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List of years in music
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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
File:Elo 27041978 04 800.jpg

Electric Light Orchestra in 1978

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

Events[]

January–April[]

  • January 14 – The Sex Pistols play their final show (until a 1996 reunion) at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom.
  • January 16Elton John appears on this week's People Magazine without his trademark glasses. John would still wear glasses occasionally for the next ten years until wearing them permanently again.
  • January 21 – As Saturday Night Fever becomes a cultural phenomenon, the soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Charts, where it will stay until July.
  • January 25
    • Electric Light Orchestra kick off their "Out of the Blue" world tour in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    • Bob Dylan makes his directorial debut in the surrealist film Renaldo and Clara, shot during his Rolling Thunder Revue tour.
  • January 28 – By request, Ted Nugent autographs his name into a fan's arm with a bowie knife in Philadelphia.
  • February 4Elton John appears as the guest star on The Muppet Show.
  • February 10Van Halen debuts with self-titled album; Eddie Van Halen introduces a powerful new sound and technique to world, while David Lee Roth is ushered in as the front man.
  • March 18California Jam II is held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Over 300,000 fans come to see Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Santana, Dave Mason, Foreigner, Heart and more.
  • April 22
    • In the Eurovision Song Contest in Paris, France, victory goes to Israel's entry "A-Ba-Ni-Bi", performed by Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta.
    • The "One Love Peace Concert" is held in Kingston, Jamaica, headlined by Bob Marley, making his first concert appearance since December 1976.
    • Steve Martin performs the original "King Tut" on Saturday Night Live; also that night, The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on the show.

May–July[]

  • May 6The Knack is formed (first album released in 1979).
  • May 13Barry Gibb becomes the only songwriter in history to have written 4 consecutive #1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart.
  • May 18The Buddy Holly Story, starring Gary Busey, is released. It would win the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score, and earn a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Busey) and Best Sound.
  • May 25 – In a performance used for The Kids Are Alright, The Who play their last show with Keith Moon.
  • June 10The Rolling Stones begin their 25-date US summer tour in Lakeland, Florida.
  • June 13The Cramps play a free concert for patients at the Napa State Mental Hospital.
  • June 16 – The film adaptation of the musical Grease, opens in theaters and is a box office hit.
  • June 20Grace Slick splits with Jefferson Starship the day after a disastrous concert in Hamburg, Germany, in which a heavily intoxicated Slick verbally abused the crowd and groped various fans and band mates.
  • June 29Peter Frampton is nearly killed in a car accident in The Bahamas, suffering multiple broken bones, a concussion, and muscle damage.
  • July 1 – The first Texxas Jam is held over the July 4 long weekend at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The first day features Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, Heart, Journey, Head East, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Eddie Money, Van Halen and Walter Egan. Sunday consists of Willie Nelson headlining his sixth annual Fourth of July picnic.
  • July 19Dead Kennedys play their first concert, at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, California.
  • July 21Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, a much-hyped musical film starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees performing the music of The Beatles, opens in theaters. The film is savaged by critics and proves a box office disappointment.
  • July 29Glenn Goins, one of the lead vocalists for the band Parliament-Funkadelic dies of Hodgkin's lymphoma at age of 24.
  • July 30Thin Lizzy officially announces that Gary Moore has replaced Brian Robertson on guitar.

August–December[]

