1978 in British music

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This is a summary of 1978 in music in the United Kingdom.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number one singles[edit]

Date Song Artist
7 January "Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School" Wings
14 January
21 January
28 January
4 February "Uptown Top Ranking" Althea & Donna
11 February "Figaro" Brotherhood of Man
18 February "Take a Chance on Me" ABBA
25 February
4 March
11 March "Wuthering Heights" Kate Bush
18 March
25 March
1 April
8 April "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs" Brian and Michael
15 April
22 April
29 April "Night Fever" Bee Gees
6 May
13 May "Rivers of Babylon" Boney M
20 May
27 May
3 June
10 June
17 June "You're the One That I Want" John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
24 June
1 July
8 July
15 July
22 July
29 July
5 August
12 August
19 August "Three Times a Lady" The Commodores
26 August
2 September
9 September
16 September
23 September "Dreadlock Holiday" 10cc
30 September "Summer Nights" John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
7 October
14 October
21 October
28 October
4 November
11 November
18 November "Rat Trap" The Boomtown Rats
25 November
2 December "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Rod Stewart
9 December "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord" Boney M
16 December
23 December
30 December

Number one albums[edit]

Date Album Artist Weeks
7 January Disco Fever Various Artists 2
14 January
21 January The Sound of Bread Bread 1
28 January Rumours Fleetwood Mac 1
4 February The Album ABBA 7
11 February
18 February
25 February
4 March
11 March
18 March
25 March 20 Golden Greats Buddy Holly and The Crickets 3
1 April
8 April
15 April 20 Golden Greats Nat 'King' Cole 3
22 April
29 April
6 May Saturday Night Fever Original Soundtrack 18
13 May
20 May
27 May
3 June
10 June
17 June
24 June
1 July
8 July
15 July
22 July
29 July
5 August
12 August
19 August
26 August
2 September
9 September Nightflight to Venus Boney M 4
16 September
23 September
30 September
7 October Grease Original Soundtrack 13
14 October
21 October
28 October
4 November
11 November
18 November
25 November
2 December
9 December
16 December
23 December
30 December

Year-end charts[edit]

The tables below include sales between 31 December 1977 and 30 December 1978: the year-end charts reproduced in the issue of Music Week dated 23 December 1978 and played on Radio 1 on 31 December 1978 only include sales figures up until 16 December 1978.

Best-selling singles[edit]

[1]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Rivers of Babylon"/"Brown Girl in the Ring" Boney M 1
2 "You're the One That I Want" John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1
3 "Summer Nights" John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1
4 "Three Times a Lady" The Commodores 1
5 "The Smurf Song" Father Abraham and the Smurfs 2
6 "Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord" Boney M 1
7 "Night Fever" Bee Gees 1
8 "Rat Trap" The Boomtown Rats 1
9 "Take a Chance on Me" ABBA 1
10 "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs" Brian and Michael 1
11 "Dreadlock Holiday" 10cc 1
12 "Wuthering Heights" Kate Bush 1
13 "Sandy" John Travolta 2
14 "Rasputin" Boney M 2
15 "Substitute" Clout 2
16 "Denis" Blondie 2
17 "Baker Street" Gerry Rafferty 3
18 "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Rod Stewart 1
19 "Figaro" Brotherhood of Man 1
20 "Come Back My Love" Darts 2
21 "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" Rose Royce 2
22 "Mull of Kintyre"/"Girls' School" Wings 1
23 "It's Raining" Darts 2
24 "Wishing on a Star" Rose Royce 3
25 "Lucky Stars" Dean Friedman 3
26 "Dancing in the City" Marshall Hain 3
27 "Boogie Oogie Oogie" A Taste of Honey 3
28 "Oh What a Circus" David Essex 3
29 "Grease" Frankie Valli 3
30 "Jilted John" Jilted John 4
31 "Y.M.C.A." Village People 2[a]
32 "Annie's Song" James Galway 3
33 "Stayin' Alive" Bee Gees 4
34 "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams 3
35 "The Boy from New York City" Darts 2
36 "Hopelessly Devoted to You" Olivia Newton-John 2
37 "Blame It on the Boogie" The Jacksons 8
38 "Darlin'" Frankie Miller 6
39 "Never Let Her Slip Away" Andrew Gold 5
40 "Sweet Talking Woman" Electric Light Orchestra 6
41 "If I Had Words" Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley with the St Thomas More School Choir 3
42 "I Can't Stand the Rain" Eruption featuring Precious Wilson 5
43 "Mr. Blue Sky" Electric Light Orchestra 6
44 "Uptown Top Ranking" Althia and Donna 1
45 "MacArthur Park" Donna Summer 5
46 "I Wonder Why" Showaddywaddy 2
47 "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" Sylvester 8
48 "If You Can't Give Me Love" Suzi Quatro 4
49 "A Taste of Aggro" The Barron Knights 3
50 "Forever Autumn" Justin Hayward 5

