The year 1978 was definitely one of many different genres, from disco to both hard and soft rock, but do you know what topped the charts that year? We’re going to tell you about the 35 best songs from 1978 below, so keep reading to see if you remember these tunes!
1. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
First on our list is I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, which was from her album Love Tracks. This track went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Dance Club Songs chart. It also hit number one on the UK Singles Chart. A track that’s all about strength and empowerment, this woman’s anthem was put into the Library of Congress in 2016 because of its significance.
2. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are on the list with Stayin’ Alive, which you probably know from the movie Saturday Night Fever. This was one of their biggest songs and is thought to be one of the signature tracks of the group. The track hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and three on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
3. Baby Come Back – Player
Baby Come Back is a song by Player, and this track is from their debut album, which would end up becoming their biggest hit. It went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 10 on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The inspiration for it comes from the feelings a band member had after breaking up with their girlfriend.
4. I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones
Next up on the list is The Ramones with I Wanna Be Sedated, which is one of their most well-known songs and is thought to be their signature track. It was written by Joey Ramone about how they were on the road all of the time, and they were even in London during Christmas when there was nothing to do because the town was shut down. It remains one of the best rock songs and a hit no matter where it’s played.
5. YMCA – Village People
Everyone knows the next song because of the arm movements that are essential to the dance, and you’ve probably been at a sporting event where it has been played. We’re talking about YMCA by the Village People. This is the biggest track that the group released, and it went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Dance Club Songs chart.
6. I Go Crazy – Paul Davis
Paul Davis is on the list with I Go Crazy, which comes from the album Singer Of Songs: Teller Of Tales. This is a track that’s talking about how a man and a woman who had been together had a chance encounter, and the man ends up realizing he still has feelings towards her, although he never acts on them. The song spent over 40 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number seven.
7. You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone
Next on the list is You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone, which was for her solo album of the same name. It’s one of the most recognizable songs of the 70s and ended up becoming the hottest single of that decade. It spent 10 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which was a record, and became her signature track.
8. Lay Down Sally – Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton had a hit with his blues and country song Lay Down Sally, which was from his album Slowhand, and this track made it to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As one of the biggest country crossover hits, it made it to 26 on the Billboard Country Songs chart. You may have heard this track in a recent movie from 2013 titled August: Osage County.
9. Hot Child In The City – Nick Gilder
The next song is Hot Child In The City, which was released by Nick Gilder on his album City Nights. This track is inspired by the fact he had witnessed multiple situations where child prostitution was happening while he was in Los Angeles, California. It went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as the Canadian Top Singles chart.
10. Shadow Dancing – Andy Gibb
Next on the list is Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb, which ended up peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks. Released on the album of the same name, this song was the first single released from it, and it was a huge hit for him. This track also made it to number 11 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and eight on the Easy Listening chart.
11. Kiss You All Over – Exile
Up next is Kiss You All Over by Exile, which is from the album Mixed Emotions. This song went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed there for a month while it hit 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It also was successful internationally and went to number one in New Zealand and Australia, but only hit number six on the UK Singles chart.
12. Just What I Needed – The Cars
Rock group The Cars make our list with Just What I Needed, which is a song from their debut album. It hit 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is known as their signature track as well as being one of their more popular songs.
13. Miss You – The Rolling Stones
Next up on the list is The Rolling Stones with the song Miss You, which is on the album Some Girls. This track went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and six on the Hot Dance Club Play chart while also hitting three on the UK Singles chart. It’s often thought of as one of the best songs of all time and one of their many popular radio hits.
14. Roxanne – The Police
The Police make our list with Roxanne, which comes from their album Outlandos D’Amour. Rolling Stone considers this track to be one of the best songs of all time, and it’s all about a guy who ends up falling for a prostitute and written from his viewpoint. Coming out right before the release of their debut album, it hit number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
15. Old Time Rock & Roll – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Calling all fans of the movie Risky Business, you might know Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. This song comes from his album Stranger In Town, and it’s one of his all-time favorite tracks to play. It is one of the most recognizable songs, and it is thought to be one of the best tracks in music. When it was released, the song peaked at 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is still in rotation today.
16. Night Fever – Bee Gees
Calling all fans of Saturday Night Fever, you may have heard the song Night Fever by the Bee Gees, which was on the soundtrack to this movie. This track peaked at number one and stayed at number one for eight weeks, which was the longest any single in 1978 stayed in the number one position. It stayed within the Billboard Top 10 for more than 13 weeks, and it’s one of their most successful and well-known songs.
17. Three Times a Lady – Commodores
Next on the list is the Commodores with Three Times A Lady, which comes from the album Natural High. This song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for two weeks, with this being their first number-one track. In 1978, this would be the only song from Motown to hit the Top 10. It made it to one on the Adult Contemporary chart and Hot Soul Singles chart as well as the UK Singles chart.
18. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart had a hit with Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? This comes from the album Blondes Have More Fun, and this song hit the UK Singles chart at the number one position for one week. The track also went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was one of the biggest singles of the year. Rolling Stone had it on their list of 500 best songs and it’s one of his most well-known tracks to date.
19. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
Up next is Gerry Rafferty who released Baker Street on his album City To City, and this song hit two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed there for more than six weeks. It hit number one on the Canada Top Singles chart and also went to number one in Australia and New Zealand. This track has a popular saxophone component in it, and it was famously featured in the show Happy Endings.
20. Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey
On our list is a band you may not know called A Taste Of Honey who released the song Boogie Oogie Oogie from their debut album of the same name. This track hit the Billboard Hot 100, Disco Action, and Hot Soul Singles charts at the number one position and helped them become a major crossover hit. This is one of the most popular and recognizable songs from the disco period, and they won a Grammy for Best New Artist thanks to it.
21. I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick
Rock group Cheap Trick had a hit with I Want You To Want Me on their album Cheap Trick At Budokan. The live version of this song was a massive hit and went to seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which also made it to one in Japan and number two on the Canadian chart. It is their signature track and one of their most well-known songs and a fan favorite.
22. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
Next up is Earth, Wind & Fire with September, which comes from the album The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1. This is one of their most successful tracks, and it hit number one on the Hot R&B Songs and Hot Soul Singles charts. It also hit number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles chart hit number three. In 2018, it was inducted into the Library of Congress because of its historical and cultural significance.
23. Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson
On our list next is Is She Really Going Out With Him? by Joe Jackson, and this is from his album Look Sharp. As the first song from his debut album, it was a funny track about how women often date men that aren’t attractive. This song was a hit and made it to 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 13 on the UK Singles chart.
24. You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta And Olivia Newton-John
Attention all fans of Grease, we all know the track You’re The One That I Want because it was the biggest song from this movie. Performed by both Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, this track is considered to be in the top-selling singles of all time with over 14 million copies being sold worldwide. This song made it to one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 23 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
25. Sometimes When We Touch – Dan Hill
Up next is Dan Hill with Sometimes When We Touch, which went to three on the Billboard Hot 100 and 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart. This song comes from Longer Fuse and is considered to be his signature track and one of his most successful hits.
26. Our Love – Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole is on the list with Our Love, which comes from her album Thankful. This song went to number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart and 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. This track is one of her most famous and popular songs and is a fan favorite.
27. You Really Got Me – Van Halen
Van Halen is one of the most recognizable and successful rock bands, and in 1978, they had a hit with their cover version of the song You Really Got Me. Released on their debut studio album, it was incredibly popular on the radio and features the vocals of David Lee Roth. It went to 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 49 on the Canadian Top Singles chart.
28. One Way Or Another – Blondie
Blondie makes our list with One Way Or Another, which is a fan favorite and comes from their album Parallel Lines. This song is about the experience Debbie Harry had with a stalker. It hit 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s one of the band’s most successful and popular tracks.
29. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
Up next is Dire Straits with their song Sultans Of Swing, which comes from their debut studio album, and it’s one of their most popular and recognizable tunes. This track ended up hitting four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and eight on the UK Singles chart. It also landed in the Top 10 in other countries including Ireland and Australia.
30. Who Are You – The Who
Next up is The Who with Who Are You, which is one of their most well-known songs in America and quickly became their biggest hit. This is thought to be their signature track, and it hit 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 18 on the UK Singles chart.
31. Because The Night – Patti Smith Group
Because The Night makes the list, and it’s by Patti Smith Group. This was their first song released on their album Easter. The track landed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at position 13 and the UK Singles chart at number five and is thought to be their signature song. Thanks to the popularity of this track, Easter became a hot-selling album.
32. Hold The Line – Toto
Toto is on our list with Hold The Line, which comes from their debut album, and it was the first single released from this album. It went to five on the Billboard Hot 100 and 14 on the UK Singles Chart, and it was one of their biggest hits and one of the biggest songs of the year.
33. Fat Bottomed Girls – Queen
Rock band Queen had a hit in 1978 with Fat Bottomed Girls, which comes from their album Jazz, and this song is one of their most well-known and liked tracks. It is played in drop D, which they didn’t do very often with the guitar, so it’s different. This song hit 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 11 on the UK Singles chart.
34. Fire – The Pointer Sisters
The Pointer Sisters released a cover of Fire, which comes from their album Energy. It placed two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, hit 14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and landed 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart. This track is all about a woman who is being indecisive about whether or not she wants a certain guy.
35. Close The Door – Teddy Pendergrass
Teddy Pendergrass is last on our list with Close The Door, which was a huge hit for him. On the R&B chart, it went to number one while hitting 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This is one of his biggest songs and a fan favorite.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.