Times Of Our Lives: 1979 – Long And Pretty Good


The comprehensive school I attended was much like any in the provinces. Nothing spectacular, no particular deliquency problem above the norm; fairly non-descript. They tried to prepare us for adulthood and in 1979, they held a mock General Election ahead of the real thing.

Some were very earnest in their nascent political careers, cajoling and coercing the teenage voters to their cause. Or simply asking their mates to ask their mates to vote for them. All under the watchful eye of the headmaster, who now I think about it bore an uncanny resemblance to a cross between Professor Pat Pending and a water vole. Or vile, as spellchecker was intent on calling him.

The election was won by the local Popular Front whose surge in the polls was largely attributable to the fact that the local Wolfie Smith was well-liked. That he had a pretty sister in our year bore no influence among her willing admirers.

The brief radicalisation of the local youth ended when Wolfie thought it more interesting to bunk off into town than give his victory speech. Everyone else went back to football, gossiping or bullying other kids; life in a 70s comprehensive school went on unchanged and unchecked.

I’ve always thought of 1979 as my ‘musical’ year; seems I was wrong. 1980 was as well; it’s been equally hard to whittle that one down as well. I have a feeling ’81 and ’82 may be equally tricky.

In a reversal to the norm, the playlist is before the track listing. And if the playlist doesn’t work, click here to get it to open in your browser.


Artist Title
The Jam Strange Town
Joy Division She’s Lost Control
Motörhead Leaving Here
CHIC Good Times
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
The Clash London Calling
The Ruts Jah War
XTC Making Plans For Nigel
Michael Jackson Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
The Police Message In A Bottle
The Boomtown Rats Someone’s Looking At You
Joe Jackson Is She Really Going Out With Him?
Elvis Costello & The Attractions Accidents Will Happen
Blondie Dreaming
The Damned Smash It Up Parts 1 & 2
Buzzcocks Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
Squeeze Cool For Cats
The Jam Thick As Thieves
The Stranglers Duchess
The B-52’s 52 Girls
Sham 69 Hersham Boys
U.K. Subs She’s Not There
Generation X King Rocker
Joy Division Insight
The Cure Boys Don’t Cry
The Jam When You’re Young
The Clash Train in Vain
Secret Affair Time for Action
The Lambrettas Da-a-a-ance
The Purple Hearts Millions Like Us
The Damned Love Song
The Members Sound of the Suburbs
Dave Edmunds Girls Talk
Talking Heads Life During Wartime
Ian Dury & The Blockheads Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3
Skids Working For The Yankee Dollar
The Ruts Dope For Guns
The Undertones Jimmy Jimmy
Nick Lowe Cracking Up
The Clash Lost in the Supermarket
The Jam Private Hell
Stiff Little Fingers Straw Dogs
SpizzEnergi Where’s Captain Kirk?
Siouxsie and the Banshees Playground Twist
Gary Numan M.e.
U2 Stories For Boys
Madness Madness
The Tourists I Only Want to Be With You
M Pop Muzik
Japan Quiet Life
Dead Kennedys California Uber Alles
Skids Into the Valley
The Beat Tears of a Clown
The Clash I Fought the Law
Joy Division Transmission
The Ruts You’re Just A…..
The Selecter On my Radio
The Specials You’re Wondering Now
The Jam The Butterfly Collector
Nick Lowe Cruel to Be Kind
The Clash Death or Glory
The Jam The Eton Rifles
Talking Heads I Zimbra
XTC Life Begins At The Hop
Joy Division Interzone
The Damned I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
The Undertones Get Over You
Skids Masquerade
The Ruts Something That I Said
The Chords Now It’s Gone
Stiff Little Fingers Bloody Sunday

One thought on “Times Of Our Lives: 1979 – Long And Pretty Good

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s