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There are some truly special albums that turn 45 in 2024. It’s pretty amazing to see just how many incredible titles were released in 1979.

When it comes to hard rock, there was no shortage of outstanding albums. AC/DC released their classic LP Highway to Hell in 1979. In addition to the killer title track, the album also features “Touch Too Much” and “Shot Down in Flames.” Sadly, it was the last album to feature singer Bon Scott, who died on February 19, 1980.

Another unexpected goodbye came via Led Zeppelin. They released In Through the Out Door in August. The album ended up being the band’s final studio LP. Zeppelin would disband in December 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham.

A far less depressing goodbye came via The Eagles. The band released their sixth studio album, The Long Run, in September. In addition to the title track, The Long Run also features “Heartache Tonight” and “I Can’t Tell You Why.” The famously volatile band broke up shortly after its release and wouldn’t reform until 1994.

Make a pivot to something more upbeat: Van Halen brought the party with the release of Van Halen II in 1979, a mere 13 months after their smash self-titled debut. Van Halen II, of course, features “Dance the Night Away,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Somebody Get Me a Doctor.”

Two of the most influential rock albums of all time came out in 1979. The Clash released London Calling in December, and it remains one of the greatest albums ever, regardless of genre. Not to be outdone, Pink Floyd released their rock opera The Wall in November. It’s become one of the biggest albums of all time selling 30 million copies worldwide.

Keep scrolling to see the other albums that turn 45 in 2024!

  • The Clash - ‘London Calling’

    The Clash’s classic third album, London Calling, was released on December 14, 1979. In addition to the title track, the album also features “Clampdown” and “Train in Vain.”

  • Pink Floyd - ‘The Wall’

    Pink Floyd’s The Wall was released on November 30, 1979. The classic rock opera is one of the best-selling albums of all time selling 30 million copies worldwide.

  • Michael Jackson - ‘Off the Wall’

    Off the Wall was Michael Jackson’s fifth studio album. It was the first time he worked with producer Quincy Jones. The album features “Rock with You,” “She’s Out of My Life” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

  • Fleetwood Mac - ‘Tusk’

    Tusk was released on October 12, 1979. The album was the follow-up to Fleetwood Mac’s massive hit album, 1977’s Rumours.

  • Supertramp - ‘Breakfast in America’

    Supertramp released Breakfast in America on March 16, 1979. The album features “The Logical Song,” “Goodbye Stranger” and “Take the Long Way Home.”

  • Joy Division - ‘Unknown Pleasures’

    Joy Division’s classic debut album, Unknown Pleasures, came out on June 15, 1979. It’s the only Joy Division album released when singer Ian Curtis was still alive. Curtis died by suicide on May 18, 1980 at age 23.

  • Led Zeppelin - ‘In Through the Out Door’

    In Through the Out Door, Led Zeppelin’s final studio album, was released on August 22, 1979. The album features “Fool in the Rain” and “All My Love.”

  • Electric Light Orchestra - ‘Discovery’

    Electric Light Orchestra’s eighth studio album, Discovery, was released on June 1, 1979. The album features “Last Train to London,” “Shine a Little Love” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.”

  • Blondie - ‘Eat to the Beat’

    Blondie released their fourth studio album, Eat to the Beat, on September 28, 1979. The album features “Atomic,” “Union City Blue” and “Dreaming.”

  • Van Halen - ‘Van Halen II’

    Van Halen II, Van Halen’s second studio album was released on March 23, 1979. The album features the classic tracks “Dance the Night Away,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Somebody Get Me a Doctor.”

  • Neil Young with Crazy Horse - ‘Rust Never Sleeps’

    The dual studio/live album Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young with Crazy was released on June 22, 1979. The album features the top-ten hit “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).”

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - ‘Damn the Torpedoes’

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their third studio album, Damn the Torpedoes, on October 19, 1979. The album features “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Even the Losers,” “Here Comes My Girl” and “Refugee.”

  • The Police - ‘Reggatta de Blanc’

    Reggatta de Blanc, the second studio album from The Police, was released on October 5, 1979. The album features “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon.”

  • AC/DC - ‘Highway to Hell’

    AC/DC released their sixth studio album, Highway to Hell, on July 27, 1979. It was the last album to feature singer Bon Scott, who died on February 19, 1980. In addition to the title track, the album features “Touch Too Much,” “Shot Down in Flames” and “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).”

  • Donna Summer - ‘Bad Girls’

    Donna Summer’s Bad Girls was released on April 25, 1979. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart for six weeks and features the classic title track, “Hot Stuff” and “Dim All the Lights.”

  • The Cars - ‘Candy-O’

    The Cars released Candy-O on June 13, 1979. The follow-up to their hit self-titled debut, Candy-O featured “Let’s Go” and “Double Life.”

  • Cheap Trick - ‘Dream Police’

    Cheap Trick released their fourth studio album, Dream Police , on September 21, 1979. In addition to the title track, the album also features “Way of the World” and “Voices.”

  • The Knack - ‘Get the Knack’

    Get The Knack, the debut album of The Knack, was released on June 11, 1979. It features “Good Girls Don’t” and the hit “My Sharona.”

  • Pat Benatar - ‘In the Heat of the Night’

    Pat Benatar released her debut album, In the Heat of the Night, on August 27, 1979. The album features Benatar’s breakthrough single, “Heartbreaker.”

  • Eagles - ‘The Long Run’

    The Long Run was the Eagles’ sixth studio album. Released on September 24, 1979, the album features “Heartache Tonight,” “I Can’t Tell You Why” and the title track. The album would be the band’s last for over a decade. The Eagles disbanded in 1980 and reformed in 1994.

  • Diana Ross - ‘The Boss’

    Diana Ross’s tenth studio album, The Boss, was released on May 23, 1979. In addition to the title track, the album features “No One Gets The Prize” and “It’s My House.”

  • KISS - ‘Dynasty’

    KISS released their seventh studio album, Dynasty, on May 23, 1979. The disco-influenced album features “Sure Know Something” and “I Was Made for Loving You.”

  • The B-52’s - ‘The B-52’s’

    The self-titled debut album from the B-52’s was released on July 6, 1979. The album notable includes “Rock Lobster,” “Dance This Mess Around” and “Planet Claire.”

  • Bad Company - ‘Desolation Angels’

    Desolation Angels was Bad Company’s fifth studio album. Released on March 7, 1979, the album features “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

  • John Cougar - ‘John Cougar’

    John Cougar was released on July 27, 1979. (At this point in his career, John Mellencamp was going by John Cougar.) The album features his first top 40 hit, “I Need a Lover.”

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