Hot 100 – 1976 style

April 15, 2011

The BBC are currently showing a batch of “Top of the Pops” TV shows from 1976. I heard someone being interviewed who expressed the opinion that all music from 1976 was complete rubbish as the whole year was a no-man’s land between Glam Rock and Punk. I think she was talking rubbish. Perhaps many of the acts featured on TOTP in 1976 veered towards middle-of-the-road crooners and lightweight Disco and pop groups like Sailor but I was buying a lot of music then so it couldn’t have been all bad. Every single year since pop was invented has contained a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous. However, saying all that I was paying little attention to the Bay City Rollers or Showaddywaddy in the 1970s. I was too busy visiting junk shops in search of Rocksteady/Ska 45s or attending concerts at the Empire Pool Wembly to see the likes of David Bowie and Alice Cooper.

The February 28th 1976 issue of New Musical Express contained a free poster listing the best-ever pop singles up to that date. I presume the list was compiled from votes sent in by readers? I find the list quite sweet in its concentration on 1960s mainstream chart pop. I suppose everyone’s list of 100 tunes released before 1976 would be different. I would take the Kinks out of their list and include the Fugs, the VU, the Staple Singers, more Beach Boys, some Ska, Sinatra’s My Way, at least 4 tunes by Irma Thomas, Round Round by JK, etc etc……………….  

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2 Responses to “Hot 100 – 1976 style”

  1. dirigbledave@gmail.com Says:

    1976 – a rubbish year for music? Yeah right, what a stupid woman. I give you a list (freely nicked and adapted from Wikipedia) of the albums from 1976 that I can hand on heart say I know I have played in the past year:

    * Brass Construction II
    * Flow Motion – Can
    * Hardcore Jollies – Funkadelic
    * Hit the Road Jack – Big Youth
    * Hot on the Tracks – The Commodores
    * Jammy Smears – Ivor Cutler
    * Kites – Jade Warrior
    * L – Steve Hillage
    * La Düsseldorf – La Düsseldorf
    * Legalize It – Peter Tosh
    * Look Out for #1 – The Brothers Johnson
    * Natty Cultural Dread – Big Youth
    * Right Time – Mighty Diamonds
    * Sowiesoso – Cluster
    * Tales of Kidd Funkadelic – Funkadelic
    * Trenchtown Mix Up – The Gladiators
    * The Wild Tchoupitoulas
    * Desire – Bob Dylan
    * Station to Station – David Bowie
    * How Dare You! – 10cc
    * Third Reich ‘n Roll – The Residents
    * I Want You – Marvin Gaye
    * A Love Trilogy – Donna Summer
    * Takin’ It to the Streets – The Doobie Brothers
    * Wings at the Speed of Sound – Paul McCartney and Wings
    * Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy
    * Love & Understanding – Kool & The Gang
    * Silk Degrees – Boz Scaggs
    * Moondawn – Klaus Schulze
    * Black and Blue – The Rolling Stones
    * Garvey’s Ghost – Burning Spear
    * Rastaman Vibration – Bob Marley & The Wailers
    * Live Bullet – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
    * Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band – Bootsy’s Rubber Band
    * Agents of Fortune – Blue Öyster Cult
    * Rose of Cimarron – Poco
    * Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller Band
    * Harvest for the World – The Isley Brothers
    * The Royal Scam – Steely Dan
    * Wired – Jeff Beck
    * Another Passenger – Carly Simon
    * Hot on the Tracks – Commodores
    * A Night on the Town – Rod Stewart
    * School Days – Stanley Clarke
    * Steal Your Face – Grateful Dead
    * Howlin’ Wind – Graham Parker and the Rumour
    * Year of the Cat – Al Stewart
    * Man in the Hills – Burning Spear
    * The Roaring Silence – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
    * Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music – Hawkwind
    * Hasten Down the Wind – Linda Ronstadt
    * Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius
    * The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers
    * Super Ape – The Upsetters
    * Viva! – Roxy Music
    * Bigger Than Both of Us – Hall & Oates
    * Blackheart Man – Bunny Wailer
    * Long May You Run – The Stills-Young Band
    * The Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin
    * Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
    * Car Wash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    * The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein – Parliament
    * Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry
    * Small Change – Tom Waits
    * Stupidity – Dr. Feelgood
    * Troubadour – J.J. Cale
    * Zoot Allures – Frank Zappa
    * Chicken Skin Music – Ry Cooder
    * Night Moves – Bob Seger
    * Rock and Roll Heart – Lou Reed
    * Imaginary Voyage – Jean-Luc Ponty
    * Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    * The Jacksons – The Jacksons
    * Hejira – Joni Mitchell
    * The Pretender – Jackson Browne
    * Hotel California – Eagles –
    * Oxygène – Jean Michel Jarre
    * Heat Treatment – Graham Parker

    Amazing amount of great reggae there, and George Clinton’s prolific bandwagon

    Oh yeah – no punk? Well try this for size:

    # Metallic K.O. – The Stooges
    # Still Shakin’ – Flamin’ Groovies
    # Teenage Depression – Eddie and the Hot Rods
    # The Runaways
    # The Ramones
    # Blondie
    # Shake Some Action – Flamin’ Groovies
    # Radio Ethiopia – Patti Smith Group

    Stupid woman. (sorry about the length by the way)


  2. Wow, some list. All the LPs I couldn’t afford at the time and apart from the Al Stewart one I’m off to track them all down now. I was going to do a list myself but the only LPs I could definitely recall buying in that particular year were The Flamin Groovies and a Millie Jackson one. A list of my 100 favourite singles has been attempted many times but changes with the wind.

    Perhaps 1976 was just a rubbish year for the budget for/guy who booked the acts for TOTP.


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