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Subject: 1979-80

Written By: whistledog on 01/31/09 at 11:26 pm

It's that age old debate again.  Is it a 70s song or is it an 80s song ? 


Often in discussions of 1980 hit songs, the classic 'Wondering Where the Lions Are' by Bruce Cockburn comes to mind (it debuted in the US chart in March of 1980, peaking at #21 in June), but what you might not know is that in Canada, that song first charted in August of 1979, becoming a Top 40 hit by November (It's final chart appearance in Canada was January 12, 1980 which was the first chart of the 80s)

♦ Did you know that in the UK, 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' by Queen peaked at #2 in November of 1979 ?

♦ In the US/Canada, 'Tired of Toein' the Line' by Rocky Burnette was a BIG hit in 1980.  Though it never made the Top 40 in the UK, it peaked at UK #58 in November of 1979 (I didn't know it was a 70s song either)

♦ 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by The Buggles peaked in the Top 40 for the US/Canada in 1980 and was the first video played on MTV in 1981.  The fact remains though that in the UK, it reached #1 in September of 1979.  For England, it wasn't an 80s hit.  For North America, it was more than anything an 80s hit









Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Capt Quirk on 02/01/09 at 10:36 am

I consider 1979 to be like the opening credits for the 80's, so that entire year is actually not a part of the 70's. Unlike 1969, which was most definitely the closing credits for the 60's, but almost a different decade in itself.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/01/09 at 10:45 am


♦ 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by The Buggles peaked in the Top 40 for the US/Canada in 1980 and was the first video played on MTV in 1981.  The fact remains though that in the UK, it reached #1 in September of 1979.  For England, it wasn't an 80s hit.  For North America, it was more than anything an 80s hit


That said, if you're gonna find it on a British compilation, it'll be on an 80s one!

Probably because the 'video' age is so inextricably linked to that decade...

In much the same way as 'rapping' was...yet the Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' peaked in Britain right at the rear end of 1979!

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 02/01/09 at 10:59 am


♦ Did you know that in the UK, 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' by Queen peaked at #2 in November of 1979 ?


I've always considered this one to be a '70s song...

♦ In the US/Canada, 'Tired of Toein' the Line' by Rocky Burnette was a BIG hit in 1980.  Though it never made the Top 40 in the UK, it peaked at UK #58 in November of 1979 (I didn't know it was a 70s song either)

...and this one 'screams' '80s to me!  :D

One song that's always confused me is 'Cruisin'' by Smokey Robinson...

It came out in late 1979, yet I have it on a Time-Life compilation of songs from 1980...and listening to it, it alsmost seems like it could fit into either decade!  :)











Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/01/09 at 11:04 am


One song that's always confused me is 'Cruisin'' by Smokey Robinson...


Ooh!  :D

It came out in late 1979, yet I have it on a Time-Life compilation of songs from 1980...and listening to it, it alsmost seems like it could fit into either decade!  :)


According to my sources, it peaked around early February 1980...although it is a seventies record!

As is Don McLean's 'Crying' (1978), which also became a hit in 1980...

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 02/01/09 at 11:10 am


According to my sources, it peaked around early February 1980...although it is a seventies record!


I suppose I should stop using it in the '1980's Songs A to Z' thread, then!  :-[

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/01/09 at 11:20 am


I suppose I should stop using it in the '1980's Songs A to Z' thread, then!  :-[


The way I see it, if it peaked in 1980, then it can technically be called an 80s record!

Either that, or you can use it in both the 70s and 80s threads!  ;)

An equivalent song over here was 'Brass In Pocket' by the Pretenders...it was released in November 1979, somehow made its way through the Christmas 'rush' of that year and eventually became our first #1 of the following decade...

...but ask most people my age and they'll say, 'Oh, that's an 80s record!'  ;)

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 02/01/09 at 11:31 am


The way I see it, if it peaked in 1980, then it can technically be called an 80s record!

