1979

<19781980>

Jan

1

  • San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom closes down

2

  • Sid Vicious’s trial for the murder of Nancy Spungen opens in New York

5

  • Charles Mingus (56) dies in Cuernavaca, Mexico of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

6

  • The Bee Gees have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks with with Too Much Heaven
  • Oliver Knussen’s Sonya’s Lullaby for piano premiered in Amsterdam

8

  • Sara Carter (80) dies in Lodi, CA
  • Bohuslav Martinu’s ballet On Tourne premiered posthumously in Brno

11

  • Siegfried Matthus’s Concerto for Flute premiered in Leipzig

13

  • Donny Hathaway (33) dies after falling 15 stories from his hotel room in New York. Officially ruled suicide, but this has been contested
  • Sabu Martinez (48) dies in Stockholm of complications arising from a gastric ulcer
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Jubilatio for four percussionists premiered in Moscow

15

  • John McGuire’s Pulse Music III premiered in Cologne
  • ABC Records is sold to MCA for $20 million

16

  • Fred Elizade (71) dies in Manila, Philippines
  • Alan Hovhaness’s Symphony no.36 for flute and orchestra premiered in Washington, DC
  • Gunther Schuller’s Concerto for contrabassoon and orchestra premiered in Washington, DC

18

  • John Casken’s la Orana, Gauguin premiered in Leicester

27

  • Black Flag play their first show in Redondo Beach, CA
  • Ian Dury and the Blockheads have the UK number one single for one week with Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
  • Alfred Schnittke’s Violin Concerto No. 3 premiered in Moscow

31

  • Grant Green (47) dies in New York following a heart attack

releases

  • Blondie – Heart Of Glass / Rifle Range (Chrysalis)
  • Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – Bustin’ Loose parts 1 and 2 (Source)
  • Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army / My Funny Valentine (Radar UK)
  • Doobie Brothers – What a Fool Believes / Don’t Stop to Watch the Wheels (Warner Bros)
  • Jacksons – Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) / That’s What You Get (For Being Polite) (Epic)
  • Members – Sound Of The Suburbs / Handling The Big Jets (Virgin)
  • Monochrome Set – Alphaville / He’s Frank (Rough Trade UK)
  • Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now / In Only Seven Days (EMI)
  • Robert Rental – Paralysis / ACC (Regular UK)
  • Ruts – In A Rut / H-Eyes (People Unite UK)
  • Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer / Somebody Loves Me (Cotillion)
  • Undertones – Get Over You // Really Really / She Can Only Say No (Sire UK)
  • Wire – Outdoor Miner / Practice Makes Perfect (Harvest UK)
  • Terry Allen – Lubbock (On Everything) (Fate)
  • Captain Beefheart – Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (Warner Bros)
  • Elvis Costello – Armed Forces (Radar UK)
  • Joe Jackson – Look Sharp (A&M UK)
  • Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Jardin Au Fou (Egg France)

Sister Sledge

Feb

2

  • Sid Vicious (21) dies in New York of a heroin overdose

3

  • Blondie have the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with Heart of Glass

5

  • György Ligeti’s Passacaglia ungherese for harpsichord premiered in Lund, Sweden

7

  • Charles Louis Seeger (92) dies in Bridgewater, CT
  • The Clash begin their first US tour in Berkeley, CA

9

  • UB40 play their first gig in King’s Heath, Birmingham

10

  • Milton Babbitt’s A Solo Requiem for soprano and two pianos premiered in New York
  • Rod Stewart has the Billboard number one album with for the first of three weeks Blondes Have More Fun and the Billboard number one single for the first of four weeks with Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?

13

  • Charles Wuorinen’s Fast Fantasy for cello and piano premiered on Finnish Radio, Helsinki

15

  • Zbigniew Seifert (32) dies in Buffalo, NY of cancer
  • The 21st Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles. Billy Joel wins the record of the year with Just the Way You Are and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack wins album of the year. Other winners include Luciano Pavarotti, John Williams, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters, Chick Corea, Donna Summer, George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire and Orson Welles

17

  • Blondie have the UK number one album for the first of four weeks with Parallel Lines
  • Pre-Minutemen band the Reactionaries play their only show in San Pedro, CA supporting Black Flag

23

  • Dire Straits start their first US tour in Boston, MA

24

  • George Benjamin’s Octet premiered in London
  • Alban Berg’s opera Lulu, lib. Berg after Wedekin, premiered in Paris (completed by Friedrich Cerha)

26

  • BB King begins a month long tour of the USSR

28

  • Hans Werner Henze’s L’Autunno for five wind players premiered in London

releases

  • Dennis Brown – Money in My Pocket parts 1 and 2 (Lightning UK)
  • Chic – I Want Your Love / (Funny) Bone (Atlantic)
  • Clash – English Civil War / Pressure Drop (CBS UK)
  • Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes / Kehaar’s Theme (CBS UK)
  • Leyton Buzzards – Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees / Through With You (Chrysalis UK)
  • Roxy Music – Trash / Trash 2 (Polydor UK)
  • Skids – Into The Valley / TV Stars (Virgin UK)
  • Teardrop Explodes – Sleeping Gas / Camera Camera / Kirkby Workers Dream Fades (Zoo UK)
  • Thin Lizzy – Waiting for an Alibi / With Love (Vertigo UK)
  • Bee Gees – Spirits Having Flown (RSO)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Dickies (A&M)
  • George Harrison (Dark Horse)
  • I Roy – World On Fire (Front Line UK)
  • Stiff Little Fingers – Inflammable Material (Rough Trade UK)
  • Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure (Virgin UK)

