In North America, Europe the decade saw the rise of disco, which became one of the biggest genres of the decade, especially in the mid-to-late 1970s. In Europe, a variant known as Euro disco rose in popularity towards the end of the 1970s. Aside from disco, funk, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and soul remained popular throughout the decade. It is this influx of popular music that soon transformed into Rock 'n' Roll during the Early 1970s.
Rock music played an important part in the Western musical scene, with punk rock thriving throughout the mid to late 1970s. Other subgenres of rock, particularly glam rock, hard rock, progressive, art rock and heavy metal achieved various amounts of success. Other genres such as reggae were innovative throughout the decade and grew a significant following.
A subgenre of classical, film scores, remained popular with movie-goers. Alongside the popularity of experimental music, the decade was notable for its contributions to electronic music, which rose in popularity with the continued development of synthesizers and harmonizers; more composers embraced this particular genre, gaining the notice of listeners who were looking for something new and different. Its rising popularity, mixed with the popular music of the period, led to the creation of synthpop. Pop also had a popularity role in the 1970s.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a 1978 American musical comedy film directed by Michael Schultz and written by Henry Edwards.
The film tells the loosely constructed story of a band as they wrangle with the music industry and battle evil forces bent on stealing their instruments and corrupting their home town of Heartland. The film is presented in a form similar to that of a rock opera, with the songs providing "dialogue" to carry the story. Only George Burns has spoken lines that act to clarify the plot and provide further narration.
The film's soundtrack, released as an accompanying double album, features new versions of songs originally written and performed by the Beatles. The film draws primarily from two of the band's albums, 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and 1969's Abbey Road. The film covers all of the songs from the Sgt. Pepper album with the exceptions of "Within You, Without You" and "Lovely Rita", and also includes nearly all of Abbey Road.
The production was loosely adapted from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road, a 1974 off-Broadway production directed by Tom O'Horgan.
The Bee Gees, Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, whose music had been integral to Saturday Night Fever (released by this film's international distributor, Paramount Pictures), play Mark, David and Bob Henderson, members of the re-formed Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Peter Frampton, whose album Frampton Comes Alive! was the biggest-selling live album ever at the time, plays Billy Shears, leader of the re-formed band and grandson of the original Sgt. Pepper character.
Steve Martin's comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy was released the same year as the film, reaching number two on the music-dominated Billboard 200 album charts. His performance as Dr. Maxwell Edison, singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", foreshadows his zany dentist role in the 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors.
British comedian Frankie Howerd as Mean Mr. Mustard (his only major U.S. film appearance; he later quipped about the film "It was like Saturday Night Fever, but without the fever"), Paul Nicholas as Dougie Shears, Donald Pleasence as B.D., referred to in Burns' narrative voice-over as B.D. Hoffler, but officially known in the film's credits, publicity materials, and in-film posters as B.D. Brockhurst, Sandy Farina as Strawberry Fields, Dianne Steinberg as Lucy, Aerosmith as Future Villain Band (FVB), Alice Cooper as Father Sun, Earth, Wind & Fire, which appears as itself, Billy Preston as the magical Sgt. Pepper golden weather vane come to life, George Burns as Mr. Kite, Stargard as the Diamonds.