1996 in Rock & Roll History:

The Macarena becomes the biggest dance craze since the Twist in the 1960's. Alternative and Indie rock continue to move into the mainstream. Grunge rock fades away. Female artists rise in prominence. American rap artist 2Pac is shot to death. Punk pioneers, The Ramones, call it
quits. Rock band KISS decide to give it another go.

Top 40 Singles of 1996
  1   Spice Girls - Wannabe
  2   The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With            His Song
  3   Los Del Rio - Macarena
  4   Everything But The Girl - Missing
  5   Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
  6   Celine Dion - Because You Loved Me
  7   Oasis - Wonderwall
  8   Alanis Morissette - Ironic
  9   Robert Miles - Children
10   Joan Osborne - One of Us
11   Eric Clapton - Change the World
12   George Michael - Jesus to a Child
13   Spice Girls - Say You'll Be There
14   Donna Lewis - I Love You Always                Forever
15   Babylon Zoo - Spaceman
16   George Michael - Fast Love
17   2Pac & Dr Dre - California Love
18   OMC - How Bizarre
19   Mariah Carey - Always Be My Baby
20   Take That - How Deep is Your Love?
21   No Mercy - Where Do You Go?
22   Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger
23   Deep Blue Something - Breakfast At           Tiffany's
24   The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
25   Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Tha                     Crossroads
26   Fool's Garden - The Lemon Tree
27   The Prodigy - Breathe
28   Mr President - Coco Jamboo
29   BLACKstreet & Dr Dre - No Diggity
30   Celine Dion - It's All Coming Back to           Me Now
31   Toni Braxton - You're Makin' Me High
32   Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
33   Michael Jackson - They Don't Care              About Us
34   Metallica - Until it Sleeps
35   Robert Miles - One & One
36   Alanis Morissette - You Learn
37   Underworld - Born Slippy
38   The Goo Goo Dolls - Name
39   Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
40   Tony Rich Project - Nobody Knows

Top 50 Albums of 1996

  1   Celine Dion - Falling Into You
  2   Spice Girls - Spice
  3   The Fugees - The Score
  4   No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
  5   Metallica - Load
  6   The Backstreet Boys - Backstreet               Boys
  7   REM - New Adventures In Hi-Fi
  8   Beck - O-De-Lay
  9   Pearl Jam - No Code
10   Madonna - Evita
11   2Pac - All Eyez On Me
12   Nirvana - From The Muddy Banks Of          The Wishkah
13   The Cranberries - To The Faithful                 Departed
14   Rage Against The Machine - Evil                Empire
15   George Michael - Older
16   Toni Braxton - Secrets
17   Matchbox Twenty - Yourself Or                   Someone Like You
18   Sting - Mercury Falling
19   The Beatles - Anthology 2
20   The Manic Street Preachers -           Everything Must Go
21   Tool - Aenima
22   Whitney Houston - Waiting To Exhale
23   Joan Osborne - Relish
24   Phil Collins - Dance Into The Light
25   Counting Crows - Recovering The              Satellites
26   Weezer - Pinkerton
27   Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
28   Take That - Greatest Hits
29   The Corrs - Forgiven, Not Forgotten
30   Jamiroquai - Travelling Without                  Moving
31   Bryan Adams - 18 Til I Die
32   Van Halen - Best Of - Volume 1
33   Tori Amos - Boys For Pele
34   Suede - Coming Up
35   NAS - It Was Written
36   Dave Matthews Band - Crash
37   Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
38   The Beatles - Anthology 3
39   DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...
40   Crowded House - The Best Of
41   Simply Red - Greatest Hits
42   Sublime - Sublime
43   Soundgarden - Down On The Upside
44   Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds                        Murder Ballads
45   Eros Ramazzotti - Dove c'e musica
46   Robert Miles - Dreamland
47   Tina Turner - Wildest Dreams
48   Rod Stewart - If We Fall In Love                  Tonight
49   Hootie & The Blowfish - Fairweather          Johnson
50   Snoop Dogg - Tha Doggfather

