1977 Rock Music Timeline
Jan '77
UK punk pioneers The Sex Pistols are dropped by their record label EMI for swearing on TV, in Feb. bassist Glen Matlock is replaced by Sid Vicious, in March they sign with A&M only to be dropped by the label a week later. (more)
Pre-recorded cassette tapes equal vinyl album sales for the first time.  (more) 
The debut album by The Damned is released on Stiff Records. It is the first album released by a UK punk band. The album reaches #36 UK, but fails to chart in the US.  (more)
Jan '77
Feb '77
Feb '77
American Bandstand celebrates it's 25th anniversary with a primetime TV special featuring Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Johnny Rivers, Charlie Daniels and others. (more)
Feb '77
Sixties band leader Manfred Mann has a new band and scores a US #1 hit, UK #6 with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's song "Blinded by the Light".  (more)
Feb '77
Television, a veteran band from the New York CBGB's club scene, release their debut album Marquee Moon. The album fails to chart in the US, but reaches #28 UK. (more)
Mar '77
With members from both the US and UK, rock band Foreigner deliver a US #4 debut album driven by two US Top Ten singles "Cold As Ice" and "Feels Like The First Time". The album and singles are less successful in the UK. (more)
Mar '77
The soundtrack to the movie remake of "A Star Is Born" delivers a US and UK #1 album and a #1 US, #3 UK single for Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen". The movie also stars singer songwriter Kris Kristofferson. (more)
Mar '77
Philadelphia blue eyed soul duo Hall & Oates have their first #1 US single with "Rich Girl" from their fifth album - Bigger Than The Both Of Us. (more)
Swedish pop vocal group Abba's single "Dancing Queen" is a #1 hit worldwide. It is their first US #1 and fourth UK #1 single. (more)
Apr '77
Apr '77
Fleetwood Mac's album Rumours is their second #1 album in a row in the US, dominating the US charts at #1 for 31 weeks. It is also their first #1 album in the UK. The album features four US Top Ten singles including the US #1, UK # 24 single "Dreams".  (more)
Apr '77
The debut album by UK punk band The Clash is released in the UK and reaches #12. CBS Records finds the album too crude for American tastes and doesn't release it in the US until 1979.  (more)
Apr '77
Studio 54 opens in Manhattan and becomes the disco nightclub of choice for trendy celebrities.
May '77
After recruiting 18 year old guitarist Michael Schenker from the Scorpions, British hard rockers UFO release their 5th album - Lights Out, which hits #23 US, #54 UK. (more)
May '77
UK singer songwriter Leo Sayer hits #1 in both the US and UK with the single "When I Need You". This is second #1 US hit of 1977 having gone to #1 US, #2 UK with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" in January '77.  (more)
May '77
The debut album from UK band The Jam yields a UK top forty hit with "In The City". The album reaches #20 UK, but fails to chart in the US. (more)
May '77
German electronic rock pioneers Kraftwerk add sequencers to their arsenal of synthesizers and build a unique sound for their sixth album Trans Europe Express #49 UK, #119 US. (more)
May '77
Detroit hard rock veteran Ted Nugent cracks the US Top 40 with the single "Cat Scratch Fever" and has a #17 US, #28 UK album. (more)
Jun '77
American rock band Ram Jam have a Top Ten UK and Top 20 US hit single with a cover version of Lead Belly's song "Black Betty".
Jul '77
Chicago area rock band Styx have a US Top Ten album, Grand Illusion, and a US Top Ten single "Come Sail Away". Neither chart in the UK. (more)
Jul '77
UK singer songwriter Elvis Costello's debut album on the independent label Stiff goes to #14 UK. It wouldn't be released in the US until 1978. (more)
Jul '77
A Chicago trio of sisters, The Emotions, have a #1 US, #4 UK single with "Best of My Love" produced by Maurice White of the band Earth, Wind and Fire. (more)
Aug '77
The Grateful Dead veer towards progressive rock, adding strings, horns and a choir on their ninth studio album Terrapin Station.
Aug '77
American rock and roll pioneer Elvis Presley is found dead in his home in Memphis, TN at the age of 42. (more)
Sep '77
Former Hawkwind member Lemmy Kilmister forms Motorhead and speeds up heavy metal on their self-titled debut album, produced by Dave Edmunds. (more)
Sep '77
Detroit rock vocalist Iggy Pop releases his second solo album - Lust for Life, his second colloboration with David Bowie. The album goes to #28 UK, #120 US.  (more) 
Sep '77
New York singer songwriter Billy Joel's fifth album - The Stranger is released and goes to #2 US, #25 UK with the single "Just The Way You Are" rising to #3 US.  (more)
Sep '77
Rockford, IL rock band Cheap Trick's second album - In Color is released to modest sales in the US #73. In Japan they score a #1 single with "Clock Strikes Ten".  (more)
Sep '77
American duo Steely Dan release their sixth album - Aja, which goes to #3 US, #5 UK on the strength of two top twenty hits "Peg" and "Deacon Blues". (more)
Sep '77
Another band from New York's  CBGB's scene - Talking Heads release their debut album, which reaches #97 US, #60 UK.  (more)
Sep '77
UK Glam Rocker, Marc Bolan of T.Rex is killed in a car crash outside London. (more)
Oct '77
The major label debut album by American artist Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell produced by Todd Rundgren, is released on independent label Cleveland Intl. It charts at #14 US, #10 UK and goes on to be one of the best selling albums of all time. (more)
Oct '77
After being dropped by two record labels, The Sex Pistols debut album is finally released on Virgin Records. The album goes to #1 in the UK, but doesn't break into the top 100 in the US. (more)
Oct '77
American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd release the album Street Survivor, three days later singer Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members are killed in a plane crash. The album goes to #5 US, #13 UK and the single "What's Your Name" to #13 US. (more)
Oct '77
Pat Boone's daughter Debby lights up the charts with her #1 US single "You Light Up My Life". (more)
Dec '77
Nov '77
The album Slowhand by Eric Clapton is released and goes to #2 US, #23 UK driven by the three singles "Cocaine", "Wonderful Tonight" and "Lay Down Sally". (more)
Tuscon, AZ vocalist Linda Ronstadt has a #1 US, #15 UK with her eighth solo album - Simple Dreams. She is the first artist since the Beatles to have two US Top Five singles at the same time..."Blue Bayou" and "It's So Easy". (more)
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1977 in Rock & Roll History:

