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Posts Tagged ‘1979’

At number 49 in BBC Radio 2’s poll of the 100 greatest guitar riffs (as voted by listeners) is “Milk and Alcohol” by Dr. Feelgood. This song was released in January 1979, and I well remember it from my teenage years. It got to number 10 in the DUK singles charts, and was the band’s biggest hit.



At number 49 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is "Milk and Alcohol" by Dr. Feelgood.

At number 49 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Milk and Alcohol” by Dr. Feelgood.



The song was written by Nick Lowe and John “Gypie” Mayo. Lowe played in 1970s group Rockville with Dave Edmunds, and subsequently had some solo hits of his own which I will blog about in the future. For me, this song is very reminiscent of teenage parties, and lay somewhere between punk rock and glam rock, neither one nor the other. I liked it at the time, and it does have a great riff.


White boy in town
Big black, blue sound
Night club, I paid in
I got a stamp on my skin

Main attraction dead on his feet
Black man rhythm with a white boy beat
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

Stay put I wanna go
Hard work, bad show
More liquor, it don’t help
He’s gonna die, it breaks my heart

I decided eventually
This ain’t doing a thing for me
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

– guitar solo –

They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

Got up, I walked out
To the car, start it up
Feel bad, sad night
I never saw a red light

Sirens were a screamin’ all around
I pulled on over and I shut her down
A black cop gave me a shove with his gun
Said up against the wall and don’t make a run
They got me on milk and alcohol
They got me on milk and alcohol


Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!





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At number 59 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Good Times” by Chic. It was written by Chic band members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers, and released in 1979. To me it is very typical of the kind of disco music so popular in the late 1970s, but what makes it better than many others of that genre is the really funky bass line played by Nile Rogers.



At number 59 in BBC Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "Good Times" by Chic.

At number 59 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Good Times” by Chic.




Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Happy days are here again
The time is right for makin’ friends
Let’s get together, how ’bout a quarter to ten
Come tomorrow, let’s all do it again

Boys will be boys, better let them have their toys
Girls will be girls, cute pony tails and curls
Must put an end to this stress and strife
I think I want to live the sporting life

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

A rumor has it that it’s getting late
Time marches on, just can’t wait
The clock keeps turning, why hesitate
You silly fool, you can’t change your fate

Let’s cut the rug, little jive and jitterbug
We want the best, we won’t settle for less
Don’t be a drag, participate
Clams on the half shell and roller skates, roller skates

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times

A rumor has it that it’s getting late
Time marches on, just can’t wait
The clock keeps turning, why hesitate
You silly fool, you can’t change your fate

Let’s cut the rug, little jive and jitterbug
We want the best, we won’t settle for less
Don’t be a drag, participate
Clams on the half shell and roller skates, roller skates

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times


Here is a video of this disco funk anthem. Enjoy!



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At number 15 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “London Calling” by The Clash. I have already blogged about this song here, when I blogged about the album of the same name, which is listed as the 8th best album of all time. But, you can’t get too much of a good thing, so I am happy to blog about this song again!



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 15 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “London Calling” by The Clash.




This song just tears at you from the opening guitar note. So powerful, so energetic; to me it is one of the best songs to come out of the “punk” era of the late 1970s. It was written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, and released in December 1979. It only got as high as number 11 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and didn’t break into the US’s main singles charts at all. Just shows that chart success is not always a good sign of what and what isn’t a great song.


London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared, and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

[Chorus 1:]
The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out, and draw another breath
London calling, and I don’t wanna shout
But while we were talking, I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain’t got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

[Chorus 2: x2]
The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
An’ you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won’t you give me a smile?
London calling

I never felt so much alike [fading] alike alike alike


Here is a video of this incredibly powerful song. Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would share this great song by The Cure – “Boys Don’t Cry”. It was originally released in June of 1979, as their second single. I remember it being released, I was quite a fan of the song at the time, but from what I can find it did not get very high up the charts. It was then re-released in 1986. Upon its second release, it got to number 22 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, but does not seem to have made the charts at all in the US.



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The song is a poignant one about losing love and then giving up on trying to regain it, instead hiding one’s emotions by pretending to be happy and go-lucky. It was written by band members Michael Dempsey, Robert Smith and Lol Tolhurst, and sung by the band’s lead singer Smith.


I would say I’m sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I’ve said too much
Been too unkind

I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and
Laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
’cause boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry

I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness
Plead with you
But I know that
It’s too late
And now there’s nothing I can do

So I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try to
laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
’cause boys don’t cry

I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it’s no use
That you’ve already
Gone away

Misjudged your limits
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more

Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just
Keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
’cause boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry



Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!






Which is your favourite Cure song?

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The other weekend I was rummaging through my record collection (over 300 of what my youngest daughter referred to once as my “big black CDs“), and I came across the Boomtown Rats album “The fine art of Surfacing“. I transferred it to MP3 format so I could listen to it on my iPhone, and yesterday morning when I was out for a run I listened to it.

This album has some great songs on it, but probably hte best known is the first song on side 2, “I don’t like Mondays“.

This was the Boomtown Rats’ 2nd number 1 hit, staying at the top of the charts for 4 weeks in the summer of 1979. The story behind the song is quite interesting, it is about a schoolgirl who decided (if one makes a decision about these sorts of things) to gun down her classmates one day.

From the Wikipedia page about the song:

According to Geldof, he wrote the song after reading a telex report at Georgia State University’s campus radio station, WRAS, on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on 29 January 1979, killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime and her full explanation for her actions was “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day”. The song was first performed less than a month later.

In addition to its powerful lyrics, the song showed a different side of this “punk” band, with a piano, haunting melody and quiet delivery, rather than the louder punk sound for which they had become known.

Some of the other great songs on this album are “Someone Looking At You” and “Diamond Smiles”.

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