The Best Year For Music?

In comments below, Ken talks of how he basically listens to nothing released after 1975. That led me to think about what year I would say was the best ever for music, at least in my lifetime. I’ve thought on this before, and I keep returning to…


1979
Just take a look at some of the albums released that year, in no particular order:
Joe Jackson “I’m The Man”
Joe Jackson “Look Sharp”
The Specials “The Specials”
Frank Zappa “Sheik Yerbouti”
Frank Zappa “Joe’s Garage”
The Police “Reggata de Blanc”
Led Zeppelin “In Through The Out Door”
The Clash “London Calling”
Talking Heads “Fear of Music”
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers “Damn The Torpedoes”
Supertramp “Breakfast In America”
The B-52s “The B-52s”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions “Armed Forces”
Cheap Trick “At Budokan”
Cheap Trick “Dream Police”
Chicago “XIII”
Blondie “Eat to the Beat”
Eagles “The Long Run”
Pink Floyd “The Wall”
Michael Jackson “Off the Wall”
AC/DC “Highway to Hell”
The Cars “Candy-O”
Queen “Jazz”
Van Halen “Van Halen II”
And there’s many others. For me, 1979 is the year in my life that produced the best music. What are y’all’s nominees?

34 Responses to “The Best Year For Music?”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Hmm, I see a lot of power chords in that list Cullen..why am I not surprised?
    Unfortunately, however, I may have to ban you from our site as that list contains the name “Bryan Adams”…

  2. Crusader says:

    October 25 – Steely Dan spontaneously reunites

    That, in and of itself, is enough to ruin 1991 for me. Thank God marrying my lovely bride that same year more than makes up for this tragedy……

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Right, so we can scratch off 1991, then.

  4. Ken Summers says:

    So your 1979 list basically restates my point.
    (Not that there’s not some okay, even good, stuff on the list, but it’s a very small part of the list)

  5. major dad says:

    Bing you’re showing what a young pup you are. Almost any year from 68 to 76 trumps 79. At least it’s before the big hair bands.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    Back away from the 8-track, Major Dad!

  7. Ken Summers says:

    8 track my ass! VINYL, baby!

  8. Crusader says:

    If he backed away Bing, he may trip over the Betamax…or slip on a Laser Disc.

  9. Cullen says:

    I believe that the good that is in 1991 trumps any of the bad. And 1992 is almost as good. Any music prior was merely to pave the way for the great music that happened thereafter.
    Tho’ I will throw a shout out to my birthyear 1974 for producing The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and King Crimson’s Starless and the Bible Black.

  10. Best album ever!

    Bingley’s got up a post about the best year in music. He makes a compelling argument about 1979, although we all know that 1991 was truly the best year.

  11. Cullen says:

    And I just tried to trackback.

  12. Mr. Bingley says:

    thanks cullen, fixed it!

  13. Crusader says:

    Ah yes, King Crimson with Greg Lake, later of ELP, one of my favorite groups. And Ken, I must agree, music was made for Vinyl. CDs are handy, but vinyl is what music sounds best on. Drives the CAG up the wall that I still have the old GE cabinet stereo, just so I can play 78s…. as the thing ways a ton.

  14. Dave E says:

    Well, it’s not like there was no good music that year. Much of it blew chunks though, at least as far as I’m concerned. The number one song? My Sharona. 1979 also gave us the nightmare titled YMCA.
    The humanity.

  15. Nightfly says:

    Heheheheh. 1979 also gave us Steely Dan’s “Gaucho.” But as Mr. Fagen said himself on that very album, “We’ve got nothin’ in common; We can’t talk at all…”

  16. Ken Summers says:

    “I believe that the good that is in 1991 trumps any of the bad. And 1992 is almost as good.”
    Aww. They’re so cute when they’re little!

  17. Cullen says:

    Look, Ken, just because I wasn’t there when God called music into being, doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the intelligent way in which it has evolved.

  18. Mr. Bingley says:

    Aw, don’t let Ken get to you Cullen; he hasn’t been able to figure out how to work record players since they lost the cranks in the front.