  • August 18The Who release their eighth studio Who Are You. It is The Who's last album with Keith Moon as the drummer; Moon died twenty days after the release of this album.
  • August 26 – 80,000 concertgoers attend Mosport Speedway in Ontario for the "Canada Jam Festival", featuring sets by the Doobie Brothers, Commodores, Kansas, Village People, Dave Mason, the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Triumph.
  • August 28 – 67,000 Funk fans assembled at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois to attend the first annual Funk Festival, billed as "One Nation Under A Groove", featuring A Taste of Honey (band), Parlet, Con Funk Shun, the Bar-Kays, and Parliament-Funkadelic.
  • September 7The Who drummer Keith Moon dies in a central London flat after a prescription drug overdose at the age of 32.
  • September 14–16 – The Grateful Dead perform three shows in Giza, Egypt, very close to the Sphinx and Great Pyramid.
  • October 12Nancy Spungen, the American girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, is found dead in a New York hotel room of a stab wound. Sid is arrested and charged with her murder.
  • October 24Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards pleads guilty to a reduced charge of possessing heroin in Toronto in 1977. The more serious charge of drug trafficking is dropped and Richards is given a one-year suspended sentence as well as ordered to play a charity concert for the blind.[1]
  • October 29Michael Schenker plays his final show with UFO in Stanford, California before leaving the group to rejoin Scorpions.
  • November 21 – French pop star Dalida performed a concert at New York's Carnegie Hall.
  • November 25
    • A now sober Alice Cooper releases the album From the Inside, which tells of his stay in rehab for alcoholism.
    • Aerosmith cuts a concert short after Steven Tyler suffers cuts to his face from a bottle that shatters upon hitting a stage monitor.
    • Donna Summer becomes the first female artist of the modern rock era to have the number single (Mac Arthur Park) and album (Live and More) on billboard charts simultaneously.
  • November 27Def Leppard's permanent drummer Rick Allen joins the band at the age of 15.
  • December 31
    • Matthias Jabs joins Scorpions, replacing Uli Jon Roth.
    • The seventh annual New Year's Rockin' Eve special airs on ABC, with performances by Barry Manilow, Village People, Chuck Mangione, Tanya Tucker and Rick James.
    • CBS airs New Year's Eve with Guy Lombardo for the final time, nearly two years after the band leader's death and ending a 22-year run that began in 1956.
    • The Winterland Ballroom venue in San Francisco closes with a New Year's Eve performance by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Blues Brothers.
    • Iron Maiden records a demo, consisting of four songs, at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge which would eventually become The Soundhouse Tapes.

Also in 1978[]

  • 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.

Bands formed[]

Bands disbanded[]

Albums released[]

  1. Excitable Boy Warren Zevon

Biggest hit singles[]

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[]

Singles released[]

  1. No One Is Innocent / My Way Sex Pistols

EPs released[]

  1. Rising Free.... Tom Robinson Band

Published popular music[]

Births[]

Deaths[]

  • January 3Jack Oakie, 74, actor in many musical films of the 1940s
  • January 23
    • Terry Kath, 31, Chicago guitarist and vocalist (unintentional self-inflicted gunshot )
    • Vic Ames, 52, Ames Brothers
  • January 31Gregory Herbert, Blood, Sweat & Tears saxophonist
  • February 7Dimitrie Cuclin, 82, composer and musicologist
  • March 4Joe Marsala, 71, clarinetist and songwriter
  • March 11Claude François, 39, singer-songwriter (electrocuted)
  • March 17Malvina Reynolds, 77, US folk/blues singer-songwriter
  • March 18Peggy Wood, 86, actress and singer
  • April 3Ray Noble, 74, composer and bandleader
  • April 21Sandy Denny, 31, folk singer (Fairport Convention) (cerebral haemorrhage)
  • May 1Aram Khachaturian, 74, composer
  • May 5Ján Móry, 85, Slovak composer
  • May 26Tamara Karsavina, 93, ballerina
  • July 14Maria Grinberg, 69, pianist
  • July 29Glenn Goins, 24, Parliament Funkadelic guitarist and singer (Hodgkin's lymphoma)
  • August 14Joe Venuti, 74, US jazz violinist
  • August 24Louis Prima, 67, jazz musician
  • September 6Tom Wilson, 47, producer
  • September 7Keith Moon, 32, drummer of The Who (drug overdose)
  • September 24Ruth Etting, 80, US "torch" singer
  • October 6Johnny O'Keefe, 43, Australian Singer
  • October 9Jacques Brel, 49, singer-songwriter
  • October 12Nancy Spungen, 20, girlfriend of Sid Vicious
  • October 23Maybelle Carter née Addington, 69, US country singer and musician, member of the Carter Family
  • November 12Howard Swanson, 71, composer
  • November 18Lennie Tristano, 59, jazz pianist
  • December 3William Grant Still, 83, composer
  • December 27Chris Bell, 27, singer-songwriter (auto accident)

References[]

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

External links[]

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