1978 in music

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List of years in music (table)
In radio
In television
Electric Light Orchestra in 1978

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.
  • New Edition formed in Massachusetts, USA.
  • Rolnicka Praha children's choir is founded in Prague, Czech Republic.

Bands disbanded[edit]

Albums released[edit]


Day Album Artist Notes
2 We All Know Who We Are Cameo
3 Level Headed Sweet
White Hot Angel
18 Excitable Boy Warren Zevon
19 Pastiche The Manhattan Transfer
20 City to City Gerry Rafferty
White Music XTC
27 Bootsy? Player of the Year Bootsy's Rubber Band
30 Infinity Journey
? Attention Shoppers! Starz
Endless Wire Gordon Lightfoot
I'm Ready Muddy Waters
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 British Lions British Lions
It Begins Again Dusty Springfield
Stained Class Judas Priest
Van Halen Van Halen
Waiting for Columbus Little Feat Live
17 Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts The Adverts
Impeckable Budgie
The Kick Inside Kate Bush
24 Watch Manfred Mann's Earth Band
27 Macho Man Village People
? Street Hassle Lou Reed
Double Live Gonzo! Ted Nugent Live
Casino Al Di Meola
All This and Heaven Too Andrew Gold
Animal Games London
Bring It Back Alive Outlaws Live
Tell Us the Truth Sham 69
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
Plastic Letters Blondie
Street Action Bachman–Turner Overdrive
What Do You Want from Live The Tubes Live


Day Album Artist Notes
2 Quiet Riot Quiet Riot Released only in Japan
3 A Song for All Seasons Renaissance
Easter Patti Smith Group
Southern Winds Maria Muldaur
Zappa in New York Frank Zappa Live
6 A Biography John Mellencamp as Johnny Cougar
10 Northwinds David Coverdale [6]
Another Music in a Different Kitchen Buzzcocks
13 Double Dose Hot Tuna Live
Gettin' the Spirit Roberta Kelly
Guilty Until Proven Insane Skyhooks
17 Double Fun Robert Palmer
Generation X Generation X
Son of a Son of a Sailor Jimmy Buffett
This Year's Model Elvis Costello and the Attractions
23 Kaya Bob Marley & The Wailers
31 ...And Then There Were Three... Genesis
London Town Wings
? Adolescent Sex Japan
Champagne Jam Atlanta Rhythm Section
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
Squeeze Squeeze
Warmer Communications Average White Band
What If Dixie Dregs


Day Album Artist Notes
7 For You Prince
Hermit of Mink Hollow Todd Rundgren
The Last Waltz The Band Soundtrack
10 Heavy Horses Jethro Tull
12 FM Various Artists Soundtrack
13 Almighty Fire Aretha Franklin
I Would Like to See You Again Johnny Cash
14 Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Various Artists Soundtrack
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll Rainbow [7]
17 Mutiny Up My Sleeve Max Webster
19 Tasty Patti LaBelle
20 Come Get It! Rick James
21 Bad Boy Ringo Starr
24 Cold Chisel Cold Chisel
Heaven Tonight Cheap Trick
25 Showdown The Isley Brothers
? Double Platinum Kiss Compilation
Saga Saga
Magazine Heart Re-issue with re-recordings
Adventure Television
You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish REO Speedwagon
Boys in the Trees Carly Simon
Cats Under the Stars Jerry Garcia Band
Future Bound Tavares
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 David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf David Bowie with the Philadelphia Orchestra
We'll Sing in the Sunshine Helen Reddy
You're Gonna Get It! Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Powerage AC/DC UK
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
Natural Force Bonnie Tyler
The Man-Machine Kraftwerk
26 David Gilmour David Gilmour Solo Debut
? U.K. U.K. Debut
Pyramid The Alan Parsons Project
Eternally Yours The Saints
The Image Has Cracked Alternative TV
Love Me Again Rita Coolidge
Natural High Commodores
The Parkerilla Graham Parker and The Rumour Live
Reckless The Sports
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
Snakebite Whitesnake EP[8]
6 The Cars The Cars
7 Fame Grace Jones
9 Octave The Moody Blues
Some Girls The Rolling Stones
Dire Straits Dire Straits
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Jeff Wayne
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
Real Life Magazine
See Forever Eyes Prism
Shadow Dancing Andy Gibb
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
7 Nightflight to Venus Boney M
12 Nightwatch Kenny Loggins
14 More Songs About Buildings and Food Talking Heads
17 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Various Artists Soundtrack
Cheryl Lynn Cheryl Lynn
Heartbreaker Dolly Parton
20 Touchdown Bob James
21 Can't Stand the Rezillos The Rezillos
? Under Wraps Shaun Cassidy
Alicia Bridges Alicia Bridges
Americana Leon Russell
Dream of a Child Burton Cummings
Hobo with a Grin Steve Harley
I've Always Been Crazy Waylon Jennings
Love or Something Like It Kenny Rogers
Norma Jean Norma Jean Wright
Out of Reach Can


