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1979 - Big Hits

Featuring The Jam, The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Gary Numan, Dame Edna Everage, The Ruts, Racey, The Nolans, Lene Lovich, Chic and Chas & Dave.

1979 Top of the Pops collection, offering 60 minutes of the year's greatest, cheesiest and oddest performances. 1979 was the year music went portable with the launch of the Sony walkman and another year Top of the Pops, the BBC's flagship music show, managed to still draw over 15 million viewers every Thursday night.

The mod revival and 2 Tone was in full stomp, featured here with the Jam, the Specials, Madness and the Selecter. If new wave was your bag there is Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Gary Numan. In 1979 there was little chance of seeing a show on TV featuring Dame Edna's performance of Waltzing Matilda alongside the Ruts with Babylon's Burning, but the British public's eclectic taste predicted the chart and thus saw them together on TOTP in June.

With singles sales at their peak, it was a regular occurrence for groups like Racey and The Nolans to sell over a million copies and their performances may tell us why, or maybe not! Plus new wave pop from Lene Lovich, disco from Chic and a peek at the nation's favourite, Chas & Dave, singing Gertcha.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 15 Jun 2019 01:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions

    Oliver's Army

  • Lene Lovich

    Lucky Number

  • Chic

    I Want Your Love

  • Racey

    Some Girls

  • Chas & Dave


  • Squeeze

    Up The Junction

  • Janet Kay

    Silly Games

  • Dame Edna Everage

    Disco Matilda

  • The Ruts

    Babylon's Burning

  • The Police

    Can't Stand Losing You

  • The Pretenders


  • Lena Martell

    One Day at a Time

  • Gary Numan


  • Sir Cliff Richard

    We Don't Talk Anymore

  • The Jam

    The Eton Rifles

  • The Nolans

    I'm In The Mood For Dancing

  • The Selecter

    On My Radio

  • Joe Jackson

    Is She Really Going Out With Him?

  • Madness

    One Step Beyond

  • M

    Pop Muzik

  • The Boomtown Rats

    I Don't Like Mondays

  • The Specials

    A Message To You, Rudy (feat. Rico Rodriguez)


Role Contributor
Producer Dione Newton
Executive Producer Mark Cooper


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