Watching the world spin round: Best of 1978

I regard my sixth, seventh, and eighth albums as an ambient trilogy, ideal for barbeques and dates. Alas, Here, My Dear has had a sinister influence on R&B singer-songwriters beguiled by the squelchy grooves that won’t oblige listeners by producing hooks. Sheer vocal charisma carries the album at least a quarter of the time, and if it’s an album I’m glad to see welcomed into the canon it’s still an album I want admired. The rest follow descending order of preference. I’ve loved Blondie’s blockbuster since buying a cheap tape copy in the mid ’90s, where it and Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium Vol. 1 became my go-to albums when I forgot to pack new shit. And if my readers still haven’t heard Bryan Ferry and Waddy Wachtel in Montreux battling over whether coke widens emotional distances or coaxes out heretofore unknown depths, well, here’s your chance to hear the studio rock Station to Station.

Blondie – Parallel Lines
Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove
Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings and Food
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents
Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear
Willie Nelson – Stardust
Brian Eno – Before and After Science
Bryan Ferry – The Bride Stripped Bare
The Isley Brothers – Showdown
Van Halen – Van Halen
ABBA – The Album
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – This Year’s Model
The Jacksons – Destiny
Big Star – Third/Sister Lovers
Wire – Chairs Missing
The Cars – The Cars
Norma Jean – Norma Jean
Van Morrison – Wavelength
Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy
Chaka Khan – Chaka
The Clash – Give’Em Enough Rope
Devo – Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!
Maze – Golden Time of Day
Neil Young – Comes a Time
Television – Adventure
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians

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