The Clash

Mar

1

  • Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens on Broadway (557 performances)
  • John Tavener’s Palintropos for piano and orchestra premiered in Birmingham

2

  • (to 4th) The Havana Jam Festival takes place at the Karl Marx Theatre, Havana, featuring Weather Report, Stephen Stills, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joel, Pacho Alonso, Elena Burke, Orquesta Aragón and others

3

  • The Bee Gees have the Billboard number one album for the first of six weeks over two runs with Spirits Having Flown and the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Tragedy
  • Trio of Doom play their only show at the Havana Jam Festival in Cuba. John McLaughlin (g) Tony Williams (d) Jaco Pastorius (b)
  • Iannis Xenakis’s Palimpsest for eleven players premiered in Aquila, Italy

5

  • MCA closes ABC Records

7

  • Klaus Egge (72) dies in Oslo
  • Guiomar Novaes (85) dies in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Benjamin Britten’s Two Insect Pieces for oboe and piano premiered in Manchester

8

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Jakob Lenz premiered in Hamburg, lib. Michael Fröhling

10

  • James Brown plays at the Grand Ole Opry
  • Gloria Gaynor has the Billboard number one single for the first of three weeks over two runs with I Will Survive

11

  • Ernst Krenek’s Monologue: The Dissembler for baritone and chamber ensemble premiered in Baltimore

16

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Orchestral suite from the ballet Salomé premiered in London
  • Nino Rota’s incidental music for Shakespeare’s play La dodicesima notte [Twelfth night] premiered in Rome

17

  • Giacomo Lauri-Volpi (86) dies in Valencia
  • The Bee Gees have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with Spirits Having Flown
  • Gloria Gaynor has the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with I Will Survive
  • Hans Werner Henze’s ballet Orpheus premiered in Stuttgart

22

  • Walter Legge (72) dies in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France following a heart attack
  • Dominick Argento’s opera Miss Havisham’s Fire premiered in New York, lib. John Olon-Scrymgeour after Charles Dickens

24

  • The Bee Gees have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks with Tragedy
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s String Quartet no.1 premiered in Cologne

25

  • Sergei Prokofiev’s incomplete opera Maddalena premiered in London, lib. Prokofiev (concert performance)

26

  • Vivian Fine’s Momenti premiered in New York

27

  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s In croce for cello and organ premiered in Kazan

28

  • Harrison Birtwistle’s Chorale from a Toy Shop premiered in Lewes

30

  • Norah Jones aka Geethali Norah Jones Shankar born (Brooklyn, NY) American pop and jazz singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. Daughter of Ravi Shankar (b.1920), half-sister of Anoushka Shankar (b.1981).
  • Hüsker Dü play their first show in Minneapolis
  • John Tavener’s The Immurement of Antigone for mezzo-soprano and orchestra premiered in London

releases

  • Kate Bush – Wow / Fullhouse (EMI UK)
  • Buzzcocks – Everybody’s Happy Nowadays / Why Can’t I Touch It? (United Artists UK)
  • Jam – Strange Town / The Butterfly Collector (Polydor UK)
  • M – Pop Muzik / M Factor (MCA)
  • McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now / I Got The Love (Philadelphia International)
  • Magazine – Rhythm Of Cruelty / TV Baby (Virgin UK)
  • Gary Moore – Parisienne Walkways / Fanatical Fascists (MCA UK)
  • Motorhead – Overkill / Too Late Too Late (Bronze UK)
  • Pop Group – She Is Beyond Good And Evil / 3:38 (Radar UK)
  • Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Staircase / 20th Century Boy (Polydor UK)
  • Squeeze – Cool for Cats / Model (A&M UK)
  • Swell Maps – Dresden Style / Ammunition Train / Full Moon (Rough Trade UK)
  • Tubeway Army – Down In The Park / Do You Need The Service? (Beggars Banquet UK)
  • Alternative TV – Vibing Up the Senile Man (Deptford Fun City UK)
  • James Chance & The Contortions – Buy (Ze)
  • Chrome – Half Machine Lip Moves (Siren) 
  • Brain Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports (Polydor UK)
  • Fall – Live at the Witch Trials (Step Forward UK)
  • Rickie Lee Jones (Warner Bros)
  • Magazine – Secondhand Daylight (Virgin UK)
  • Motorhead – Overkill (Bronze) 
  • Only Ones – Even Serpents Shine (CBS UK)
  • Augustus Pablo – Original Rockers (Greensleeves UK) compilation of Studio One singles recorded 1972-75
  • Graham Parker and the Rumour – Squeezing Out Sparks (Vertigo UK)
  • Roxy Music – Manifesto (EG UK)
  • Simple Minds – Life in a Day (Arista UK)
  • Skids – Scared to Dance (Virgin UK)
  • Supertramp – Breakfast in America (A&M)
  • Van Halen II (Warner Bros)
  • Frank Zappa – Sheik Yerbouti (Zappa)

James Chance b.1953

Apr

1

  • (to 17th) Joy Division record the album Unknown Pleasures in Strawberry Studios, Stockport

2

  • Kate Bush begins her “Tour of Life” in Poole, Dorset – her only tour to date. She is the first artist to use a wireless microphone on stage

4

  • Matthew Dear born (Kingsville, TX) Amrican electronic musician, DJ, producer, singer,

8

  • Krzysztof Penderecki’s Adagietto for orchestra from Paradise Lost premiered in Osaka

9

  • Harrison Birtwistle’s …agm… for 16 voices and three instrumental ensembles premiered in Paris
  • Giorgio Moroder’s music for Alan Parker’s film Midnight Express wins the best original score Oscar at the 51st Academy Awards

