Whether or not 1978 was actually a good year is purely subjective. Unlike, say 1966, which is generally considered to be about the best year ever. Or maybe that's 1969. If only someone as astute as Mark Twain were alive to give us his perspective.
24) Brian Eno -- Music For Airports: Just as sometimes it's better not to say anything than to say what's on your mind, sometimes it's better not to play the notes or to employ a drummer just to keep the unions happy. Be free.
22) The Jam -- All Mod Cons: That the American public turned their back on the British bands just when they were bringing a fresh new crop over was unforgivable in my view. It explains why we deserved Journey.
20) Siouxsie and the Banshees -- The Scream: OK, let's swing back to the UK and see what's not happening here in the US. These days, Hot Topic might be packed with all the proper accessories, but in 1978, this stuff was for weirdos, the kind that got beat up by the jocks and burnouts. These days these are the jocks and burnouts. So confusing.
18) Public Image Limited -- First Issue: Johnny Rotten was the right guy for the Sex Pistols and for a few albums with PiL looked to be onto something if not completely new (hello Amon Duul II!) at least thoroughly engaging and demanding in all the right, ornery ways.
16) Chic -- "Le Freak": I never figured this would be wedding music for eternity, but whether it lives on because it's real or because it's now ironic, it still shows up. I'm sure Chic were aiming higher and in many ways did actually land higher than they imagined. Just not the higher they envisioned.
14) Aerosmith -- Live Bootleg: Arguably, the greatest live album ever. It’s certainly one of the sloppiest. Its greatness can be confirmed by the simple fact that I played it every day for a year when I was ten. Music is subjective, after all.
12) Grease Movie Soundtrack: Maybe it really works as camp, but it’s still the kind of movie that makes me wish someone would tell the truth about the past. The 1950s deserve better than Fonzie and his ilk.
10) Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond -- "You Don't Bring Me Flowers": Kitsch, by definition, is more palatable as something to look back at than something to deal with in the present. It’s easier to admit to having had poor taste than it is to admit you still have it.
8) The Cars -- The Cars: Let ME brush that rock 'n' roll hair! The album was proof that with great little songs even Roy Thomas Baker couldn’t sap the life out of you. Who would expect the "Queen-like" harmonies to work? An album full of great surprises.
6) The Rolling Stones -- Some Girls: The Stones didn't need this album, but it's great that they wanted it. Often enough, it's the yardstick for "best album since…" though a few crazies try to rank schlock like Bridges to Babylon above it with their 'best since Exile reviews." They never needed to do "punk rock" but it's cool to hear their take on it. And disco, too. Their problem is there hasn't been a fashionable style since that makes sense for them to appropriate. Hip-hop Stones? Dub-step? Electro-pop?
4) Village People -- Macho Man: In the end people remember successful kitsch better than they remember the "good stuff" anyway. So, why not, right? I'll be the indian. You can be the UPS driver.
2) Black Flag -- Nervous Breakdown EP: And the times they are a-changin'. LOUDER, so RUBBLE can hear you!
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