1978: ‘Some Girls,’ The Cars, ‘Grease,’ & So Much More


Looking back on my life in 1978, it was quite eventful, both personally and musically. On the personal level, I had some success athletically. And, for some reason that is still unbeknownst to me, I was actually named “Sophomore Student of the Month” in January of that year. Maybe it had something to due with the fact that we missed half of January that year because of a blizzard; there must have been a lack of nominees or I really had the best academic two weeks of my life. Additionally, I went to Colorado for some national track meet, got blown away in my event, learned that you cannot throw a javelin like a baseball (it will only go about 10 feet), discovered that, generally speaking, basketball players from Indiana are truly better than those in the rest of the country (sorry, but if I am dominating basketball players from other states, there is a problem!), and, most importantly, met, shook hands and talked with the immortal Jesse Owens. That, my friends, was the finest moment, after all the family stuff, of my life. He was everything you would hope a hero would be, humble with that aura of greatness. I just wish I had a camera at the time, the ONE time I wish we were in the era of smartphones.

9.6 The-Cars-1978-billboard-1548

And to stick with the great year motif, there was some terrific music released in 1978. Now, was it a year like 1977? Not really. However, I do listen to much more of the albums and singles released in 1978. Look, the Stones made what arguably their last great album with Some Girls. The Cars and Van Halen released their debuts, perhaps two of the 25 greatest debut albums ever, while The Police debuted with a great album as well. Even the cheesy pop music was great, just think of the Grease soundtrack. Sure, there was some really dopey music (Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” immediately comes to mind), but that happens every year. Yet, when you strip away the crap, there is a plethora of lasting music.

9.6 Blondie

Let’s take a brief run through the genres of the year. First, disco was peaking in popularity. Punk’s initial run was burning out, being replaced by various mutant strains like new wave, post-punk and synth pop. Yacht rock, though we called it “soft rock” was everywhere, as was much of today’s “classic rock” even though we just called it “rock” back in the day. Outlaw country and Southern Rock were great, while the “Quiet Storm” R&B genre was catching fire all over (Thanks Smokey!) And, we were just getting the first rumblings of power pop, while funk was gaining a foothold on the charts. Honestly, it was something of a transition year as the Boomers’ influence was finally getting challenge from the budding Gen Xers’ tastes in music, irony and sarcasm. And the craziest thing? We had blacks and Latinos doing rock music and whites doing R&B, not to mention we had the multicultural Village People and the transgendered Sylvester. What’s not to like about this era of music?

9.6 van halen

So, let’s get this countdown thing going so you can see what I mean.

9.6 alicia bridges

100. “I Love the Nightlife” – Alicia Bridges

99. “Who Are You” – The Who

98. “Hot Blooded” – Foreigner

97. “If the Kids Are United” – Sham 69

96. “I Am the Cosmos” – Chris Bell

95. “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” – The Kinks

94. “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend'” – Kenny Loggins

93. “Hopelessly Devoted to You” – Olivia Newton-John

92. “Big Shot” – Billy Joel

91. “Grease” – Frankie Valli

9.6 peaches & herb

90. “Reunited” – Peaches & Herb

89. “Close the Door” – Teddy Pendergrass

88. “Double Vision” – Foreigner

87. “Heaven Knows” – Donna Summer

86. “Sweet Music” – Roadmaster

85. “With a Little Luck” – Wings

84. “Magnet and Steel” – Walter Egan

83. “Shadow Dancing” – Andy Gibb

82. “I Want Your Love” – Chic

81. “Don’t Look Back” – Boston

80. “Straight On” – Heart

9.6 bobby caldwell

79. “What You Won’t Do for Love” – Bobby Caldwell

78. “Get Off” – Foxy

77. “Use Ta Be My Girl” – The O’Jays

76. “Hold the Line” – Toto

75. “On Broadway” – George Benson

74. “Fire” – The Pointer Sisters

73. “Three Times a Lady” – The Commodores

72. “Badlands” – Bruce Springsteen

71. “Shake Your Groove Thing” – Peaches & Herb

70. “MacArthur Park” – Donna Summer

9.6 village_people

69. “Y.M.C.A.” – Village People

68. “Follow You, Follow Me” – Genesis

67. “My Life” – Billy Joel

66. “Beast of Burden” – The Rolling Stones

65. “Got to Be Real” – Cheryl Lynn

64. “Got to Get You into My Life” – Earth, Wind & Fire

63. “We’ve Got Tonight” – Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

62. “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson

61. “Come Together” – Aerosmith

9.6 normal

60. “Warm Leatherette” – The Normal

59. “Sentimental Lady” – Bob Welch

58. “FM” – Steely Dan

57. “Everytime I Think of You” – The Babys

56. “Hot Child in the City” – Nick Gilder

55. “Lights” – Journey

54. “Roll with the Changes” – REO Speedwagon

53. “So Lonely” – The Police

52. “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – The Jacksons

51. “You’re the One That I Want” – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

9.6 sylvester

50. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” – Sylvester

49. “Every Kinda People” – Robert Palmer

48. “Jamie’s Cryin'” – Van Halen

47. “I Go Crazy” – Paul Davis

46. “Summer Nights” – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

45. “Love Is like Oxygen” – Sweet

44. “Time for Me to Fly” – REO Speedwagon

43. “Wheel in the Sky” – Journey

42. “I’m Every Woman” – Chaka Khan

9.6 jay ferguson

41. “Thunder Island” – Jay Ferguson

40. “Prove It All Night” – Bruce Springsteen

39. “Can’t Stand Losing You” – The Police

38. “One Way or Another” – Blondie

37. “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon

36. “What a Fool Believes” – The Doobie Brothers

9.6 kate bush

35. “Wuthering Heights” – Kate Bush

34. “Life’s Been Good” – Joe Walsh

33. “You Really Got Me” – Van Halen

32. “Radio Radio” – Elvis Costello & the Attractions

31. “Feels like a Number” – Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

30. “Shattered” – The Rolling Stones

29. “Just What I Needed” – The Cars

9.6 exile

28. “Kiss You All Over” – Exile

27. “Good Times Roll” – The Cars

26. “Teenage Kicks” – The Undertones

25. “Blue Collar Man” – Styx

24. “Sultans of Swing” – Dire Straits

23. “Baker Street” – Gerry Rafferty

22. “Runnin’ with the Devil” – Van Halen

21. “Macho Man” – Village People

20. “Pump It Up” – Elvis Costello & the Attractions

19. “Fat Bottomed Girls” – Queen

9.6 heatwave

18. “The Groove Line” – Heatwave

17. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor

16. “Because the Night” – Patti Smith Group

15. “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire

14. “Last Dance” – Donna Summer

13. “I Fought the Law” – The Clash

12. “My Best Friend’s Girl” – The Cars

11. “Roxanne” – The Police

9.6 Taste-Of-Honey

10. “Boogie Oogie Oogie” – A Taste of Honey

9. “Shame” – Evelyn “Champagne” King

8. “Le Freak” – Chic

7. “Heart of Glass” – Blondie

9.6 talking heads

6. “Take Me to the River” – Talking Heads

5. “One Nation Under a Groove” – Funkadelic

4. “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen

3. “Surrender” – Cheap Trick

2. “Miss You” – The Rolling Stones

9.6 ramones

1. “I Wanna Be Sedated” – Ramones

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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