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Songs of the Year

Songs of the Year: 1978

Grease is in the air, and the hair of every man, woman and child across America.

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1978 was peak disco. Grease was in the air (and the hair) of boys and girls; men and women across America. On the Billboard charts we had Shadow Dancing and Night Fever and more disco. Too much disco, probably.

The 70s are winding down and it shows, although there were myriad great songs this year, few all-time classics. Unless you’re really into new wave or punk or disco. Which we are not.

Still, we had Kate Bush, Van Halen, Police, Dire Straits and the Cars all making their debuts. A great sophomore album from Elvis Costello, an underrated Bobby Dylan and lots more. Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, The Who, Talking Heads, Blondie, The Jam, Devo, and Neil Young as well.

The year is 1978 and we’re picking our favorite songs of the year.

It’s a simple concept. We pick five of our favorite songs that made the Billboard Top 100 (established in 1958) during any time that year. We also select five “wildcards” that can be any songs released as a single or on an album or EP that year. Finally, we also pick our “worst” song of the year, just for fun.

We started in 1958 and we’re going until we run out of years.

Standings So Far …

Pink Floyd’s Sheep brought home another victory for team Joe as it squeaked by Jason’s pick of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams by just a single vote. Kramzer’s Aerosmith pick may have set a new record for least amount of votes. But he might have a winner for 78 with a Dire Straits classic. Can he pick up his first non-shared victory of the 70s? We will find out!

Joe: 11
Jason: 8.5
Kramzer: 5.5

Vote

Which Was the Best Song of 1978?

  • Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits (47%, 99 Votes)
  • Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush (44%, 93 Votes)
  • True Love Tends to Forget by Bob Dylan (9%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 210

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Best Songs of the Year Playlist

Best Songs of the Year | 1978 | Spotify Edition

Best Songs of the Year | 1978 | YouTube edition

Worst Songs of the Year Playlist

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Pete

Of all the great songs on Springsteen’s strongest album, Kramzer picks Something in the Night… That one really blew my mind. It’s still pretty darn good though. Quite a lot of great songs on all the lists as well.

My top 5 of 1978 would probably look like this:

  1. Bruce Springsteen – Badlands
  2. The Cars – Just What I Needed
  3. Warren Zevon – Lawyers, Guns and Money
  4. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Radio, Radio
  5. Flamin’ Groovies – Don’t Put Me On

(Only one song per artist, because otherwise the list would basically only be tracks from Darkness on the Edge of Town.)

By the way, have anyone of your heard Doll by Doll? They released a really great album in 1979 called Gypsy Blood, which never sold very much or got a lot of press, and it seems completely forgotten today. It’s a shame, because it’s awesome, and it doesn’t really sound like any of the other new wave bands of that era, imo.

I’ve never seen anyone talk about in anywhere, but I love it, and it would be cool to see if you guys know about it. I know that David Gilmour played some guitar on their last album also, which is also pretty cool.

Pete

Well, I don’t know who’s answering, but I think it would probably be the closest to Jason’s taste. I’m not sure anyone of you’d like it, but I think it’s great.

Dan O

Favorite songs of 1978:
Rank Title-Artist
1. I’M NOT GONNA LET IT BOTHER ME TONIGHT – ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION
2. DON’T LOOK BACK – BOSTON
3. TURN TO STONE – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
4. LIFE’S BEEN GOOD – JOE WALSH
5 5-7-0-5 – CITY BOY
6. YOU AND I – RICK JAMES
7. COME SAIL AWAY – STYX
8. FM (NO STATIC AT ALL) – STEELY DAN
9. HOT LOVE, COLD WORLD – BOB WELCH
10. STRAIGHT ON – HEART
11. IT’S EASY – BOSTON
12. YOU REALLY GOT ME NOW – VAN HALEN
13. FOLLOW YOU, FOLLOW ME – GENESIS
14. WHO ARE YOU – WHO
15. EBONY EYES – BOB WELCH
16. JUST WHAT I NEEDED – CARS
17. HEARTLESS – HEART
18. POINT OF KNOW RETURN – KANSAS
19. BLUE COLLAR MAN (LONG NIGHTS) – STYX
20. HOT LEGS – ROD STEWART
21. (FOOL) IF YOU THINK IT’S OVER – CHRIS REA
22. IT’S A LAUGH – DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES
23. JACK AND JILL – RAYDIO
24. BAKER STREET – GERRY RAFFERTY
25. STAYIN’ ALIVE – BEE GEES
26. FANTASY – EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
27. RIGHT DOWN THE LINE – GERRY RAFFERTY
28. DOUBLE VISION – FOREIGNER
29. GROOVE LINE – HEATWAVE
30. NIGHT FEVER – BEE GEES
31. MOVIN’ OUT (ANTHONY’S SONG) – BILLY JOEL
32. DEEP IN THE MOTHERLODE – GENESIS
33. SERPENTINE FIRE – EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
34. IMAGINARY LOVER – ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION
35. THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND – ANDREW GOLD
36. SHAME – EVELYN “CHAMPAGNE” KING
37. RUNAWAY – JEFFERSON STARSHIP
38. BYE BYE LOVE – CARS
39. WHAT’S YOUR NAME – LYNYRD SKYNYRD
40. ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG – BILLY JOEL

