Roadrunner singles 1978-83

A playlist of singles reviewed in The Big Beat: rock music in Australia 1978-83, through the pages of Roadrunner magazine.

The playlist, first published a year ago on this site—and updated in the past few weeks with new tracks added to Spotify in the past 12 months—contains 583 songs and runs for 35 hours and 17 minutes.

The Roadrunner years were a golden age for the single and The Big Beat contains the singles reviews from every issue. If you’re trying to imagine or remember the musical climate of the post-punk/pub rock period in Australia, the playlist will give you a pretty interesting reading.

I wrote the following in the April 1980 issue of the magazine.

With the single resuming its rightful place in the UK (singles have outsold albums in that country ever since 1977) and the Australian independent single movement (led by the redoubtable Missing Link in Melbourne and Doublethink in Sydney) absolutely booming, this really is a golden age for singles.

… More often than not a band has two or three GREAT songs , i.e. two maybe three singles and when they are let loose to do an album, the majority of tracks don’t cut it.

What I’m basically trying to say is that the single is the ultimate pop form. One song (because most B-sides are still filler) that whoever is responsible for its existence consider the best that that particular artist has to offer at that point in time.

And that’s why I feel that the independent single is worth the push it gets in Roadrunner. An independent release is one paid for (in most cases) by the band members themselves. It’s not a sampler for anything (except perhaps the major companies). It stands on its own.


Hi - I'd be delighted to hear what you think of these posts