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The Top 10 Songs of 1976 in the UK

Updated on December 4, 2015
Brotherhood of Man
Brotherhood of Man

The UK's Top 10 Best Selling Songs of 1976

The UK's Top 10 best selling songs of 1976 certainly made for strange bedfellows considering what music was on offer during this particular year.

You probably could not create a list of ten songs as diverse as those that captured the attention of the record buying public during 1976. Who would have thought that Elton John, Brotherhood of Man and Demis Roussos could end up appearing on the same countdown? But, that is exactly what happened.

Note that these songs have not been picked as my favourites of this year, but to show which records sold the most during 1976.

Image: By NCRV (Beeld en Geluidwiki - Gallery: Kwistig met muziek) [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons

1. Save Your Kisses For Me: Brotherhood of Man: Chart Topper: March 27 - May 1 (6 weeks)

As well as being the top selling song of 1976, Brotherhood of Man's Save Your Kisses For Me was also the UK's winning song at the Eurovision Song Contest that year. It received a total of 164 points, representing the highest relative score for any entry to date. The track is also the highest selling winning song from the Contest so far.

It went on to top the charts around the world, selling more than five million copies in the process. Two successful cover versions were released in the US, one by Bobby Vinton and the other by Margo Smith.

2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Elton John & Kiki Dee: Chart Topper: July 24 - August 28 (6 weeks)

This was the song that took Elton John to the summit of the UK charts for the first time, although he had enjoyed this accolade in the US several times previously. Kiki Dee had been recording for some time with limited success on the UK chart, most notably a hit recording of Amoreuse, before joining Elton on this monster record.

The story goes that the accompanying video is one of the cheapest ever to be made. The director, who was engaged with another artist, found an unused sound stage, made it appear like a recording studio and got the duo to perform the song in one take.

3. Mississippi: Pussycat: Chart Topper: October 16 - November 6 (4 Weeks)

Pussycat were a little known band in the UK, although the group had enjoyed substantial success on continental Europe, until this country-tinged tune topped the British charts.

The band was made up of three Dutch sisters, Tonny, Betty and Marianne Kowalczyk along with Lou Wille, Tonny's husband, Theo Wetzels, Theo Coumans and John Theunissen. Mississippi enjoyed a four week run at Number One in late 1976, but their follow up singles proved less popular.

4. Dancing Queen: ABBA: Chart Topper: September 4 - October 9 (6 Weeks)

This was ABBA's third chart topping song in the UK in 1976, following on from the success of both Fernando and Mamma Mia.

It went on to surpass these preceding releases in both number of weeks at the chart summit and in sales, becoming their biggest selling single internationally. It hit Number One in thirteen countries and achieved this feat in the US in April of the following year - the only time that this would happen with one of ABBA's songs.

According to United World Charts, Dancing Queen is the 33rd most successful song in music history.

5. A Little Bit More: Dr. Hook: Number 2: July 24 - August 21 (5 Weeks)

A Little Bit More was Dr. Hook's second hit song in the UK, following on from their success four years earlier with Sylvia's Mother.

It couldn't quite manage to reach the top spot on the British charts, stalling at Number Two for five weeks behind Elton John and Kiki Dee's hit, although the band did manage to get to Number One three years later with When You're in Love With a Beautiful Woman.

6. If You Leave Me Now: Chicago: Chart Topper: November 13 - November 27 (3 Weeks)

This was Chicago's third hit in the UK and their first British chart entry in six years, following 25 or 6 to 4 and I'm A Man in 1970.

The song topped the US charts too and went on to win Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.

7. Fernando: ABBA: Chart Topper: May 8 - May 29 (4 Weeks)

Fernando was ABBA's second UK Number One song of 1976, following the earlier success of Mamma Mia, and their third of a total of nine UK Number Ones.

Originally written for and recorded in Swedish by ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad, the song was rewritten in English by Bjorn Ulvaeus and became one of ABBA's best-selling singles ever. It went on to top the charts in twelve countries and peaked at Number 13 in the USA.

8. I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance) - Tina Charles - Chart Topper: March 6 - March 20 (3 Weeks)

Tina Charles had originally been a backing singer until her first solo single release in 1969. She then provided lead vocals to the UK Top Five hit I'm On Fire by 5000 Volts in 1975.

It wasn't until early 1976 that she got her big break when she was given the song I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance), produced by then hot producer, Biddu. The song went all the way to Number One and spent three weeks there in March.

Charles went on to record further hit songs, but none as big as this one.

9. The Roussos Phenomenon (EP): Demis Roussos: Chart Topper: July 17 (1 Week)

The only Number One single in the UK for Greek singer Demis Roussos, which was actually the only EP to make the top of the charts in the 1970s.

The song Forever and Ever was the lead track from the EP and its success in the UK came some three years after selling well in the rest of Europe. The other tracks on the EP are So Dreamy, My Friend the Wind and Sing An Ode To Love.

10. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night): The Four Seasons: Chart Topper: February 21 - February 28 (2 Weeks)

The Four Seasons only Number One in the UK is this Bob Gaudio/Judy Parker song taken from the group's album, Who Loves You?

It reached the peak of both the UK and US charts in 1976 and has since been remixed and re-released in America (in 1994) to hit the Top Twenty there once more.

The 1976 Poll

Of these songs, which is your favourite?

See results

Meanwhile, in the United States

Artist
Song
1. Paul McCartney & Wings
Silly Love Songs
2. Elton John & Kiki Dee
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
3. Johnnie Taylor
Disco Lady
4. The Four Seasons
December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)
5. Wild Cherry
Play That Funky Music
6. The Manhattans
Kiss and Say Goodbye
7. The Miracles
Love Machine Part 1
8. Paul Simon
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
9. Gary Wright
Love is Alive
10. Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band
A Fifth of Beethoven
The Top 10 Best Selling Songs in the USA: 1976

Major Grammy Winners of 1976

Album of the Year: Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder

Song of the Year: I Write the Songs

Best New Artist of the Year: Starland Vocal Band

Your Thoughts on the Top Songs of 1976

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    • CathyLou LM profile image

      CathyLou LM 6 years ago

      I love a bit of (recent) music history. Thanks for the videos! Its great to see what was most popular then.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and ABBA... ah memories. Nicely done!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      I love the '60s and '70s music scene, here in Greece as well as abroad. I sometimes wish I could visit back in time. Anyway, I'm happy to find a fellow Greek hit the top here -- and, while a quite ardent fan of rock and psychedelic music, I'm all the way with Wild Cherry: Play that funky music loud, boy!

    • SummersSorbet profile image

      SummersSorbet 6 years ago

      Loved this lens! Great job with all the video clips - love it! Thanks

    • SummersSorbet profile image

      SummersSorbet 6 years ago

      Loved this lens! Great job with all the video clips - love it! Thanks

    • profile image

      outsource123 6 years ago

      Great Lens!! since listening to music change everything.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 7 years ago from USA

      Great music takes on a life of its own, and never grows old.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      Wow, it's amazing when you know every song..and the words. Maybe that was only yesterday? Love the lens!