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1978

October 19, 2021

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[Albums 947 – 951 / 1001]

Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 32 are from the year 1978.

I’ve reviewed all but five of them so far.

The remaining non-reviewed albums from 1978: Public Image Ltd. – Public Image: First Issue, Willie Colón & Rubén Blades – Siembra, Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear, X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents, Siouxsie and the Banshees – The Scream

Which 1978 albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 32 albums, enjoy!

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32. The Residents – Duck Stab!/Buster & Glen. Probably more likely to revisit the Replacements or the Refreshments.

31. Siouxsie and the Banshees – The Scream. Their first of a pair of 1001-listed albums.

30. Public Image Ltd. – Public Image: First Issue. Also their first of a pair of 1001-listed albums.

29. Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous. It would be much higher than the 29th “best” album of 1978. But as these rankings are based on probability of revisiting, I find I just don’t revisit most live albums all that often.

28. Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade. The second ‘Honky Tonk’ album title on the list (along with Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes)

27. The Adverts – Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts. Unlike actual advertisements, I wouldn’t suggest these Adverts ought to be skipped.

26. Buzzcocks – Another Music in a Different Kitchen. The title reminds me of the almost logical English from Sloan’s Penpals, certainly a favourable association.

25. Saints – Eternally Yours. Oh when the Saints, go playing Eternally Yours, I’ve generally got the time.

24. Rubén Blades and Willie Colón – Siembra. I rarely say no to a bit of Salsa – and not just because, as Seinfeld observed, because I like to say salsa!

23. Elis Regina – Vento de Maio. On a windy day next May, I think this would be an appropriate soundtrack.

22. X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents. In my line of work, I certainly hope they are.

21. Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear. I’m more likely to revisit one of his other albums ‘On’ the list (What’s Going / Let’s Get It)

20. Throbbing Gristle – D.O.A. The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle. Thanks to a felicitously timed listen of this album, I was able to earn 400 points on Jeopardy!

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19. Pere Ubu – Dub Housing.

18. Pere Ubu – Modern Dance.

A pair for Pere, can’t argue with that kind of productivity.

17. Chic – C’est Chic. C’est vrai, it’s not just a clever name!

16. Willie Nelson – Stardust. Timeless.

15. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo. More likely to rewatch Devo (Devon White) turn a triple-play, but this Devo could still be back too.

14. Kraftwerk – The Man-Machine. More likely to listen to The Hip’s Man Machine Poem but still, this Man-Machine will likely return as well.

13. Big Star – Third. Third is their second of two on the list.

12. Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model. His second of six on the list.

11. The Jam – All Mod Cons. Their first of two on the list.

And they are an important part of the history of British Guitar Rock!

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10. Blondie – Parallel Lines. Parallel lines never cross & I cannot picture myself ever being cross while listening to this one either.

9. Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports. I may not find myself in an airport anytime soon, but I know what my soundtrack will be the next time I’m at YYZ.

8. Magazine – Real Life. Lots of nice & subtle drum details.

7. Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings & Food. Their second of four on the list.

6. The Only Ones – The Only Ones. Not a bad year for self-titled debuts.

5. Dire Straits – Dire Straits. Yep, not a bad year for self-titled debuts

4. The Cars – The Cars. It would appear to not be a bad year at all for self-titled debuts (with the best of the bunch yet to come).

3. Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove. Who says a funk band can’t play rock?

2. Van Halen – Van Halen. To paraphrase a line from Nerf Herder, I bought Van Halen I, it was the best (or 2nd most likely to be revisited) damn record I ever owned!

Or, to borrow a line from Wayne’s World 2, Wow, Van Halen, Who else?!

1. Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town . I guess the Boss’s records are OK too.

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Verbalize the Positive

Pumpkin pie, yes please!

From → 1970s

11 Comments
  1. Obviously a yes on pumpkin pie!! I do love the history of british guitar rock chart…that was fun to go through. I’m not a huge Bruce fan so Van Halen #1 and Thin Lizzy a lot higher. Some good ones on this list.

  2. Ugh, all the pumpkin pie is for you. Have at it!

    This is a cool list, but of course I have one thing I’d switch – the Buzzcocks need to be waaaaay higher, like top 10 easily, maybe even top 5. Just sayin’. 😉

    • I suppose pumpkin pie is a bit like the dessert equivalent of pineapple on pizza – but I guess the greats are always polarizing!

      • Now see, I like pineapple on pizza. I dunno, pie is a thing for me. I like ’em all… except pumpkin, rhubarb, and raisin.

  3. I love that Jam diagram. Darkness is my favourite from the year too, although nothing he’s done since really comes close.

    • Cheers, Graham – though he still has a few more appearances to go on the 1001 list, I think he’s peaked in terms of placement on these revisiting lists for me too!

  4. Nice number 1 and 2 Geoff. Wheres Aerosmith Live Bootleg on here? lol Blondie, The Cars, Thin Lizzy and Devo. Another stellar year…

    • I think Dylan’s 1998 bootleg is the only one that I’m aware of on the 1001 list – but they revise it every few years, perhaps they’ll fix the Aerosmith bootleg oversight!

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