October 22, 2020

1979-01-04 – Lansing State Journal

1979 01 04 Lansing_State_Journal_Thu__Jan_4__1979_

. . . Rock: BeeGees
fake the spotlight

By KEN PAULSON
Gannett News Service

You can review the pop music of 1978 with
just two words: Bee Gees.

Not since the Beatles invaded America in
1964 has one group so dominated an entire
year of contemporary music.

The Bee Gees’ work ignited “Saturday
Night Fever" as the double-LP set became
the best—selling record album of all time,
grossing almost $30 million worldwide. Barry
Gibb also wrote the theme song for “Grease."
the second-best selling album in history.

But the success stories for the year didn’t
all belong to the Bee Gees.

Among the best albums of 1978:

BOB SEGER “Stranger in Town"

The veteran Detroit rocker eclipsed his
“Night Moves" LP with a collection of hard
rock romances and throaty ballads. ”Hol-
lywood Nights" and “Still the Same” were
among the highlights.

THE ROLLING STONES: “Some Girls“

The best Rolling Stones album since “Let It
Bleed," this LP featured the disco hit “Miss
You“ and the pure pandemonium of “Shat-
tered." Those who questioned the staying
power of “the world‘s greatest rock ‘n‘ roll
band" had their doubts banished with this en-
ergetic resurgence.

GERRY RAFFERTY: “City to City”

The dark horse success of the year. Raf-
ferty arose from the ashes of “Stealers
Wheel" with the elaborate pop structure of
“Baker Street" and this impressive album.
which rode the national charts for 35 weeks.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: “Darkness At
the Edge of Town”

Not “Born to Run," but it didn‘t fall too
short of it either. Springsteen continues to
embody and embellish the finest elements of
American rock ‘n‘ roll.

MEATLOAF: “Bat Out of Hell“

His p0pularity in the Rocky Horror Picture
Show laid the foundations for his career as a
rock star, but Meatloaf’s sweaty vocals
pushed sales beyond the novelty threshold.
“Paradise By the Dashboard Light” typified
the contents of the LP — basic rock with a
heavy dose of cheap thrills

NICK LOWE: “Pure P0p For Now PeOple"

All but ignored in America, Lowe’s album
featured a marvelous batch of pop hybrids.
Marrying the musical styles of the Jackson
Five, Paul Simon, the Bay City Rollers, David
Bowie and Steely Dan to his own irreverant
lyrics, Lowe created some of the freshest
sounds imaginable.

THE WHO: “Who Are You"

Pete Townshend dabbled in strings with
only limited success, but the album had a
higher energy level than the relatively staid

“Who By the Numbers."

CARLY SIMON: “Boys in the Trees”

Although slightly more domestic in theme
than her earlier albums, this LP covered
much new musical ground, paced by the
haunting single “You Belong To Me.”

NEIL YOUNG: “Comes A Time”:

Rebounding after a long string of listless
releases, Young came up with a set that was
as melodic as it was literate —- his best effort
since “After the Goldrush."

ELVIS COSTELLO: “This Year’s Model”

Costello illustrated better than anyone else

the difference between his absorbing style of
New Wave and the rauciousness of punk.