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.
Jan '96
Singer/songwriter Tori Amos' third album, Boys for Pele, debuts at #2 in the US and UK. (more)
Jan '96
Feb '96
Feb '96
The debut album from New York City alternative hip hop group Fun Lovin' Criminals is
Kentucky native Joan Osborne has a Top Ten hit in the US and UK with the single "One of Us" written by Eric Bazillian of 80's band the Hooters. (more)
Los Angeles Ska/Punk band Goldfinger release their debut album and have a minor hit with the single "Here in Your Bedroom". (more)
Mar '96
Mar '96
Apr '96
UK electro dance band The Prodigy go to #1 UK, #30 US with the single "Firestarter" from their third album. (more)
Los Angeles rap metal band Rage Against The Machine release their second album, Evil Empire, which tops the US charts and makes  #4 UK. (more)
Mar '96
The Verve Pipe, a rock band from East Lansing, MI release their debut album and go on to have a top 5 US hit with the song "The Freshmen". (more)
Apr '96
After cleaning up at the Grammy's for their debut album, Hootie & The Blowfish release their second album
Apr '96
Apr '96
The Dave Matthews Band's second album release, Crash #2 US, brings a growing fan base and hit singles including "Crash Into Me" #18 US. (more)
Apr '96
Irish alternative rock band The Cranberries continue their chart success with their third album, To The Faithful Departed, which goes top five in both the US and UK. (more)
Apr '94
American singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco releases her seventh album Dilate.The critically acclaimed album peaks at #87 US. (more)
Apr '96
May '96
Orlando, FL vocal group, The Backstreet Boys, release their debut album internationally and are successful in Europe. (more) 
May '96
Seattle band Soundgarden release their fifth and final album, Down on the Upside, which goes to #2 US, #7 UK. (more)
May '96
The second album from L.A. rock band, The Wallflowers, led by Bob Dylan's son Jakob Dylan, goes to #4 US, #58 UK led by the US #2 single "One Headlight". (more)
May '96
May '96
Jun '96
Metallica return with a bluesier sound on their sixth album Load, going to #1 in the US and UK. (more)
New York based alternative rock band Nada Surf release their debut album and have a modern rock hit with the single "Popular". (more)
Jun '96
The original members of KISS reunite for their first tour since 1979 kicking it off at a sold out Tiger Stadium in Detroit. (more)
May '96
Jun '96
California alternative rock band, Primitive Radio Gods, have a hit single with "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" from their debut album. (more)
Jun '96
Toni Braxton's second album, Secrets, generates two US #1 singles (#7,#2 UK) "You're Makin' Me High" and "Unbreak My Heart". (more)
Jun '96
Jun '96
Spanish duo Los Del Rio have a smash dance hit with the single "Macarena" which ignites a dance craze and tops the US and UK charts. (more)
Jul '96
The album Peace Beyond Passion is Meshell Ndegeocello's second album and commercial peak #63 US. The album features a cover of the Bill Withers song "Who Is He (And What Is He To You?)". (more)
Jul '96
Tidal, the debut album from New York City singer/songwriter Fiona Apple, goes to #15 US and the single "Criminal" charts at #21. (more)
Aug '96
Seattle rock band Pearl Jam release their fourth album, No Code, which goes to #1 US, #3 UK. (more)
The Pet Shop Boys tenth album, Bilingual is released and garners three UK Top Ten singles including "Before". (more)
Long Beach, CA band Sublime release their third and final album, following the death of lead singer Bradley Nowell. The single "What I Got" is a top 40 hit in the US. (more)
Pioneering American punk rock group, The Ramones, play their final gig at The Palace in Hollywood.  (more)
Detroit R&B singer Aaliyah releases her second album, One in a Million, with help from Missy Elliot and Timbaland. The album peaks at #18 US, #33 UK. (more)
Sep '96
The debut album from California band Eels, led by Mark Everett who formerly recorded as E, is released. The single "Novocaine for the Soul" charts at #10 in the UK. (more)
