Putting this together I was struck by how familiar some of the linked videos are. This is because I remember most of them from the upcoming MTV era.
The Wall ~ Pink Floyd. This was a much improved concept album after their heavy-handed Animals. I didn't realize how "Roger Waters" the whole concept was at first. Maybe I wasn't paying close attention. Now things read to me like Waters became a control freak after this point and the band never fully recovered.
London Calling ~ The Clash. Rather than write anything new, I'll just link to this two thumbs up comment by Michael Haz (which includes video links).
Stop Your Sobbing and Brass in Pocket ~ Pretenders. I admire Chrissie Hynde. She played hard in what was still a man's world and she did it as an American abroad. That took something special. Their version of Stop Your Sobbing was true to the original version by The Kinks and she caught the eyes and ears of Ray Davies (among other parts of him :). I never saw the original Pretenders but I did get to see their second incarnation a few years latter in Akron OH, of all places.
Wave ~ Patti Smith Group. She and her original group hit the highest mark of their careers together--and she retired after a disastrous concert which I described here. Frederick, her touching paean to Fred "Sonic" Smith -- future husband and father of her kids, was lyrically gorgeous. Dancing Barefoot, with its evocative lapsed Catholicism, was just as memorable.
Damn the Torpedoes ~ Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers cornered the market on male teenage angst--at least my share. Even The Losers.
Fear Of Music ~ The Talking Heads. "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco..."
Low Budget ~ The Kinks. Even the Kinks cashed in on the disco craze. Ray Davies hammed it up on wry with his reference to "Stayin' Alive" in Superman LOL!
Armed Forces ~ Elvis Costello. His best work IMHO. The best known song (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding was written by Nick Lowe.
Slow Train Coming ~ Bob Dylan became more unpopular than Jesus in San Francisco when he released this to his flock. Really, the same people who dissed him then and continue to hide their copies of this (if they ever even owned one) are the same people who despise Sarah Palin. Get over yourselves already! I'm embedding a cover version of "I Believe In You" by Cat Power which is astonishingly good and deserves to become the definitive version of Dylan's song:
Rust Never Sleeps ~ Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Neil Young reinvented himself yet again and the man is still a legend today.
Notable Singles from 1979
Video Killed the Radio Star ~ The Buggles. This band had the distinction of being the very first music video aired (cabled?) by MTV when they debuted 2 years later in 1981. But the song actually predated MTV and they weren't referring to MTV at all at the time.
What I Like About You ~ The Romantics. Lurved it for some reason.
Broken English ~ Marianne Faithfull. Now here's a woman scorned with a broken voice. She really hit the skids. Reading about her in Life by Keith Richards made me want to read her side of the story of what happened between her and Mick Jagger.
Sara ~ Fleetwood Mac. I already considered this heart rending song, but not in a good way, back here.
Heart of Glass ~ Blondie rocked!
I Wanna Be Sedated ~ The Ramones
The Doors enjoyed a brief resurgence in sales due to the use of their music in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.