Day Album Artist Notes
7 Roberta Flack Roberta Flack
11 C'est Chic Chic
14 Lanquidity Sun Ra
15 Don't Look Back Boston [9]
21 Who Are You The Who [10]
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
? All Night Long Sammy Hagar Live
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
Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet
5 Blue Valentine Tom Waits
Skynyrd's First and... Last Lynyrd Skynyrd Recorded 1971–'72
8 Stage David Bowie Live
Time Passages Al Stewart -
Systems of Romance Ultravox
Tracks on Wax 4 Dave Edmunds
11 Giant for a Day Gentle Giant
15 Studio Tan Frank Zappa
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
22 Breathless Camel
Tormato Yes
Bursting Out Jethro Tull Live
Road to Ruin Ramones
Love Bites Buzzcocks
The Man Barry White
One Nation Under a Groove Funkadelic
Wet Dream Richard Wright
25 Cruisin' Village People
Ugly Ego Cameo
29 Never Say Die! Black Sabbath
Green Light Cliff Richard
Nicolette Nicolette Larson
? Parallel Lines Blondie
Pieces of Eight Styx
Fallen Angel Uriah Heep
Flamin' Groovies Now Flamin' Groovies
Gillan Gillan
Leo Sayer Leo Sayer
Mr. Gone Weather Report
Ross Diana Ross
Back on the Streets Gary Moore
Dog & Butterfly Heart
O Zambezi Dragon
Rough Tina Turner
Some Enchanted Evening Blue Öyster Cult Live
Wavelength Van Morrison
Weekend Warriors Ted Nugent
X Klaus Schulze
Feel the Need Leif Garrett


Day Album Artist Notes
2 Hot Streets Chicago
M.I.U. Album The Beach Boys
6 25 Years On Hawkwind as Hawklords
Go 2 XTC
Pleasure and Pain Dr. Hook
So Alone Johnny Thunders
12 Chaka Chaka Khan
13 52nd Street Billy Joel
Comes a Time Neil Young [11]
Christmas Portrait The Carpenters Christmas
Fool Around Rachel Sweet UK version
If You Want Blood You've Got It AC/DC Live
16 A Single Man Elton John
24 Hemispheres Rush
27 Slade Alive, Vol. 2 Slade Live
Obscure Alternatives Japan
30 Pain Killer Krokus
31 Thoroughfare Gap Stephen Stills
? Toto Toto
Photo-Finish Rory Gallagher
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
Playin' to Win Outlaws
Prehistoric Sounds The Saints
Private Practice Dr. Feelgood
Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) Captain Beefheart
Trouble Whitesnake
Two for the Show Kansas Live
Pleasure Train Teri Desario
You Had to Be There Jimmy Buffett Live


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Midnight Oil Midnight Oil
3 Outlandos d'Amour The Police Debut
Killing Machine Judas Priest UK
All Mod Cons The Jam
You Don't Bring Me Flowers Neil Diamond
10 Jazz Queen
Lionheart Kate Bush
Give 'Em Enough Rope The Clash
Babylon by Bus Bob Marley & The Wailers Live
Germfree Adolescents X-Ray Spex
13 The Scream Siouxsie and the Banshees Debut
15 Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Barbra Streisand Compilation
Shakedown Street Grateful Dead
17 Love Beach Emerson, Lake & Palmer [12]
Dub Housing Pere Ubu
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
Tubeway Army Tubeway Army
Yellow Magic Orchestra Yellow Magic Orchestra
27 Wings Greatest Wings Compilation
Love Tracks Gloria Gaynor
28 Briefcase Full of Blues The Blues Brothers Live
30 Greatest Hits Steely Dan Compilation
? Destiny The Jacksons
Backless Eric Clapton
Crazy Moon Crazy Horse
Nina Hagen Band Nina Hagen Band [13]
Crosswinds Peabo Bryson
Duck Stab/Buster & Glen The Residents
Energy The Pointer Sisters
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
So Young Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons Mini-LP
TNT Tanya Tucker


