10 Great Songs from One Great Year
1978Disco was king, Roman Polansky skips bail and Jimmy Carter gives back the Panama Canal. These were the top stories in 1978. The Bee Gees, featuring oldest brother Barry, was large and in charge of the pop charts where at one time he occupied 6 of the top 10 spots - something unseen since the Beatles.
This was the year gambling came to Atlantic City, the year the Son of Sam was sentenced to life behind bars and the year that Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin to forge peace.
This was the year of the Bronx Zoo, the year of the San Francisco political assassinations and the year Jim Jones leads his Peoples Temple cult in a mass murder-suicide.
One of those best of times, worst of times years.
Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
This song is about a teenage boy trying to convince a girl to have sex with him in a car. Sex would be the "
Home at Last – Steely Dan
Home at Last was the fourth and final single released on their Grammy-winning album Aja. It is inspired by the epic poem The Odyssey, reflecting the feelings associated with a long-awaited homecoming. In 2003, the album was ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon
Zevon wrote this with guitarist Robert "Waddy" Wachtel. When Zevon was working with The Everly Brothers, he hired Wachtel to play in their backing band. At one point, Phil Everly asked them to write a dance song for the Everly Brothers called "Werewolves Of
Surrender – Cheap Trick
Though this was not a big chart hit, this teen anthem is one of Cheap Trick's best known songs. The singer thinks of his parents as a bit overprotective and kind of weird, but he gains a new respect for them at the end of the song when he wakes up and they are rolling around on the couch listening to his KISS records. Cheap Trick guitarist-songwriter Rick Nielsen recalls in Rolling Stone's Top 500 songs magazine that when he wrote it, he had to "go back and put myself in the head of a 14-year-old.”
Right Down The Line – Gerry Rafferty
This was the follow up to Rafferty's mega-hit "
Sentimental Lady – Bob Welch
Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, and they recorded this song on their 1972 album Bare Trees. It became a hit when Welch recorded it on his first solo album in 1977. Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac sang backup on Welch's solo version. According to Welch, the song was written as a poem to his wife (now divorced). It was the second single from the album French Kiss, his first solo effort after the song “Ebony Eyes.”
We've Got Tonite – Bob Seger
The third single from the very successful Stranger in Town LP (other hits from that LP included “Still the Same”, ”Hollywood Nights”and “Old Time Rock and Roll”), We’ve Got Tonite is one of the few songs that charted well for more than one artist. Aside from hitting #13 with this original version, this song also reached #6 (#1 country) for Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton in 1983 under the title “We’ve Got Tonight” (different spelling). Regardless, it was one of the most beautiful and most requested love songs ever recorded.
Love Is Like Oxygen – Sweet
While hugely popular in
Falling - LeBlanc and Carr
With much success as a background musician and singer, Lenny LeBlanc embarked on a solo career. In 1975, he recorded a demo and producer Pete Carr sent a copy to Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records. A few months later Lenny's first solo LP was released.
Fool (If You Think It's Over) - Chris Rea
Hugely successful in his native
Mr. Blue Sky – ELO
This song closed the side of the Out of the Blue album known as "Concerto For A Rainy Day." The lyrics are uplifting, and follow the concept of a rainy day that comes to an end. On a BBC Radio interview, Jeff Lynne talked about how he came up with this after he locked himself away in a Swiss chalet attempting to write ELO's follow-up to A New World Record. "It was dark and misty for 2 weeks, and I didn't come up with a thing. Suddenly the sun shone and it was, 'Wow, look at those beautiful