1976 Rock Music Timeline
1976 Photo Gallery
1976 Jukebox Hits


1976 Rock & Roll History

Bruce Springsteen jumps the fence at Graceland in an effort to meet Elvis, but is escorted out by security guards. Paul McCartney performs in the US for the first time since leaving the Beatles in 1966. The Rolling Stones concert at Knebworth UK draws 120,000 fans. Elton John discloses his bisexuality for the first time in a Rolling Stone magazine interview.
The Band's last performance at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom is captured on film by Martin Scorsese.

Top 40 Singles of 1976
Worldwide:

  1   Abba - Dancing Queen
  2   Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
  3   Chicago - If You Leave Me Now
  4   Elton John & Kiki Dee
       Don't Go Breaking My Heart
  5   Abba - Fernando
  6   Boney M - Daddy Cool
  7   Abba - Money, Money, Money
  8   The Manhattans
       Kiss & Say Goodbye
  9   Pussycat - Mississippi
10   Brotherhood of Man
       Save All Your Kisses For Me
11   Bellamy Brothers
       Let Your Love Flow
12   The Four Seasons
       December 1963 (Oh What a Night)
13   Donna Summer
       Love to Love You Baby
14   Nazareth - Love Hurts
15   Abba - Mamma Mia
16   Rod Stewart - Tonight's the Night
17   Leo Sayer
       You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
18   Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing
19   Wings - Silly Love Songs
20   Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing
21   KC & The Sunshine Band
       Shake Your Booty
22   Walter Murphy & Big Apple Band        A Fifth of Beethoven
23   Boston - More Than a Feeling
24   Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music
25   Rick Dees & his Cast of Idiots            Disco Duck
26   Harpo - Moviestar
27   Penny McLean - Lady Bump
28   C W McCall - Convoy
29   Peter Frampton - Show Me the Way
30   David Dundas - Jeans On
31   Maxine Nightingale - Right Back                 Where We Started From
32   Paul Simon
       50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
33   Electric Light Orchestra - Livin' Thing
34   Starland Vocal Band
       Afternoon Delight
35   Tavares
       Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel
36   Steve Miller Band - Rock 'n' Me
37   Tina Charles - I Love to Love
38   The Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night
39   Silver Convention
       Get Up & Boogie (That's Right)
40   Andrea True Connection
       More, More, More

Top 50 Albums of 1976
Worldwide:

  1   Eagles - Hotel California
  2   Stevie Wonder
       Songs In The Key Of Life
  3   Bob Dylan - Desire
  4   Abba - Arrival
  5   Peter Frampton - Comes Alive
  6   Abba - Abba's Greatest Hits
  7   Rod Stewart - A Night On The Town
  8   Boston - Boston
  9   Eagles - Greatest Hits 1971-1975
10   Neil Diamond - Beautiful Noise
11   Electric Light Orchestra
       A New World Record
12   The Rolling Stones - Black & Blue
13   Wings - At The Speed Of Sound
14   Led Zeppelin - Presence
15   Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees
16   Queen - A Day At The Races
17   Boney M - Take The Heat Off Me
18   David Bowie - Station To Station
19   Led Zeppelin
       The Song Remains The Same
20   The Beatles - Rock 'N' Roll Music
21   Chicago - Chicago X
22   Santana - Amigos
23   Donna Summer
       Love To Love You Baby
24   Bob Marley - Rastaman Vibration
25   Elton John - Blue Moves
26   Abba - The Best Of
27   Genesis - A Trick of the Tail
28   Donna Summer - A Love Trilogy
29   Bad Company - Run With The Pack
30   The Ramones - The Ramones
31   Manfred Mann's Earth Band             The Roaring Silence
32   Steve Miller Band
       Fly Like An Eagle
33   Jackson Browne - The Pretender
34   George Benson - Breezin'
35   Various Artists - Disco Rocket
36   Status Quo - Blue for You
37   Joni Mitchell - Hejira
38   Diana Ross - Diana Ross
39   Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band        Night Moves
40   The Beach Boys - 20 Golden Greats
41   Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together
42   Elton John - Here & There
43   David Bowie - ChangesOneBowie
44   AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
45   Rush - 2112
46   Elvis Presley - The Sun Sessions
47   Bob Dylan - Hard Rain
48   Bellamy Brothers
       Let Your Love Flow
49   Aerosmith - Rocks
50   Kiss - Destroyer



All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.



The theme of all our albums is 'looking for it', whether 'it' be a woman, or peace of mind, or satisfaction, or success, riches or happiness, or any of that."

