1978 in music
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|Years:||1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981|
This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1978.
- January 14 – The Sex Pistols play their final show (until a 1996 reunion) at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom.
- January 16 – Elton John appears on this week's People Magazine without his trademark glasses. John would still wear glasses occasionally for the next ten years until wearing them permanently again.
- January 21 – As Saturday Night Fever becomes a cultural phenomenon, the soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Charts, where it will stay until July.
- January 25
- January 28 – By request, Ted Nugent autographs his name into a fan's arm with a bowie knife in Philadelphia.
- February 4 - Elton John appears as the guest star on The Muppet Show.
- February 10 – Van Halen debuts with self-titled album; Eddie Van Halen introduces a powerful new sound and technique to world, while David Lee Roth is ushered in as the front man.
- March 18 – California Jam II is held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Over 300,000 fans come to see Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Santana, Dave Mason, Foreigner, Heart and more.
- April 22
- In the Eurovision Song Contest in Paris, France, victory goes to Israel's entry "A-Ba-Ni-Bi", performed by Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta.
- The "One Love Peace Concert" is held in Kingston, Jamaica, headlined by Bob Marley, making his first concert appearance since December 1976.
- Steve Martin performs the original "King Tut" on Saturday Night Live; also that night, The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on the show.
- May 6 – The Knack is formed (first album released in 1979).
- May 13 – Barry Gibb becomes the only songwriter in history to have written 4 consecutive #1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart.
- May 18 – The Buddy Holly Story, starring Gary Busey, is released. It would win the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score, and earn a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Busey) and Best Sound.
- May 25 – In a performance used for The Kids Are Alright, The Who play their last show with Keith Moon.
- June 10 – The Rolling Stones begin their 25-date US summer tour in Lakeland, Florida.
- June 13 – The Cramps play a free concert for patients at the Napa State Mental Hospital.
- June 16 – The film adaptation of the musical Grease, opens in theaters and is a box office hit.
- June 20 – Grace Slick splits with Jefferson Starship the day after a disastrous concert in Hamburg, Germany, in which a heavily intoxicated Slick verbally abused the crowd and groped various fans and band mates.
- June 29 – Peter Frampton is nearly killed in a car accident in The Bahamas, suffering multiple broken bones, a concussion, and muscle damage.
- July 1 – The first Texxas Jam is held over the July 4 long weekend at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The first day features Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, Heart, Journey, Head East, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Eddie Money, Van Halen and Walter Egan. Sunday consists of Willie Nelson headlining his sixth annual Fourth of July picnic.
- July 19 – Dead Kennedys play their first concert, at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, California.
- July 21 – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, a much-hyped musical film starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees performing the music of The Beatles, opens in theaters. The film is savaged by critics and proves a box office disappointment.
- July 30 – Thin Lizzy officially announces that Gary Moore has replaced Brian Robertson on guitar.
- August 26 – 80,000 concertgoers attend Mosport Speedway in Ontario for the "Canada Jam Festival", featuring sets by the Doobie Brothers, Commodores, Kansas, Village People, Dave Mason, the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Triumph.
- September 7 – The Who drummer Keith Moon dies in a central London flat after a prescription drug overdose at the age of 32.
- September 14–16 – The Grateful Dead perform three shows in Giza, Egypt, very close to the Sphinx and Great Pyramid.
- October 12 – Nancy Spungen, the American girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, is found dead in a New York hotel room of a stab wound. Sid is arrested and charged with her murder.
- October 24 – Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards pleads guilty to a reduced charge of possessing heroin in Toronto in 1977. The more serious charge of drug trafficking is dropped and Richards is given a one-year suspended sentence as well as ordered to play a charity concert for the blind.
- October 29 – Michael Schenker plays his final show with UFO in Stanford, California before leaving the group to rejoin Scorpions.
- November 25 – A now sober Alice Cooper releases the album From the Inside, which tells of his stay in rehab for alcoholism.
- November 27 – Def Leppard's permanent drummer Rick Allen joins the band at the age of 15.
- December 31
- Matthias Jabs joins Scorpions, replacing Uli Jon Roth.
- The seventh annual New Year's Rockin' Eve special airs on ABC, with performances by Barry Manilow, Village People, Chuck Mangione, Tanya Tucker and Rick James.
- CBS airs New Year's Eve with Guy Lombardo for the final time, nearly two years after the band leader's death and ending a 22 year run that began in 1956.
- The Winterland Ballroom venue in San Francisco closes with a New Year's Eve performance by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Blues Brothers.
Also in 1978
- Kenny Rogers continues his highly successful solo career with the single (and album) "The Gambler" and will go on to star in no less than 5 movies based around the song.