  19. Cullen says:

    This popped up in Sheila’s comments on her post about albums. Way too cool.

  20. Ken Summers says:

    Cranks? They put cranks on them now?

  21. Mr. Bingley says:

    Yeah, I was thinking of ordering one on amazon, but it says they don’t know when they’re shipping.

  22. Rob says:

    Youngsters
    1972
    Harvest – Neil Young
    Machine Head – Deep Purple
    Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
    Hot Rocks 1964-1971 – Rolling Stones
    Madman Across The Water – Elton John
    Eat A Peach – Allman Brothers Band
    Fragile – Yes
    Argus – Wishbone Ash
    The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars – David Bowie
    Black Sabbath Vol. 4 – Black Sabbath
    BTW, I have all of these. Bet many of you have never heard Argus.

  23. Kaboom says:

    I think Mr Bingley is correct – 1979 was a sea-change year in music, that killed forever the disco shit.
    Some other seminal classics from that year were:-
    XTC – Drums & Wires
    Marianne Faithful – Broken English
    Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps
    The Motels – The Motels
    Without 1979, music today would be something totally different….

  24. Kathy K says:

    1972 was a good year – but I’d go with 1971.
    American Pie – Don McLean
    Anticipation – Carly Simon
    Aqualung – Jethro Tull
    Blue – Joni Mitchell
    Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart
    L.A. Woman – The Doors
    Tapestry – Carole King
    Tarkus – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Tea for the Tillerman – Cat Stevens
    The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – Traffic
    The Yes Album – Yes
    Who’s Next – The Who

  25. Rob says:

    Kathy K,
    I almost went with 1973 because it has two of my all-time faves: Deep Purple’s Made in Japan and The Who’s Quadrophenia.
    71 was a good year, too. Tapestry, Who’s Next, and Tea for the Tillerman are great albums. Other than Fragile, Yes doesn’t do it for me. I bought Close to the Edge and Relayer after Fragile. They are pristine 30yr old albums now because they have only been played twice each. Once was enough.
    BTW, you now can’t work for Rolling Stone Magazine, either.

  26. Friday fun and other stuff

    Fun post at The Coalition of the Swilling. I joined a bit late but I think there?s still room for more. A double dose of caffeine. I won?t be trying it. Remember Jolt? It claimed ?All the sugar and twice the caffeine.?. It really doesn?t matter what it…

  27. Rob says:

    I have to change my vote to 1973. Add Wishbone Ash’s Live Dates to the two I mentioned earlier (Made in Japan and Quadrophenia) and that’s three of my desert island albums. Can’t ignore that.

  28. Nightfly says:

    Rob – I see the flaw in your plan; you should have went earlier with the Yes, not later. The Yes Album is wonderful. “Starship Troopers” may be my favorite song of theirs. (Liked Close to the Edge too, but wasn’t so enamored of Relayer.)
    As much as I crack on the Boomers, I have to admit that their music has an edge over my own generation. A breakdown of my post-college holdings reveals a Clapton album, a Yes album, two each by U2 and Steely Dan, and the great bulk of the remainder are imports.

  29. major dad says:

    Thanks all for bolstering my argument to the musically challenged Bing. By the way Yes does do it for me, have to have seen them in concert and I was sober, sort of, all 6 or 7 times I saw them.

  30. Ken Summers says:

    Finally, finally, FINALLY!
    The adults have finally joined the thread.
    I don’t have a particular year I like over the others, but ’71, ’72, and ’73 were all good years.
    I will admit, though, that kaboom makes a very good point in favor of ’79. Now if only disco would stay dead.

  31. Kathy K says:

    I haven’t ever heard a Yes Album I didn’t like – though I’ll admit I did like Fragile best.
    I could make a reasonably good case for 1970 too…
    After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
    Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
    Deja Vu – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
    Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    (and more…)

  32. Uzz says:

    I think you nailed it! 1979 was my first real awakening to music and to this day I rave about Cheap Trick “Live at Budokan”, Blondie’s “Eat to the Beat”, Clash “London Calling” and The Wall. Excellent!

  33. Mr. Bingley says:

    Uzz, my friend, you are going to go far in this world!

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