40 Records in 40 Years (5/40 – 1978)

This year I have concluded my education. My employer has offered to me an unlimited contract which I have also accepted. Main reason was to save some money to start a life on my own feet. In the middle of the year a letter arrived in which I was invited to pattern. In my whole life I have never dealt to go to the army. In my whole life before I used to protest against what I’ve seen about military operations and wars that  accompanies since I grew up. Therefore, I have found out about the fact which possibilities there are, so that I am not drawn. The only possibility consisted in refusing the military service and therefore the service in the weapon. It worked in this way: You had to write down the reasons why you won’t use a rifle or something like that. Most of my mates did it that way and argued that they have ethical reasons not to use any kind of guns.

The next thing was that you were invited to an interview where you have to explain your reasons again and again. They listened slowly to your arguments and they asked for example: ‘What would you do if you and your girlfriend are in the park late at night and some guys come around trying to rape her. If you have a gun – will you use it?’. With questions like that they wanted to destroy your arguments of being a peaceful one. Of course you could get briefed about this questions and answers but my biggest problem was that I was in  this time very active and successful in a protection association. I have denied competitions on state level so that my name was well known in my sport. When I come to the interview they just asked me the question why I take shooting as a sport but will not be able to carry a gun in the army. After all I failed and I had to accept to join the army next year. Knowing that I wouldn’t have enough money when I do my job for 15 month in the army I didn’t make a great  vacation. But all in all it wasn’t a very bad year.

In 1978 the Bee Gees entered the top of the charts with ‘Staying alive’ and ‘Night fever’. Disco was born and Studio 54 in NYC was the blueprint of all clubs was founded.

The movie ‘Saturday Night Fever’ presented us the first star on the dancefloor with John Travolta. Now kids wanted to dance and act like him. After appearing in the American TV series ‘Welcome back Kotter’ he became famous with this movie and the following ‘Grease’. It was the start to a lot of dancing movies following the next years.

With the dance boom the gay movement had it’s coming out in the late seventies. With bands like the Village People they came proud out of their clubs. Without them and their attitude and confession to their gayness many bands in the later years would have it much harder to stand (like Frankie goes to Hollywood, Bronski Beat, etc).

It was also the year Kate Bush appeared with her fantastic and clear voice and brought us some unforgettable songs.

Garry Rafferty released his number one hit Baker Street with one of the most remarkable saxophone solo ever (our neighbor tried it for years but never got the right tune).

Stiff Little Fingers gave us their perception on the conflict in Northern Ireland with their song ‘Alternative Ulster’.

Ian Dury came returned with my favorite ‘Hit me with your rhythm stick’. Fantastic bass line.

Warren Zevon told us stories about ‘Werewolfs in London’.  (I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand walking down to Mayfair).

Blondie was present now on international stage but a hit all over Europe was Paul McCartney wit ‘Mull of Kintyre’ – what a shame (and I didn’t notice any song from Siouxie and the Banshees, the Buzzcocks, Patti Smith at all)

Remarkable records that was published in 1978:

George Benson – Weekend in LA: Maybe his best record at the highest level. Listened so often to this record all over the years.

REO Speedwagon –  You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish: Bought this record just because of the title. Old fashioned rock but great songs and guitars on it.

Nick Lowe – Jesus of cool: Producer of a lot of band (mostly on the STIFF label) got time to make a record with some of his best songs.

Little Feat – Waiting for Colombus: Aanother fantastic live record presenting the last days of inspired classic rock.

Thin Lizzy – Live and dangerous: Never been better than this. We danced to them songs until we fall down to the ground.

The Rezillos – Can’t stand the Rezillos: Get us party all night long. Great record still.

Pere Ubu – Dub housing: Music from another planet

George Thorogood & the Destroyers – Move it on over: Back to the roots of rhythm’ n’ blues

Herman Brood – Cha Cha: Pure rock with a lot of punk style in it from our neighbors in Netherlands

Nina Hagen Band – same: Great voice from Eastern Germany with a fantastic German version of ‘White punks on dope’

Steele Pulse – Handsworth Revolution: Pure British reggae.

Blondie – Parallel lines: Could listen to Debbie Harry often at this time

What movies from 1978 are still worth to see again:

Halloween:  Part one with Jamie Lee Curtis is still the best one
The Deer Hunter: Michael Ciminos drama with Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken of men going to a war that couldn’t be won and coming traumatised.
Dawn of the dead: When there is no more room in hell the dead will walk the earth
Up in Smoke: Cheech and Chong doped
La Cage aux Folles: Gay couple, one of them running a drag club in St. Tropez adverrtising ultra-conservative parents

The Last Waltz: Goodbye to a great band

What moved the world in 1978.

Pedro Cardinal, a leading critic of the Nicaraguan governments was assasdinated – riots against the Somoza’s regime started; Northeastern US blizzard kills more then 100 people; China bans the works of Aristole, Shakespeare and Dickens; American porn publisher Larry Flint is shot and paralyzed in Lawrenceville, GA; the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is proclaimed under pro-communist leader Nur Mohammad Taraki; Messner/Habeler made the first ascend to the Mount Everest without supplemental oxygene; FIFA-World Cup was won by Argentine – Germany lost in semi-final against Austria; Iranian Army troopers open fire to rioters in Teherean, killing 122, wounding 4000; President Carter signs bill that allows homebrewing of beer; the world got a new pope with John Paul II – the first non Italian pope sins more than 400 years; Nobel Peace Price is won by the premiers Sadat and Begin.

My personal favorite this year was Magazine’ first record ‘Real Life’. It is one of the best first records ever. Punk turned into New Wave and the sound was different now. The three chords songs turned into another dimension. Now you could hear a new kind of songwriting. The member of the bands knew how to handle their instruments and to arrange songs. One of the best examples was ‘Real life’. The band was formed by Howard Devoto after leaving the famous Buzzcocks with John McGeoch on guitar. They recruited Barry Adamson on bass, Jim Dickinson on keyboards and Martin Jackson on drums. Their first record is filled with experimental sounds that would be the blueprint of many other bands.

The songs are still fresh and innovative after all the years. I love to hear them again from time to time.

Magazine – Defenitive Gaze
Magazine – Recoil
Magazine – Motorcade
Magazine – Shot by both sides


3 thoughts on “40 Records in 40 Years (5/40 – 1978)

  1. “Germany lost in semi-final against Austria”: ít took me 35 years to forget about this indignity and now you reminded me again, Walter: great, thanks a lot!

    Best regards,

    Lance Corporal
    Dirk Huppertz
    2nd Air Force Division
    Fighter-Bomber Wing 33
    Büchel Air Base

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