- In the UK, singles sales are at their all-time high this year, boosted by the simultaneous peak of the disco and punk phenomena and the success of singles from the movie Grease.
- Mozambique holds its first National Dance Festival, involving half a million people.
|18||Excitable Boy||Warren Zevon||-|
|19||Pastiche||The Manhattan Transfer||-|
|20||City to City||Gerry Rafferty||-|
|27||Bootsy? Player of the Year||Bootsy's Rubber Band||-|
|Double Live Gonzo!||Ted Nugent||Live|
|Endless Wire||Gordon Lightfoot||-|
|I Love My Music||Wild Cherry||-|
|I'm Ready||Muddy Waters||-|
|Open Fire||Ronnie Montrose||-|
|Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town||Emmylou Harris||-|
|Ten Years of Gold||Kenny Rogers||Compilation|
|Waylon & Willie||Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson||-|
|Weekend in L.A.||George Benson||Live|
|10||It Begins Again||Dusty Springfield||-|
|Stained Class||Judas Priest||-|
|Van Halen||Van Halen||-|
|17||Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts||The Adverts||-|
|The Kick Inside||Kate Bush||-|
|18||Tell Us the Truth||Sham 69||-|
|24||Watch||Manfred Mann's Earth Band||-|
|25||Casino||Al Di Meola||-|
|27||Macho Man||Village People||-|
|All This and Heaven Too||Andrew Gold||-|
|Bring It Back Alive||Outlaws||Live|
|Drastic Plastic||Be-Bop Deluxe||-|
|Easter Island||Kris Kristofferson||-|
|Even Now||Barry Manilow||-|
|Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush – Live||Mahogany Rush||Live|
|It Happened One Bite||Dan Hicks||-|
|Let's Keep It That Way||Anne Murray||-|
|Street Action||Bachman–Turner Overdrive||-|
|Street Hassle||Lou Reed||-|
|What Do You Want from Live||The Tubes||Live|
|7||...And Then There Were Three...||Genesis||-|
|Hermit of Mink Hollow||Todd Rundgren||-|
|9||Long Live Rock 'n' Roll||Rainbow||-|
|10||Heavy Horses||Jethro Tull||-|
|13||Almighty Fire||Aretha Franklin||-|
|16||The Last Waltz||The Band||Soundtrack|
|20||Come Get It!||Rick James||-|
|21||Bad Boy||Ringo Starr||-|
|Boys in the Trees||Carly Simon||-|
|Cats Under the Stars||Jerry Garcia Band||-|
|Final Exam||Loudon Wainwright III||-|
|Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture||Various Artists||Soundtrack|
|I Would Like to See You Again||Johnny Cash||-|
|A Live Record||Camel||Live|
|Magazine||Heart||Re-issue with re-recordings|
|The Only Ones||The Only Ones||-|
|Rainbow Takeaway||Kevin Ayers||-|
|Shadow Dancing||Andy Gibb||-|
|Showdown||The Isley Brothers||-|
|So Full of Love||The O'Jays||-|
|Thank God It's Friday||Various Artists||Soundtrack|
|2||Darkness on the Edge of Town||Bruce Springsteen||-|
|Live and Dangerous||Thin Lizzy||Live|
|3||Peter Gabriel||Peter Gabriel||second album|
|6||The Cars||The Cars||-|
|9||Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds||Jeff Wayne||-|
|Octave||The Moody Blues||-|
|Some Girls||The Rolling Stones||-|
|15||Street Legal||Bob Dylan||-|
|19||Thick as Thieves||Trooper||-|
|Face to Face||The Angels||-|
|First Glance||April Wine||-|
|If I Weren't So Romantic I'd Shoot You||Derringer||-|
|Living Room Suite||Harry Chapin||-|
|Pyramid||The Alan Parsons Project||-|
|Struck Down||Yesterday and Today||-|
|A Tonic for the Troops||The Boomtown Rats||-|
|We Have Come for Your Children||Dead Boys||-|
|21||More Songs About Buildings and Food||Talking Heads||-|
|23||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||Various Artists||Soundtrack|
|All Night Long||Sammy Hagar||Live|
|Blam!||The Brothers Johnson||-|
|Can't Stand the Rezillos||The Rezillos||-|
|Dream of a Child||Burton Cummings||-|
|Hobo with a Grin||Steve Harley||-|
|Lights from the Valley||Chilliwack||-|
|Love or Something Like It||Kenny Rogers||-|
|Nightflight to Venus||Boney M||-|
|Norma Jean||Norma Jean Wright||-|
|Under Wraps||Shaun Cassidy||-|
|We'll Sing in the Sunshine||Helen Reddy||-|
|Who Do Ya Love||KC and the Sunshine Band||-|
|2||Don't Look Back||Boston||-|
|7||Roberta Flack||Roberta Flack||-|
|18||Who Are You||The Who||-|
