As much as people love #1 hits, people also love to see which familiar songs didn't make it to #1. So, this list features songs from 1978 that made it into the Top 10 but never reached #1. After each artist's name, you'll see the song's peak position in the Billboard Top 40 Pop Charts.
Some here were likely #1 hits on gerrymandered charts like Top Radio Dance Hits Covered by Payola, Top Hard Rock Songs on FM AOR Stations Who Play the Same 20 Artists To Death and Mall Record Store's Top Singles with White Kids in the Suburbs.
Let's see where this day takes us! The songs are listed chronologically as they first appeared on charts in 1978. Artists with two songs are entered by the appearance of their first hit of the year.
25) We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions -- Queen (#4): You wouldn't know it from all the footstompin' at sports stadiums throughout the land that have 'Rocked' us over the years. If you don't sing "We Are The Champions" after winning a card game with your neighbors, you're letting them off too easy.
24) Come Sail Away -- Styx (#8): I'm not saying any of these songs either deserved or didn't deserve to move up to the prestigious top slot, except maybe in this case. This song deserves to come sail away to a Potter's Field for excretious tuneage.
23) Just The Way You Are -- Billy Joel (#3), My Life -- Billy Joel (#3): One faithful reader said I showed signs of 'Stockholm Syndrome' when I forgave Billy Joel for some of his past transgressions against society. Faithful Reader has a point. The fact that I'm not allowed to listen to music anymore and must strictly make comments based on album covers alone has brightened my worldview quite a bit. Dave "New This Week" DiMartino and I loved the new Miley Cyrus album cover! We're really looking forward to Lady Gaga's promotional photos even more!
22) Sometimes When We Touch -- Dan Hill (#3): Songs about static electricity just don't get the respect they deserve.
21) Emotion -- Samantha Sang (#3): The only thing better than a Bee Gees song is hearing someone else sing a song written by the Bee Gees that sounds like she was taught the song by Barry himself. Delegate, sirs!
20) Lay Down Sally -- Eric Clapton (#3): Here's an artist who's done far better than he should thanks to gerrymandering. Pop people know he's kinda dull, but FM AOR DJs call him "Mr. Eric Clapton" and automatically bump him up a few rungs for being in the Yardbirds (who they never play) and Cream (who they do).
19) I Go Crazy -- Paul Davis (#7): I don't know if Mr. Paul Davis here understands the definition of 'crazy.' He sounds 'fashionably asleep' here. But then 'Paul Davis' isn't exactly the kind of stage name that makes you think his concerts are going to be off the hook.
18) Can't Smile Without You -- Barry Manilow (#3), Copacabana (At the Copa) -- Barry Manilow (#8): Since old people didn't have the internet back in 1978 to make their music purchases and had to find someone to bring them to the mall and because a music purchase by gay folks only counted as 2/5ths of a purchase, well, Barry had some difficult math to overcome to have a bonafide hit. These days, he'd outsell Slim Whitman, Boxcar Willie and the Beatles combined!
17) Thunder Island -- Jay Ferguson (#9): To think 'The Boss' missed having a top ten hit by one word!
16) Dust In the Wind -- Kansas (#6): It's always a good idea to turn off the ceiling fan when cleaning your home. Just another Helpful Housekeeping Hint from Y! Music.
15) Feels So Good -- Chuck Mangione (#4): It's long been debated if it was the singing on the record or the word "Hurts" that got John Cougar Mellencamp another two positions higher on the charts in 1982.
14) This Time I'm In It For Love -- Player (#10): I'm getting a clearer idea of why these clods had to beg 'Baby' to "come back." 'Those last couple of times we fooled around, hon? Yeah, that was mostly me showing off to my friends that I could do ya! This time...'
13) Baker Street -- Gerry Rafferty (#2): Just goes to show how much people love the horn!
12) It's A Heartache -- Bonnie Tyler (#3): This and "Bette Davis' Eyes" remain my two favorite Rod Stewart songs.
11) Love Is Like Oxygen -- Sweet (#8): I appreciate the simile. But I think it short-changes carbon dioxide.
10) Last Dance -- Donna Summer (#3): Can't we just factor in all the proms and weddings where this song played a key role in the evening and give the song an 'honorary #1"?
9) Hot Blooded -- Foreigner (#3), Double Vision -- Foreigner (#2): I must admit I felt a little weird when I heard these songs on "Classic Rock" stations. Maybe I need to accept the idea that 1978 was a long time ago and that 'Oldies' are really anything that's ten years old. So, "In da Club" by 50 Cent and "When I'm Gone" by 3 Doors Down are both 'Oldies But Goodies' at this point and when your son turns 40, you have every right to kick him out of the house.
8) An Everlasting Love -- Andy Gibb (#5): I don't like the word 'Everlasting.' It makes it sound like I'm getting a deal on Radial Tires or something.
7) Hopelessly Devoted to You -- Olivia Newton-John (#3), Summer Nights -- John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John (#5): Grease was not Saturday Night Live and O-Newt-John and J-Trav were never the Bee Gees.
6) Reminiscing -- Little River Band (#3): As far as I'm concerned, Will Ferrell can have this song.
5) Beast of Burden -- The Rolling Stones (#8): Maybe if so many people didn't think he was singing "I'll Never Leave the Pizza Burnin'" or if more people knew what a "Beast of Burden" was it could've been more successful. Face it, the Rolling Stones were only a 40-hit wonder!
4) I Love the Nightlife (Disco 'Round) -- Alicia Bridges (#5): This is what I've been maintaining all along. There's a silent majority in this country who do not LOVE the nightlife and prefer to stay home and watch television and WE never have our lifestyles choices reaffirmed in song.
3) Sharing the Night Together -- Dr. Hook (#6): Sorry, but I can NOT support any song that promotes socialism. 'Going Dutch Tonight' would be a fair assessment and where each takes personal responsibility for themselves. This suggests something is free. Nothing is ever free.
2) Y.M.C.A. -- Village People (#2): Had the song included the Y.W.C.A. and the Y.M. and Y.F.H.A. it might have moved to #1. Exclusionary politics hurt everyone!
1) Hold the Line -- Toto (#5): That the most professional band in all of professional music couldn't land a #1 hit was a sign of the times. Had Ma Bell not held a virtual monopoly on the phone industry, the competition would've been fierce to land this song for a commercial endorsement.