In 2009, my ex and I established a Christmas tradition of sharing music from our youths with my son by giving him a representative sampling from the year we were his current age.
This year, he’s fourteen, and since I was fourteen in 1978, I went on a sonic archaeological dig of that year to decide what to share.
My approach is to buy him two albums from the time, and to burn a collection of various hits as well. The two CDs I chose were Van Halen’s Van Halen (their hellaciously strong debut with a bunch of classics like “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “You Really Got Me”) and Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell (“Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses…?”).
Making the assorted collection took a bunch of hours because 1978 was a pretty damn good year for music. And, probably because I was still in my earliest years of discovering music, quite a few songs I count among my all-time favorites came out then, as if they were digging deeper grooves in my brain then than songs tend to now. Blondie, Jackson Browne, Kate Bush, Cheap Trick, Dire Straits, Journey, The Police, The Ramones, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Sweet, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge of Town.
Yeah, 1978 kinda kicked ass musically.
Here are some gems, some of those all-time-favorites of mine, for you to enjoy…