1978 in music

Specific locations

Specific genres





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.
  • New Edition formed in 1978 in Massachusetts, USA.

Bands disbanded

  • See Category:Musical groups disestablished in 1978

Albums released


Day Album Artist Notes
3 White HotAngel
18 Excitable BoyWarren Zevon
19 PasticheThe Manhattan Transfer
20 City to CityGerry Rafferty
White MusicXTC
27 Bootsy? Player of the YearBootsy's Rubber Band
Attention Shoppers!Starz
Double Live Gonzo!Ted NugentLive
Endless WireGordon Lightfoot
I'm ReadyMuddy Waters
Level HeadedSweet
The Modern DancePere Ubu
Open FireRonnie Montrose
Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent TownEmmylou Harris
Street PlayerRufus
Ten Years of GoldKenny RogersCompilation
Waylon & WillieWaylon Jennings and Willie Nelson


Day Album Artist Notes
6 EarthJefferson Starship
10 It Begins AgainDusty Springfield
Stained ClassJudas Priest
Van HalenVan Halen
11 Nina Hagen BandNina Hagen Band
17 Crossing the Red Sea with The AdvertsThe Adverts
The Kick InsideKate Bush
18 Tell Us the TruthSham 69
24 WatchManfred Mann's Earth Band
25 CasinoAl Di Meola
27 Macho ManVillage People
All This and Heaven TooAndrew Gold
Animal GamesLondon
Bring It Back AliveOutlawsLive
British LionsMott the Hoople
Drastic PlasticBe-Bop Deluxe
Easter IslandKris Kristofferson
Even NowBarry Manilow
Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush – LiveMahogany RushLive
It Happened One BiteDan Hicks
Let's Keep It That WayAnne Murray
Plastic LettersBlondie
Street ActionBachman–Turner Overdrive
Street HassleLou Reed
What Do You Want from LiveThe TubesLive


Day Album Artist Notes
1 ...And Then There Were Three...GenesisUK; March 28 in US
NorthwindsDavid Coverdale
3 EasterPatti Smith Group
Southern WindsMaria Muldaur
Zappa in New YorkFrank ZappaLive
6 A BiographyJohn Mellencampas Johnny Cougar
10 Another Music in a Different KitchenBuzzcocks
13 Double DoseHot TunaLive
Gettin' the SpiritRoberta Kelly
Guilty Until Proven InsaneSkyhooks
16 You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna FishREO Speedwagon
17 Generation XGeneration X
This Year's ModelElvis Costello and the Attractions
23 KayaBob Marley & The Wailers
31 London TownWings
Adolescent SexJapan
Champagne JamAtlanta Rhythm Section
Double FunRobert Palmer
First GlanceApril Wine
Hope & Anchor Front Row FestivalVarious ArtistsLive
Jesus of CoolNick Lowetitled Pure Pop for Now People in US
The RutlesThe RutlesSoundtrack
Some Things Don't Come EasyEngland Dan & John Ford Coley
A Song for All SeasonsRenaissance
Son of a Son of a SailorJimmy Buffett
Waiting for ColumbusLittle FeatLive
Warmer CommunicationsAverage White Band
What IfDixie Dregs


Day Album Artist Notes
2 Double PlatinumKissRemix
7 For YouPrince
Hermit of Mink HollowTodd Rundgren
The Last WaltzThe BandSoundtrack
8 SagaSaga
9 Long Live Rock 'n' RollRainbow
10 Heavy HorsesJethro Tull
13 Almighty FireAretha Franklin
14 Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion PictureVarious ArtistsSoundtrack
15 Mutiny Up My SleeveMax Webster
20 Come Get It!Rick James
21 Bad BoyRingo Starr
22 MagazineHeartRe-issue with re-recordings
25 ShowdownThe Isley Brothers
Boys in the TreesCarly Simon
Cats Under the StarsJerry Garcia Band
FMVarious ArtistsSoundtrack
Future BoundTavares
I Would Like to See You AgainJohnny Cash
A Live RecordCamelLive
The Only OnesThe Only Ones
Please Don't TouchSteve Hackett
Rainbow TakeawayKevin Ayers
StardustWillie Nelson
V2The Vibrators


