Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The 1979 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll

Albums

1. Graham Parker: Squeezing Out Sparks (Arista) 767 (63)
2. Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise) 652 (50)
3. The Clash: The Clash (Epic) 638 (50)
4. Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire) 620 (51)
5. Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (Columbia) 619 (55)
6. Van Morrison: Into the Music (Warner Bros.) 474 (41)
7. The B-52s: The B-52s (Warner Bros.) 371 (37)
8. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Damn the Torpedoes (Backstreet/MCA) 340 (31)
9. Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Chrysalis) 334 (28)
10. Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Casablanca) 330 (30)
11. The Roches: The Roches (Warner Bros.) 292 (30)
12. Dave Edmunds: Repeat When Necessary (Swan Song) 222 (21)
13. Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (Columbia) 201 (24)
14. Tom Verlaine: Tom Verlaine (Elektra) 192 (22)
15. Iggy Pop: New Values (Arista) 190 (20)
16. Marianne Faithfull: Broken English (Island) 185 (20)
17. Blondie: Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis) 184 (20)
18. Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic) 179 (16)
19. Rickie Lee Jones: Rickie Lee Jones (Warner Bros.) 176 (20)
20. Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (I.R.S.) 172 (18)
21. Fleetwood Mac: Tusk (Warner Bros.) 160 (17)
22. Neil Young with Crazy Horse: Live Rust (Reprise) 158 (15)
23. Ry Cooder: Bop 'Til You Drop (Warner Bros.) 155 (18)
24. David Johansen: In Style (Blue Sky) 136 (15)
25. Lene Lovich: Stateless (Stiff/Epic) 125 (13)
26. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces of Victory (Mango) 122 (13)
27. Chic: Risque (Atlantic) 112 (11)
28. Joe Jackson: Look Sharp! (A&M) 111 (11)
29. Art Ensemble of Chicago: Nice Guys (ECM) 108 (10)
30. Roxy Music: Manifesto (Atlantic) 107 (11)
31. David Bowie: Lodger (RCA Victor) 104 (12)
32. The Slits: Cut (Antilles) 99 (10)
33. Philip Glass/Robert Wilson: Einstein on the Beach (Tomato) 98 (9)
34. Bob Marley & the Wailers: Survival (Island) 94 (9)
35. The Police: Regatta de Blanc (A&M) 92 (10)
36. The Shoes: Present Tense (Elektra) 90 (12)
37. The Jam: All Mod Cons (Polydor) 89 (9)
38. Bob Dylan: Slow Train Coming (Columbia) 88 (11)
39. Stevie Wonder: Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (Tamla) 88 (9)
40. The Kinks: Low Budget (Arista) 85 (9)

Singles

1. Ian Dury & the Blockheads: "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"/"Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3" (Stiff/Epic) 29 *
2. M: "Pop Musik" (Sire) 26
3. Donna Summer: "Hot Stuff" (Casablanca) 22 *
4. Sister Sledge: "We Are Family"/"He's the Greatest Dancer" (Cotillion) 20 *
The Pretenders: "Stop Your Sobbing"/"The Wait" (Real import) 20
6. Fleetwood Mac: "Tusk" (Warner Bros.) 17
The Knack: "My Sharona" (Captiol) 17
8. Blondie: "Dreaming" (Chrysalis) 16
9. The Brains: "Money Changes Everything" (Gray Matter) 15
The Flying Lizards: "Money" (Virgin) 15
The Specials: "Gangsters" (2 Tone import) 13
12. Michael Jackson: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (Epic) 12
The Pretenders: "Kid" (Kid import) 12
The Records: "Starry Eyes" (Virgin) 12
Talking Heads: "Life During Wartime" (Sire) 12
16. Lester Bangs: "Let It Blurt" (Spy) 11 **
Chic: "Good Times" (Atlantic) 11
Dave Edmunds: "Girls Talk" (Swan Song) 11
Funkadelic: "(Not Just) Knee Deep" (Warner Bros.) 11
Peaches & Herb: "Reunited" (Polydor) 11
Donna Summer: "Bad Girls" (Casablanca) 11
22. Gang of Four: "At Home He's a Tourist"/"It's Her Factory" (EMI import) 10
Robin Lane & the Chartbusters: "Why Do You Tell Lies"/"When Things Go Wrong" (Deli Platters EP) 10
Nick Lowe: "Cruel to Be Kind" (Columbia) 10
McFadden & Whitehead: "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" (Philadelphia International) 10 *
Sugarhill Gang: "Rapper's Delight" (Sugarhill) 10 ***

*Includes votes for both seven-inch and 12-inch versions.

**The Poobahs feel impelled to point out that at least seven of those voting for this disc are intimates of Lester Bangs, and at least one is Lester Bangs himself. They also feel impelled to acknowledge that it's a pretty good record anyway.

***12-inch version only.

Whenever two songs are named, votes for both sides of a record were added together.

Village Voice, Jan. 28, 1980


1978 Essay | Dean's List 1980