Tunes Du Jour Presents 1978

The year 1978 was a pivotal moment in music history, showcasing a striking contrast between the mainstream hits dominating the airwaves and the underground sounds bubbling beneath the surface. This year offered a rich assortment of genres, from disco and pop ruling the charts to punk and new wave carving out their own rebellious niches.

Disco was undoubtedly the dominant force in popular music. The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” became an anthem of the era, while Chic’s “Le Freak,” A Taste of Honey’s “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” and Alicia Bridges’ “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)” kept the dance floors packed. Even rock legends like the Rolling Stones couldn’t resist disco’s pull oor, as evidenced by their hit “Miss You.”

But 1978 wasn’t all about disco. Pop music thrived with ABBA’s timeless “Take a Chance on Me” and Electric Light Orchestra’s upbeat “Mr. Blue Sky.” Queen’s anthemic “We Are the Champions” became a staple at sporting events worldwide. In R&B, the Commodores’ soulful ballad “Three Times a Lady,” Funkadelic’s anthemic “One Nation Under a Groove,” and Chaka Khan’s empowering “I’m Every Woman” showcased the genre’s range. The soundtrack to Grease, featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s “You’re the One That I Want,” dominated both radio and cinema.

While mainstream pop and disco ruled the charts, a counter-cultural revolution was taking place in underground venues. The Clash’s “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” blended social commentary with irresistible hooks, while the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” captured the essence of punk’s raw emotional energy. The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” embodied the unbridled spirit of youth, and Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Hong Kong Garden” showcased the emerging goth-punk sound. Public Image Ltd.’s self-titled track “Public Image” signaled the evolution of post-punk.

1978 also saw the emergence of artists who defied easy categorization. Kate Bush’s haunting “Wuthering Heights” introduced a unique voice to the pop landscape, blending literary references with art-rock sensibilities. Kraftwerk’s “The Model” pushed the boundaries of electronic music, influencing countless genres in the decades to come. Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” (co-written with Bruce Springsteen) bridged the gap between punk poetry and mainstream rock. The year also saw reggae making inroads with Althea & Donna’s “Uptown Top Ranking,” while Randy Newman’s misunderstood “Short People” showcased his brilliance in crafting satirical, thought-provoking pop.

Looking back, it’s clear that 1978 was more than just a year of disco balls and safety pins. It was a time of musical diversity and innovation, where chart-toppers and underground icons coexisted, each pushing the boundaries of their respective genres. From the dancefloor anthems to punk’s raw energy, from synth-pop’s early days to reggae’s growing influence, 1978 offered a rich and varied soundtrack that continues to resonate today. This dynamic interplay between mainstream and alternative sounds would continue to shape the musical landscape for years to come, making 1978 a truly unforgettable year in music history.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1972

1972. The Vietnam War raged on, Watergate loomed, and the social landscape shifted beneath our feet. Amidst this backdrop of upheaval, our ears tuned in to a soundtrack that transcended mere melodies—it pulsed with the countercultural spirit and the burgeoning individuality of an era.  Let us step back in time, dust off the record player, and explore the timeless tunes that wove themselves into the fabric of our lives—a kaleidoscope of genres and voices that defined a generation.

  • Al Green crooned “Let’s Stay Together,” his velvet voice weaving an unwavering plea for commitment.
  • Roberta Flack tenderly sang “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” etching raw vulnerability into our hearts.
  • Don McLean painted a poignant picture of a generation in transition with his epic “American Pie.”
  • Alice Cooper’s rebellious anthem “School’s Out” became the rallying cry for youth liberation, its raucous energy echoing through high school corridors.
  • Across the pond, T. Rex electrified listeners with glam rock swagger in “Bang a Gong (Get It On).”
  • Johnny Nash offered optimism with “I Can See Clearly Now,” a beacon of hope cutting through the haze.
  • Meanwhile, Elton John’s cosmic odyssey “Rocket Man” and David Bowie’s otherworldly anthem “Starman” transported us to distant galaxies, reflecting the era’s fascination with space exploration and introspection.
  • Jimmy Cliff addressed racial injustice and social struggles in “The Harder They Come.”
  • Big Star captured the bittersweet angst of adolescence in “Thirteen.”
  • The bluesy, swaggering classic “Tumbling Dice” by The Rolling Stones left an indelible marks on musical history.
  • And let’s not forget Elvis Presley, who still had magic to spare with “Burning Love.”

From the introspective musings of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” to the raw energy of Led Zeppelin, each track on this playlist embodies the spirit of its time while transcending it—a symphony that continues to resonate across generations.

The music of 1972 continues to evoke nostalgia and stir emotions across generations. These iconic tunes remind us of the enduring legacy of artists who dared to push boundaries and challenge the status quo. So turn up the volume and let these timeless tunes whisk you back to celebrate the enduring beauty of music that transcends generations.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 2-3-24

Melanie Safka wrote the song “Lay Down” after performing at Woodstock in 1969, where she was inspired by the sight of the audience lighting candles in the rain. It became her first US hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Melanie was born on this date in 1947. She passed away just over a week ago. A few of her songs are on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 11-18-23

In early 1980 newspaper The Village Voice published the results of its poll of 155 music critics. Voted the best album of 1979 was Graham Parker & The Rumour’s Squeezing Out Sparks. The rest of the top ten was:

Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps

The Clash – The Clash

Talking Heads – Fear of Music

Elvis Costello – Armed Forces

Van Morrison – Into the Music

The B-52s – The B-52s

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes

Pere Ubu – Dub Housing

Donna Summer – Bad Girls                                                                                                                                                                  Graham Parker was born on this date in 1950. A handful of his songs are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 7-5-23

I just learned that Robbie Robertson, who was the lead guitarist and songwriter for The Band, is of Cayuga and Mohawk descent and has supported causes such as the American Indian Movement and the Native American Rights Fund. He has also spoken out against the misrepresentation and appropriation of Indigenous cultures by non-Native people.

Robbie Robertson turns 80 today. Some of his work is included on today’s playlist.

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