Either that, or you can use it in both the 70s and 80s threads!  ;)


Maybe I'll use it for both since it's such a good song, anyway!  ;)

An equivalent song over here was 'Brass In Pocket' by the Pretenders...it was released in November 1979, somehow made its way through the Christmas 'rush' of that year and eventually became our first #1 of the following decade...

...but ask most people my age and they'll say, 'Oh, that's an 80s record!'  ;)


That's another one that screams out '80s' to me!  :)

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/01/09 at 11:34 am


That's another one that screams out '80s' to me!  :)


Ah! But I'll bet this one works in reverse... ;)

'Please Don't Go' - KC & The Sunshine Band

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 02/01/09 at 11:41 am


Ah! But I'll bet this one works in reverse... ;)

'Please Don't Go' - KC & The Sunshine Band


Yes...you called that one correctly!  ;)

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/01/09 at 3:57 pm

How about "Cars" by Gary Numan? I found out that that song was recorded in 1979, released in the UK in 1979, and reached the top of the UK charts that year! However, in the US, it didn't get released until February 1980 or thereabouts. I always thought it was an 80s song until learning a few years back that it was popular in the UK first, and then a hand-me-down to the US.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: whistledog on 02/01/09 at 5:24 pm

Here's a tricky one:  'I Don't Like Mondays' by The Boomtown Rats

UK:   July - October 1979 
chart peak:  UK #1, July 1979

Canada:  November 1979 - April 1980
chart peak:  CAN #4, January 1980

US:  February - March 1980
chart peak:  US #73, February 1980


In Canada, it rose up the chart in 1979.  It's peak at #4 was January 12 (to be exact) which was the first published chart of the 80s.  Though it spent more weeks in 1980, it's rise was in 1979.  Is it both a 70s and an 80s song or is it strictly an 80s song because it peaked in 1980?

Considering the whole 'Fine Art of Surfacing' LP was written and recorded in 1979, every song on that album is a 70s song including 'Someone's Looking at You' which peaked in 1980 for both the UK and Canada.  But if you were to put that one on a compilation, it would be an 80s one because it's the singles that get played on the radio

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/01/09 at 5:54 pm

Two of Tom Petty's songs, "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refugee", also fall into this cusp. I happen to know that the album containing these songs was released in 1979, but "Don't Do Me Like That" hit the US charts in late 1979 and peaked in early 1980; and "Refugee" entered the charts around that time. Personally, I put 'em both in 1979 due to the nature of the album, but if someone wants to tell me they're 80s songs, that's fine with me. I don't care one way or the other.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Marty McFly on 02/01/09 at 6:53 pm

I think the style of the song (and the singer or band) matters the most. ;)

But if you were going purely by the date, I'd say whenever it was first released as a single in the US.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: karen on 02/01/09 at 8:15 pm



An equivalent song over here was 'Brass In Pocket' by the Pretenders...it was released in November 1979, somehow made its way through the Christmas 'rush' of that year and eventually became our first #1 of the following decade...

...but ask most people my age and they'll say, 'Oh, that's an 80s record!'  ;)


Also Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall which was the Christmas '79 number 1 in the UK.  I know a lot of people swear it to be and early 80's song.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: 90steen on 02/01/09 at 10:39 pm

Funny, always wondered the same thing about the song Funktown.

Whether it's a late 70's or early 80's hit.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/02/09 at 8:53 am


Funny, always wondered the same thing about the song Funktown.

Whether it's a late 70's or early 80's hit.


Early 80s that was, in all territories!

But seeing as it was one of those 'Disco's last stand' records, it could quite easily have fitted in the 70s...


Considering the whole 'Fine Art of Surfacing' LP was written and recorded in 1979, every song on that album is a 70s song including 'Someone's Looking at You' which peaked in 1980 for both the UK and Canada.  But if you were to put that one on a compilation, it would be an 80s one because it's the singles that get played on the radio


Another one that sprawled across the changing of the decade was Michael Jackson's 'Off The Wall' LP...everything was recorded in 1979, but the boundaries are 'blurred' a little as a couple of the singles from it became hits in 1980 (the album also shifted more copies in the 'new' decade), so what would you file that under?

