1979 in musicSee also: 1978 in music, other events of 1979, 1980 in music and the list of 'years in music'.
|Table of contents|
2 Albums released
3 Top hits
4 Published popular music
5 Musical theater
6 Musical films
Disco reigned supreme in 1979, with several #1 hits from The Bee Gees and Donna Summer that year. Even the New Wave band Blondie's biggest hit was "Heart of Glass", a song which could only be categorized as disco.
When The Knack's song "My Sharona" hit Billboard's #1 for six weeks, many rock critics gushed that the band was "the next Beatles" and celebrated the beginning of the end for disco music. While it may have marked the climax of disco, it was also the beginning of the end for The Knack, who quickly faded into obscurity.
Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers' Bustin' Loose was released; this is the first go go record.
- January 1 - Bill Graham closes San Francisco's Winterland Theater following a New Years Eve performance by the Blues Brothers and the Grateful Dead
- January 1 - During a New Years Eve concert in Cleveland, Ohio, Bruce Springsteen is injured when a fire-cracker is thrown onstage from the audience
- January 4 - The Star club in Hamburg, Germany, best known for its connections to the early days of the Beatles, reopens.
- February 3 - Dead Man's Curve, a made-for-TV-movie about surf-rock singers Jan & Dean, airs on US television
- January 13 - Singer Danny Hathaway dies after falling 15 stories from his hotel room in New York City. According to Hathaway's record company, Atlantic, the singer had been having some psychological problems.
- January - MCA Records purchases ABC Records for a reported $20 million.
- February 7 - The Clash kick off their first concert on their first American tour at the Berkeley Community Theatre outside San Francisco, California. Bo Diddley opens the show and the Clash open their set with the song "I'm so bored with the U.S.A.".
- February 10 - Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" hits #1 on the Billboard magazine charts, and stays there for 4 weeks.
- February 11 - 43 million viewers watch "Elvis!" on ABC, a made for TV movie starring Kurt Russell as Elvis.
- February 23 - Dire Straits begins their first U.S. tour in Boston.
- Spring - The Pretenders sign a contract with Sire Records
- March 5 - MCA Records dissolves ABC Records.
- March 10 - James Brown performs at the Grand Ole Opry
- March 27 - Eric Clapton marries Patti Boyd, ex-wife of Clapton's friend George Harrison
- April 6 - Rod Stewart marries Alana Hamilton.
- April 7 - 110,000 people attend the California Music Festival at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Performers include Aerosmith, The Boomtown Rats, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent and Van Halen.
- April 12 - Mickey Thomas replaces Marty Balin as the lead singer of Jefferson Starship
- April 13 - During a concert by Van Halen in Spokane, Washington, David Lee Roth collapses from exhaustion.
- May 1 - Elton John becomes the first pop music artist to perform in Israel.
- May 2 - The Who performs their first concert following the death of drummer Keith Moon. The band performed with new drummer Kenney Jones.
- May 5 - "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb hits #1 on the Billboard charts, and stays there for 4 weeks.
- June - Alternative Tentacles record label established by Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra
- July 14 - Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" hits #1 on the Billboard charts, and stays there for 5 weeks.
- August 25 - "My Sharona" by The Knack hits #1 on the Billboard charts. This is the first time in over a year that a song hits #1 that isn't either a disco song or a ballad. It remains at #1 for 8 weeks.
- September - U2 enters the studio for the first time to record a locally released single.
- Diamond Head's career begins
- INXS' career begins
- Michael Schenker leaves U.F.O after the Obsession tour and his solo career began
- Marianne Faithfull returns to music after a hiatus
- Solid Gold premieres on television.