10

  • Nino Rota (67) dies in Rome

11

  • Charles Wuorinen’s Three Songs for tenor and piano premiered on WFMT radio, New York

14

  • The Doobie Brothers have the Billboard number one single for one week with What a Fool Believes
  • Art Garfunkel has the UK number one single for the first week of six with Bright Eyes
  • Oliver Knussen’s Coursing for chamber ensemble premiered in London
  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Requiem for cello premiered in Mittagong, NSW

20

  • Vivian Fine’s Quartet for Brass premiered in Schenectady, NY
  • Orange Juice play their first show at the Glasgow School of Art

22

  • Gian Carlo Menotti’s Miracles for boys chorus and orchestra premiered in Fort Worth, TX

27

  • Mauricio Kagel’s Blue’s Blue premiered in Witten
  • Ozzy Osbourne is fired by Black Sabbath
  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Mangrove for orchestra premiered in Sydney

28

  • Blondie have the Billboard number one single for one week with Heart of Glass
  • Frank Bridge’s Scherzetto for cello and piano premiered in Snape
  • Peter Sculthorpe’s Four Little Pieces for piano duet premiered in Sydney

30

  • John Harbison’s opera Full Moon in March premiered in Cambridge, MA
  • Isang Yun’s Salomo for alto flute premiered in Kiel

releases

  • David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging / Fantastic Voyage (RCA UK)
  • Human League – Dignity Of Labour EP (Fast UK)
  • Japan – Life In Tokyo parts 1 and 2 (Ariola UK)
  • Monochrome Set – Ein Symphonie Des Grauens / Lester Leaps In (Rough Trade UK)
  • Raincoats – Fairytale In A Supermarket // In Love / Adventures Close To Home (Rough Trade UK)
  • Roxy Music – Dance Away / Cry Cry Cry (Polydor UK)
  • Simple Minds – Life In A Day / Special View (Zoom UK)
  • Sister Sledge – We Are Family / Easier To Love (Cotillion)
  • Undertones – Jimmy Jimmy / Mars Bars (Sire UK)
  • Abba – Voulez-Vous (Polar Sweden)
  • Emmylou Harris – Blue Kentucky Girl (Warner Bros)
  • Members – At the Chelsea Night Club (Virgin UK)
  • Pop Group – Y (Radar UK)
  • Iggy Pop – New Values (Arista)
  • Ramones – It’s Alive (Sire) live album recorded at the Rainbow, London on 31 Dec 1977
  • Lou Reed – The Bells (Arista)
  • Sister Sledge – We Are Family (Cotillion)
  • Squeeze – Cool for Cats (A&M)
  • Donna Summer – Bad Girls (Casablanca)
  • Thin Lizzy – Black Rose: A Rock Legend (Vertigo UK)
  • Tubeway Army – Replicas (Beggars Banquet UK)

The Pop Group – Y (Radar)

May

1

  • Bronislav Gimpel (68) dies in Los Angeles

2

  • The Who play their first show following Keith Moon’s death at the Rainbow, London, with Kenney Jones playing drums

4

  • Gian Carlo Menotti’s children’s opera Chip and His Dog, lib. Menotti, premiered in Guelph, Ontario

5

  • Malcolm Arnold’s Symphony No. 8 premiered in New York

6

  • Milton Ager (85) dies in Los Angeles

7

  • Erik Satie’s Sonnerie pour réveiller lo bon gros Roi des Singes for two trumpets; Valse-ballet for piano & Fantaisie-valse for piano premiered in Paris

8

  • The term The New Wave of British Heavy Metal is coined by Geoff Barton of Sounds after a London show by Iron Maiden, Samson, and Angel Witch

9

  • Erik Satie’s ballet Uspud premiered in Paris

11

  • Lester Flatt (64) dies in Nashville of heart failure
  • Vivian Fine’s For a Bust of Erik Satie: A Short Mass premiered in Bennington, VT
  • Gian Carlo Menotti’s Missa O pulchritudo in honorem sacratissimi cordis Jesus for four solo voices, chorus and orchestra premiered in Milwaukee, MN

14

  • Iannis Xenakis’s Pléïades for six percussionists premiered in Strasbourg

17

  • Judith Weir’s ten minute a capella opera King Harald’s Saga premiered in Cambridge

19

  • Abba have the UK number one album for the first of four weeks with Voulez Vous
  • Supertramp have the Billboard number one album for the first of six weeks over two runs with Breakfast in America

20

  • Michael Tippett’s String Quartet no.4 premiered in Bath

21

  • Blue Mitchell (49) dies in Los Angeles of cancer
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Light and Dark for organ premiered in St Petersburg
  • Elton John becomes the first western rock star to play in the USSR when he begins an eight date tour in St Petersburg

26

  • Blondie have the UK number one single for the first of three weeks with Sunday Girl
  • Alfred Schnittke’s Hymns I-IV for cello and chamber orchestra premiered in Moscow