(Nothing to do with 1979/80, but without fail, you'll always find Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man' on a British 70s compilation...

...thing is, it dates from 1968!)

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/02/09 at 10:17 pm


I think the style of the song (and the singer or band) matters the most. ;)

But if you were going purely by the date, I'd say whenever it was first released as a single in the US.

That's how I tend to classify the year of a song, too.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/02/09 at 10:20 pm

Not mentioned yet...the Clash's "London Calling" album was also released in late 1979, and a few tracks from that album were probably hits in the UK around that time too (such as the title track and "Train In Vain"), but in the US "Train In Vain" tilts more towards 1980 since it was released as a single in the U.S. in February, and entered the US charts shortly thereafter.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: yelimsexa on 02/03/09 at 9:51 am

Probably the most technical way of determining so is by looking at the copyright date on each record (almost all records from 1972+ have the copyright date on it); for instance, even a song that charted as late as the fall of 1980 could still be a 1979 song because the song may have been the fourth or fifth single from an album that may be a year old by then; Sailing by Christopher Cross has that 1979 copyright date on it even though it hit #1 in July 1980. 

But there are a couple more interesting points about these two years non-musically speaking.

One thing that I find somewhat amusing is that these two years were the Carter presidency in the US and is generally viewed as a '70s President, but Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in May 1979 and lasted until November 1990, making most of 1979 squarely the '80s politically in the UK. Plus, New Wave broke into the mainstream in 1979 in the UK, while it didn't in the US until 1981 with "Bette Davis Eyes"; Studio 54 was still the PLACE TO BE in NYC at this time.

Television was still quite '70s with Three's Company, Happy Days, MASH, Charlie's Angels, Laverne and Shirley, Hawaii Five-O, The Jeffersons, Taxi, WKRP in Cincinnati all still in their runs.

Overall, I consider these two years '70s in American culture and '80s in British culture. Of course I wasn't born yet but I hear it was a shaky time in the US as a time marked by sharp rises in gas prices and the "grand finale" of the stagflation. Cars began to acquire their "boxy look" that would last through most of the '80s; and many cars were downsized at the time; for instance a typical mid-size brand name would just be a compact.

Technologically, it was still basic compared to today but much more technologically advanced than say, 1975. Atari was becoming popular and VHS/Betamax was starting to become more affordable than say in the 1976-78 period, and more titles were becoming available as well. Pinball machines were starting to use electronic displays for scoring, and the first wave of Video Arcade games such as Space Invaders were arriving. Typewriters were still the norm, although touchtone telephones were starting to becoming popular as pulse dialing would begin to die out. While vinyl continued to hold its ground; on the tape side, 8-track was in STEEP decline during those two years and the cassette began to rise as the Walkman was introduced around this time.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Melanie Lee on 02/03/09 at 2:37 pm

I glanced over the other entries (that is, I didn't read them closely).

If this is a matter of determining eligibilty of original songs in In The 00s/Amiright contests, I say be permissive, and let a "crossover" song cross over into both decades.  ;)

If this is a matter of determining whether a song reflects the culture of, say, 1979 or 1980, argue away.  :P

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: coqueta83 on 02/03/09 at 8:37 pm

Here's another one of those "cusper" songs -

Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes.

This song was number 1 for one week in December 1979 and a couple of weeks later it spent another week at no. 1 (January 1980).

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/04/09 at 10:11 pm


I consider 1979 to be like the opening credits for the 80's, so that entire year is actually not a part of the 70's. Unlike 1969, which was most definitely the closing credits for the 60's, but almost a different decade in itself.


Not to go too off-topic here, but the first half of the seventies had much more to do with the counterculture we associate with "the sixties" than did the first half of the sixties.  The decade of the sixties ended 12/31/69 whereas "the sixties" really started to die out in the late '70s.  I cite the assassination of John Lennon as the end of the end.  However, this is for another thread.