Day Album Artist Notes
2 You're Gonna Get It!Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 PowerageAC/DC
Stranger in TownBob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
12 Black and WhiteThe Stranglers
16 But Seriously, Folks...Joe Walsh
LivetimeHall & OatesLive
19 MisfitsThe Kinks
The Man-MachineKraftwerk
25 David GilmourDavid Gilmour
Eternally YoursThe Saints
Heaven TonightCheap Trick
Love Me AgainRita Coolidge
Natural HighCommodores
The ParkerillaGraham Parker and The RumourLive
SongbirdBarbra Streisand
Stone BlueFoghat
Welcome HomeCarole King


Day Album Artist Notes
2 Darkness on the Edge of TownBruce Springsteen
Live and DangerousThin LizzyLive
Peter GabrielPeter Gabrielsecond album
6 The CarsThe Cars
7 FameGrace Jones
9 OctaveThe Moody Blues
Some GirlsThe Rolling Stones
15 Living Room SuiteHarry Chapin
Street-LegalBob Dylan
SunlightHerbie Hancock
19 Thick as ThievesTrooper
20 Double VisionForeigner
Face to FaceThe Angels
If I Weren't So Romantic I'd Shoot YouDerringer
NestedLaura Nyro
Shadow DancingAndy Gibb
PyramidThe Alan Parsons Project
Real LifeMagazine
Struck DownYesterday and Today
A Tonic for the TroopsThe Boomtown Rats
We Have Come for Your ChildrenDead Boys


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Under WrapsShaun Cassidy
12 NightwatchKenny Loggins
17 Cheryl LynnCheryl Lynn
16 HeartbreakerDolly Parton
20 TouchdownBob James
21 Can't Stand the RezillosThe Rezillos
More Songs About Buildings and FoodTalking Heads
23 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandVarious ArtistsSoundtrack
Alicia BridgesAlicia Bridges
AmericanaLeon Russell
Dream of a ChildBurton Cummings
Hobo with a GrinSteve Harley
Love or Something Like ItKenny Rogers
Nightflight to VenusBoney M
Norma JeanNorma Jean Wright
Out of ReachCan
We'll Sing in the SunshineHelen Reddy


Day Album Artist Notes
2 Don't Look BackBoston
7 Roberta FlackRoberta Flack
11 C'est ChicChic
18 Who Are YouThe Who
21 Along the Red LedgeHall & Oates
28 Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!DevoDebut album
31 Live and MoreDonna SummerDouble LP; 3 sides live, 1 side studio
All Night LongSammy HagarLive
Chairs MissingWire
Danger ZonePlayer
Do It All NightCurtis Mayfield
Frozen in the NightDan Hill
Is It Still Good To YaAshford & Simpson
Jass-Ay-Lay-DeeOhio Players
Kingdom of MadnessMagnum
Luxury You Can AffordJoe Cocker
Rose Royce III: Strikes Again!Rose Royce
Sir Army SuitKlaatu
Tokyo TapesScorpionsLive
Twin Sons of Different MothersDan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg
Well Kept SecretJuice Newton
White, Hot and BlueJohnny Winter
Who Do Ya (Love)KC and the Sunshine Band
With Luv'Luv'


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Bloody Tourists10cc
The Bride Stripped BareBryan Ferry
Pieces of EightStyx
Molly HatchetMolly Hatchet
2 Feel the NeedLeif Garrett
3 RossDiana Ross
5 Blue ValentineTom Waits
Skynyrd's First and... LastLynyrd SkynyrdRecorded 1971–'72
6 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the WorldsJeff Wayne
8 StageDavid BowieLive
Systems of RomanceUltravox
Tracks on Wax 4Dave Edmunds
11 Giant for a DayGentle Giant
15 Studio TanFrank Zappa
Wet DreamRick Wright
18 Ace FrehleyAce Frehley
Gene SimmonsGene Simmons
Paul StanleyPaul Stanley
Peter CrissPeter Criss
19 All Fly HomeAl Jarreau
Living in the USALinda Ronstadt
20 TormatoYes
21 Road to RuinRamones
22 BreathlessCamel
Bursting OutJethro TullLive
Love BitesBuzzcocks
The ManBarry White
One Nation Under a GrooveFunkadelic
25 Cruisin'Village People
28 Never Say Die!Black Sabbath
29 Green LightCliff Richard
NicoletteNicolette Larson
30 Back on the StreetsGary Moore
Fallen AngelUriah Heep
Flamin' Groovies NowFlamin' Groovies
Leo SayerLeo Sayer
Mr. GoneWeather Report
Parallel LinesBlondie
RoughTina Turner
Some Enchanted EveningBlue Öyster CultLive
Time PassagesAl Stewart
WavelengthVan Morrison
Weekend WarriorsTed Nugent
XKlaus Schulze


