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Years in music: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
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Years: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1977.



  • January 1The Clash headline the opening night of London's only punk rock club, The Roxy
  • January 20Jimmy Buffett's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes is released, featuring the biggest single of his career, "Margaritaville"
  • January 22Maria Kliegel makes her London debut at the Wigmore Hall, with a programme of Bach, Kodály, and Franck
  • January 26Patti Smith falls off the stage while opening for Bob Seger in Tampa, Florida, and is rushed to the hospital for 22 stitches to close head lacerations
  • January 27 – After releasing only one single for the English punk rock band, EMI terminates its contract with the Sex Pistols in response to its members' disruptive behaviour at London Heathrow Airport at the beginning of the month
  • February 4
    • Paul Desmond gives his last concert with Dave Brubeck, in New York.
    • American Bandstand celebrates its 25th anniversary on television with a special hosted by Dick Clark; an "all-star band", performing "Roll Over Beethoven", is made up of Chuck Berry, Seals & Crofts, Gregg Allman, Junior Walker, Johnny Rivers, the Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels, Doc Severinsen, Les McCann, Donald Byrd, Chuck Mangione and three members of Booker T and the MGs
    • Fleetwood Mac's widely anticipated Rumours is released; it goes on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time
  • February 14The B-52's give their first public performance at a party in Athens, Georgia.
  • February 15Sid Vicious replaces Glen Matlock as the bassist of the Sex Pistols.


  • March 1Sara Lowndes Dylan files for divorce from her husband of 11 years, Bob Dylan
  • March 4The Rolling Stones play the first of two shows at the El Mocambo in Toronto, their first club appearance since 1964
  • April – Van Morrison releases a new album, A Period of Transition, after a nearly three-year absence
  • March 10A&M Records signs the Sex Pistols in a ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace (The contract is terminated on March 16 as a result of the band vandalizing property and verbally abusing employees during a visit to the record company's office)
  • April 21Jesse Winchester, who fled to Canada in January 1967 to avoid military service in Vietnam, performed a concert in Burlington, Vermont, his first on American soil in ten years (recently became free to return under the Presidential pardon given to all draft evaders)
  • April 22Pink Floyd open the North American leg of their "Animals" tour in Miami, Florida
  • April 24 – Several artists, including Joan Baez and Santana, perform at a free concert for 653 inmates of California's Soledad Prison
  • April 26 – New York's disco Studio 54 opens
  • May 2Elton John performed the first of six consecutive nights at London's Rainbow Theatre, his first concert in eight months
  • May 7 – Having been postponed from April 2 because of a BBC technicians' strike, the 22nd Eurovision Song Contest finally goes ahead in London's Wembley Conference Centre
  • May 11The Stranglers and support band London start a 10-week national UK tour
  • May 12
    • Instruments made by all five members of the 17th- and 18th-century Guarneri family of violin makers are auctioned at Sotheby's, with the top price of £105,000 paid for an instrument made in 1738 by Giuseppe Guarnieri del Gesù
    • Virgin Records announced that they have signed the Sex Pistols (the group had been kicked off two previous labels in 4 months)
  • May 28Bruce Springsteen and Mike Appel reach an out-of-court settlement, ending the year-long legal battle that has blocked Springsteen's ability to record new music
  • May 31 – The musical Beatlemania is premièred at the Winter Garden Theatre


  • June 7
  • June 12
    • Guitarist Michael Schenker vanishes after a UFO concert at The Roundhouse in London (he is replaced for several months by Paul Chapman)
    • The Supremes perform for the last time together at Drury Lane Theatre in London before officially disbanding
  • June 15 – The Snape Maltings Training Orchestra makes its London debut at St John's, Smith Square
  • June 20Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart drives his Porsche over the edge of a canyon, suffering multiple broken bones but surviving as a tree breaks his fall
  • June 22Kiss are elected "most popular band in America" by a Gallup poll
  • July 9Donna Summer's hit record "I Feel Love" is released in the UK; it was the first hit record to have an entirely synthesised backing track
  • July 13 – After a massive blackout hits New York City, NRBQ manages to play an all-acoustic set at The Bottom Line with flashlights taped to their microphone stands
  • July 22 – The first night of The Proms are broadcast by BBC Radio 3 for the first time in quadraphonic sound
  • July 26Led Zeppelin cancels the last seven dates of their American tour after lead singer Robert Plant learns that his six-year-old son Karac has died of a respiratory virus[2] (The show two days before in Oakland proves to be the band's last in the United States)
  • August 16Elvis Presley is found dead at his home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee
  • August 17Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland for the funeral of Elvis Presley had surpassed the number for any other event in the company's history
  • August 20NASA's unmanned probe Voyager 2 was launched carrying a golden record containing sounds and images representing life and culture on Earth, including the first movements of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Guan Pinghu's Liu Shui, played on the guqin, and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode"