31

  • Richard Rodgers, M. Charnin, T. Meehan and R. Jessell’s musical I Remember Mama premiered in New York

releases

  • A Certain Ratio – All Night Party / The Thin Boys (Factory UK)
  • Another Pretty Face – All The Boys Love Carrie / That’s Not Enough (New Pleasures UK)
  • Blondie – Sunday Girl / I Know But I Don’t Know (Chrysalis UK)
  • Boys Next Door – Shivers / Dive Position (Mushroom Australia)
  • Clash – Cost Of Living EP (CBS UK)
  • Elvis Costello – Accidents Will Happen / Talking in the Dark / Wednesday Week (Radar UK)
  • Crass – Reality Asylum / Shaved Women (Crass UK)
  • Earth, Wind & Fire With The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland / instrumental (ARC)
  • Echo & The Bunnymen – Pictures On My Wall / Read It In Books (Zoo UK)
  • Kleenex – You / U (Rough Trade UK)
  • Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark – Electricity / Almost (Factory UK)
  • Protex – I Can’t Cope / Popularity (Polydor UK)
  • Squeeze – Up the Junction / It’s So Dirty (A&M UK)
  • Stiff Little Fingers – Gotta Get Away / Bloody Sunday (Rough Trade UK)
  • Teardrop Explodes – Bouncing Babies / All I Am Is Loving You (Zoo UK)
  • Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric / We Are So Fragile (Beggars Banquet UK)
  • XTC – Life Begins at the Hop / Homo Safari (Virgin UK)
  • Ashra – Correlations (Virgin UK)
  • David Bowie – Lodger (RCA UK)
  • Boys Next Door – Door, Door (Mushroom Australia)
  • Crusaders – Street Life (MCA)
  • Cure – Three Imaginary Boys (Fiction UK)
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Do It Yourself (Stiff UK)
  • Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery (Jet)
  • Nurse With Wound – Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella (United Dairies)
  • Patti Smith – Wave (Arista UK)
  • The Undertones (Sire UK)

The Boys Next Door – Door, Door (Mushroom)

Jun

1

  • Jello Biafra sets up Alternative Tentacles records

2

  • Frank Bridge’s Dramatic Fantasia for piano premiered in London

3

  • Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera La loco premiered in San Diego, lib. Menotti

5

  • Jean-Claude Risset’s Songes for tape premiered in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • William Walton’s Introduction to the British National Anthem for twelve trumpets premiered in London

6

  • Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s Rosario d’Arabeschi premiered in London

9

  • Henryk Górecki’s Beatus vir for baritone, chorus and orchestrapremiered in Kraków
  • James MacMillan’s The Lamb has come for us from the House of David for choir and organ premiered in Edinburgh

10

  • John Cage’s Hymns and Variations for twelve amplified voices premiered in Bonn

14

  • Steve Reich’s Music for a Large Ensemble premiered in Utrecht

16

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’s Kirkwall Shopping Songs for children’s chorus, recorders, percussion and piano premiered in Kirkwall, Orkney
  • The Electric Light Orchestra have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with Discovery
  • Donna Summer has the Billboard number one album for the first of six weeks over two runs with Bad Girls

17

  • Andrzej Panufnik’s Concerto Festivo premiered in London

18

  • Peter Maxwell Davies’ Solstice of Light for tenor, chorus and organ premiered in Kirkwall, Orkney

19

  • William Walton’s Façade 2 for chamber ensemble and reciter premiered in Snape

20

  • Frank Bridge’s Unfinished Symphony for strings premiered in Snape

21

  • Angus MacLise (41) dies in Kathmandu, Nepal of tuberculosis
  • Steve Reich’s Octet for two woodwinds, two pianos, two violins, viola and cello premiered on Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt
  • Iannis Xenakis’s Anemoessa for choir and orchestra premiered in Amsterdam
  • (to 23rd) The first Glastonbury Festival for eight years is held at Worthy Farm, Somerset featuring Peter Gabriel, Steve Hillage, The Only Ones, The Pop Group and John Martyn

22

  • Karl Pilß (77) dies in Vienna

28

  • Edgar Hayes (75) dies in San Bernardino, CA

29

  • Lowell George (34) dies in Arlington Co, VA following a heart attack

30

  • Tubeway Army have the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with Are ‘Friends’ Electric

releases

  • Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown EP (SST)
  • David Bowie – DJ / Repetition (RCA)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag / Is That Me? (Rough Trade UK)
  • Chic – Good Times / A Warm Summer Night (Atlantic)
  • Cure – Boys Don’t Cry / Plastic Passion (Fiction UK)
  • Dead Kennedys – California Uber Alles / The Man With The Dogs (Alternative Tentacles)
  • Gang Of Four – At Home He’s A Tourist / It’s Her Factory (EMI UK)
  • Knack – My Sharona / Let Me Out (Capitol)
  • Kirsty MacColl – They Don’t Know / Turn My Motor On (Stiff UK)
  • Misfits – Horror Business // Teenagers From Mars / Children in Heat (Plan 9)
  • Public Image Ltd – Death Disco / No Birds Do Sing (Virgin UK)
  • Ruts – Babylon’s Burning / Society (Virgin UK)
  • Simple Minds – Chelsea Girl / Garden Of Hate (Zoom UK)
  • Judie Tzuke – Stay With Me Till Dawn / New Friends Again (Rocket UK)
  • Wire – A Question Of Degree / Former Airline (Harvest UK)
  • Peter Baumann – Trans Harmonic Nights (Virgin UK) 
  • Bootsy’s Rubber Band – This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N (Warner Bros)
  • Cars – Candy-O (Elektra)
  • Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft (Warning Germany)
  • Dire Straits – Communique (Vertigo UK)
  • Robert Fripp – Exposure (EG UK)
  • Linton Kwesi Johnson – Forces of Victory (Island UK)
  • Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (Factory UK)
  • Joni Mitchell – Mingus (Asylum)
  • Wings – Back to the Egg (Parlophone)

Joy Division

Jul

1

  • The Sony Walkman goes on sale in Japan

3

  • Louis Durey (91) dies in Saint-Tropez, France

6

  • Van McCoy (39) dies in Englewood, NJ following a heart attack
  • George Lloyd’s Symphony no.5 premiered on BBC Radio in London
  • Isang Yun’s Sonata for oboe, harp and viola premiered in Saarbrücken

7

  • Mauricio Kagel’s Klangwölfe for violin and piano premiered in La Rochelle

9

  • Regino Sainz de la Maza makes his final concert appearance in Bari, aged 82

10

  • Arthur Fiedler (84) dies in Boston, MA
  • Chuck Berry is sentenced to four months in prison for tax evasion in Los Angeles

12

  • Minnie Riperton (31) dies in Los Angeles of breast cancer
  • Disco Demolition Night in Chicago. Planned to between two baseball games between Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers by DJ Steve Dahl, the idea was that fans could bring along a disco record in return for reduced admission. The records would then be blown up. Nearly twice as many fans as the stadium could hold turned up, and a near riot ensued causing the games’ abandonment.

