1976 in British music
|1970s in music in the UK|
|Top 10 singles|
|Top 10 albums|
This is a summary of 1976 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Events
- 3 Charts
- 4 Year-end charts
- 5 Bands formed
- 6 Bands disbanded
- 7 Classical Music: new works
- 8 Opera
- 9 Film and Incidental music
- 10 Musical films
- 11 Births
- 12 Deaths
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
This year saw the emergence of disco as a force to be reckoned with, a trend which would hold for the rest of the decade and peak in the last two years. This was also the year which truly established ABBA as the top selling act of the decade with them achieving their second, third and fourth number ones (as well as releasing the biggest-selling album of the year). The ABBA formula was also replicated in the biggest-selling song of the year - the Eurovision-winning "Save Your Kisses for Me" by Brotherhood of Man, who began a three-year run in the UK charts from 1976. Other acts to achieve notable firsts were Elton John, who scored his first UK number one single this year (albeit as a duet with Kiki Dee), Showaddywaddy had their first and only number one and long-standing hitmaker Johnny Mathis also scored his biggest hit this year. The album charts saw TV advertising become a major factor in changing the landscape of big sellers with non-regular singles artists achieving high sales with compilations. Among these were Slim Whitman, Bert Weedon, Glen Campbell and The Beach Boys, who remained at number one for ten consecutive weeks.
Also emerging this year was a new trend, which became known as punk rock. This was little evident on the charts as yet, and was more a lifestyle choice, but would become much more significant the following year, as many new acts who typified the trend came onto the scene.
Overall, 1976 is not considered a vintage year by music critics, with its overwhelming dominance by pop and MOR acts. Certainly, many consider 1976 to be the nadir of British music and hold the year's charts up to be the very reason why Punk and New Wave music emerged with such force the following year.
Britain's foremost classical composers of the late 20th century, including Sir William Walton, Benjamin Britten and Sir Michael Tippett, were still active. Sir Charles Groves conducted the Last Night of the Proms, and the soloist for "Rule Britannia" was contralto Anne Collins; the programme included Walton's Portsmouth Point overture.
- 6 March - EMI Records reissues all 22 previously released British Beatles singles, plus a new single of the classic "Yesterday". All 23 singles hit the UK charts at the same time
- 7 March - A wax likeness of Elton John is put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.
- 9 March - The Who's Keith Moon collapses on stage ten minutes into a performance at the Boston Garden.
- 3 April - Brotherhood of Man win the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with the song "Save Your Kisses For Me". It goes on to be the biggest-selling Eurovision winner ever.
- 3 May - Paul McCartney and Wings start their Wings over America Tour in Fort Worth, Texas. This is the first time McCartney has performed in the US since The Beatles' last concert in 1966 at Candlestick Park.
- 19 May - Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is involved in a car accident. Cocaine is found in his wrecked car. Richards is given a court date of 12 January 1977.
- 2 July - Benjamin Britten is created Baron Britten of Aldeburgh in the County of Suffolk, less than six months before his death.
- 11 September - Sir Charles Groves conducts the Last Night of The Proms, which includes music by Britten, William Walton, Frederick Delius and other British composers. Anne Collins is guest soloist.
- 20 September & 21 September - 100 Club Punk Festival, the first international punk festival is held in London. Siouxsie and the Banshees play their first concert.
- 8 October - The Sex Pistols sign a contract with EMI Records.
Number One singles
|10 January||"Bohemian Rhapsody"||Queen|
|31 January||"Mamma Mia"||ABBA|
|14 February||"Forever and Ever"||Slik|
|21 February||"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"||The Four Seasons|
|6 March||"I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)"||Tina Charles|
|27 March||"Save Your Kisses for Me"||Brotherhood of Man|
|5 June||"No Charge"||J.J. Barrie|
|12 June||"The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)"||The Wurzels|
|26 June||"You to Me Are Everything"||Real Thing|
|17 July||"The Roussos Phenomenon EP"||Demis Roussos|
|24 July||"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"||Elton John and Kiki Dee|
|4 September||"Dancing Queen"||ABBA|
|13 November||"If You Leave Me Now"||Chicago|
|4 December||"Under the Moon of Love"||Showaddywaddy|
|25 December||"When a Child Is Born"||Johnny Mathis|
Number One albums
|10 January||40 Greatest Hits||Perry Como||1|
|17 January||A Night at the Opera||Queen||2|
|31 January||The Best of Roy Orbison||Roy Orbison||1|
|7 February||The Very Best of Slim Whitman||Slim Whitman||6|
|20 March||Blue for You||Status Quo||3|
|10 April||Rock Follies||Television soundtrack||2|
|24 April||Presence||Led Zeppelin||1|
|1 May||Rock Follies||Television soundtrack||1|
|8 May||Greatest Hits||ABBA||9|
|10 July||A Night on the Town||Rod Stewart||2|
|24 July||20 Golden Greats||The Beach Boys||10|
|2 October||The Best of The Stylistics Volume II||The Stylistics||1|
|9 October||Stupidity||Dr. Feelgood||1|
|16 October||Greatest Hits||ABBA||2|
|30 October||Soul Motion||Various Artists||2|
|13 November||The Song Remains the Same||Led Zeppelin||1|
|20 November||22 Golden Guitar Greats||Bert Weedon||1|
|27 November||Twenty Golden Greats||Glen Campbell||6|
Between 5 January and 10 December 1976.