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1978:
41. TIME PASSAGES – AL STEWART
42. LOVE WILL FIND A WAY – PABLO CRUISE
43. WE WILL ROCK YOU – QUEEN
44. BABY HOLD ON – EDDIE MONEY
45. WITH A LITTLE LUCK – PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS
46. MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL – CARS
47. HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS – BOB SEGER
48. MISS YOU – ROLLING STONES
49. RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL – VAN HALEN
50. EVERY KINDA PEOPLE – ROBERT PALMER
51. YOU’RE IN MY HEART (THE FINAL ACCLAIM) – ROD STEWART
52. TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE – EDDIE MONEY
53. POWER OF GOLD – DAN FOGELBERG/TIM WEISBERG
54. HOT BLOODED – FOREIGNER
55. HERE YOU COME AGAIN – DOLLY PARTON
56. I’M GONNA TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING – RUBICON
57. PEG – STEELY DAN
58. BREAKDOWN – TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS
59. YOU’RE THE LOVE – SEALS AND CROFTS
60. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME – ABBA
61. PARADOX – KANSAS
62. WHEEL IN THE SKY – JOURNEY
63. RUNNING ON EMPTY – JACKSON BROWNE
64. USE TA BE MY GIRL – O’JAYS
65. I’VE HAD ENOUGH – PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS
66. I GO CRAZY – PAUL DAVIS
67. FEELS SO GOOD – CHUCK MANGIONE
68. LOVE IS LIKE OXYGEN – SWEET
69. FLASH LIGHT – PARLIAMENT
70. BACK IN THE U.S.A. – LINDA RONSTADT
71. RIVERS OF BABYLON – BONEY M
72. POOR, POOR PITIFUL ME – LINDA RONSTADT
73. THUNDER ISLAND – JAY FERGUSON
74. FFUN – CON-FUNK-SHUN
75. COME TOGETHER – AEROSMITH
76. MR. BLUE SKY – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
77. KISS YOU ALL OVER – EXILE
78. TOO HOT TA TROT – COMMODORES
79. AIN’T TALKIN’ ‘BOUT LOVE – VAN HALEN
80. IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU – YVONNE ELLIMAN
81. REMINISCING – LITTLE RIVER BAND
82. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE – BILLY JOEL
83. HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN
84. SWEET TALKIN’ WOMAN – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
85. WONDERFUL TONIGHT – ERIC CLAPTON
86. (LOVE IS) THICKER THAN WATER – ANDY GIBB
87. YOU – RITA COOLIDGE
88. GIRL’S SCHOOL – PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS
89. LONG, LONG WAY FROM HOME – FOREIGNER
90. STILL THE SAME – BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND
91. MAGNET AND STEEL – WALTER EGAN
92. IT’S A HEARTACHE – BONNIE TYLER
93. THIS TIME I’M IN IT FOR LOVE – PLAYER
94. GETTIN’ READY FOR LOVE – DIANA ROSS
95. LAY DOWN SALLY – ERIC CLAPTON
96. JOSIE – STEELY DAN
97. HAD ENOUGH – THE WHO
98. BEAST OF BURDEN – ROLLING STONES
99. I’M OK – STYX
100. GET OFF – FOXY

