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The Top 10 Songs of 1979 in the UK

Updated on October 20, 2018

Art Garfunkel: The No.1 Artist

Art Garfunkel | Buy This at

The UK's Top 10 Best Selling Songs of 1979

The UK's Top 10 best selling songs of 1979 certainly made for strange bedfellows considering what music was on offer during this particular year.

You probably could not create a list of ten songs as diverse as those that captured the attention of the record buying public during 1979. Who would have thought that Art Garfunkel, The Boomtown Rats and Lena Martell could end up appearing on the same countdown? But, that is exactly what happened.

Note that these songs have not been picked as my favourites of this year, but to show which records sold the most during 1979.

1. Art Garfunkel: Bright Eyes

Included on the soundtrack of the movie Watership Down, this is Art Garfunkel's second and final UK Number 1 single. A UK million seller.

Art Garfunkel on Video

2. Blondie: Heart of Glass

The first of Blondie's six UK Number 1 songs also topped the US music charts and became a million seller on both sides of the Atlantic.

Blondie on Video

Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard | Source

3. Cliff Richard: We Don't Talk Anymore

A return to form for Cliff Richard as this track became his only Number 1 of the 1970s. However, he holds the unique achievement of a UK Number 1 song in five different decades.

Cliff Richard on Video

4. Boomtown Rats: I Don't Like Mondays

The Boomtown Rats achieved two UK Number 1 hits during the 1970s and this is the second of them, following hot on the heels of the previous single, Rat Trap.

Boomtown Rats on Video

5. Dr. Hook: When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman

The only time that Dr. Hook managed to get to Number 1 in the UK was with this, although the band came close to topping the charts earlier in the decade.

Dr. Hook on Video

6. Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive

Gloria Gaynor's only UK Number 1 was this classic disco track that became a feminist anthem, as well as a favourite at your local karaoke bar.

Gloria Gaynor on Video

Gary Numan
Gary Numan | Source

7. Tubeway Army: Are 'Friends' Electric?

Tubeway Army was really a nom de plume for singer Gary Numan, who as a solo artist would go on to enjoy a successful chart career in his own right.

Tubeway Army on Video

8. Blondie: Sunday Girl

Blondie's second Number 1 song of 1979 was this breezy little number that had her horde of fans rushing to grab their own personal copy.

Blondie on Video

9. Roxy Music: Dance Away

Although Dance Away peaked at Number 2, it sold enough copies during the year to register in this countdown. It was the band's first hit in some years, having shed its glam rock beginnings and morphing into this smooth, laid back group.

Roxy Music on Video

10. Lena Martell: One Day At A Time

Totally out of step with what was happening in music during 1979 came this oddball Number 1 song.

A favourite of mums and grandmas everywhere, Lena Martell remains a true One Hit Wonder: one Number 1 hit and nothing else...ever.

Lena Martell on Video

The 1979 Poll

Of these songs, which is your favourite?

See results

Meanwhile, the Top 10 in the United States...

1. The Knack
My Sharona
2. Donna Summer
Bad Girls
3. Chic
Le Freak
4. Rod Stewart
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?
5. Peaches and Herb
6. Gloria Gaynor
I Will Survive
7. Donna Summer
Hot Stuff
8. The Village People
9. Anita Ward
Ring My Bell
10. Robert John
Sad Eyes
The Top 10 Best Selling Songs in the USA: 1979

And the Grammy Goes to...

  • Record and Song of the Year: What A Fool Believes - Doobie Brothers
  • Album of the Year: 52nd Street - Billy Joel
  • Best New Artist: Rickie Lee Jones

About Your Author

With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.

For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.

© 2007 Richard

Did You Enjoy the Top Songs of 1979?

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    • ananimoss2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Gloria Gaynor! Always has been my favorite (although I have too many favorites)!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      God yes! I really loved Dr. Hook, Blondie and Gloria Gaynor. It's very interesting to see other artists that were popular in England during 1979. I love your lenses, they're always so full of knowledge of your subject. Thanks for sharing.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana

      Hey, the music of my youth. Blondie still my favourite!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image


      8 years ago

      I was born in 1979 so this was a fascinating read (and listen!) for me. Now I know what was number one when I was born in the November of that year! Fabulous!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love this lens, since I like music and really very useful for me.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      10 years ago

      Wow! The Knack! My Sharona.. amazing I know the words. Heart of Glass brought back a lot of memories too! Love it!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      10 years ago

      Oh I love trips down memory lane...this was one of my best yet this week! Dr. Hook...yea baby! And all the rest too. Nicley done my angel ;)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I remember most of these. I was almost a teenager and just getting into music. Excellent

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      11 years ago

      This is the year I was born and what a great year, obviously I was not of age to appreciate them then but I have grown fond of them through the years, and Watership Down is one of my favorite films, what a moving piece of music. 5* and a favorite, I will keep this lens close.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      What a year!

      This was the year I discovered Pink Floyd. Near the end of 1979, I went from listening to "pop" music such as Gary Numan and Blondie to listening to "album" rock.

      At the time, it didn't seem like there was room for both types of music in my life(the music we listened to was connected the groups we hung around with in school), today I embrace them both, along with many others!


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