We feature the Top 50 Hits of 1979.
Encore on RadioMax Classic Countdown Channel at 10pm
September 1 – INXS perform in public for the first time, at the Oceanview Hotel in Umina, New South Wales.
September 2 – U2 enters the studio for the first time to record a locally released single.
September 13 – ABBA begins ABBA: The Tour in Edmonton, Alberta, leading off a month of dates in North America.
September 17 – Ontario Court of Appeals rejects a government appeal against the previous year’s sentencing of Keith Richards, which allowed him to avoid jail time for his 1977 arrest in Toronto for heroin possession.
September 19–23 – Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) stages a series of five No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden. Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, James Taylor and Carly Simon are among the participants.
September 22 – The NewMusic, a Canadian weekly music and culture program, makes its début on Citytv.
September 27 – Elton John collapses on stage at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles County, California while performing “Better Off Dead”. He refuses to stop the show and resumes playing fifteen minutes later.
October 10 – Joe Perry officially leaves Aerosmith.
November 3 – Donna Summer becomes the first female artist to have 5 top 10 hits in the same year.
November 16 – Infinity Records is shut down and absorbed into parent company MCA.
November 17 – Donna Summer, for a second time, has two songs (“Dim All the Lights”, #2, & “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” with Barbra Streisand, #3) in the Top 3 of the Billboard Hot 100, and the first female to have 5 top 5 hits in the same year.
November 24 – With “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” hitting the top spot, Donna Summer becomes the first female artist to score 3 #1 singles in a calendar year on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
November 26 – Bill Haley & His Comets perform at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, in a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II. This was Haley’s final recorded performance of “Rock Around the Clock”.
November 30 – Pink Floyd releases The Wall. It is rock’s most well-known concept albums and one of the best-selling albums of all time. It is also the last album recorded with the line up of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright.
December 3 – In Cincinnati, a stampede for seats at Riverfront Coliseum during a Who concert kills 11 fans and injures 26 others. Band members were not informed of the deaths until after the show.
December 26 – Iron Maiden drummer Doug Sampson is replaced by ex-Samson drummer Clive Burr.
December 26-29 – The Concerts for the People of Kampuchea are held over four nights at the Hammersmith Odeon in London to raise funds for victims of war in Cambodia. Queen, The Who, The Clash, Wings, Elvis Costello and members of Led Zeppelin all take part.
December 31 – The eighth annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special airs on ABC, with appearances by The Oak Ridge Boys, Village People, Chic, Blondie and Barry Manilow.
Also in 1979
The Welsh Philharmonia becomes the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
Michael Schenker leaves Scorpions during their tour in France and was replaced by Matthias Jabs.
Stevie Wonder uses digital audio recording technology in recording his album Journey through the Secret Life of Plants.
EMI’s first non-classical digital recording, of UK jazz-funk duo Morrissey–Mullen covering the Rose Royce hit “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, is recorded at Abbey Road Studios and later released as a limited edition vinyl EP.
Disco reigned supreme in 1979, with several number-one hits from The Bee Gees and Donna Summer. Several artists who were not regarded as disco acts, scored major successes by releasing disco-oriented singles or albums, including new wave band Blondie with their first US number-one single “Heart of Glass”, Rod Stewart with “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, and symphonic rock band Electric Light Orchestra with their UK No. 1 LP Discovery.
Elton John reunites with lyricist Bernie Taupin after a three-year break. Their first compositions since then would eventually be recorded that August, to be released a year later as 21 at 33.
December – Iron Maiden is signed by EMI. They hire Dennis Stratton as a second guitarist.