- Bad Brains forms
- Bad Religion forms in Los Angeles
- Fishbone forms
- Mötley Crüe forms
- Was (Not Was) forms
- Mr & Mrs No Smoking Sign forms in Sydney (later to become Severed Heads)
- Highway to Hell - AC/DC
- The B-52's - The B-52's
- Desolation Angels - Bad Company
- Spirits Have Flown - The Bee Gees
- Eat to the Beat - Blondie
- Parallel Lines - Blondie
- Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
- Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks
- Dream Police - Cheap Trick
- Live at Bukodan - Cheap Trick
- Risque - Chic
- XIII - Chicago
- Christopher Cross - Christopher Cross
- London Calling - The Clash
- Bop Till You Drop - Ry Cooder
- Stations of the Crass - Crass
- Armed Forces - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
- California Uber Alles - Dead Kennedys
- Duty Now for the Future - Devo
- Communiqué - Dire Straits
- The Long Run - The Eagles
- Discovery - Electric Light Orchestra
- In Concert - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
- Broken English - Marianne Faithfull
- Tusk - Fleetwood Mac
- The Inside Story - Robben Ford
- Peter Gabriel II - Peter Gabriel
- Einstein on the Beach - Philip Glass
- Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
- Stormwatch - Jethro Tull
- 52nd Street - Billy Joel
- Victims of Love - Elton John
- Seven Worlds - Eric Johnson
- Evolution - Journey
- Squeezing Out Sparks & Live Sparks - Graham Parker & the Rumour
- Hell Bent for Leather - Judas Priest
- Unleashed in the East - Judas Priest
- Get the Knack - The Knack
- In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin
- One Step Beyond - Madness
- Comedy Is Not Pretty - Steve Martin
- Back to the Egg - Paul McCartney & Wings
- Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
- The Wall - Pink Floyd
- Outlandos d'Amour - The Police
- Prince - Prince
- Down to Earth - Rainbow
- Sweet Temptation - Ricky Skagg
- Roches - Roches
- Hemispheres - Rush
- Lovedrive - The Scorpions
- Aja - Steely Dan
- Greatest Hits - Steely Dan
- Rapper's Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
- Bad Girl - Donna Summer
- Fear of Music - Talking Heads
- Obsession - UFO
- Strangers in the Night - UFO
- Van Halen II - Van Halen
- Into the Music - Van Morrison
- The Secret Life of Plants - Stevie Wonder
- Drums and Wires - XTC
- Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
- Struck Down - Y&T
- Excitable Boy - Warren Zevon
- "Babe" - Styx
- "Bad Girls" - Donna Summer
- "Big Shot" - Billy Joel
- "Cruel To Be Kind" - Nick Lowe
- "Cygnus Book X-1 Book II: Hemispheres" - Rush
- "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" - Rod Stewart
- "Excitable Boy" - Warren Zevon
- "Fool in the Rain" - Led Zeppelin
- "Good Times" - Chic
- "Goodbye Stranger" - Supertramp
- "Hanging On The Telephone" - Blondie
- "Hell Bent For Leather" - Judas Priest
- "Heartache Tonight" - The Eagles
- "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
- "Highway to Hell" - AC/DC
- "Hot Stuff" - Donna Summer
- "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
- "Message in a Bottle" - The Police
- "My Sharona" - The Knack
- "Old Time Rock And Roll" - Bob Seger
- "One Way Or Another" - Blondie
- "Only You Can Rock Me" - UFO
- "Promises" - Eric Clapton
- "Reunited" - Peaches and Herb
- "Roxanne" - The Police
- "Sad Eyes" - Robert John
- "Safe European Home" - The Clash
- "Since You Been Gone" - Rainbow
- "Sultans of Swing" - Dire Straits
- "Sunday Girl" - Blondie
- "Surrender" - Cheap Trick
- "Too Much Heaven" - Bee Gees
- "Tusk" - Fleetwood Mac
- "What a Fool Believes" - The Doobie Brothers
- "Wondering Where the Lions Are" - Bruce Cockburn
Published popular music
- Ain't Misbehavin' London production
- Evita Broadway production
- My Old Friends Broadway production
- Oklahoma Broadway revival
- Peter Pan Broadway revival
- Sarava Broadway production
- Sugar Babies Broadway production
- Sweeney Todd Broadway production
- They're Playing Our Song Broadway production
- Whoopee Broadway revival
- January 10 - Kris Kross
- January 20 - Rob Bourdon, Linkin Park
- February 11 - Brandy Norwood
- February 21 - Jennifer Love Hewitt
- March 11 - BENJI, Good Charlotte
- August 27 - Jon Siebels, Eve 6
- September 3 - Jason McCaslin, Sum 41
- September 8 - Pink
- October 12 - Jordan Pundik, New Found Glory
- October 17 - Nick Cannon
- October 24 - Ben Gillies, Silverchair
- November 5 - Nick Giggler, Mest
- November 10 - Chris Joannou, Silverchair
- Mike Kennerty, The All-American Rejects