The Year in Music: 1976

The Year in Music: 1976

Only at its mid-point, 2016 has already demonstrated how much incredible music can come out in the span of a year. And over that same period we’ve been able to celebrate the 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 year anniversaries of some of our still cherished albums from years past. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking back at specific years in music celebrating decade anniversaries (1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006) by sharing our definitive playlist for each. Each playlist – a carefully curated mix of approximately 100 hits, singles and album cuts we’ve found worthy of inclusion – gives you a historical snapshot of a 12-month window in popular music. For the sake of historical coherence, these do not necessarily reflect the top charts of the year, but rather the official release dates. Bring on the nostalgia!

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In the last weeks of 1976, Eagles released their lush and radio friendly fifth LP Hotel California. It turned out to be one of the biggest selling albums in history, an iconic album that epitomizes the studio debauchery and disconnected rock lifestyle of the ’70s, and one bound to meet a counter reaction.

Almost that same week, snotty British punk rockers The Sex Pistols unleashed their debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.” Meanwhile in the U.S., and especially in New York City, punk rock was already feeding the fires of a vital and growing subculture led by the Ramones and the Modern Lovers, who had already blessed us with their unforgettable debut albums earlier in the year.

1976 was also a year in the heart of a disco craze that dominated the dance clubs around the globe. Here you can enjoy a mix of it all: the great hits, the forgotten favorites and select album cuts from a defining year in music.

Best-Selling Album: Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton
Longest No. 1 Single: “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
Grammy – Album of the Year: Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon
Grammy – Song of the Year: “Send in the Clowns” by Stephen Sondheim
Groups Formed: Black Flag, Boston, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, Madness, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Siouxsie and the Banshees, U2
Groups Disbanded: The Band, Deep Purple, Loggins and Messina, Ike & Tina Turner
Deaths: Howlin’ Wolf, Florence Ballard of The Supremes, Phil Ochs, Keith Relf, Tommy Bolin, Freddie King
Top-Grossing Film: Rocky
World Leaders: Gerald Ford, Elizabeth II, Leonid Brezhnev, Valery Giscard d’Estaing
Historical Benchmarks:
- Apple Computer Company formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
- United States celebrates 200 years of independece from the British Empire
- NASA’s Viking 1 Lander arrives on Mars
Best Selling Book: Trinity by Leon Uris
TIME’s Person of The Year: Jimmy Carter

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