BEST OF. Thank you Bob for all the years of enjoyment,and I hope you are not offended that I publish it here.PS: My brother beat me out with THE SHOES and THE BUZZCOCKS. We both had THE CLASH and ELVIS COSTELLO in the top 3, a balancing act for our totals. Neither of us had AIR.
1. The Clash (Epic) 18. 2. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise) 17. 3. Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Chrysalis) 14. 4. Van Morrison: Into the Music (Warner Bros.) 11. 5. Air: Air Lore (Arista Novus) 11. 6. Graham Parker & the Rumour: Squeezing Out Sparks(Arista) 9. 7. The B-52s (Warner Bros.) 5. 8. Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (Columbia) 5. 9. The Roches (Warner Bros.) 5. 10. Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (Columbia) 5.
11. Tom Verlaine (Elektra). 12. Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Casablanca). 13. Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire). 14. Wreckless Eric: The Whole Wide World (Stiff). 15. The Only Ones: Special View (Epic). 16. Shoes: Present Tense (Elektra). 17. James Monroe H.S. Presents Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Goes to Washington (Elektra). 18. The Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (I.R.S.). 19. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live Rust (Reprise). 20. Marianne Faithful: Broken English (Island).
21. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces of Victory (Mango). 22. Dave Edmunds: Repeat When Necessary (Swan Song). 23. Fashion: Product Perfect (I.R.S.). 24. James Brown: The Original Disco Man (Polydor). 25. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army: Replicas (Atco). 26. Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic). 27. Culture: International Herb (Virgin Internatioal). 28. Chic: Good Times (Atlantic). 29. Millie Jackson: Live and Uncensored (Polydor). 30. Living Chicago Blues Volume 1 (Alligator).
31. Lene Lovich: Stateless (Stiff/Epic). 32. Tom Robinson Band: TRB Two (Harvest). 33. James Blood: Tales of Captain Black (Artists House). 34. Cory Daye: Cory and Me (New York International). 35. Mutiny: Mutiny on the Mamaship (Columbia). 36. Steel Pulse: Tribute to the Martyrs (Mango). 37. Blondie: Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis). 38. Roxy Music: Manifesto (Atlantic). 39. George Jones: My Very Special Guests (Epic). 40. Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (Columbia).