March 1980: Pink Floyd Hits #1 with "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)"

Pink Floyd The Wall single artwork
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(Columbia)

Released at the end of November 1979, Pink Floyd's double-album The Wall would storm straight to #1 on the album charts for the week of January 19, 1980. It would hold the top spot for an astonishing 15 weeks, finally surrendering #1 to Bob Seger's Against the Wind for the week of May 3, 1980.

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The Wall would also come with a monster single, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)." Also released in November 1979, it would take a more leisurely route to the top, hitting #1 on the Hot 100 for the week of March 21, 1980. It stayed there until April 19, 1980, when it was toppled by Blondie's "Call Me."

"You couldn't find anybody in the world more pro-education than me. But the education I went through in boys' grammar school in the '50s was very controlling and demanded rebellion," Waters told Mojo in 2009. "The teachers were weak and therefore easy targets. The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it absolutely demanded that you rebel against that."

When it came to the song's jaunty disco beat, all credit goes to the band's producer, Bob Ezrin: "I'd just done a session in New York, and Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (of CHIC) were in the next studio. I heard this drum beat and went 'Wow, would that ever work great with rock n roll!' When I got to England a few months later and I started listening to 'Another Brick...,' that beat kept playing through my head."

"It wasn't my idea to do disco music, it was Bob's," Waters sniffed. "He said to me, 'Go to a couple of clubs and listen to whats happening with disco music,' so I forced myself out and listened to loud, four-to-the-bar bass drums and stuff and thought, 'Gawd awful!' Then we went back and tried to turn one of the 'Another Brick In The Wall' parts into one of those so it would be catchy."

"I don't remember anyone complaining," countered drummer Nick Mason. "There is a standard speed for a disco track and we followed that to the letter. It was recorded in a very disco way -- drums and bass put down on their own and everything added gradually on top."

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(Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
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