The Friday Five: Five Random Songs From Summer 1979 in the UK

You’re probably wondering, “John, why did you choose 1979, and what do you mean, five random songs?” First, why 1979: I spent that summer working third shift. It was basically go to work, come home, go to bed, wake up, go to work, etc. I almost never had Saturdays off. In fact, there were some weeks I didn’t have Sunday off, either. As such, I didn’t listen to the radio all that much.

Now, the random thing: I found a list of the Top 40 Songs from that summer here, and was about to list the top five songs from that summer. Then I stopped myself, and said, “nah, I always do that. Let’s do something different.” So, using the random number generator at, I generated five positions and chose the song I found there.

The Stranglers, “Duchess” (#37) The Stranglers are a British punk band that started as The Guildford Stranglers in 1974. “Duchess” reached #14 in the UK and #27 in Ireland.

Gibson Brothers, “Ooh What A Life” (#16) The Gibson Brothers are a France-based group that had its biggest success during the late-Seventies disco boom. This song reached #10 on the British Singles chart.

Randy VanWarmer, “Just When I Needed You Most” (#21) Randy was an American artist who had this one single. It reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Tracks survey, and reached #8 in the UK.

Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#1) The #1 single that summer was by the Bob Geldof-led Boomtown Rats. It was a Top Ten single in most of Europe, but only reached #73 in the US.

Roxy Music, “Angel Eyes” (#9) This song reached #4 in the UK, but didn’t chart in the US.

Hmm… wonder if I can find a chart for the US for Summer 1979? If so, we’ll do that next week. That’s The Friday Five for June 2, 2017.

16 thoughts on “The Friday Five: Five Random Songs From Summer 1979 in the UK

  1. 1979 was a good year for me. I moved from Orlando, Fl to South Florida, and started a new life with a new job. Disco was still going on in Miami – loved it.


  2. John,

    1979 was a huge year for me. I saw a lot of changes. I got married and a week later moved to Tennessee. That was an interesting and adventurous summer. The only song on your random five picks is “Just When I Needed You the Most” and this is the first time I’ve heard it in many years. It’s a beautiful ballad. Thanks for stirring mewsical memories from a long time ago! Have a good weekend, my friend! 🙂


    1. “Just When I Needed You Most” was sappy, but then, so was a lot of the music in the late Seventies, and compared to other songs at the time, it was pretty good. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard “I Don’t Like Mondays”; that was a fairly popular song, although maybe it was a location thing.


  3. Summer of 1979–I got married, but I think it was a Tuesday. If it had been a Monday, then it would explain my agreement with Sir Bob.



    1. I had been married for a year and a half that summer, and I didn’t see Mary too often, usually just on my way back in the door or leaving, because I was working third shift.


    1. It wasn’t until I finished writing the post that I realized the songs were all from the UK. There were only a couple I had heard. Still, It was another couple of years before music started improving.


    1. Considering that Seattle is considered by some to be the epicenter of modern culture, that’s surprising. I had heard a couple of these (“Just When I Needed You Most” and “I Don’t Like Mondays”), but can’t remember if it was that summer or at some later time. Third shift has a tendency to do that.

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      1. When I left New York City in 1978, disco was dying. When we arrived in Seattle disco was the hot new thing. I had to live through it twice 😦

        I wondered what I had done.


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