A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
1979 is officially the year I started collecting music. And it’s all because of a post-disco hit about the Twilight Zone theme song. This list, though, couldn’t have been compiled till 2006.
- Gang of Four, Entertainment!
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, Evita
- Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd
- Philip Glass, Einstein on the Beach
- Midnight Oil, Head Injuries
- Talking Heads, Fear of Music
- The Clash, London Calling
- Michael Jackson, Off the Wall
- The Police, Reggatta de Blanc
- Emmylou Harris, Blue Kentucky Girl
Other favorites from the year:
- The Manhattan Transfer, Extensions
- The B-52’s, The B-52’s
The hit in question is “Twilight Tone” by the Manhattan Transfer.
Though more renowned as a jazz vocal quartet, the group wouldn’t get on my radar till “Twilight Tone” invaded the airwaves. Search YouTube for a performance of the song on a variety show — it’s amazing what people will endure for art. Or gimmickry.
My parents relented and bought the Extensions album for me. Of course, I played “Twilight Tone” to death, but I also dug the other songs on the album. Unlike “Twilight Tone”, they ranged from doo-wop to a capella. One song was a bizarre novelty with the singers voices rendered at chipmunk speed. You could say this was Manhattan Transfer’s disco album.
I’ve included it in the extended list. As fond as I am of the album, I have a better sense of what 1979 really offered as a year in music.
Tags: andrew lloyd webber, emmylou harris, favorite edition, gang of four, michael jackson, midnight oil, philip glass, rewind, stephen sondheim, talking heads, the b-52's, the clash, the manhattan transfer, the police