Sep '96
Sheryl Crow goes for a harder edged sound on her second album, which goes to #5 UK, #6 US led by single "If It Makes You Happy". (more)
Nashville country singer Deanna Carter crosses over to the US pop charts at #65 with the single "Strawberry Wine" from her debut album. (more)
Sep '96
Oct '96
UK acid jazz band Jamiroquai release their third album and score a hit single with "Virtual Insanity" #3 UK. (more)
Sep '96
Founding member and lead guitarist Slash announces he is leaving Guns n' Roses. (more)
Oct '96
Fort Lauderdale, FL band Marilyn Manson go to #3 US, #73 UK with their second album Antichrist Superstar. (more)
Oct '96
Orlando, FL band Matchbox 20 release their debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You, which climbs to #5 in the US. (more)
Oct '96
California rockers Korn release their second album, Life Is Peachy and climb to #3 US, #32 UK. (more)
Nov '96
American R&B group Blackstreet top the singles charts in the US with "No Diggity" featuring Dr. Dre. (more)
Nov '96
Crowded House plays it's last concert in front of 200,000 in Sydney, Australia. (more)
Nov '96
Nov '96
British pop vocal group The Spice Girls, release their debut album which goes to #1 in the US and UK, led by three number one singles including "Wannabe". (more)
Nov '96
Dec '96
American rapper Snoop Dogg releases his second album The Doggfather, which goes to #1, but fails to match the sales of his debut. (more)
Sep '96
The second album from California alternative band Cake, Fashion Nugget, is released with strong airplay for single
"The Distance". (more)
Jun '96
Jul '96
Welsh alternative rock band, The Manic Street Preachers, release their fourth album
Northern Irish band Ash hit #1 UK with their second album - 1977. (more)
released featuring the hit single "Scooby Snacks" #22 UK. (more) 
American hip-hop trio The Fugees release their second and final album, The Score, which tops the charts in the US, #2 UK led by the single "Killing Me Softly" #2 US, #1 UK. (more)
Feb '96
Feb '96
The fourth album from American rapper 2Pac, All Eyez On Me, goes to #1 US, #32 UK generating two US #1 singles "California Love" and "How Do You Want It". (more)
UK vocal group Take That announce their break up and score another #1 UK single with their cover of the Bee Gees "How Deep Is Your Love". (more)
From rags to riches and back, rapper MC Hammer files for bankruptcy. (more)
to more modest sales, but still hit  #1 US, #9 UK. (more)
The seventh album from San Antonio, TX indie band The Butthole Surfers ElectricLarryLand, brings them mainstream success with the single "Pepper" #19 US, #59 UK. (more)
Everything Must Go #2 UK and have a #2 UK single with the song "Design for Life". (more)
Alternative rock artist Beck releases his fifth album Odelay. The singles "Devil's Haircut" and "Where It's At" drive the album to #16 US, #17 UK. (more)
New York rapper Nas moves to a smoother sound on his second album, It Was Written, and goes straight to #1 in the US, #38 UK. (more)
Jul '96
Aug '96
Aug '96
Aug '96
Aug '96
Sep '96
Rapper Tupac Shakur is shot four times in a drive by shooting after leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas. He dies six days later. (more)
Better Living Through Chemistry is the debut album from UK DJ Fatboy Slim. (more)
Swedish band The Cardigans release the single "Lovefool" which gets strong airplay in the US and reaches #2 in the UK in 1997. (more)
The show Pop Up Video premieres on VH-1 featuring music videos with humorous comic book style captions. (more)
Oct '96
Nov - The final recordings of Tupac Shakur are released following his death on the album titled: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory which goes to #1 US, #53 UK. (more)
UK grunge band Bush reach #1 US, #4 UK with their second album Razorblade Suitcase. This was the last grunge album to achieve major sales. (more)
Dec '96
Released in 1995, No Doubt's album Tragic Kingdom goes to #1 US, #3 UK following months of touring. (more)
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Oct '96