14

  • Pedro Flores (82) dies in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Jean-Michel Jarre plays a free concert at the Place de la Concorde, Paris to celebrate Bastille Day in front of an estimated one million people, a world record
  • Donna Summer has the Billboard number one single for the first of five weeks with Bad Girls (1st week of 5)

16

  • Alfred Deller (67) dies in Bologna

18

  • Matthew Gee (53) dies in New York

21

  • Tubeway Army have the UK number one album for one week with Replicas

22

  • Ernst Krenek’s Concerto for organ and string orchestra op.230 premiered in Ossiach, Austria

27

  • Kid 606 aka Miguel Trost Depedro born (Caracas, Venezuela) Venezuelan-American electronic musician, turntablist, producer.

28

  • The Boomtown Rats have the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with I Don’t Like Mondays

31

  • Theodor Pröpper (83) dies in Balve, Germany
  • Peter Maxwell Davies’ Three Organ Voluntaries premiered in Vestervig Kirke, Denmark

releases

  • Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays / It’s All the Rage (Ensign UK)
  • Buzzcocks – Harmony In My Head / Something’s Gone Wrong Again (United Artists UK)
  • Crusaders – Street Life / The Hustler (MCA)
  • Dr Mix & The Remix – No Fun / version (Rough Trade UK)
  • Flying Lizards – Money / Instrumental (Virgin UK)
  • Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough / I Can’t Help It (Epic)
  • Nick Lowe – Cruel to Be Kind / Endless Grey Ribbon (Radar UK)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – Playground Twist / Pull to Bits (Polydor UK)
  • Sister Sledge – Lost In Music / Thinking Of You (Cotillion)
  • Specials – Gangsters / Selecter – The Selecter (2 Tone UK)
  • Undertones – Here Comes The Summer / One Way Love / Top Twenty (Sire UK)
  • AC/DC – Highway to Hell (Atlantic UK)
  • The B-52s (Warner Bros)
  • Can [aka Inner Space] (Laser UK)
  • Chic – Risqué (Atlantic)
  • Ry Cooder – Bop till You Drop (Warner Bros) The first commercially issued digitally recorded non-classical LP
  • Devo – Duty Now for the Future (Warner Bros)
  • Philip Glass – Einstein on the Beach (Tomato) 
  • BB King – Take It Home (MCA)
  • Red Crayola – Soldier Talk (Radar UK)
  • Swell Maps – A Trip to Marineville (Rough Trade UK)
  • Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise)

the Specials

Aug

1

  • Charles Wuorinen’s String Quartet no.2 premiered in Jackson, WY

4

  • (&11th) Led Zeppelin play their final UK dates at Knebworth, Herts

9

  • Howard Hanson’s ballet Nymph and Satyr premiered in Chautauqua, TN
  • Aulis Sallinen’s Symphony No. 4 premiered in Turku, Finland

10

  • Curtis Williams (44) of the Penguins dies following a stroke
  • Krzysztof Penderecki’s Prologue, Visions and Finale from Paradise Lost for six solo voices, chorus and orchestra premiered in Salzburg

11

  • The Knack have the Billboard number one album for the first of five weeks with Get the Knack

18

  • Carlene Carter marries Nick Lowe in Los Angeles
  • Chic have the Billboard number one single for one week with Good Times

19

  • Dorsey Burnette (46) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack

20

  • Jamie Cullum born (Rochford, Essex) English jazz and pop singer, songwriter, pianist, broadcaster.

22

  • Michael Tippett’s Tripple Concerto premiered in London

24

  • Stan Kenton (67) dies in Los Angeles following a stroke

25

  • Ray Eberle (60) dies in Douglasville, GA following a heart attack
  • The Knack have the Billboard number one single for the first of six weeks with My Sharona
  • Gunther Schuller’s Concerto for trumpet and chamber orchestra premiered in Jefferson, NH
  • (to 27th) The Leigh Rock Festival (Zoo meets Factory) takes place in Leigh, Lancs

27

  • Boleslaw Szabelski (82) dies in Katowice, Poland

28

  • John Harbison’s opera The Winter’s Tale premiered in San Francisco

releases

  • Abba – Voulez-Vous / Angeleyes (Polar Sweden)
  • AC/DC – Highway To Hell / If You Want Blood You’ve Got It (Atlantic)
  • Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead / Boys (Small Wonder UK)
  • Fall – Rowche Rumble / In My Area (Step Forward UK)
  • Jam – When You’re Young / Smithers-Jones (Polydor UK)
  • Madness – The Prince / Madness (2 Tone UK)
  • Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone / Bad Girls (Polydor)
  • Roxy Music – Angel Eyes / My Little Girl (Polydor UK)
  • Stranglers – Duchess / Fools Rush Out (United Artists UK)
  • Chrome / MX-80 Sound / Residents / Tuxedomoon – Subterranean Modern (Ralph) Each band given half a side of the album with each contributing a version of I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  • Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming (Columbia)
  • Michael Jackson – Off the Wall (Epic) 
  • Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door (Swan Song)
  • Van Morrison – Into the Music (Mercury UK)
  • Talking Heads – Fear of Music (Sire)
  • XTC – Drums and Wires (Virgin)