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Incantations Mike Oldfield [14]
Équinoxe Jean Michel Jarre
If You Knew Suzi... Suzi Quatro
Minute by Minute The Doobie Brothers
2 Quiet Riot II Quiet Riot Japan
4 D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle Throbbing Gristle
8 Public Image: First Issue Public Image Ltd
15 Here, My Dear Marvin Gaye
From the Inside Alice Cooper
Back to the Bars Todd Rundgren Live
Back to Earth Cat Stevens
American Dreams Jesse Colin Young
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.[15]

# Artist Title Year Country Chart entries
1 Bee Gees Stayin' Alive 1977 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, Republic of Ireland 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, Republic of Ireland 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, Republic of Ireland 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, Republic of Ireland 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]

US number one singles and artist
(weeks at number one)

UK number one singles and artist
(weeks at number one)

Top 40 Chart hit singles[edit]

Song title Artist(s) Release date(s) US UK Highest chart position Other Chart Performance(s)
"5–7–0–5" City Boy August 1978 27 8 8 (United Kingdom) 11 (Australia) - 55 (Canada)
"Airport" The Motors June 1978 n/a 4 3 (Israel) See chart performance entry
"Alive Again" Chicago October 1978 14 n/a 11 (Canada) 13 (U.S. Cash Box Top 100) - 39 (US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks)
"Are You Old Enough?" Dragon August 1978 n/a n/a 1 (Australia) 6 (New Zealand)
"B-A-B-Y" Rachel Sweet December 1978 n/a 35 35 (United Kingdom) 47 (Australia)
"Baby Hold On" Eddie Money January 1978 11 n/a 4 (Canada) 5 (U.S. Cash Box Top 100) - 19 (Australia) - 41 (Netherlands [Single Top 100])
"Don't Cry Out Loud" Melissa Manchester October 10 n/a 9 (Canada) 2 (Canada RPM Adult Contemporary) - 9 (US Billboard Adult Contemporary) - 10 (US Cash Box Top 100) - 57 (Australia)
"Ça plane pour moi" Plastic Bertrand January 1978 47 8 1 (France, Switzerland) See chart performance entry
"Pump It Up" Elvis Costello and the Attractions June 1978 n/a 24 24 (United Kingdom) 55 (Australia)

Other Chart hit singles[edit]

Notable singles[edit]

Song title Artist(s) Release date(s) Other Chart Performance(s)
"Alternative Ulster" Stiff Little Fingers May 1978 n/a
"Ambition" Subway Sect November 1978 n/a
"Another Girl, Another Planet" The Only Ones April 1978 n/a
"Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" Buzzcocks September 1978 12 (UK Singles Chart)
"I Don't Mind" Buzzcocks April 1978 55 (UK Singles Chart)
"I See Red" Split Enz December 1978 began charting in 1979
"Know Your Product" The Saints February 1978 n/a
"Ready Steady Go" Generation X March 1978 47 (UK Singles Chart)
"Rock Lobster" The B-52's April 1978 Re-recorded version began charting in 1979
"Teenage Kicks" The Undertones October 1978 33 (UK Singles Chart)
"What Do I Get?" Buzzcocks February 1978 37 (UK Singles Chart)

Other Notable singles[edit]

Published popular music[edit]

Classical music[edit]




Musical theater[edit]

Musical films[edit]


  • Unknown: Leilani Sen, English singer and television personality




  1. ^ "simpleminds.com 14 Jan, 2022 Out Now – Act Of Love". simpleminds.com. January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Kate Bush's only tour: pop concert or disappearing act?". The Guardian. May 13, 2010.
  3. ^ "The Picnic at Blackbushe Aerodrome 1978". www.ukrockfestivals.com. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Duran Duran – The Early Days Chapter 1". durancompilations.com. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Flippo, Chet (November 30, 1978). "Keith Richards Guilty – But Free". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016). The Deep Purple Family (2nd ed.). Wymer Publishing. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-908724-42-7.
  7. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016). The Deep Purple Family (2nd ed.). Wymer Publishing. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-908724-42-7.
  8. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016). The Deep Purple Family, vol 1 (2nd ed.). Wymer Publishing. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-908724-42-7.
  9. ^ "RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America.
  10. ^ "RIAA certifications".
  11. ^ "BPI".
  12. ^ "BRIT Certified". Bpi.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  13. ^ "Nina Hagen Band Album" (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  14. ^ "BPI".
  15. ^ Songs from the Year 1978

External links[edit]