For me the quintessential '80s song that came out in the '70s is Gary Numan "Cars." 

When Rhino was putting together its collection "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s" collection, which came out in 1994-1995, all songs on the first volume came out in the late '70s:

Plastic Bertrand: Ca Plane Pour Moi (1977)
The Normal: Warm Leatherette (1978)
Blondie: One Way or Another (1978)
Flash & The Pan: Hey, St. Peter (1978)
Nick Lowe: Cruel to be Kind (1979)
D-Day: Too Young to Date (1979)
Graham Parker: Local Cars (1979)
The Ramones: Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979)
The Knack: My Sharona (1979)
Dave Edmunds: Girls Talk (1979)
The Buggles: Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)
Tim Curry: I Do the Rock (1979)
The Inmates: Dirty Water (1979)
Tin Huey: I'm a Believer (1979)
Suburban Lawns: Gidget Goes to Hell (1979)
The Flying Lizards: Money (That's What I Want) (1979)

Several indispensable '70s to '80s crossover artists are missing here: Gary Numan, The Cars, Suicide, X-Ray Spex, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, etc.  Of course, Rhino was constrained by licensing issues and commercial viability.  They called the collection of 15 volumes "Just Can't Get Enough," but they didn't include the familiar Depeche Mode song.  I think they were refused licensing from Mute.

Anyway...



Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: whistledog on 02/04/09 at 10:33 pm


Not to go too off-topic here, but the first half of the seventies had much more to do with the counterculture we associate with "the sixties" than did the first half of the sixties.  The decade of the sixties ended 12/31/69 whereas "the sixties" really started to die out in the late '70s.  I cite the assassination of John Lennon as the end of the end.  However, this is for another thread.

For me the quintessential '80s song that came out in the '70s is Gary Numan "Cars." 

When Rhino was putting together its collection "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s" collection, which came out in 1994-1995, all songs on the first volume came out in the late '70s:


There were (technically) 18 volumes.  You forgot "New Wave Halloween", "New Wave Women" and "New Wave Xmas"

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/04/09 at 10:35 pm

Another one I just thought of is Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." I believe that one began to chart in the US in November 1979 but hit #1 in January 1980. Yet MusicChoice's "80s" channel plays it, but credits 1979 as the year.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/05/09 at 9:30 pm


There were (technically) 18 volumes.  You forgot "New Wave Halloween", "New Wave Women" and "New Wave Xmas"


Yeah, but I call them the New Wave Hits Apocrypha.  The 15 are the true canon!

After New Wave Hits, Rhino did five or so volumes of "Modern Rock," which picked up in '86 where NWH left off.  Those weren't so good.  They also did a '70s series in the early '90s called "Have A Nice Day."  I think that's what it was.  Those were great, as I recall.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Paul on 02/06/09 at 7:02 am


They called the collection of 15 volumes "Just Can't Get Enough," but they didn't include the familiar Depeche Mode song.  I think they were refused licensing from Mute.


An excellent series which compiled a lot of songs you wouldn't normally find on these sort of collections...

Rather odd about the non-appearance of early DM tracks...Mute certainly had no qualms about licencing these to numerous labels over the years (not so much their later stuff) and indeed, some other Mute acts do appear on this series of CDs (Assembly and Yaz(oo) to name a couple...)

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/06/09 at 9:30 pm


An excellent series which compiled a lot of songs you wouldn't normally find on these sort of collections...

Rather odd about the non-appearance of early DM tracks...Mute certainly had no qualms about licencing these to numerous labels over the years (not so much their later stuff) and indeed, some other Mute acts do appear on this series of CDs (Assembly and Yaz(oo) to name a couple...)


Hmmm....Excellent point.  JCGE is one of Vince Clarke's songs too, as is "Never Never" and "Only You," so Martin Gore wouldn't have anything to say about it. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Can%27t_Get_Enough

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Mushroom on 02/08/09 at 9:22 am

Part of this is probably because much of 1980's music was dominated by "New Wave".

