Thursday, November 04, 2010

Flood + snowballs = avalanche. And so it continues. 1979 has 28 LPs of a quality I would consider to be #1 in some ordinary year. Thousands of records -- worthy but lesser quality -- follow in the wake of these 60 gems. This was the “indie rock revolution.” It began here and continued onward, into the current decade and century. 1979 was a very good year for music by any objective standard. At risk of encouraging the tossing of genre names, 1979 was the beginning of the “post-punk” era (1979 – 1982). These 4 years are 2nd only to the proudly nameless 1968 -1972 period as great rock moment


  1. The Fall: Live At the Witch Trials (Step Forward)
  2. Pere Ubu: New Picnic Time (Chrysalis)
  3. Public Image Ltd: Second Edition (aka Metal Box) (Virgin)
  4. Swell Maps: Trip to Marineville (Rough Trade)
  5. James Blood Ulmer: Tales of Captain Black (Artists House)
  6. Red Crayola: Soldier Talk (Radar)
  7. This Heat: This Heat (Piano, UK)
  8. Wire: 154 (Harvest)
  9. Air: Air Lore (Arista Novus)
  10. The Clash: London Calling (CBS)
  11. The Fall: Dragnet (Step Forward)
  12. Magazine: Secondhand Daylight (Virgin)
  13. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Factory)
  14. Caberet Voltaire: Mix Up (Rough Trade)
  15. The Gang of Four: Entertainment (EMI)
  16. The Slits: Cut (Antilles)
  17. Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial)
  18. XTC: Drums & Wires (Virgin)
  19. Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (CBS)
  20. The Jam: Setting Sons (Polydor)
  21. Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (A&M)
  22. Soft Boys: A Can of Bees (Aural)
  23. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces of Victory (Island)
  24. Graham Parker: Squeezing Out the Sparks (Arista)
  25. The Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire)
  26. The Mekons: Quality of Mercy (Virgin, UK)
  27. Cecil Taylor: 3 Phasis (New World)
  28. Various: Tooth & Nail (Upsetter)
  29. Lou Reed: Bells (RCA)
  30. LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams & Andre Centazzo: Velocities (Trans Museq)
  31. Tom Verlaine: Tom Verlaine (Elektra)
  32. Leonard Cohen: Recent Songs (CBS)
  33. Marianne Faithful: Broken English (Island)
  34. Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic)
  35. Only Ones: Even Serpents Shine (CBS, UK)
  36. The Pretenders: The Pretenders (Warner Brothers)
  37. Angelic Upstarts: Teenage Warning (Warner Brothers, UK)
  38. Patti Smith: Wave (Arista)
  39. Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (CBS)
  40. John Fahey: Visits Washington DC (Takoma)
  41. Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color (Ze)
  42. Ian Hunter: You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic (Chrysalis)
  43. Crass: Stations of the Crass (Crass)
  44. The Residents: Eskimo (Ralph)
  45. Ornette Coleman & Charlie Haden: Soapsuds, Soapsuds (Artists House)
  46. Anne Lebaron, Davey Williams, & LaDonna Smith: Jewels (Trans Museq)
  47. Nurse With Wound: Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine (Dirter)
  48. Alternative TV: Vibing the Senile Man (Deptford)
  49. Fred Frith & Henry Kaiser: With Friends Like These (Metalanguage)
  50. Germs: GI (Slash)
  51. ACDC: Highway to Hell (Atlantic)
  52. Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise)
  53. The Ramones: Its Alive (Sire)
  54. The Undertones: The Undertones (Sire)
  55. Adam & the Ants: Dirk Wears White Socks (Do It, UK)
  56. Richard Lloyd: Alchemy (Elektra)
  57. David Bowie: Lodger (RCA)
  58. Peter Tosh: Mystic Man (Rolling Stones)
  59. Bob Dylan: Slow Train Coming (CBS)
  60. Robert Fripp: Exposure (EG)