Now things were beginning to bubble up. Punk was a mere whisper in the tabloid journo’s ear but both pop and rock were ripe for the taking.
Elton John and Kiki Dee‘s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ reigned interminably during the interminable heatwave of Summer ’76 but there was hot stuff too from Donna Summer, whose ‘Love To Love You, Baby’ was banned for being too sexy – it was a hint of the carnal delights of the oncoming disco era.
Gone: Demis Roussos, an enormous Greek fellow who looked like he was hiding several other Greek fellows under his capacious smock, was 1976’s unlikeliest sex symbol with ‘The Roussos phenomenon’. Ask your Mother, if she’s not already died of embarrassment re The Osmonds.
Album of the year: Songs In The Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder
Single of the year: Dancing Queen – Abba
Band/artist of the year: Stevie Wonder
1976 belonged to: Led Zeppelin, still, Abba
Key event of the year: December 1976, The Sex Pistols appear on Bill Grundy’s daytime chat show, pissed up and provoked by their host to say something outrageous, utter the rudest word they can think of and nothing is ever the same again. Prog rock seemed there for pricking. Led Zeppelin released the grossly over-indulgent movie/double album/sword ‘n’ sorcery epic The Song Remains The Same, while Pink Floyd, as a gimmick for their Animals album, released an inflatable pig into the air above Battersea Power station, which cut loose from its moorings and sailed into the Heathrow flightpath.
The Sex Pistols continued to gig – “we’re not into music, we’re into chaos”, they said. The Clash and The Damned formed, while in the States, punk was in fuller swing, with The Ramones‘ speed and glue-fuelled thrash rock causing discosternation. Meanwhile, America in its infinite staleness rocked to Frampton Comes Alive! in 1976 – the sound of a lame, long-haired journeyman waving a vocoder around on the edge of his hooter indicating that change must surely come.