Pauline Oliveros b.1932

Sep

4

  • Kalevi Aho’s dramatic monologue Avain [The Key] premiered in Helsinki

6

  • Guy Bolton (94) dies in London
  • Oliver Knussen’s Symphony no.3 premiered in London
  • Toru Takemitsu’s Les Yeux clos for piano premiered in Tokyo

8

  • Pink aka Alecia Beth Moore born (Doylestown, PA) American pop singer, songwriter.
  • Led Zeppelin have the UK number one album for the first of two weeks with In Through the Out Door

9

  • Wilbur Ware (56) dies in Philadelphia of emphysema

14

  • Leonid Bashmakov’s Symphony No. 5 premiered in Tampere, Finland
  • Werner Egk’s Spiegelzeit for orchestra premiered in Landau

15

  • Zygmunt Krauze’s String Quartet No. 2 premiered in Warsaw
  • Led Zeppelin have the Billboard number one album for the first of seven weeks with In Through the Out Door
  • Alfred Schnittke’s Polyphonic Tango for instrumental ensemble premiered in Moscow

17

  • Oliver Knussen’s Cantata for oboe & string trio premiered in Athens

18

  • Erik Bergman’s concerto Birds in the Morning for flute and orchestra premiered in Warsaw
  • Isang Yun’s Fanfare and Memorial for orchestra premiered in Münster

19

  • Lou Busch (69) dies in Camarillo, CA of injuries sustained in a motor accident
  • John Simmons (61) dies in Orange, NY
  • (to 23rd) Five ‘No Nukes’ concerts are held at Madison Square Garden, New York, featuring Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, James Taylor and Carly Simon among others

22

  • Robin Holloway’s Second Concerto for Orchestra premiered in Glasgow
  • Gary Numan has the UK number one album for the first of two weeks over two runs with The Pleasure Principle and the UK number one single for one week with Cars

26

  • Charles Wuorinen’s The Magic Art: An Instrumental Masque Drawn from the Works of Henry Purcell for chamber orchestra premiered in St. Paul, MN

27

  • Gracie Fields (81) dies on the Isle of Capri, Naples of pneumonia

28

  • Toru Takemitsu’s In an Autumn Garden for gagaku instruments premiered in Tokyo

29

  • The Police have the UK number one single for the first of three weeks with Message In A Bottle

releases

  • Au Pairs – You // Domestic Departure / Kerb Crawler (021 UK)
  • Blondie – Dreaming / Sound Asleep (Chrysalis)
  • Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star / Kid Dynamo (Island UK)
  • Buzzcocks – You Say You Don’t Love Me / Raison d’être (Liberty UK)
  • Chic – My Forbidden Lover / What About Me (Atlantic)
  • Delta 5 – Mind Your Own Business / Now That You’ve Gone (Rough Trade UK)
  • Distractions – Time Goes By So Slow / Pillow Fight (Factory UK)
  • Fleetwood Mac – Tusk / Never Make Me Cry (Warner Bros)
  • Go Betweens – People Say / Don’t Let Him Come Back (Abel Australia)
  • Human League – Empire State Human / Introducing (Virgin UK)
  • Mekons – Work All Week / Unknown Wrecks (Virgin UK)
  • Monochrome Set – The Monochrome Set / Mr Bizarro (Rough Trade UK)
  • Gary Numan – Cars / Asylum (Beggars Banquet UK)
  • Police – Message in a Bottle / Landlord (A&M)
  • Ruts – Something That I Said / Give Youth A Chance (Virgin UK)
  • Spizz Energi – Soldier Soldier / Virginia Plain (Rough Trade / Spizz UK)
  • Stiff Little Fingers – Straw Dogs / You Can’t Say Crap On The Radio (Chrysalis UK)
  • Swell Maps – Real Shocks // An English Verse / Monologues (Rough Trade UK)
  • XTC – Making Plans for Nigel // Bushman President (Homo Safari No. 2) / Pulsing Pulsing (Virgin UK)
  • Buzzcocks – A Different Kind of Tension (United Artists UK)
  • Cheap Trick – Dream Police (Epic)
  • Leonard Cohen – Recent Songs (Columbia)
  • Stations of the Crass (Crass UK) Three studio sides and one recorded live in Islington, London on 7 Aug 1979
  • Eagles – The Long Run (Asylum)
  • Funkadelic – Uncle Jam Wants You (Warner Bros)
  • Gang of Four – Entertainment (EMI)
  • Peter Hammill – pH7 (Charisma UK)
  • Jethro Tull – Stormwatch (Chrysalis)
  • Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle (Beggars Banquet UK)
  • Pere Ubu – New Picnic Time (Chrysalis)
  • Residents – Eskimo (Ralph)
  • Siouxsie & the Banshees – Join Hands (Polydor UK)
  • Slits – Cut (Island UK)
  • Stranglers – The Raven (United Artists)
  • This Heat (Piano UK)
  • Richard & Linda Thompson – Sunnyvista (Chrysalis UK)
  • Tom Verlaine (Elektra)
  • Wailing Souls – Wild Suspense (Island UK)
  • Wire – 154 (Harvest UK)
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra – Solid State Survivor (EMI Japan)

Wire – 154 (Harvest)

Oct

1

  • Roy Harris (81) dies in Santa Monica, CA
  • John Tavener’s opera Thérèse, lib. McLarnon, premiered in London

3

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Henry V, an overture for brass band premiered in Miami, FL