- Don Henley
The Eagles


Bob Dylan releases the album Desire which goes to #1 for five weeks and tours with the Rolling Thunder Revue.
(more)
Jan '76
Jan '76
After eight top ten hits in the UK, The Bay City Rollers finally score a hit in the US with the #1 "Saturday Night".
(more)
Feb '76
Feb '76
Former Steve Miller Band member Boz Scaggs has a #2 album with Silk Degrees along with a top five single "Lowdown".  (more)
Released on Valentines Day, the debut album by  Heart goes top ten with a #9 single in "Magic Man".  (more)
Feb '76
Former Humble Pie guitarist Peter Frampton hits the big time when his album, Frampton Comes Alive, becomes the best selling album of 1976. (more)
Mar '76
Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy's sixth album, Jailbreak, brings them a top ten hit in the US with "The Boys Are Back In Town".   (more)
Australian band AC/DC release their international debut album High Voltage. Rolling Stone calls it a new "all time low" for the hard rock genre...it goes on to sell three million copies.
(more) 
May '76
Apr '76
NYC punk band The Ramones release their debut album on Sire Records. In July the band have a short, but successful tour of England opening for the Flamin' Groovies(more)
May '76
While touring the US and the world, Wings rack up two more #1 singles and a #1 album with At The Speed of Sound.
(more)
May '76
The Steve Miller Band's 9th album, Fly Like An Eagle, goes to #2 and features the singles "Rock'n Me" #1, "Take The Money & Run" #11 and the title track #2.   (more)
Jul '76
Smooth jazz guitarist George Benson has a #1 album Breezin' and a top ten single with "This Masquerade".
(more)
Aug '76
Recorded in 1974, the debut album by The Modern Lovers is finally released on Berserkly Records. The band features  Jonathan Richman and future members of the Talking Heads and the Cars.
(more)
Aug '76
The debut album by Boston is released and goes to #3 featuring the single "More Than A Feeling" #5 US.
(more)
Sep '76
After releasing the #1 album Presence in March, Led Zeppelin release The Song Remains The Same, a film documenting their 1973 shows at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
(more) 
Oct '76
Oct '76
Steve Wonder's album, Songs In The Key of Life, replaces Frampton Comes Alive at the top of the US Album Charts for the rest of the year.
(more)
Chicago has their first #1 single with "If You Leave Me Now". Creative differences in the band nearly resulted in the Peter Cetera composition not making it onto the album Chicago X.
(more)
Oct '76
ELO's sixth album features a move to shorter songs and results in three hit singles and a top ten album in the US and UK.
(more)
Oct '76
Kansas have their first top 40 hit with "Carry On My Wayward Son" #11 US from their fourth album Leftoverture.
(more)
For Bob Seger's ninth studio album, Night Moves, he records at Muscle Shoals studios and breaks into the top ten with both the album and title track single.
(more)
Oct '76
Nov '76
The Band perform their final concert on Thanksgiving Day at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and are joined by many guests. The event is released as a film in 1978. (more)
Nov '76
UK punk band The Sex Pistols release their debut single "Anarchy In The UK" which breaks into the UK top 40 on the EMI label.
(more)
Oct '76
The Damned release the first UK punk single "New Rose" on Stiff Records. (more)
Nov '76
Singer/songwriter Jackson Browne's fourth album The Pretender goes to #5 US.  (more)
Nov '76
Rod Stewart has a #1 single with "Tonight's The Night" from his #2 album A Night On The Town.  (more)
NY band Blondie release their debut album with limited success, although the song "In The Flesh" goes top ten in Australia.  (more)
Dec '76
Dec '76
The Eagles release the album Hotel California their first album with new member Joe Walsh. The LP goes #1 and delivers two #1 singles.  (more)
Apr '76
Former Stax artist Johnny Taylor moves to Columbia Records and is #1 for four weeks with "Disco Lady". This is also the first RIAA certified platinum single - over two million sold.
(more)
May '76
Memphis R&B band The Sylvers cash in on the disco craze with "Boogie Fever" which goes to #1 and sells two million copies.  (more)
Oct '76
Pittsburgh based funk band Wild Cherry have a #1 hit with "Play That Funky Music" and yes, they are a bunch of white boys.
(more)
Mar '76
Kiss release their fourth studio album Destoryer. They have a suprise hit with the top ten (US)  single "Beth", a power ballad sung by drummer Peter Criss.
(more)
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Long Island, NY hard rock band Blue Oyster Cult release the album Agents of Fortune and have a US #12 hit with "Don't Fear The Reaper".
May '76
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