  • September 1 – World première at the Royal Albert Hall in London of the expanded version of Luciano Berio's Coro
  • September 3 – Nearly 110,000 fans pack Englishtown Raceway in Old Bridge, New Jersey, for an 11-hour concert by Grateful Dead, Marshall Tucker Band and New Riders of the Purple Sage
  • September 15 – The third - and final - annual Rock Music Awards aired on NBC (Fleetwood Mac dominates, winning five awards while Linda Ronstadt receives the Best Rock Female Vocalist trophy for the third time.
  • September 16T.Rex frontman Marc Bolan is killed in an automobile accident
  • September 29Billy Joel's The Stranger is released containing "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", "Just the Way You Are" and "Only the Good Die Young"
  • October 3Elvis in Concert, a TV concert special filmed during Elvis Presley's final tour, is aired on CBS
  • October 5 – The bicentennial season of La Scala opens in Milan with a production of Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlo
  • October 9Aerosmith cancels several tour dates after Joe Perry and Steven Tyler are injured by an M-80 explosive thrown onstage at the Philadelphia Spectrum, burning Tyler's left cornea and cutting Perry's left hand
  • October 20 – A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in a forest in Mississippi, killing songwriter & vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, background vocalist Cassie Gaines and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick and seriously injuring many of the remaining band members
  • October 27 – British punk band Sex Pistols release Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols on the Virgin Records label. Despite refusal by major UK retailers to stock it, it debuts at number one on the UK Album Charts the week after its release. In a promotional stunt the group perform on a boat on the River Thames shortly afterwards, only for the police to wait for them and make several arrests, including that of Malcolm McLaren, the band's manager at this time
  • October 28 – British rock band Queen release the album News of the World
  • October 31 – The original version of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Jahreslauf is premièred at the National Theatre of Japan in Chiyoda, Tokyo, by the Imperial Gagaku Ensemble
  • November 2510 Years of Rolling Stone, a television special commemorating the tenth anniversary of Rolling Stone magazine, airs on CBS. Guests include Bette Midler, Art Garfunkel, Billy Preston, Melissa Manchester, and Keith Moon
  • November 30Bing Crosby's final Christmas special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, airs on CBS (containing the notable segment of Crosby joined by David Bowie for the duet "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy")
  • December 14Saturday Night Fever appears in theaters, igniting a new popularity for disco music and pushing it to the forefront of American pop culture, with the soundtrack to the film by Bee Gees (who had composed most of the tracks)
  • December 17Elvis Costello makes his American television début on Saturday Night Live, but is banned after substituting the scheduled performance of "Less than Zero" with "Radio, Radio" instead
  • December 31 – The sixth annual New Year's Rockin' Eve special airs on ABC, with performances by Ohio Players, Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Andy Gibb

Also in 1977[]

  • "Bohemian Rhapsody" named "The Best Single Of The Last 25 Years" by BPI
  • St Magnus Festival of the Arts founded in Orkney by local resident, composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
  • The Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe begins its annual festival based on the music of George Frideric Handel
  • Luigi Sagrati becomes president of the Unione Musicisti di Roma
  • The IRCAM Center, a scientific institute for music and sound and avant-garde electro-acoustical art music, opens in Paris
  • The Cars sign a contract with Elektra Records
  • Devo signs a contract with Warner Bros
  • Element Ethan signs a contract with Columbia in the US and is internationally expected to release the first two studio albums by Atlantic Worldwide
  • Midnight Oil sign a contract with CBS Records
  • The Neville Brothers sign a contract with A&M Records
  • The Police sign a contract with A&M Records
  • Van Halen signs a contract with Warner Bros

Bands formed[]

Bands reformed[]

Bands disbanded[]

Albums released[]

  1. New Boots and Panties!! Ian Dury

Biggest hit singles[]

The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1977.