The list of the top fifty best-selling albums of 1976 were published in Music Week and in Record Mirror at the end of the year, and reproduced in the second edition of the BPI Year Book in 1977. However, in 2007 the Official Charts Company published album chart histories for each year from 1956 to 1977, researched by historian Sharon Mawer, and included an updated list of the top ten best-selling albums for each year based on the new research. The updated top ten for 1976 is shown in the table below.
|2||20 Golden Greats||Beach Boys||1|
|3||Forever and Ever||Demis Roussos||2|
|4||A Night on the Town||Rod Stewart||1|
|5||Glen Campbell's Twenty Golden Greats||Glen Campbell||1|
|6||Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)||Eagles||2|
|7||The Very Best of Slim Whitman||Slim Whitman||1|
|8||A Night at the Opera||Queen||1|
|10||Wings at the Speed of Sound||Wings||2|
Classical Music: new works
- Benjamin Britten - Welcome Ode for young people's voices and orchestra
- Jonathan Harvey - I Love the Lord
- Alun Hoddinott - A Contemplation upon Flowers
- Daniel Jones - Dance Fantasy
- William Mathias - Zodiac Trio
- William Walton - Varii Capricci
Film and Incidental music
- 16 January - Stuart Fletcher (The Seahorses)
- 21 January - Emma Bunton, singer and actress (Spice Girls)
- 8 March - Gareth Coombes (Supergrass)
- 17 March - Stephen Gately, Irish singer (Boyzone) (died 2009)
- 6 April - James Fox, singer-songwriter
- 8 May - Ian "H" Watkins (Steps)
- 10 May - Stuart Braithwaite, singer-songwriter and guitarist (Mogwai)
- 2 June - Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)
- 13 June
- 22 June - Gordon Moakes (Bloc Party)
- 3 July - Shane Lynch, Irish singer (Boyzone)
- 10 July - Philip Howard, pianist and composer
- 12 August - Stuart MacRae, composer
- 16 September - Tina Barrett (S Club 7)
- 1 October - Richard Oakes, guitarist (Suede)
- 16 November - Dan Black (The Servant)
- 12 December - Dan Hawkins, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer (The Darkness and Stone Gods)
- 5 January - Mal Evans, Beatles' former roadie and patron of Badfinger, 40 (shot)
- 8 January - George Baker, singer, 90
- 13 January - Isolde Menges, violinist, 82
- 19 March - Paul Kossoff, guitarist, (Free), 25 (drug-related)
- 26 March - Duster Bennett, blues musician, 29
- 14 May - Keith Relf, vocalist (The Yardbirds), 33 (electrocuted)
- 15 May - David Munrow, early music performer, 33 (suicide)
- 26 May - Dame Maggie Teyte, operatic soprano, 88
- 30 May - Hugo Rignold, violinist and conductor, 71
- 24 August - Michael Head, pianist and composer, 76
- 27 October - Deryck Cooke, musicologist and broadcaster, 57
- 28 November - Harold Darke, organist and composer, 88
- 4 December - Benjamin Britten, composer, 63
- date unknown - Malcolm Boyle, organist and composer, 74
- 1976 in British radio
- 1976 in British television
- 1976 in the United Kingdom
- List of British films of 1976
- "Eurovision Song Contest 1976". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- BBC - Proms. Accessed 13 April 2013
- "Number One singles of 1976". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "The Official Charts Company - Top albums of 1970". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
- "Top 50 Singles of 1976". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 25. 25 December 1976.
- Hunter, Nigel, ed. (1977). "Top 100 Singles 1976". BPI Year Book 1977 (2nd ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. p. 216–18. ISBN 0-906154-00-6.
- Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1976". Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007.