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Photo-FinishRory Gallagher
2 Comes a TimeNeil Young
Hot StreetsChicago
M.I.U. AlbumThe Beach Boys
6 25 Years OnHawkwindas Hawklords
So AloneJohnny Thunders
7 Dire StraitsDire Straits
Dog & ButterflyHeart
9 Killing MachineJudas Priest
12 ChakaChaka Khan
13 52nd StreetBilly Joel
Christmas PortraitThe CarpentersChristmas
If You Want Blood You've Got ItAC/DCLive
15 TotoToto
16 A Single ManElton John
21 Pleasure TrainTeri Desario
27 Slade Alive, Vol. 2SladeLive
29 HemispheresRush
31 Thoroughfare GapStephen Stills
Brass Construction IVBrass Construction
Coliseum RockStarz
Don't Cry Out LoudMelissa Manchester
If You Can't Stand the Heat...Status Quo
Inner SecretsSantana
Live! BootlegAerosmithLive
Money TalksThe Bar-Kays
Music for FilmsBrian Eno
New DimensionsThe Three Degrees
Not AvailableThe Residents
Obscure AlternativesJapan
Pain KillerKrokus
Playin' to WinOutlaws
Pleasure and PainDr. Hook
Prehistoric SoundsThe Saints
Private PracticeDr. Feelgood
Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)Captain Beefheart
Two for the ShowKansasLive
You Had to Be ThereJimmy BuffettLive


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Midnight OilMidnight Oil
2 Outlandos d'AmourThe Police
Wings GreatestWingsCompilation
3 All Mod ConsThe Jam
10 Babylon by BusBob Marley & The WailersLive
Germfree AdolescentsX-Ray Spex
Give 'Em Enough RopeThe Clash
LionheartKate Bush
13 The ScreamSiouxsie and the Banshees
15 Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2Barbra StreisandCompilation
Shakedown StreetGrateful Dead
18 Love BeachEmerson, Lake & Palmer
20 Motor Booty AffairParliament
22 VariationsAndrew Lloyd Webber
23 The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1Earth, Wind & FireCompilation
24 Blondes Have More FunRod Stewart
IncantationsMike Oldfield
Tubeway ArmyTubeway Army
27 Love TracksGloria Gaynor
28 Briefcase Full of BluesThe Blues BrothersLive
30 Greatest HitsSteely DanCompilation
BacklessEric Clapton
Crazy MoonCrazy Horse
CrosswindsPeabo Bryson
Dub HousingPere Ubu
Duck Stab/Buster & GlenThe Residents
EnergyThe Pointer Sisters
From the InsideAlice Cooper
The GamblerKenny Rogers
Greatest HitsBarry ManilowCompilation
Greatest Hits 1974–78Steve Miller BandCompilation
Live: Take No PrisonersLou ReedLive
Move It On OverGeorge Thorogood & The Destroyers
Profile: Best of Emmylou HarrisEmmylou HarrisCompilation
Rose TattooRose Tattoo
SanctuaryThe J. Geils Band
TNTTanya Tucker


Day Album Artist Notes
1 Minute by MinuteThe Doobie Brothers
2 DirectstepHerbie Hancock
Quiet Riot IIQuiet RiotJapan
3 Back to EarthCat Stevens
4 D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing GristleThrobbing Gristle
8 Public Image: First IssuePublic Image Ltd
9 American DreamsJesse Colin Young
15 Here, My DearMarvin Gaye
17 DestinyThe Jacksons
Back to the BarsTodd RundgrenLive
ÉquinoxeJean Michel Jarre
Natural ActKris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge

Release Date Unknown

Biggest hit singles

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

# Artist Title Year Country Chart entries
1Bee GeesStayin' Alive1978 / 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
2John Travolta & Olivia Newton-JohnYou're the One That I Want1978 / 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
3Village PeopleY.M.C.A.1978UK 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
4Boney MRivers of Babylon1978UK 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
5Bee GeesNight Fever1978 / 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

Other significant singles

Classical music




Musical theater

Musical films




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