# Artist Title Year Country Chart entries
1 Eagles Hotel California 1977 United States US BB 1 – Mar 1977, Canada 1 – Mar 1977, France 1 – Jun 1977, Grammy in 1977, Switzerland 2 – Jul 1977, OzNet 3, Norway 5 – May 1977, Europe 5 of the 1970s, US BB 6 of 1977, Germany 6 – Jun 1977, TheQ 6, POP 6 of 1977, UK 8 – Apr 1977, Netherlands 8 – May 1977, Austria 13 – Sep 1977, Belgium 18 of all time, RYM 18 of 1977, Scrobulate 28 of rock, US CashBox 35 of 1977, Poland 38 of all time, Acclaimed 43, Virgin 44, RIAA 46, Rolling Stone 49, 68 in 2FM list, WXPN 73, Party 87 of 2007, Italy 88 of 1977, Germany 317 of the 1970s
2 Donna Summer I Feel Love 1977 United States UK 1 – Jul 1977, Netherlands 1 – Aug 1977, France 1 – Sep 1977, Austria 1 – Aug 1977, Australia 1 for 1 weeks May 1978, Switzerland 2 – Aug 1977, Germany 3 – Aug 1977, Sweden (alt) 5 – Jul 1977, Italy 5 of 1977, US BB 6 – Sep 1977, RYM 7 of 1977, Norway 8 – Nov 1977, Canada 9 – Oct 1977, Australia 17 of 1977, Scrobulate 32 of disco, US CashBox 57 of 1977, Acclaimed 181, Germany 271 of the 1970s, Rolling Stone 411
3 Wings Mull of Kintyre 1977 United Kingdom UK 1 – Nov 1977, Netherlands 1 – Dec 1977, Austria 1 – Feb 1978, Switzerland 1 – Jan 1978, Germany 1 – Jan 1978, Éire 1 – Dec 1977, Australia 1 for 11 weeks Jul 1978, Norway 2 – Dec 1977, Australia 2 of 1978, South Africa 5 of 1978, Sweden (alt) 14 – Dec 1977, Germany 21 of the 1970s, RYM 28 of 1977, Europe 76 of the 1970s, Italy 97 of 1978
4 Boney M Ma Baker 1977 Germany Netherlands 1 – May 1977, Sweden (alt) 1 – May 1977, France 1 – Jun 1977, Austria 1 – Jun 1977, Switzerland 1 – May 1977, Norway 1 – Jun 1977, Germany 1 – May 1977, UK 2 – Jun 1977, Italy 16 of 1977, Australia 24 of 1977, Global 33 (5 M sold) – 1978, Germany 55 of the 1970s, Scrobulate 80 of disco, RYM 101 of 1977
5 Baccara Yes Sir, I Can Boogie 1977 Spain UK 1 – Sep 1977, Netherlands 1 – Jun 1977, Sweden (alt) 1 – Jul 1977, Switzerland 1 – Jun 1977, Norway 1 – Aug 1977, Germany 1 – Jun 1977, Éire 1 – Nov 1977, France 2 – Jun 1977, Austria 2 – Aug 1977, Germany 31 of the 1970s, Italy 81 of 1978, RYM 123 of 1977

Chronological table of US and UK number one hit singles[]

