Monday Music Day – Welcome to 1978

Welcome to Monday Music Day and Freealonzo’s Guest DJ rock week, brought to you by the year 1978.

I know most people take a cursory look at the videos posted so I thought I’d take a different approach and spoiler all my video selections for the week. I supposed you could close this post if you want to be surprised. Hopefully this will prompt you to check out the vids.

All seven videos are songs released in 1978, which I think is a fascinating year musically. Rock and roll, which had been fully ensconced in the popular zeitgeist for nearly 15 years, was still reigning supreme but after the Sex Pistols and Ramones broke out in 1977, there were a burgeoning punk and new wave scene as well. Also, some experimenting with reggae and other musical genres were sneaking into the songs. I think 1978 was the beginning of transition from rock to a broader musical experience which led to eventually over time a more popular acceptance of hip-hop, alt-country, hard core punk, etc., which has led to the diffuse musical genres we all experience 45 years later in 2023. As a 15-year-old at the time I was in my element. I still listen to most if not all these albums to this day with Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model and Van Halen practically getting spins monthly.

All videos are from the era and mostly shot from crowd or with minimal effects. No staged performances on a tv sound stage in the bunch. I will give more background on each song during the week. Enjoy!

Monday: Van Halen – Feel Your Love Tonight
Tuesday: Bruce Springsteen – The Promised Land
Wednesday: Talking Heads – Warning Sign
Thursday: Cars – You’re All I got Tonight
Friday: The Police – So Lonely
Saturday: Elvis Costello – Pump It Up
Sunday: Rolling Stones – Shattered

Also, I could have easily done this for another week. Here are a bunch more albums that came out in 1978 that you should check out.

The Jam – All the Mod Cons
Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight
The Clash – Give 'em Enough Rope
Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy
Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool
Kraftwerk – Man-Machine
Blondie – Parallel Lines
Devo – Are We Not Men
Big Star - Third

17 thoughts on “Monday Music Day – Welcome to 1978”

  1. Cool idea. I pulled up my phone and sorted music by year, and here are some of the 1978 albums I have music from as well:
    Toto Toto
    Masques Brand X
    Worlds Away Pablo Cruise
    U.K. U.K.
    Tormato Yes
    The War of the Worlds Jeff Wayne
    Sky Blue Passport
    Pyramid Alan Parsons
    After the Heat Brian Eno
    City to City Gerry Rafferty
    Expresso II Gong
    Fickle Heart Sniff 'n the Tears
    Cosmic Messenger Jean-Luc Ponty

  2. Other classics released in 1978 included
    Outlandos d'Amour, The Police
    Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce
    Who Are You, The Who
    Waiting for Columbus, Little Feat
    The Kick Inside, Kate Bush
    Easter, Patti Smith Group
    Stardust, Willie Nelson

    (I see now that you have Bruce and the Police covered....)

  3. Here's some of my favorites from '78 that haven't been mentioned yet.

    Dire Straits – Dire Straits (still my favorite Straits album)
    Lou Reed – Street Hassle
    Neil Young – Comes A Time (Neil the laid-back folky)
    Peter Tosh – Bush Doctor (Mick sings reggae!)
    Rolling Stones – Some Girls
    Steve Forbert – Alive on Arrival (another new Dylan, easily his best)
    Dave Edmunds – Tracks on Wax 4 (because it’s really Rockpile!)
    John Prine – Bruised Orange (maybe his best)
    Bob Marley – Babylon by Bus (Punky Reggae Party!)

  4. This wheelhouse is pretty crowded, but here's a few more notables from 1978.

    Foreigner - Double Vision
    Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan (my sister played this relentlessly)
    Joe Walsh - But Seriously, Folks
    Atlanta Rhythm Section - Champagne Jam
    Boston - Don't Look Back
    George Thorogood and the Destroyers - Move It On Over
    Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full of Blues
    Styx - Pieces of Eight
    Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses
    Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
    Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings - Willie and Waylon
    Prince - For You

    1. Live at Budokan was released in the States in 1979. I definitely would have included that in my week, if it had fit the 1978 parameters. Also I did include the Talking Heads.

      However, I didn't include a lot of other albums that others have listed because it didn't fit my theory that 1978 was a year that popular music was changing. I would argue that for bands like Foreigner, Styx, Alan Parsons Project, Pablo Cruise, Jethro Tull, heck even the Who, that they were never as popular or part of the "popular music culture" after 1978. Many of the albums that others have listed above may be faves of their hardcore fans and get a spin or two on KQ92, but have had very little cultural impact since their release. It's kind of like a lot of popular hair bands like Warrant and Poison all of a sudden were irrelevant after Smells Like Teen Spirit came out in 1991. And yes, that's a blanket statement. And regardless of my half-baked theory, as others have pointed out, lots of interesting music out there from 1978 that didn't fit what I was trying to say. Thanks for the input and rock on.

  5. A number of 1978 releases that I still listen to that haven't been mentioned:
    Television Adventure
    Only Ones Only Ones
    Tom Waits Blue Valentine
    Warren Zevon Excitable Boy
    Bryan Ferry The Bride Stripped Bare

      1. Same. Rain Dogs and Closing Time would be the others. I’ve always liked his more melodic singer-songwriter stuff better than his noisier, carnivalesque later releases, not that I don’t enjoy them, as well.

        1. Yup.

          For me, I'm going to go with Blue, Franks Wild Years, aaaaaaaaaand... it's really hard for me to pick between The Heart of Saturday Night and Nighthawks at the Diner. They're very similar and one right after the next, so I'm going to cheat and package them as one pick.

          1. I also concur.

            “Innocent When You Dream” was my go-to lullaby for the Poissonnière.

            I think my Waits Three are Franks Wild Years, Closing Time, and Nighthawks at the Diner, but I can’t quibble with any of the others you and Bootsy mention.

  6. Off topic (of 1978), if you are a fan of first wave shoegaze bands like Ride and Swervedriver, you will definitely want to check out Cartwheel by Hotline TNT. It's like 1991 all over again.

  7. Playing catch-up, but I can’t resist adding a few more 1978 releases:

    Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove
    Emmylou Harris, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
    The Band, The Last Waltz
    Dr. John, City Lights
    Joe Ely, Honky Tonk Masquerade

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