The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Singles By Year, 1979-2013

Categories: Pazz & Jop

Singles were added to the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll for the music of 1979 issue. Before that, only albums were ranked in the poll, which began in 1971, then stopped for three years before returning for good in early 1975 to recap the music of 1974.

Here's a rundown of the top ten singles each year, as culled from the Village Voice archives and from Robert Christgau dot com.

And here's a playlist of the top singles for each year, with the exception of Artists United Against Apartheid's "Sun City", which was voted the top single of 1985 (it's not on Spotify as of this writing.)



1. Ian Dury & the Blockheads: "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"/"Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3" (Stiff/Epic)

2. M: "Pop Musik" (Sire)

3. Donna Summer: "Hot Stuff" (Casablanca)

4. Sister Sledge: "We Are Family"/"He's the Greatest Dancer" (Cotillion)

5. The Pretenders: "Stop Your Sobbing"/"The Wait" (Real import)

6. Fleetwood Mac: "Tusk" (Warner Bros.)

7. The Knack: "My Sharona" (Captiol)

8. Blondie: "Dreaming" (Chrysalis)

9. The Brains: "Money Changes Everything" (Gray Matter)

10. The Flying Lizards: "Money" (Virgin)

I must admit that I found the singles chart more interesting than the generally unexceptionable album selections. That's what's so great about the singles--they're quirky. I especially enjoyed the tie for sixth--"My Sharona," which brightened the radio as surely as Fantastik takes the enamel off your refrigerator, and "Tusk," the weirdest 45 issued by any megagroup since the defeat of George McGovern.
-- Robert Christgau, January 28, 1980


1. Kurtis Blow: "The Breaks" (Mercury)

2. Joy Division: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Factory import)

3. Blondie: "Call Me" (Chrysalis)

4. The Clash: "Train in Vain"/"London Calling" (Epic)

5. Pretenders: "Brass in Pocket" (Sire)

6. Stevie Wonder: "Master Blaster (Jammin')" (Tamla)

7. John Lennon/Yoko Ono: "Just Like Starting Over"/"Kiss Kiss Kiss" (Geffen)

8. The Vapors: "Turning Japanese" (United Artists)

9. Lipps Inc.: "Funkytown" (Casablanca)

10. Diana Ross: "Upside Down" (Motown)

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