So instead of following the normal method of a song originating here, a song was originating elsewhere, and comming to the US months (or in a few cases years) later.  And you had some which became big names just starting to break out.  Like the B-52's.  They had a modest hit in 1976 with Rock Lobster.  But it was Private Idaho (recorded in 1979, released in 1980) hat got them their first sustaining national attention (Many people considered Rock Lobster more of a novelty record then a serious record at the time).

Of course, you can always drive people crazy with the simple fact that 1980 is not really the beginning of the new decade, it is in reality the last year of the old one.  The new decade did not really start until 1981 (remember the arguments of when the new milennium started, 2000 or 2001). 

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/08/09 at 12:33 pm


Part of this is probably because much of 1980's music was dominated by "New Wave".

So instead of following the normal method of a song originating here, a song was originating elsewhere, and comming to the US months (or in a few cases years) later.  And you had some which became big names just starting to break out.  Like the B-52's.  They had a modest hit in 1976 with Rock Lobster.  But it was Private Idaho (recorded in 1979, released in 1980) hat got them their first sustaining national attention (Many people considered Rock Lobster more of a novelty record then a serious record at the time).



The same thing happened with Frank Zappa.  Zappa was satirical and comical and used a lot of "weird" sounds, but his music was very dense and complex.  The B-52's music was not as elaborate as Zappa but it was deceptively simple.  My brother-in-law's band did some B-52's covers including "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho" and had a hell of a time with the chord changes.  The vocals took a lot from Yoko Ono and the Fluxus movement from the sixties.  The B-52's were a fun band, but that wasn't Sheb Wooley!

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Frank on 02/08/09 at 7:28 pm

"Also Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall which was the Christmas '79 number 1 in the UK.  I know a lot of people swear it to be and early 80's song."


Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: karen on 02/08/09 at 8:15 pm

I know I'm awesome and everything but was there a point to sort of quoting me?  ???

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Dominic L. on 02/09/09 at 3:52 pm

Gary Numan's "Cars" was a '79 song, too.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Jeffpcmt on 02/19/09 at 10:33 am

The same goes with "My Sharona" by The Knack.  It is usually classified an '80s song probably due to heavy rotation on the early days of MTV.  Actually it hit #1 on the Billboard charts in August of '79.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 02/19/09 at 11:55 am


The same goes with "My Sharona" by The Knack.  It is usually classified an '80s song probably due to heavy rotation on the early days of MTV.  Actually it hit #1 on the Billboard charts in August of '79.

I never understood why so many stations construed that as an 80s song. I know that it was popular in '79 even though I wasn't around...and its entire chart run was in '79. Maybe they feel that its popularity lived on into early '80; I don't know. :-\\

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: sam on 03/23/09 at 2:02 am

when did these come around?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG7bNkyX5pM&feature=channel_page

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: Fairee07 on 03/23/09 at 8:49 pm

Blondie's "Heart of Glass" was on an 80s music cd but I believe it came out in '79. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: karen on 03/23/09 at 10:36 pm


Blondie's "Heart of Glass" was on an 80s music cd but I believe it came out in '79. Correct me if I'm wrong.


It was released in January 79.

Apparently, though, an earlier reggae style version was recorded in 1975

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: yelimsexa on 03/24/09 at 2:27 pm

Heart Of Glass is sort of a unique Disco/New Wave hybrid and fits 1979 quite well. My Sharona, however, is more like an evolution from "More Than A Feeling" or "Carry On My Wayward Son", and has NO SYNTHESIZERS!

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/25/09 at 12:29 pm


Heart Of Glass is sort of a unique Disco/New Wave hybrid and fits 1979 quite well. My Sharona, however, is more like an evolution from "More Than A Feeling" or "Carry On My Wayward Son"


Huh?  There must be a missing link in there somwhere!
;D

Subject: Re: 1979-80

Written By: nally on 10/12/09 at 2:06 pm

Another song that might fall into this cusp (and I don't know if it's been mentioned yet): "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure.

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