1978 in music

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List of years in music (table)
  • 1975
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1978
  • 1979
  • 1980
  • 1981
  • Years in music: 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
    Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
    Decades: 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
    Years: 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981

    This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1978.

    Specific locations[edit]

    Specific genres[edit]





    Also in 1978[edit]

    • 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 five 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.
    • November – Iron Maiden hires lead singer Paul Di'Anno.
    • New Edition formed in 1978 in Massachusetts, USA.

    Bands disbanded[edit]

    Albums released[edit]


    Day Album Artist Notes
    3 White Hot Angel
    18 Excitable Boy Warren Zevon
    19 Pastiche The Manhattan Transfer
    20 City to City Gerry Rafferty
    Infinity Journey
    White Music XTC
    27 Bootsy? Player of the Year Bootsy's Rubber Band
    Attention Shoppers! Starz
    Double Live Gonzo! Ted Nugent Live
    Endless Wire Gordon Lightfoot
    I'm Ready Muddy Waters
    Level Headed Sweet
    The Modern Dance Pere Ubu
    Open Fire Ronnie Montrose
    Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town Emmylou Harris
    Street Player Rufus
    Ten Years of Gold Kenny Rogers Compilation
    Waylon & Willie Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson


    Day Album Artist Notes
    6 Earth Jefferson Starship
    10 It Begins Again Dusty Springfield
    Stained Class Judas Priest
    Van Halen Van Halen
    11 Nina Hagen Band Nina Hagen Band
    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
    Animal Games London
    Bring It Back Alive Outlaws Live
    British Lions Mott the Hoople
    Drastic Plastic Be-Bop Deluxe
    Easter Island Kris Kristofferson
    Even Now Barry Manilow
    Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush – Live Mahogany Rush Live
    Impeckable Budgie
    It Happened One Bite Dan Hicks
    Let's Keep It That Way Anne Murray
    Plastic Letters Blondie
    Street Action Bachman–Turner Overdrive
    Street Hassle Lou Reed
    What Do You Want from Live The Tubes Live


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 ...And Then There Were Three... Genesis UK; 28 March in US
    Northwinds David Coverdale
    3 Easter Patti Smith Group
    Southern Winds Maria Muldaur
    Zappa in New York Frank Zappa Live
    6 A Biography John Mellencamp as Johnny Cougar
    10 Another Music in a Different Kitchen Buzzcocks
    13 Double Dose Hot Tuna Live
    Gettin' the Spirit Roberta Kelly
    Guilty Until Proven Insane Skyhooks
    16 You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish REO Speedwagon
    17 Generation X Generation X
    This Year's Model Elvis Costello and the Attractions
    23 Kaya Bob Marley & The Wailers
    31 London Town Wings
    Adolescent Sex Japan
    Champagne Jam Atlanta Rhythm Section
    Double Fun Robert Palmer
    First Glance April Wine
    Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival Various Artists Live
    Jesus of Cool Nick Lowe titled Pure Pop for Now People in US
    The Rutles The Rutles Soundtrack
    Some Things Don't Come Easy England Dan & John Ford Coley
    A Song for All Seasons Renaissance
    Son of a Son of a Sailor Jimmy Buffett
    Squeeze Squeeze
    U.K. U.K.
    Waiting for Columbus Little Feat Live
    Warmer Communications Average White Band
    What If Dixie Dregs


    Day Album Artist Notes
    2 Double Platinum Kiss Remix
    7 For You Prince
    Hermit of Mink Hollow Todd Rundgren
    The Last Waltz The Band Soundtrack
    9 Long Live Rock 'n' Roll Rainbow
    10 Heavy Horses Jethro Tull
    13 Almighty Fire Aretha Franklin
    14 Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Various Artists Soundtrack
    15 Mutiny Up My Sleeve Max Webster
    20 Come Get It! Rick James
    21 Bad Boy Ringo Starr
    22 Magazine Heart Re-issue with re-recordings
    25 Showdown The Isley Brothers
    Adventure Television
    Boys in the Trees Carly Simon
    Cats Under the Stars Jerry Garcia Band
    FM Various Artists Soundtrack
    Future Bound Tavares
    I Would Like to See You Again Johnny Cash
    A Live Record Camel Live
    The Only Ones The Only Ones
    Please Don't Touch Steve Hackett
    Rainbow Takeaway Kevin Ayers
    Stardust Willie Nelson
    V2 The Vibrators