Best-selling albums[edit]

[2]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 Saturday Night Fever Original Soundtrack 1
2 Grease Original Soundtrack 1
3 The Album ABBA 1
4 Nightflight to Venus Boney M 1
5 20 Golden Greats Nat 'King' Cole 1
6 Rumours Fleetwood Mac 1
7 Out of the Blue Electric Light Orchestra 5[b]
8 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Jeff Wayne 5
9 Images Don Williams 2
10 20 Golden Greats Buddy Holly & the Crickets 1
11 The Kick Inside Kate Bush 3
12 And Then There Were Three Genesis 3
13 Classic Rock London Symphony Orchestra 3
14 New Boots and Panties!! Ian Dury 8[c]
15 Live and Dangerous Thin Lizzy 2
16 Reflections Andy Williams 2
17 The Sound of Bread Bread 1
18 The Singles: 1974–1978 The Carpenters 2
19 Street-Legal Bob Dylan 2
20 A Tonic for the Troops The Boomtown Rats 8
21 20 Golden Greats The Hollies 2
22 The Stud Original Soundtrack 2
23 City to City Gerry Rafferty 6
24 The Big Wheels of Motown Various Artists 2
25 You Light Up My Life Johnny Mathis 3
26 Greatest Hits (1976-1978) Showaddywaddy 4[d]
27 20 Golden Greats Neil Diamond 2
28 Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf 11[e]
29 London Town Wings 4
30 Emotions Various Artists 2
31 Midnight Hustle Various Artists 5
32 Some Girls The Rolling Stones 2
33 Variations Andrew Lloyd Webber 2
34 Pastiche The Manhattan Transfer 10
35 Greatest Hits ABBA 12[f]
36 Kaya Bob Marley and the Wailers 4
37 Blondes Have More Fun Rod Stewart 3
38 Parallel Lines Blondie 7[g]
39 Foot Loose & Fancy Free Rod Stewart 4[h]
40 Plastic Letters Blondie 10
41 Arrival ABBA 12[i]
42 Black and White The Stranglers 2
43 20 Giant Hits The Nolan Sisters 3
44 The Greatest Hits of Donna Summer Donna Summer 4
45 Natural High The Commodores 8
46 This Year's Model Elvis Costello and the Attractions 4
47 Anytime...Anywhere Rita Coolidge 6
48 Octave The Moody Blues 6
49 A Single Man Elton John 8
50 Bloody Tourists 10cc 3

Notes:

  1. ^ Reached number 1 in 1979
  2. ^ Reached number 4 in 1977
  3. ^ Reached number 5 in 1979
  4. ^ Reached number 1 in 1979
  5. ^ Reached number 9 in 1981
  6. ^ Reached number 1 in 1976
  7. ^ Reached number 1 in 1979
  8. ^ Reached number 3 in 1977
  9. ^ Reached number 1 in 1976

Classical music: new works[edit]

Film and Incidental music[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1979). "Top 200 Singles in 1978". BPI Year Book 1979 (4th ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 186–89. ISBN 0-906154-02-2.
  2. ^ Scaping (1979). "Top 200 LPs in 1978". pp. 182–85.