Studio 54 dance club opens in New York City. Pre-recorded cassette sales equal vinyl album sales for the first time. Elvis is found dead at his home in Memphis, TN. Singer Marc Bolan of T.Rex dies in a UK car crash. Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt and two band mates die in a plane crash. The movie Saturday Night Fever takes disco to the big screen. David Bowie performs a duet with Bing Crosby on a TV Christmas Special.

Top 40 Singles of 1977

1   Eagles  - Hotel California
  2   Bee Gees - How Deep is Your Love?
  3   Donna Summer - I Feel Love
  4   Wings - Mull of Kintyre
  5   Boney M - Ma Baker
  6   Baccara - Yes Sir, I Can Boogie
  7   Santa Esmerelda
       Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
  8   Debbie Boone - You Light Up My Life
  9   Abba - Knowing Me, Knowing You
10   Smokie - Living Next Door to Alice
11   Queen - We Are the Champions
12   Rose Royce - Car Wash
13   Leo Sayer - When I Need You
14   Barbra Streisand - Love Theme From          A Star is Born' (Evergreen)
15   Julie Covington
       Don't Cry For Me Argentina
16   Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
17   David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us
18   Andy Gibb
       I Just Wanna Be Your Everything
19   Boney M - Sunny
20   Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
21   Thelma Houston
       Don't Leave Me This Way
22   The Emotions - Best of My Love
23   Carly Simon - Nobody Does it Better
24   Space - Magic Fly
25   Baccara - Sorry I'm a Lady
26   Elvis Presley - Way Down
27   Abba - The Name of the Game
28   Fleetwood Mac - Dreams
29   Heatwave - Boogie Nights
30   Boney M - Belfast
31   Umberto Tozzi - Ti Amo
32   Kenny Rogers - Lucille
33   Rod Stewart - You're in My Heart
34   KC & The Sunshine Band
       I'm Your Boogie Man
35   Eagles - New Kid in Town
36   Mary MacGregor
       Torn Between Two Lovers
37   Stevie Wonder - I Wish
38   The Floaters - Float On
39   Manfred Mann's Earth Band             Blinded By the Light
40   Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop

Top 50 Albums of 1977

  1   Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  2   Meatloaf - Bat Out Of Hell
  3   The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The               Bullocks, Here's The Sex Pistols
  4   Pink Floyd - Animals
  5   Billy Joel - The Stranger
  6   Steely Dan - Aja
  7   Barbra Streisand & Kris                              Kristofferson - A Star Is Born
  8   Rod Stewart
       Foot Loose & Fancy Free
  9   Bob Marley - Exodus
10   Electric Light Orchestra
       Out Of The Blue
11   Linda Ronstadt - Simple Dreams
12   Boney M - Love For Sale
13   Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True
14   Queen - News Of The World
15   Santana - Moonflower
16   David Bowie - Low
17   The Beatles - At The Hollywood Bowl
18   Wings - Wings Over America
19   Television - Marquee Moon
20   Smokie - Greatest Hits
21   Eric Clapton - Slowhand
22   Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (Car)
23   John Williams - Star Wars
24   Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene
25   Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
26   Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat
27   Donna Summer
       I Remember Yesterday
28   Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood
29   Supertramp
       Even In The Quietest Moments
30   Yes - Going For The One
31   Various Artists - Disco Fever
32   The Clash - The Clash
33   Earth, Wind & Fire - All 'N' All
34   Steve Miller Band - Book Of Dreams
35   David Bowie - Heroes
36   AC/DC - Let There Be Rock
37   The Rolling Stones - Love You Live
38   Peter Frampton - I'm In You
39   Crosby, Stills & Nash - CSN
40   The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot
41   Genesis - Seconds Out
42   Genesis - Wind & Wuthering
43   Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors
44   Neil Young - American Stars 'n' Bars
45   Elvis Presley - Elvis In Concert
46   Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Works
47   Leo Sayer - Endless Flight
48   James Taylor - JT
49   Chicago - Chicago Xi
50   Baccara - Baccara

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.

Sometimes the most positive thing you can be in a boring society is absolutely negative."
- Johnny Rotten
The Sex Pistols

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