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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1978

The British charts of 1978 were all about "Grease" so Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta ruled, ahead of Boney M.

 

  • It would be hard to break them up, so Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta were the top artists of 1978. As an actor John Travolta was in the two huge pop hit films of the year: "Saturday Night Fever" (the original film soundtrack was the biggest album of the year) and "Grease" (whose soundtrack was the second biggest album). The two dueted to the number three and number four singles of 1978, respectively "You're The One That I Want" and "Summer Nights". Travolta also had top ten solo hits with "Sandy" (a number two) and "Greased Lightnin" while Olivia Newton-John managed a number two spot with "Hopelessly Devoted to You".
Grease - The Original Soundtrack Buy the Sound Track
  • In another year Boney M would be top performers but they had to settle for number two in 1978. Their big single was "Rivers of Babylon", biggest hit of the year and eventually selling just under two million copies in the UK alone. Later in the year they had a top two song with "Rasputin" followed by a massive Christmas hit with the classic "Mary's Boy Child" (another huge seller that eventually reached 1.8 million in the UK and second biggest hit of the year). They also had the fourth biggest album of the year with "Night Flight to Venus".
The Magic Of Boney M, 20 top tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Third placed performers were the Bee Gees, like John Travolta, strongly associated with "Saturday Night Fever" (the soundtrack was the year's biggest album and seven of the tracks are by the Bee Gees). Their singles from the soundtrack included "Night Fever", a big number one hit, and "Stayin' Alive" which peaked at number four. The band followed these with "Too Much Heaven", a top three hit, at the end of the year.
The Bee Gees - Their Greatest Hits The Record, double CD 42 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • The list of British seventies rock and roll revival bands would not be complete without the Darts, who were fourth placed performers in 1978. They failed to hit the number one spot but had three successive number two singles with "Come Back My Love", "Boy From New York City" and "It's Raining" plus a top twenty entry with "Don't Let it Fade Away".
Double Top: the Very Best of Darts - 46 tracks, double CD Buy the Greatest Hits
  • In fifth place and still having a big impact were Abba. Their singles for 1978 included a number one, "Take a Chance On Me" and a top five hit "Summer Night City". Abba also had the third biggest album of the year, "The Album".
Abba - The Definitive Collection, 37 track double CD Buy the Greatest Hits
  • There were a cluster of other very successful acts for 1978, like Rod Stewart. His year included a number one single "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" and two top five entries "Hotlegs" and "Ole Ola". There was the appearance of Kate Bush whose chart topping first single, "Wuthering Heights", was followed by a top ten entry for "Man With the Child in His Eyes" and a top three album "The Kick Inside". American soul band Rose Royce had top three hits with "Wishing on a Star" and "Love Don't Live Here Any More". Rockers Showaddywaddy were still making top five hits including "I Wonder Why", "A Little Bit of Soap" and "Pretty Little Angel Eyes".
20 tracks incl Rat Trap - Boomtown Rats , Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc Buy the Greatest Hits
  • The punk wave continued but was becoming more pop in style with the biggest exponents being Blondie whose single hits included "Denis" (a chart number two) and top ten entries "I'm Always Touched by Your Presence Dear", "Picture This" and "Hanging on the Telephone". Their album successes included "Parallel Lines" (a number one LP) and "Plastic Letters". Other punk notables were Irish band the Boomtown Rats who started the year with "She's So Modern" which just failed to make the top ten, then "Like Clockwork" (a top ten hit) and finally a number one with "Rat Trap".

 

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