US number one singles and artist (weeks at number one) UK number one singles and artist (weeks at number one)
"Tonight's the Night" – Rod Stewart (7 weeks in 1976 + 1 week in 1977) "When a Child is Born" – Johnny Mathis (1 week in 1976 + 2 weeks in 1977)
"You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)"- Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (1) "Don't Give Up on Us" – David Soul (4)
"You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" – Leo Sayer (1) "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" – Julie Covington (1)
"I Wish" – Stevie Wonder (1) "When I Need You" – Leo Sayer (3)
"Car Wash" – Rose Royce (1) "Chanson D'Amour" – The Manhattan Transfer (3)
"Torn Between Two Lovers" – Mary MacGregor (2) "Knowing Me, Knowing You" – ABBA (5)
"Blinded by the Light" – Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1) "Free" – Deniece Williams (2)
"New Kid in Town" – The Eagles (1) "I Don't Want to Talk About It/The First Cut Is the Deepest" – Rod Stewart (4)
"Love theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen)" – Barbra Streisand (3) "Lucille" – Kenny Rogers (1)
"Rich Girl" – Hall & Oates (2) "Show You the Way to Go" – The Jacksons (1)
"Dancing Queen" – ABBA (1) "So You Win Again" – Hot Chocolate (3)
"Don't Give Up on Us" – David Soul (1) "I Feel Love" – Donna Summer (4)
"Don't Leave Me This Way" – Thelma Houston (1) "Angelo" – Brotherhood of Man (1)
"Southern Nights" – Glen Campbell (1) "Float On" – The Floaters (1)
"Hotel California" – Eagles (1) "Way Down" – Elvis Presley (5)
"When I Need You" – Leo Sayer (1) "Silver Lady" – David Soul (3)
"Sir Duke" – Stevie Wonder (3) "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" – Baccara (1)
"I'm Your Boogie Man" – KC and the Sunshine Band (1) "The Name of the Game" – ABBA (4)
"Dreams" – Fleetwood Mac (1) "Mull Of Kintyre / Girls' School" – Wings, (5 weeks in 1977 + 4 weeks in 1978), best selling single of the year
"Got to Give It Up" – Marvin Gaye (1)
"Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)" – Bill Conti (1)
"Undercover Angel" – Alan O'Day (1)
"Da Doo Ron Ron" – Shaun Cassidy (1)
"Looks Like We Made It" – Barry Manilow (1)
"I Just Want to Be Your Everything" – Andy Gibb (4)
"Best of My Love" – The Emotions (5)
"Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" – Meco (2)
"You Light Up My Life" – Debby Boone (10), biggest hit of the 1970s
"How Deep Is Your Love" – Bee Gees (2 weeks in 1977 + 1 week in 1978)

1977's significant hit singles[]

  1. Trans-Europe Express Kraftwerk

Published popular music[]

  • "After the Lovin'" w. Richie Adams m. Alan Bernstein
  • "Annie" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "Brazzle Dazzle Day" w.m. Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorn, from the film Pete's Dragon
  • "But the World Goes 'Round" w. Fred Ebb m. John Kander. Introduced by Liza Minnelli in the film New York City
  • "Child In A Universe" w.m. Laura Nyro
  • "Come In From The Rain"     w.m. Melissa Manchester & Carole Bayer Sager
  • "Easy Street" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "The Greatest Love of All"     w. Linda Creed m. Michael Masser
  • "Happy Endings" w. Fred Ebb m. John Kander. Introduced by Liza Minnelli, Larry Kert and chorus in the film New York, New York
  • "Here You Come Again"     w.m. Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
  • "I Don't Need Anything But You" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "It's Not Easy" w.m. Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorn, from the film Pete's Dragon
  • "It's the Hard-Knock Life" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "Just the Way You Are" w.m. Billy Joel
  • "Little Girls" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "The Love Boat theme song" w.m. Norman Gimbel & Paul Williams
  • "Love Is in the Air"     w.m. George Young & Harry Vanda
  • "Maybe" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "Maybe I'm Amazed" w.m. Paul McCartney
  • "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" w.m. Billy Joel
  • "N.Y.C." w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "A New Deal For Christmas" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "New York, New York"     w.m. Fred Ebb & John Kander. Introduced by Liza Minnelli in the film New York City
  • "Nobody Does It Better"     w. Carole Bayer Sager m. Marvin Hamlisch
  • "She's Always a Woman" w.m. Billy Joel
  • "Someone's Waiting for You"      w. Carol Connors & Ayn Robbins m. Sammy Fain from the film The Rescuers
  • "Something Was Missing" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "Star Wars-Main Theme" m. John Williams from the Star Wars films
  • "Stayin' Alive"     w.m. Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb & Robin Gibb
  • "Thank You for the Music"     w.m. Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus
  • "There Goes the Ball Game" w. Fred Ebb m. John Kander. Introduced by Liza Minnelli in the film New York, New York
  • "Tomorrow"     w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse, from the musical Annie
  • "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "You Won't Be an Orphan for Long" w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse from the musical Annie
  • "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"     w. Martin Charnin m. Charles Strouse, from the musical Annie

Punk rock[]

Main article: Punk rock

Perhaps most important is the beginning of what has become known as the punk rock explosion. 1977 was the year of formation of The Avengers, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Crass, Discharge, Fear, the Flesh Eaters, the Germs, the Misfits, 999, The Pagans, The Plasmatics, VOM, The Weirdos, X, and X-Ray Spex.