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1978:
Rank-Title-Artist
101. BECAUSE THE NIGHT – PATTI SMITH GROUP
102. STUFF LIKE THAT – QUINCY JONES
103. SHORT PEOPLE – RANDY NEWMAN
104. SURRENDER – CHEAP TRICK
105. YOU NEEDED ME – ANNE MURRAY
106. ON BROADWAY – GEORGE BENSON
107. WAVELENGTH – VAN MORRISON
108. JAMIE’S CRYIN’ – VAN HALEN
109. BABY COME BACK – PLAYER
110. STAY – JACKSON BROWNE
111. IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG – K.C. AND THE SUNSHINE BAND
112. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS – QUEEN
113. WHICH WAY IS UP – STARGARD
114. HOW YOU GONNA SEE ME NOW – ALICE COOPER
115. LE FREAK – CHIC
116. ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE – MICHAEL JOHNSON
117. ALIVE AGAIN – CHICAGO
118. NAME OF THE GAME – ABBA
119. LIGHTS – JOURNEY
120. DEACON BLUE – STEELY DAN
121. I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN – ERUPTION
122. TUMBLING DICE – LINDA RONSTADT
123. EXCITABLE BOY – WARREN ZEVON
124. YOU NEVER DONE IT LIKE THAT – CAPTAIN & TENNILLE
125. YOU BELONG TO ME – CARLY SIMON
126. SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEART CLUB/WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS – BEATLES
127. GREASE – FRANKIE VALLI
128. BADLANDS – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
129. DESIREE – NEIL DIAMOND
130. FLYING HIGH – COMMODORES
131. TWO DOORS DOWN – DOLLY PARTON
132. KINGS AND QUEENS – AEROSMITH
133. TAKE ME TO THE KAPTIN – PRISM
134. TOOK THE LAST TRAIN – DAVID GATES
135. WATCHING THE DETECTIVES – ELVIS COSTELLO
136. GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE – EARTH, WIND & FIRE
137. PORTRAIT (HE KNEW) – KANSAS
138. LONDON TOWN – PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS
139. THEME FROM “CLOSE ENCOUNTERS” – MECO
140. MY ANGEL BABY – TOBY BEAU
141. DANCE WITH ME – PETER BROWN
142. DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD – SANTA ESMERALDA
143. LOVELY DAY – BILL WITHERS
144. THEME FROM “CLOSE ENCOUNTERS” – JOHN WILLIAMS
145. TAKE IT OFF THE TOP – DIXIE DREGS
146. TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP – CRYSTAL GAYLE
147. SHADOW DANCING – ANDY GIBB
148. COUNT ON ME – JEFFERSON STARSHIP
149. FOOLING YOURSELF (ANGRY YOUNG MAN) – STYX
150. SUBSTITUTE – CLOUT
151. TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD – MEATLOAF
152. LAST DANCE – DONNA SUMMER
153. AIN’T GONNA EAT OUT MY HEART ANYMORE – ANGEL
154. I’M EVERY WOMAN – CHAKA KHAN
155. SHE’S ALWAYS A WOMAN – BILLY JOEL
156. SLIP SLIDIN’ AWAY – PAUL SIMON
157. I JUST WANNA STOP – GINO VANNELLI
158. HOW MUCH I FEEL – AMBROSIA
159. MIND BENDER – STILLWATER
160. SONGBIRD – BARBRA STREISAND
161. I WANT YOU TO BE MINE – KAYAK
162. THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO – RITA COOLIDGE
163. GOODBYE GIRL – DAVID GATES
164. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
165. AS – STEVIE WONDER
166. FUN TIME – JOE COCKER
167. BOOGIE OOGIE OOGIE – TASTE OF HONEY
168. STREET CORNER SERENADE – WET WILLIE
169. ROLL WITH THE CHANGES – REO SPEEDWAGON
170. I NEED TO KNOW – TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS
171. STONE BLUE – FOGHAT
172. (OUR LOVE) DON’T THROW IT ALL AWAY – ANDY GIBB
173. MORE THAN A WOMAN – TAVARES
174. DREADLOCK HOLIDAY – 10CC
175. THE CLOSER I GET TO YOU – ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAY
176. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY – LITTLE RIVER BAND
177. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY – KINKS
178. WEREWOLVES OF LONDON – WARREN ZEVON
179. STRANGE WAY – FIREFALL
180. WE’LL NEVER HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE – ENGLAND DAN & JOHN FORD COLEY
181. LOVE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT – KENNY ROGERS
182. SWEET LIFE – PAUL DAVIS
183. EGO – ELTON JOHN
184. HOT CHILD IN THE CITY – NICK GILDER
185. FUTURE TIMES – YES
186. CAN’T SMILE WITHOUT YOU – BARRY MANILOW
187. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BENNY SANTINI? – CHRIS REA
188. THE CIRCLE IS SMALL – GORDON LIGHTFOOT
189. NATIVE NEW YORKER – ODYSSEY
190. FOREVER AUTUMN – JUSTIN HAYWARD
191. AN EVERLASTING LOVE – ANDY GIBB
192. GOT TO HAVE LOVING – DON RAY
193. LET’S ALL CHANT – MICHAEL ZAGER BAND
194. TIME FOR ME TO FLY – REO SPEEDWAGON
195. OOH BOY – ROSE ROYCE
196. HEARTBREAKER – DOLLY PARTON
197. KING TUT – STEVE MARTIN
198. BLUER THAN BLUE – MICHAEL JOHNSON
199. LADY LOVE – LOU RAWLS
200. DUST IN THE WIND – KANSAS

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