7

  • Giacomo Manzoni’s Modulor for 4 Orchestras premiered in Venice

10

  • Paul Paray (93) dies in Monte Carlo
  • John Tavener’s Greek Interlude for flute and piano premiered in Little Missenden, Bucks

13

  • Rebecca Clarke (93) dies in New York
  • Michael Jackson has the Billboard number one single for one week with Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
  • The Police have the UK number one album for the first of four weeks with Regatta De Blanc

14

  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Detto I for organ and percussion premiered in Moscow

15

  • Gus Cannon (96) dies in Memphis

17

  • Mauricio Kagel’s cantata Vox Humana? for loudspeaker, women’s voices and orchestra premiered in Jerusalem
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Michaels Jugend no.49 premiered in Jerusalem

18

  • Alexander Goehr’s Der Gesetz der Quadrille for voice and piano premiered in Norwich

19

  • Philip Glass’s multimedia ballet Dance premiered in Amsterdam

20

  • Buggles have the UK number one single for one week with Video Killed The Radio Star
  • John Cage’s Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan’s Wake premiered in Donaueschingen

22

  • Nadia Boulanger (92) dies in Paris
  • Sofia Gubaidulina’s Hour of the Soul for percussion, mezzo-soprano and orchestra premiered in Paris

25

  • Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes born (London) English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist.
  • Pierre Henry’s La Dixième Symphonie, hommage à Beethoven premiered in Bonn

29

  • Tiki Fulwood (35) dies in Philadelphia of stomach cancer
  • Charles Wuorinen’s Percussion Duo for mallet instruments and piano premiered in Iowa City

30

  • Igor Stravinsky’s Lied ohne Namen for two bassoons premiered in London

releases

  • Dr Mix & The Remix – I Can’t Control Myself / version (Rough Trade UK)
  • Jam – Eton Rifles / See-Saw (Polydor UK)
  • Joy Division – Transmission / Novelty (Factory UK)
  • Misfits – Night of the Living Dead // Where Eagles Dare / R.A.T.T. F.I.N.K. (Plan 9)
  • Nips – Gabrielle / Vengeance (Chiswick UK)
  • Pop Group – We Are All Prostitutes / Amnesty Report (Rough Trade UK)
  • Public Image Ltd – Memories / Another (Virgin UK)
  • Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love / We Will Rock You (EMI)
  • Selecter – On My Radio / Too Much Pressure (2 Tone UK)
  • Slits – Typical Girls / I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Island UK)
  • Specials – A Message To You Rudy / Nite Club (2 Tone UK)
  • Sugarhill Gang – Rappers’ Delight / version (Sugar Hill) Generally accepted as the first hip hop record – certainly the first hit
  • Talking Heads – Life During Wartime / Electric Guitar (Sire)
  • Richard & Linda Thompson – Georgie on a Spree / Civilisation (Chrysalis UK)
  • Blondie – Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis)
  • Boomtown Rats – The Fine Art of Surfacing (Ensign UK)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Mix Up (Rough Trade UK)
  • Culture – International Herb (Front Line UK) 
  • Doctor Mix and the Remix – Wall of Noise (Rough Trade UK)
  • Essential Logic – Beat Rhythm News (Rough Trade UK)
  • Marianne Faithfull – Broken English (Island UK)
  • Fall – Dragnet (Step Forward UK)
  • Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (Warner Bros)
  • Flys Own (EMI UK)
  • Edgar Froese – Ages (Virgin UK)
  • Human League – Reproduction (Virgin UK)
  • Joe Jackson – I’m the Man (A&M)
  • Madness – One Step Beyond… (Stiff UK)
  • Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival (Island UK)
  • Midnight Oil – Head Injuries (Powderworks Australia)
  • Motorhead – Bomber (Bronze UK)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes (MCA)
  • Police – Reggatta de Blanc (A&M)
  • Prince (Warner Bros)
  • Ruts – The Crack (Virgin UK)
  • Skids – Days In Europa (Virgin UK)
  • The Specials (2 Tone UK)
  • Stevie Wonder – Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (Tamla)

Gang Of Four – Entertainment (EMI)

Nov

2

  • Erik Bergman’s Arctica premiered in Utrecht
  • Gunther Schuller’s Octet for two violins, viola, cello, bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon premiered in New York

3

  • The Eagles have the Billboard number one album for the first of nine weeks with The Long Run
  • M have the Billboard number one single for one week with Pop Muzik

4

  • Luigi Nono’s Con Luigi Dallapiccola for percussion, pick-ups, ring modulators and loudspeakers premiered in Milan

8

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Erste Abgesangsszene for voice and orchestra premiered in Kassel

10

  • The Eagles have the Billboard number one single for one week  with Heartache Tonight
  • Fleetwood Mac have the UK number one album for one week with Tusk

11

  • Dimitri Tiomkin (85) dies in London
  • Charles Wuorinen’s Psalm 39 for baritone and guitar premiered in Washington, DC

13

  • Pierre Henry’s Perpetuum for tape and multimedia premiered in Bordeaux

14

  • Luc Ferrari’s Presque rien n°2 – ainsi continue la nuit dans ma tête multiple premiered in Paris

15

  • Wolfgang Rihm’s Symphony no.3 for soloists, choir and orchestra, text Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Rimbaud, premiered in Berlin
  • Abba have the UK number one album for the first of four weeks with Voulez Vous
  • The Commodores have the Billboard number one single for one week with Still

18

  • George Crumb’s Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV) for amplified piano four hands premiered in New York
  • Witold Lutoslawski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini for violin and orchestra premiered in Miami

23

  • Judee Sill (35) dies in Los Angeles of an overdose of cocaine and codeine
  • Henry Coker (59) dies in Los Angeles

