Tag Archives: 1978

William Onyeabor – Atomic Bomb (1978)

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william-onyeabor

This week, the mythic William Onyeabor died at home, in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, aged 70. Onyeabor was a pioneering electronic-funk musician who extraordinarily self-released 9 ground-breaking albums between 1977-1985. He composed, recorded, pressed and printed the work at Wilfilms Limited—his personal pressing plant in Enugu. As David Byrne said this week, wherever he’s gone, it’s sure to be a place with a lot of heart and some killer grooves. RIP William. Have a great weekend.

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Bohannon – Let’s Start The Dance (1978)

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hamilton-bohannon

Hamilton Frederick Bohannon was an American disco producer, songwriter and former Motown session drummer. But let’s face it, he is quite rightly known for the call-to-arms song ‘Let’s Start The Dance’. Released in 1978, the track joined the disco party late in the day, but if there was one sound to kick start a last dance, Bohannon saved his best ’til last. Have a great weekend.
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The Cars – Good Times Roll (1978)

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The Cars 1978

I watched Richard Linklater’s latest film Everyone Wants Some! I loved it and the soundtrack was part of that. ‘Good Times Roll’ is the first track from The Cars’ 1978 self-titled debut album and the closing track of the movie.

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The Walker Brothers – Nite Flights (1978)

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The Walker Brothers

1978 was the year that Scott Walker began to sound like David Bowie covering Scott Walker. One of the four songs that Scott Walker contributed to The Walker Brothers’ album of the same name, ‘Nite Flights’ would feature as a cover on Bowie’s 1993 Black Tie White Noise.

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The Only Ones – Another Girl, Another Planet (1978)

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The Only Ones

It’s almost Christmas; cause for some unashamed celebratory sounds. It’s the The Only Ones’ ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’. Have a great weekend.

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Dr. Alimantado – Poison Flour (1978)

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Dr. Alimantado

Reggae is the sound of sun. Unexpectedly, the distinctive Dr. Alimantado found fame outside of Jamaica after Johnny Rotten recommended a listen. Hearing the fun-infused pressing Best Dressed Chicken in Town, you can understand how the appreciation crossed genres. ‘Poison Flour’ is a version of a Horace Andy vocal; I guess neither of them are fans of carbs.

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Linda Clifford – Runaway Love (1978)

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Linda Clifford

A dash of disco to welcome in the weekend. ‘Runaway Love’ is full of breaks and sassy attitude. Linda Clifford found her greatest success with her ‘pack-your-bag’ message for an ex-husband. The anthem would feature on her 1978 album If My Friends Could See Me Now. And suddenly they did.

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La Peste – Better Off Dead (1978)

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La Peste

Nothing better that a bout of punk rock to break the shackles of house music. Despite a garage power chord worthy of The Damned, Boston’s La Peste were not to be for long. With one official 7″ single consisting of just two songs, the Boston-based band split up. It is the punk way. Shame – the raw sound of ‘Better Off Dead’ was palpable. Have a great week.

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Joyella Blade – Cairo (1978)

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Joyella Blade

I sign out for a summer hiatus with a classic slice of reggae – a true sound for the sun. Joyella Blade’s ‘Cairo’ was released on Virgin’s Front Line label. I’ll be back in mid August. Until then…

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Peter Tosh – Pick Myself Up (1978)

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Peter Tosh

Once you’ve built up a back catalogue of posts, all personal and eclectic as promised, a tag cloud allows you to see quickly where your tastes truly lie. It seems that Reggae, Rock’n’Roll, Prog, Glam and Easy Listening are all underrepresented. This week, I make amends. First up, Peter Tosh’s uplifting groove ‘Pick Myself Up’. The track featured on his album Bush Doctor, which included scratch-n-sniff sticker that smelled of marijuana – the 1970s. Have a great week.

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Tom Waits – Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis (1978)

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Tom Waits

Written and performed by Tom Waits, this festive song uses his trademark whiskey-soaked growl to its fullest. ‘Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis’ is off his 1978 album, Blue Valentine. The opening line “Hey, Charlie, baby, I’m pregnant” kicks off a storytelling masterpiece of americana. “Hey Charlie for chrissakes, if you want to know the truth of it/I don’t have a husband he don’t play the trombone/I need to borrow money to pay this lawyer and Charlie hey/I’ll be eligible for parole come Valentine’s Day.”

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Rick James – Mary Jane (1978)

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Rick James

Despite being an infamous coke head, the punk-funk star Rick James would choose to sing a love song about the girl next-door’. Apparently, he loved ‘Mary Jane’ first. His predilection for drugs would end in tears: Folsom State Prison in the 1990s and heart failure in the noughties. Released as a second single off Come Get It!, the debut album from James and the Stone City Band, the single combines elements of light funk guitar, space-time continuum funk, new wave and those flutes. “O-oh-a do ya? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?Do ya?”

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Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy (1978)

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Earth Wind & Fire

When they weren’t stirring the cold funk, Earth, Wind & Fire were using soulful horns, dreamy harmonies and absurd lyrics to create some magic. ‘Fantasy’ is off EW&F’s album All ‘N All, released as a single in 1978. I heard this one in the barbers recently. The haircut was more serious. Have a great weekend.

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Willie Nelson – Blue Skies (1978)

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Willie Nelson

‘Blue Skies’ is a song that Irving Berlin wrote in 1926. But I know it by way of the cover by the red headed stranger, Willie Nelson. In 1978, Nelson released a collection of pop standards, Stardust, which can be filed neatly under easy listening. However, the repetitive guitar lick and Nelson’s grizzled crooning of ‘Blue Skies’ brings on some sort of hypnosis in me that makes it much more than just musical wallpaper.

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Big Star – Kangaroo (1978)

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Big Star

I lived with this guy in the late 1990s who used to tell me how influential Big Star were. He thought power pop; I think Wilco. Jeff Tweedy must have heard and appreciated ‘Kangaroo’ and its dissonance – you can really hear it on Wilco’s Being There  (e.g. ‘Misunderstood’). It is no coincidence this week that ‘Kangaroo’ has also been covered by Jeff Buckley and This Mortal Coil. It’s a small world – it’s a big song. Written by Alex Chilton, ‘Kangaroo’ was off Big Star’s Third album. But is maturity any real excuse for the cowbell?

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