1977 also saw the release of several pivotal albums in the development of punk music. widely acknowledged as masterpieces and among the earliest first full-length purely punk albums, The Clash by The Clash, The Damned's Damned, Damned, Damned, the Dead Boys' Young, Loud and Snotty, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers' L.A.M.F., The Jam's In the City, the Ramones' Rocket to Russia, Richard Hell and the Voidoids' Blank Generation, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Television's Marquee Moon, and Wire's Pink Flag are usually considered their respective masterpieces, and kick-started punk music as the musical genre it eventually became. The year also saw the release of debut albums by bands often associated with, if not defined as, punk, thought to be the beginnings of "New Wave" such as Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True, Suicide's Suicide, and Talking Heads' Talking Heads: 77. It also saw the release of Iggy Pop's Lust for Life, his second record as a solo artist.



  • January 1Michael Mann, violinist, son of Thomas Mann, 57 (suicide)
  • January 2Erroll Garner, jazz pianist, 53 (heart attack)
  • January 16 - Tom Archia, jazz saxophonist, 57
  • January 23Dick Burnett, folk songwriter, 94
  • February 8Eivind Groven, microtonal composer and music theorist, 75
  • February 10Grace Williams, composer, 70
  • February 12Ernst Mehlich, German-Brazilian conductor and composer, 89
  • February 23 - Margaret Daum, operatic soprano, 70
  • February 26Bukka White, blues guitarist and singer, 67
  • February 28Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, comic actor and singer, 71
  • March 10E. Power Biggs, organist, 70
  • May 6 - Joseph Hislop, operatic and concert tenor, 93
  • May 22Hampton Hawes, jazz pianist, 48 (brain haemorrhage)
  • May 26 - William Powell (The O'Jays), 35 (cancer)
  • May 30Paul Desmond, jazz saxophonist, 52 (lung cancer)
  • June 5Sleepy John Estes, blues guitarist and singer, 78
  • June 13Matthew Garber, former child star of Mary Poppins, 21 (pancreatitis)
  • June 22Peter Laughner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Rocket From the Tombs and Pere Ubu) (b. 1952)
  • July 2Gert Potgieter, South African operatic tenor and actor, 47 (car accident)
  • July 20Gary Kellgren, American record producer, co-founded Record Plant, 38 (drowned)
  • July 26Gena Branscombe, composer and conductor, 95
  • August 16Elvis Presley, singer, 42 (heart attack)
  • August 19Groucho Marx, comedian, actor, singer and performer, 86
  • September 1 - Ethel Waters, American blues, jazz and gospel singer, 80
  • September 5George Barnes, swing jazz guitarist, 56
  • September 13Leopold Stokowski, conductor, 95
  • September 16
    • Marc Bolan, singer-songwriter, 29 (car crash)
    • Maria Callas, operatic soprano, 53 (heart attack)
  • September 29Alexander Tcherepnin, composer, 78
  • September 30Mary Ford, guitarist and vocalist, 53 (diabetes-related)
  • October 13Shirley Brickley, the Orlons, 32 (shot)
  • October 14Bing Crosby, singer and actor, 74
  • October 20Ronnie Van Zant, 29, Steve Gaines, 28, and Cassie Gaines, 29, members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (plane crash)
  • November 5Guy Lombardo, violinist and bandleader, 75
  • November 14Richard Addinsell, Warsaw Concerto composer, 73
  • December 5Rahsaan Roland Kirk, jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, 42 (stroke)
  • December 24 - Salvatore Papaccio, Canzone Napoletana tenor, 87
  • December 25Charlie Chaplin, actor and composer, 88
  • December 28Sam Brown, jazz guitarist, 38
  • December 30St. Louis Jimmy Oden, blues singer, 74
  • date unknownJimmy Cooper, hammered dulcimer player, 70



  1. About Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation. Accessed 11 August 2014
  2. "The Tragic Loss That Changed Led Zeppelin Forever". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved October 21, 2016.