30

  • Arthur Butterworth’s Symphony No.3 premiered in Manchester

releases

  • Blondie – Union City Blue / Living In The Real World (Chrysalis)
  • Cure – Jumping Someone Else’s Train / I’m Cold (Fiction UK)
  • Dexys Midnight Runners – Dance Stance / I’m Just Looking (Parlophone UK)
  • Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan / Brain Drain (Island UK)
  • Fatal Microbes – Violence Grows / Beautiful Pictures (Small Wonder UK)
  • Iron Maiden – The Soundhouse Tapes EP (Rock Hard UK)
  • Joe Jackson – Different For Girls / Friday (A&M UK)
  • Michael Jackson – Rock With You / Working Day and Night (Epic)
  • Josef K – Chance Meeting / Romance (Absolute UK)
  • Lines – On the Air // Not Through Windows / Dance for a Drop of Blood (Red UK)
  • Madness – One Step Beyond / Mistakes (Stiff UK)
  • New Musik – Living by Numbers / Sad Films (GTO UK)
  • Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. II / One of My Turns (Harvest UK)
  • Pretenders – Brass in Pocket // Swinging London / Nervous but Shy (Real UK)
  • Scritti Politti – Work in Progress [Peel Sessions] EP (Rough Trade UK)
  • Skids – Working for the Yankee Dollar / Vanguard’s Crusade (Virgin UK)
  • Spinners – Working My Way Back to You / Disco Ride (Atlantic)
  • Suicide – Dream Baby Dream / Radiation (Island UK)
  • Wire – Map ref 41N 93W / Go Ahead (Harvest UK)
  • Cluster – Grosses Wasser (Sky Germany)
  • Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette (Chiswick UK)
  • Jam – Setting Sons (Polydor UK)
  • Mekons – The Quality of Mercy is Not Strnen (Virgin UK)
  • Parliament – Gloryhallastoopid (Casablanca)
  • Public Image Ltd – Metal Box (Virgin UK)
  • The Raincoats (Rough Trade UK)
  • Michael Rother – Katzenmusik (Sky Germany) 
  • Simple Minds – Real to Real Cacophony (Arista UK)
  • James White and the Blacks – Off White (Ze) 
  • Neil Young – Live Rust (Reprise) recorded live in San Francisco on 22 Oct 1978

The Raincoats

Dec

2

  • Bent Lorentzen’s opera Eine wundersame Liebesgeschichte premiered in Munich

3

  • In Cincinnati, a stampede for seats at Riverfront Coliseum during a Who concert kills 11

5

  • Vivian Fine’s Chamber Concerto for Cello and Six Instruments premiered in Putney, VT

8

  • The Police have the UK number one single for one week with Walking On The Moon

10

  • Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings premiered in St Petersburg

11

  • Pierre Schaeffer’s Bilude for piano and tape premiered in Paris

12

  • Alexander Goehr’s Babylon the Great is Fallen for chorus and orchestra premiered in London

13

  • Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata for cello and piano premiered in New York

15

  • Jackie Brenston (49) dies in Memphis following a heart attack
  • Pink Floyd have the UK number one single for the first of five weeks with Another Brick In The Wall

16

  • Vagif Mustafazadeh (39) dies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan following a heart attack

20

  • Alfred Schnittke’s In Memoriam for orchestra premiered in Moscow

26

  • (to 29th) Four ‘Concerts for the People of Kampuchea’ are held at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, featuring Queen, The Who, The Clash, Wings and Elvis Costello among others

28

  • Alfred Schnittke’s Dedication to Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich for piano six-hands premiered in Moscow

30

  • Richard Rogers (77) dies in New York

releases

  • Boys Next Door – Hee-Haw EP (Missing Link Australia)
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Silent Command / Chance vs Casualty (Rough Trade UK)
  • Clash – London Calling / Armagideon Time (CBS UK)
  • Cult Hero – I’m A Cult Hero / I Dig You (Fiction UK) The Cure plus postman Frank Bell on vocals
  • Lori & The Chameleons – Touch / Love On The Ganges (Zoo UK)
  • Madness – My Girl / Stepping Into Line (Stiff UK)
  • Police – Walking on the Moon / Visions of the Night (A&M)
  • Spizz Energi – Where’s Captain Kirk? / Amnesia (Rough Trade / Spizz UK)
  • Stiffs – Inside Out / Kids On The Street (Dork UK)
  • A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard and the Ballroom (Factory UK) Cassette only album with one side of studio recordings and one side recorded live in Manchester in Oct 1979
  • John Cale – Sabotage/Live (IRS) recorded live at CBGBs, New York in Jun 1979
  • Clash – London Calling (CBS UK)
  • Germs – GI (Slash)
  • Japan – Quiet Life (Ariola Hansa)
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall (Harvest UK)
  • Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial UK)

Germs – GI (Slash)

date unknown

releases

  • Tony Allen – No Discrimination (Grandstar Nigeria)
  • Aswad – Hulet (Island UK)
  • Ornette Coleman – Soapsuds, Soapsuds (Artist’s House)
  • Culture – Cumbolo (Front Line UK)
  • Jean-Claude Eloy – Gaku-No-Michi (Les Voies De La Musique) (Disques Adès France)
  • Jean-Claude Eloy – Shànti (Erato France)
  • Henry Cow – Western Culture (Broadcast UK)
  • Ijahman – Are We a Warrior (Island UK)
  • Richard Pinhas – Iceland (Ramsès France)
  • Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Selbstportrait (Sky Germany)
  • Steel Pulse – Tribute to the Martyrs (Island UK)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen – Inori / Formel (Deutsche Grammophon Germany)
  • Univers Zéro – Heresie (Atem France) 
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