|28||Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!||Devo||-|
|31||Live and More||Donna Summer||Double LP; 3 sides live, 1 side studio|
|National Lampoon's Animal House||Various Artists||Soundtrack|
|Do It All Night||Curtis Mayfield||-|
|Frozen in the Night||Dan Hill||-|
|A Funky Situation||Wilson Pickett||-|
|Is It Still Good To Ya||Ashford & Simpson||-|
|Kingdom of Madness||Magnum||-|
|Luxury You Can Afford||Joe Cocker||-|
|Molly Hatchet||Molly Hatchet||-|
|Rose Royce III: Strikes Again!||Rose Royce||-|
|Sir Army Suit||Klaatu||-|
|Twin Sons of Different Mothers||Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg||-|
|Well Kept Secret||Juice Newton||-|
|White, Hot and Blue||Johnny Winter||-|
|1||Minute by Minute||The Doobie Brothers||-|
|3||Back to Earth||Cat Stevens||-|
|8||First Issue||Public Image Ltd||-|
|9||American Dreams||Jesse Colin Young||-|
|15||Here, My Dear||Marvin Gaye||-|
|16||You Don't Bring Me Flowers||Neil Diamond||-|
|Back to the Bars||Todd Rundgren||Live|
|The Best of Top of the Pops '78||Top of the Poppers||Compilation|
|D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle||Throbbing Gristle||-|
|Equinoxe||Jean Michel Jarre||-|
|Motor Booty Affair||Parliament||-|
|Natural Act||Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge||-|
Release Date Unknown
Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1978.
|1||Bee Gees||Stayin' Alive||1978||/||US BB 1 – Dec 1977, Canada 1 – Jan 1978, Netherlands 1 – Feb 1978, France 1 – Feb 1978, Italy 1 of 1978, Australia 1 for 7 weeks Jan 1979, US CashBox 2 of 1978, Austria 2 – Apr 1978, Switzerland 2 – Mar 1978, Germany 2 – Mar 1978, Scrobulate 2 of disco, Sweden (alt) 3 – Mar 1978, UK 4 – Feb 1978, Norway 4 – Mar 1978, Australia 4 of 1978, South Africa 4 of 1978, US BB 8 of 1978, POP 8 of 1978, AFI 9, OzNet 9, Party 13 of 2007, RYM 34 of 1977, Europe 36 of the 1970s, 80 in 2FM list, RIAA 94, Acclaimed 98, Germany 100 of the 1970s, Rolling Stone 189|
|2||John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John||You're the One That I Want||1978||/||UK 1 – May 1978, US BB 1 – Apr 1978, Canada 1 – Apr 1978, Netherlands 1 – May 1978, Sweden (alt) 1 – Jul 1978, Switzerland 1 – Jul 1978, Norway 1 – Jul 1978, Australia 1 of 1978, Germany 1 – Jun 1978, Éire 1 – Jun 1978, Australia 1 for 2 weeks Apr 1979, Austria 2 – Jul 1978, France 5 – May 1978, US CashBox 9 of 1978, Italy 12 of 1978, POP 15 of 1978, US BB 17 of 1978, Germany 17 of the 1970s, South Africa 17 of 1978, TOTP 20, Poland 26 – Jul 1998, Global 33 (5 M sold) – 1978, Europe 72 of the 1970s, RYM 153 of 1978|
|3||The Village People||Y.M.C.A.||1978||UK 1 – Nov 1978, Netherlands 1 – Dec 1978, Sweden (alt) 1 – Dec 1978, Austria 1 – Jan 1979, Switzerland 1 – Dec 1978, Germany 1 – Jan 1979, Éire 1 – Jan 1979, Australia 1 for 5 weeks Oct 1979, POP 1 of 1979, US BB 2 – Nov 1978, Canada 2 – Dec 1978, Norway 2 – Jan 1979, US BB 3 of 1979, France 3 – Dec 1978, Party 03 of 1999, US CashBox 4 of 1979, Global 7 (10 M sold) – 1978, Australia 15 of 1979, Germany 23 of the 1970s, Scrobulate 38 of disco, Europe 86 of the 1970s, RIAA 86, RYM 95 of 1978, Acclaimed 1662|
|4||Boney M||Rivers of Babylon||1978||UK 1 – Apr 1978, Netherlands 1 – Apr 1978, Sweden (alt) 1 – May 1978, France 1 – May 1978, Austria 1 – May 1978, Switzerland 1 – Apr 1978, Norway 1 – May 1978, Germany 1 – Apr 1978, Éire 1 – May 1978, Australia 1 for 6 weeks Apr 1979, South Africa 1 of 1978, Australia 3 of 1978, Germany 3 of the 1970s, TOTP 8, US BB 30 – Jul 1978, Italy 36 of 1978, RYM 77 of 1978, Global 100 (5 M sold) – 1978, OzNet 867|
|5||Bee Gees||Night Fever||1978||/||UK 1 – Apr 1978, US BB 1 – Feb 1978, US CashBox 1 of 1978, Canada 1 – Feb 1978, France 1 – Apr 1978, Éire 1 – Apr 1978, Norway 2 – May 1978, Germany 2 – May 1978, Netherlands 3 – Apr 1978, Switzerland 3 – May 1978, Austria 4 – Jun 1978, Sweden (alt) 5 – May 1978, US BB 10 of 1978, POP 11 of 1978, South Africa 12 of 1978, Italy 29 of 1978, Scrobulate 39 of 70s, RYM 59 of 1978, Party 77 of 1999, Germany 94 of the 1970s, Europe 96 of the 1970s, OzNet 894, Acclaimed 2046|
