By Jack Sharkey, October 27, 2017

 

1976

Disco was beginning it's dominant run on the charts, but Monster Rock reigned supreme. So it came as no surprise when punk reared its angry head and shook its indignant fists at us all just a year later. 

 

Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry The Ohio rockers crossed over with a tongue-in-cheek stab at disco and in the process found themselves with a monster hit, which in turn opened the gates for actual funk bands for the rest of the decade. 

 

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon The utterly brilliant Steve Gadd drum line, the Fender Rhodes, and Simon at the height of his songwriting power all added up to make a timeless hit. Simon debuted the song on Saturday Night Live in 1975 and following the circle all the way around, check out Miley Cyrus' version on the SNL 40th Anniversary show.     

 

Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings Post Beatlers, Ringo was the first to have a solo hit, George had the first string of hits, John had the most meaningful run of hits, but Paul was the chart king. Even if you tried, you couldn't deny his Summer of '76 monster.  

 

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen Everything there is to say has been said, just enjoy the video.

 

Show Me The Way - Peter Frampton Released the first week of January in 1976, Frampton Comes Alive! a double-disk live album from English guitarist Peter Frampton (late of Humble Pie) sold 8 million copies in the US alone. It became the biggest record of the year and the biggest selling live album of all time to date. On its way, Frampton Comes Alive! is also single-handedly responsible for changing the music industry forever. There was money to be made from all of these long-haired hippie types far beyond what had been generated before, and so the rapid death of the independent was at hand as corporations and bean counters smelled all that cash being thrown around. The industry at-large today is still a direct result of the success of this album.   

 

 

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