    Day Album Artist Notes
    2 You're Gonna Get It! Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    5 Powerage AC/DC
    Stranger in Town Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
    12 Black and White The Stranglers
    16 But Seriously, Folks... Joe Walsh
    Livetime Hall & Oates Live
    19 Misfits The Kinks
    The Man-Machine Kraftwerk
    25 David Gilmour David Gilmour
    Eternally Yours The Saints
    Heaven Tonight Cheap Trick
    Love Me Again Rita Coolidge
    Natural High Commodores
    The Parkerilla Graham Parker and The Rumour Live
    Songbird Barbra Streisand
    Stone Blue Foghat
    Welcome Home Carole King


    Day Album Artist Notes
    2 Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen
    Live and Dangerous Thin Lizzy Live
    Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel second album
    6 The Cars The Cars
    7 Fame Grace Jones
    9 Octave The Moody Blues
    Some Girls The Rolling Stones
    15 Living Room Suite Harry Chapin
    Street-Legal Bob Dylan
    Sunlight Herbie Hancock
    19 Thick as Thieves Trooper
    20 Double Vision Foreigner
    Face to Face The Angels
    If I Weren't So Romantic I'd Shoot You Derringer
    Nested Laura Nyro
    Obsession UFO
    Shadow Dancing Andy Gibb
    Pyramid The Alan Parsons Project
    Real Life Magazine
    Saga Saga
    Struck Down Yesterday and Today
    A Tonic for the Troops The Boomtown Rats
    We Have Come for Your Children Dead Boys


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 Under Wraps Shaun Cassidy
    12 Nightwatch Kenny Loggins
    17 Cheryl Lynn Cheryl Lynn
    16 Heartbreaker Dolly Parton
    20 Touchdown Bob James
    21 Can't Stand the Rezillos The Rezillos
    More Songs About Buildings and Food Talking Heads
    23 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Various Artists Soundtrack
    Alicia Bridges Alicia Bridges
    Americana Leon Russell
    Dream of a Child Burton Cummings
    Hobo with a Grin Steve Harley
    Love or Something Like It Kenny Rogers
    Nightflight to Venus Boney M
    Norma Jean Norma Jean Wright
    Out of Reach Can
    We'll Sing in the Sunshine Helen Reddy


    Day Album Artist Notes
    2 Don't Look Back Boston
    7 Roberta Flack Roberta Flack
    11 C'est Chic Chic
    18 Who Are You The Who
    21 Along the Red Ledge Hall & Oates
    28 Are We Not Men? We Are Devo! Devo Debut album
    31 Live and More Donna Summer Double LP; 3 sides live, 1 side studio
    Chairs Missing Wire
    Danger Zone Player
    Do It All Night Curtis Mayfield
    Frozen in the Night Dan Hill
    Is It Still Good To Ya Ashford & Simpson
    Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee Ohio Players
    Kingdom of Madness Magnum
    Luxury You Can Afford Joe Cocker
    Rose Royce III: Strikes Again! Rose Royce
    Sir Army Suit Klaatu
    Tokyo Tapes Scorpions Live
    Twin Sons of Different Mothers Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg
    Well Kept Secret Juice Newton
    White, Hot and Blue Johnny Winter
    Who Do Ya (Love) KC and the Sunshine Band
    With Luv' Luv'


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 Bloody Tourists 10cc
    The Bride Stripped Bare Bryan Ferry
    Pieces of Eight Styx
    Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet
    2 Feel the Need Leif Garrett
    3 Ross Diana Ross
    5 Skynyrd's First and... Last Lynyrd Skynyrd Recorded 1971–'72
    6 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Jeff Wayne
    8 Stage David Bowie Live
    Systems of Romance Ultravox
    Tracks on Wax 4 Dave Edmunds
    11 Giant for a Day Gentle Giant
    One Nation Under a Groove Funkadelic
    15 Studio Tan Frank Zappa
    Wet Dream Rick Wright
    18 Ace Frehley Ace Frehley
    Gene Simmons Gene Simmons
    Paul Stanley Paul Stanley
    Peter Criss Peter Criss
    19 All Fly Home Al Jarreau
    Living in the USA Linda Ronstadt
    20 Tormato Yes
    21 Road to Ruin Ramones
    22 Breathless Camel
    Bursting Out Jethro Tull Live
    Love Bites Buzzcocks
    The Man Barry White
    25 Cruisin' Village People
    28 Never Say Die! Black Sabbath
    29 Green Light Cliff Richard
    Nicolette Nicolette Larson
    30 Back on the Streets Gary Moore
    Blue Valentine Tom Waits
    Fallen Angel Uriah Heep
    Flamin' Groovies Now Flamin' Groovies
    Gillan Gillan
    Leo Sayer Leo Sayer
    Mr. Gone Weather Report
    Parallel Lines Blondie
    Rough Tina Turner
    Snakebite Whitesnake EP
    Some Enchanted Evening Blue Öyster Cult Live
    Time Passages Al Stewart
    Wavelength Van Morrison
    Weekend Warriors Ted Nugent
    X Klaus Schulze