Chronological table of US and UK number one hit singles
Published popular music
- "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" w. Tim Rice m. Andrew Lloyd Webber from the musical Evita
- "Dallas theme song" m. Jerrold Immel
- "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" w. Tim Rice m. Andrew Lloyd Webber from the musical Evita
- "Grease" w.m. Barry Gibb from the film Grease
- "Honesty" w.m. Billy Joel
- "Hopelessly Devoted to You" w.m. John Farrar introduced by Olivia Newton-John in the film Grease
- "My Life" w.m. Billy Joel
- "Only the Good Die Young" w.m. Billy Joel
- "Sultans of Swing" w.m. Mark Knopfler
- "Thank You for Being a Friend" w.m. Andrew Gold
- "Three Times a Lady" w.m. Lionel Richie
- "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" w. Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman & Neil Diamond m. Neil Diamond
- "You're the One That I Want" w.m. John Farrar introduced by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the film Grease
- Malcolm Arnold – Symphony No. 8
- Jacob Druckman – Viola concerto
- Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel
- Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky – Requiem pour une marée noire
- Iannis Xenakis – Mycènes Alpha
- Robert Ashley – Perfect Lives
- Lorenzo Ferrero – Rimbaud, ou le fils du soleil
- Vivian Fine – The Women in the Garden
- György Ligeti – Le grand macabre
- Krzysztof Penderecki – Paradise Lost (libretto by Christopher Fry)
- Aulis Sallinen – The Red Line (Punainen viiva)
- Lorenzo Ferrero – Invito a nozze
- Ain't Misbehavin' Broadway revue opened at the Longacre Theatre on May 9 and ran for 1604 performances
- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opened at the Entermedia Theatre on April 17 and ran for 85 performances. (Moved to Broadway in 1979)
- Eubie Broadway revue opened at the Ambassador Theatre on September 20 and ran for 439 performances
- Evita (Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice) – London production opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on June 21
- Hello, Dolly! (Jerry Herman) – Broadway revival opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 5 and ran for 152 performances
- I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road Off-Broadway production opened at the Anspacher Theater on June 14 and ran for 1165 performances
- Timbuktu Broadway production opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on March 1 and ran for 243 performances
- On The Twentieth Century Broadway production opened at the St. James Theatre on February 19 and ran for 460 performances
- American Hot Wax
- The Buddy Holly Story
- Heeralaal Pannalaal
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Thank God It's Friday
- The Wiz
- January 3 – Kimberley Locke, American singer
- January 5 – Karnail Pitts, American rapper (d. 1999)
- January 9 – A. J. McLean, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
- January 12
- January 20 – Sid Wilson, American rock turntablist (Slipknot, DJ Starscream)
- January 31 – Ibolya Oláh, Hungarian singer
- February 1 – Jeff Conrad (Phantom Planet)
- February 14 – Ryan Griffiths, guitarist (The Vines)
- February 19 - Immortal Technique Underground rapper
- February 22 – Jenny Frost, British singer (Atomic Kitten)
- February 24 – John Nolan, American rock lead singer (Straylight Run)
- February 28 – Jeanne Cherhal, French singer-songwriter
- March 10 – Benjamin Burnley, American musician
- March 12 – Claudio Sanchez, American singer/songwriter (Coheed & Cambria)
- March 21 – Kevin Federline, American musician
- March 31 – Tony Yayo, American rapper
- April 6 - Myleene Klass, English singer (Hear'Say), pianist, media personality and model
- April 7 – Duncan James, English singer (Blue)
- April 9 – Rachel Stevens, British singer (S Club 7)
- April 11 – Thomas Thacker, Canadian singer
