1976 in British music

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This is a summary of 1976 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Overview[edit]

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.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number One singles[edit]

Date Song Artist(s)
10 January "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
17 January
24 January
31 January "Mamma Mia" ABBA
7 February
14 February "Forever and Ever" Slik
21 February "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" The Four Seasons
28 February
6 March "I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" Tina Charles
13 March
20 March
27 March "Save Your Kisses for Me" Brotherhood of Man
3 April
10 April
17 April
24 April
1 May
8 May "Fernando" ABBA
15 May
22 May
29 May
5 June "No Charge" J.J. Barrie
12 June "The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)" The Wurzels
19 June
26 June "You to Me Are Everything" Real Thing
3 July
10 July
17 July "The Roussos Phenomenon EP" Demis Roussos
24 July "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" Elton John and Kiki Dee
31 July
7 August
14 August
21 August
28 August
4 September "Dancing Queen" ABBA
11 September
18 September
25 September
2 October
9 October
16 October "Mississippi" Pussycat
23 October
30 October
6 November
13 November "If You Leave Me Now" Chicago
20 November
27 November
4 December "Under the Moon of Love" Showaddywaddy
11 December
18 December
25 December "When a Child Is Born" Johnny Mathis
1 January

[3]

Number One albums[edit]

Date Album Artist(s) Weeks
10 January 40 Greatest Hits Perry Como 1
17 January A Night at the Opera Queen 2
24 January
31 January The Best of Roy Orbison Roy Orbison 1
7 February The Very Best of Slim Whitman Slim Whitman 6
14 February
21 February
28 February
6 March
13 March
20 March Blue for You Status Quo 3
27 March
3 April
10 April Rock Follies Television soundtrack 2
17 April
24 April Presence Led Zeppelin 1
1 May Rock Follies Television soundtrack 1
8 May Greatest Hits ABBA 9
15 May
22 May
29 May
5 June
12 June
19 June
26 June
3 July
10 July A Night on the Town Rod Stewart 2
17 July
24 July 20 Golden Greats The Beach Boys 10
31 July
7 August
14 August
21 August
28 August
4 September
11 September
18 September
25 September
2 October The Best of The Stylistics Volume II The Stylistics 1
9 October Stupidity Dr. Feelgood 1
16 October Greatest Hits ABBA 2
23 October
30 October Soul Motion Various Artists 2
6 November
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
4 December
11 December
18 December
25 December
1 January

[4]

Year-end charts[edit]

Between 5 January and 10 December 1976.

Best-selling singles[edit]

[5][6]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Save Your Kisses for Me" Brotherhood of Man 1
2 "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" Elton John and Kiki Dee 1
3 "Mississippi" Pussycat 1
4 "Dancing Queen" ABBA 1
5 "A Little Bit More" Dr Hook 2
6 "If You Leave Me Now" Chicago 1
7 "Fernando" ABBA 1
8 "I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" Tina Charles 1
9 "The Roussos Phenomenon EP" Demis Roussos 1
10 "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" The Four Seasons 1
11 "Under the Moon of Love" Showaddywaddy 1
12 "You to Me Are Everything" The Real Thing 1
13 "Forever and Ever" Slik 1
14 "Sailing" Rod Stewart 3
15 "Young Hearts Run Free" Candi Staton 2
16 "The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)" The Wurzels 1
17 "When Forever Has Gone" Demis Roussos 2
18 "Jungle Rock" Hank Mizell 3
19 "Can't Get By Without You" The Real Thing 2
20 "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" Leo Sayer 2
21 "Mamma Mia" ABBA 1
22 "Hurt" Manhattans 4
23 "Silly Love Songs" Wings 2
24 "Convoy" C. W. McCall 2
25 "Kiss and Say Goodbye" Manhattans 4
26 "You Just Might See Me Cry" Our Kid 2
27 "Love Really Hurts Without You" Billy Ocean 2
28 "You See the Trouble With Me" Barry White 2
29 "Let 'Em In" Wings 2
30 "No Charge" J. J. Barrie 1
31 "Jeans On" David Dundas 3
32 "Don't Take Away the Music" Tavares 4
33 "Howzat!" Sherbet 4
34 "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto D'Aranjuez" Manuel and the Music of the Mountains 3
35 "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen 1
36 "Misty Blue" Dorothy Moore 5
37 "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" Tavares 4
38 "Dance Little Lady Dance" Tina Charles 6
39 "I Am a Cider Drinker (Paloma Blanca)" The Wurzels 3
40 "Music" John Miles 3
41 "Love Machine" The Miracles 3
42 "Aria" Acker Bilk, His Clarinet and Strings 5
43 "Let's Stick Together" Bryan Ferry 4
44 "In Zaire" Johnny Wakelin 4
45 "The Killing of Georgie" Rod Stewart 2
46 "The Girl of My Best Friend" Elvis Presley 9
47 "Play That Funky Music" Wild Cherry 7
48 "You Don't Have to Go" The Chi-Lites 3
49 "I Only Wanna Be with You" Bay City Rollers 4
50 "Arms of Mary" Sutherland Brothers and Quiver 5

Best-selling albums[edit]

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.[7]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 Greatest Hits ABBA 1
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
9 Desire Bob Dylan 3
10 Wings at the Speed of Sound Wings 2

Bands formed[edit]

Bands disbanded[edit]

Classical Music: new works[edit]

Opera[edit]

Film and Incidental music[edit]

Musical films[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1976". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  2. ^ BBC - Proms. Accessed 13 April 2013
  3. ^ "Number One singles of 1976". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  4. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Top albums of 1970". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Top 50 Singles of 1976". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 25. 25 December 1976.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1976". Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007.

External links[edit]