New Musical Express, January 20, 1979

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1978 NME Readers' Poll


Elvis Costello, Steve Nieve and This Year's Model placed in the following categories:

Best Male Singer

  1. David Bowie
  2. John Lydon
  3. Elvis Costello
  4. Bob Geldof
  5. Jon Anderson
  6. Joe Strummer
  7. Ian Dury
  8. Robert Plant
  9. Paul Weller
  10. Bruce Springsteen
  11. Peter Gabriel
  12. Bob Dylan
  13. Mick Jagger
  14. Roger Daltrey


  1. All Mod Cons – The Jam
  2. Give 'Em Enough Rope – The Clash
  3. Live & Dangerous – Thin Lizzy
  4. The Scream – Siouxsie & The Banshees
  5. This Year's Model – Elvis Costello
  6. Some Girls – The Rolling Stones
  7. Another Music In A Different Kitchen – Buzzcocks
  8. A Tonic For The Troops – The Boomtown Rats
  9. Black & White – The Stranglers
  10. Darkness On The Edge Of Town – Bruce Springsteen


  1. Elvis Costello
  2. Paul Weller
  3. David Bowie
  4. Strummer / Jones
  5. Pete Shelley
  6. Bob Dylan
  7. Bob Geldof
  8. Bruce Springsteen
  9. Ian Dury
  10. Anderson / Squire / Howe

Best Group

  1. The Clash
  2. The Jam
  3. The Boomtown Rats
  4. Genesis
  5. Buzzcocks
  6. The Stranglers
  7. Thin Lizzy
  8. The Rolling Stones
  9. Yes
  10. Siouxsie & The Banshees
  11. Led Zeppelin
  12. Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  13. The Who
  14. Ian Dury & The Blockheads
  15. Queen
  16. Tom Robinson Band
  17. Graham Parker & The Rumour
  18. Blondie
  19. Electric Light Orchestra
  20. Status Quo


  1. Dave Greenfield
  2. Rick Wakeman
  3. Johnny Fingers
  4. Tony Banks
  5. Brian Eno
  6. Steve Naive
  7. Keith Emerson
  8. Barry Andrews
  9. Dave Formula
  10. Jon Lord

Tags: The AttractionsSteve NieveThis Year's ModelThe ClashJoe StrummerMick JonesDavid BowieBob DylanBruce SpringsteenThe Rolling StonesSome GirlsMick JaggerThe JamAll Mod ConsPaul WellerIan DuryThe WhoTom Robinson BandGraham Parker & The RumourBlondieThin LizzyJohn LydonLed ZeppelinStatus QuoGenesisBrian Eno(I Don't Want To Go To) ChelseaRadio, RadioJake Riviera

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New Musical Express, January 20, 1979

Elvis Costello, This Year's Model and Steve Nieve placed strong in the 1978 Readers' Poll.

Charles Shaar Murray analyses the results.


1979-01-20 New Musical Express page 24.jpg1979-01-20 New Musical Express photo 01 px.jpg
Page scan and photo.

Poll analysis

Charles Shaar Murray


1979-01-20 New Musical Express page 26 clipping 01.jpg

Meet the new bosses... In which the new hierarchies are consolidated, more and more of the older gods are consigned to the quiet darkness and everybody who sneered at the new bands back in '76 can kindly go laugh on the other side of their faces, OK?

Compared to the blizzard of short-sightedness that afflicts readers' polls in other publications of a vaguely rock-oriented nature, the NME readers' poll vindicates not only our belief in new rock and roll but — let's get sickening for a second — our belief in you, our readers, as the hippest bunch of punters reading any rock paper anywhere. Your votes let us know that we're not pissing in the wind as much as our most pessimistic moments tell us we are. Thanks for backing our judgements — and we hope we continue to back yours. To business then...

Impacts:   Elvis Costello runs for President and cops Best Songwriter, 3rd Best Male Singer, Fifth Best Album and (with the Attractions) 12th Best Group. Inexplicably neither "Chelsea" nor "Radio, Radio" registered in the singles list, but there's time enough for that (and Pin-Up Of The Year) next go-round. And we ain't doing a recount for anyone, Jake.

Margins of victory varied alarmingly. The Clash won by miles in the group section, but in the album section The Jam took 'em by a mere three votes, while one vote separated Elvis Costello and Siouxsie. Jean Jacques took it with plenty to spare in the bass department while Elvis Costello's songwriting trophy was secured over Paul Weller thanks to a mere four unknown heroes.

1979-01-20 New Musical Express cover.jpg


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