- April 12 – Guy Berryman, Scottish rock bass player (Coldplay)
- April 21
- April 22 – Jason Stollsteimer, American lead singer and guitarist (The Von Bondies)
- May 3 – Paul Banks, American rock vocalist (Interpol)
- May 21 – Adam Gontier, Canadian-born rock musician (Three Days Grace)
- May 23 – Scott Raynor, American rock musician (Blink-182)
- May 29 – Adam Rickitt, British actor, singer and model
- May 30 – Kianna Alarid (Tilly and the Wall)
- June 6 – Carl Barât, English rock singer and guitarist (The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things)
- June 9 – Matthew Bellamy (Muse)
- June 13 – Jason Michael Carroll, American country musician
- June 19 – Mía Maestro, singer
- June 29 – Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet)
- June 27 – Lolly, English singer
- August 1 – Dhani Harrison, English musician and son of George Harrison of The Beatles
- August 7 – Jamey Jasta, American rock singer (Hatebreed)
- August 15 – Tim Foreman, American rock bassist (Switchfoot)
- August 18 - Quinoline Yellow, Welsh composer and producer
- August 23 – Julian Casablancas (The Strokes)
- August 24 – Darren Robinson (Phantom Planet)
- August 27 – Mase, rapper
- August 28
- August 30 - Maino, rapper
- September 6 – Cisco Adler, American musician
- September 9 – Johnny Shentall, English singer
- September 11 – Ben Lee, Australian singer
- September 20
- September 30 – Steve Klein (New Found Glory)
- October 2 – Ayumi Hamasaki, Japanese singer
- October 3 – Jake Shears, American singer
- October 9 – Nicky Byrne, Irish singer (Westlife)
- October 14 – Usher, American singer and actor
- October 20
- October 27 – Vanessa-Mae, British violinist
- November 9 – Sisqó, American singer
- November 10 – Eve, American rapper
- November 13 – Nikolai Fraiture, American rock bassist (The Strokes)
- November 16 – Carolina Parra (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
- November 18 – Andris Nelsons, Latvian conductor
- November 22 – Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
- November 25 – Shiina Ringo, Japanese singer and musician
- November 30 – Clay Aiken, American singer
- December 1 – Brad Delson (Linkin Park)
- December 2
- December 15 – Ned Brower (Rooney)
- December 23 – Esthero, singer-songwriter
- December 24 – Tonedeff, American rapper
- December 29
- January 3 – Jack Oakie, 74, actor in many musical films of the 1940s
- January 23
- January 31 – Gregory Herbert, Blood, Sweat & Tears saxophonist
- February 7 - Dimitrie Cuclin, 82, composer and musicologist
- March 4 – Joe Marsala, 71, clarinetist and songwriter
- March 11 – Claude François, 39, singer-songwriter (electrocuted)
- March 17 – Malvina Reynolds, 77, US folk/blues singer-songwriter
- March 18 – Peggy Wood, 86, actress and singer
- April 3 – Ray Noble, 74, composer and bandleader
- April 21 – Sandy Denny, 31, folk singer (Fairport Convention) (cerebral haemorrhage)
- May 1 – Aram Khachaturian, 74, composer
- May 5 – Ján Móry, 85, Slovak composer
- May 26 – Tamara Karsavina, 93, ballerina
- July 14 – Maria Grinberg, 69, pianist
- July 29 – Glenn Goins, 24, Parliament Funkadelic guitarist and singer (Hodgkin's lymphoma)
- August 14 – Joe Venuti, 74, US jazz violinist
- August 24 – Louis Prima, 67, jazz musician
- September 6 – Tom Wilson, 47, producer
- September 7 – Keith Moon, 32, drummer of The Who (drug overdose)
- September 24 – Ruth Etting, 80, US "torch" singer
- October 6 – Johnny O'Keefe, 43, Australian Singer
- October 9 – Jacques Brel, 49, singer-songwriter
- October 12 – Nancy Spungen, 20, girlfriend of Sid Vicious
- October 23 – Maybelle Carter née Addington, 69, US country singer and musician, member of the Carter Family
- November 12 – Howard Swanson, 71, composer
- November 18 – Lennie Tristano, 59, jazz pianist
- December 3 - William Grant Still, 83, composer
- December 27 – Chris Bell, 27, singer-songwriter (auto accident)
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