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 Photo-Finish Rory Gallagher
    2 Comes a Time Neil Young
    Hot Streets Chicago
    M.I.U. Album The Beach Boys
    6 25 Years On Hawkwind as Hawklords
    Go 2 XTC
    So Alone Johnny Thunders
    7 Dire Straits Dire Straits
    Dog & Butterfly Heart
    9 Killing Machine Judas Priest
    12 Chaka Chaka Khan
    13 52nd Street Billy Joel
    Christmas Portrait The Carpenters Christmas
    If You Want Blood You've Got It AC/DC Live
    15 Toto Toto
    16 A Single Man Elton John
    21 Pleasure Train Teri Desario
    27 Slade Alive, Vol. 2 Slade Live
    29 Hemispheres Rush
    31 Thoroughfare Gap Stephen Stills
    Brass Construction IV Brass Construction
    Coliseum Rock Starz
    Don't Cry Out Loud Melissa Manchester
    If You Can't Stand the Heat... Status Quo
    Inner Secrets Santana
    Live! Bootleg Aerosmith Live
    Money Talks The Bar-Kays
    Music for Films Brian Eno
    New Dimensions The Three Degrees
    Not Available The Residents
    Obscure Alternatives Japan
    Pain Killer Krokus
    Playin' to Win Outlaws
    Pleasure and Pain Dr. Hook
    Prehistoric Sounds The Saints
    Private Practice Dr. Feelgood
    Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) Captain Beefheart
    Trouble Whitesnake
    Two for the Show Kansas Live
    You Had to Be There Jimmy Buffett Live


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 Midnight Oil Midnight Oil
    2 Outlandos d'Amour The Police
    Wings Greatest Wings Compilation
    3 All Mod Cons The Jam
    10 Babylon by Bus Bob Marley & The Wailers Live
    Germfree Adolescents X-Ray Spex
    Give 'Em Enough Rope The Clash
    Jazz Queen
    Lionheart Kate Bush
    13 The Scream Siouxsie and the Banshees
    15 Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Barbra Streisand Compilation
    Shakedown Street Grateful Dead
    18 Love Beach Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    20 Motor Booty Affair Parliament
    22 Variations Andrew Lloyd Webber
    23 The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 Earth, Wind & Fire Compilation
    24 Blondes Have More Fun Rod Stewart
    Incantations Mike Oldfield
    Tubeway Army Tubeway Army
    27 Love Tracks Gloria Gaynor
    28 Briefcase Full of Blues The Blues Brothers Live
    Totally Hot Olivia Newton John 
    30 Greatest Hits Steely Dan Compilation
    Backless Eric Clapton
    Crazy Moon Crazy Horse
    Crosswinds Peabo Bryson
    Dub Housing Pere Ubu
    Duck Stab/Buster & Glen The Residents
    Energy The Pointer Sisters
    From the Inside Alice Cooper
    The Gambler Kenny Rogers
    Greatest Hits Barry Manilow Compilation
    Greatest Hits 1974–78 Steve Miller Band Compilation
    Legend Poco
    Live: Take No Prisoners Lou Reed Live
    Move It On Over George Thorogood & The Destroyers
    Profile: Best of Emmylou Harris Emmylou Harris Compilation
    Rose Tattoo Rose Tattoo
    Sanctuary The J. Geils Band
    TNT Tanya Tucker


    Day Album Artist Notes
    1 Minute by Minute The Doobie Brothers
    2 Directstep Herbie Hancock
    Quiet Riot II Quiet Riot Japan
    3 Back to Earth Cat Stevens
    4 D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle Throbbing Gristle
    8 Public Image: First Issue Public Image Ltd
    9 American Dreams Jesse Colin Young
    15 Here, My Dear Marvin Gaye
    17 Destiny The Jacksons
    Back to the Bars Todd Rundgren Live
    The Best of Top of the Pops '78 Top of the Poppers Compilation
    Équinoxe Jean Michel Jarre
    Natural Act Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge

    Release Date Unknown[edit]

    Biggest hit singles[edit]

    The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1978.

    # Artist Title Year Country Chart entries
    1 Bee Gees Stayin' Alive 1978 Australia / United Kingdom 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 United States / Australia 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 Village People Y.M.C.A. 1978 United States 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 Germany 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 Australia / United Kingdom 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[edit]

    Other significant singles[edit]

    Published popular music[edit]

    Classical music[edit]




    Musical theater[edit]

    Musical films[edit]




    1. ^ Flippo, Chet (November 30, 1978). "Keith Richards Guilty – But Free". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 

    External links[edit]