The U.K. 70s Singles & Albums Chart General Discussion Thread.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bobby Morrow, Jun 5, 2022.

  1. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thought I’d start a thread on this subject. I know there are many who’d like to forget the 70s U.K. charts altogether, but a few of us remember them fondly for some reason.:)

    There’s no rules or form to follow. The thread is indeed very ‘general’. Obviously I’d like people to talk about their favourite records from this period. I was an avid chart watcher, and am sure I wasn’t alone.

    It will be nice to discuss important records as they enjoy their chart journey. Occasionally I (and hopefully others) will post charts, reviews and info from certain years. Obviously if you seen any of the artists live or have met them, it would be great to hear about it.

    I’m not expecting this to be a huge thread, just somewhere to visit when you’re feeling a bit nostalgic and to talk about all manner of things.

    Like the best 70s compilation albums around!

    Enjoy!
     
  2. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    To start us off, how about we go back 50 years ago to when this record was enjoying its third week at #1.

     
  3. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And in that third week, in the U.S. the #1 was The Staple Singers' rousing "I'll Take You There" - which: a) could only aspire to #30 in the UK, and b) is relevant insofar as its opening was heavily influenced by a late 1969 UK hit - "The Liquidator" by Harry J All Stars.

    "Metal Guru," meanwhile, failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 - which would be the case for all U.S. ish's of T. Rex singles to follow. ("Telegram Sam" was the last U.S. charted single by the group - and could only get to #67. As far as the States were concerned, T. Rex was {or "were" as the British would word it} a one-hit wonder - their one hit being what there was called "Bang A Gong (Get It On).")

    Looking at that still, though, before one plays it, doesn't Mr. Bolan begin to show the aftereffects of hard living, as well as looking like he may fall asleep any minute? He does look a bit bleary-eyed and bored.
     
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  4. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Can we discuss U.S. singles too, or is this strictly U.K.?
     
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I presume peripherally. After all, quite a few U.S. numbers did make, and a few even topped, the UK charts.
     
  6. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    In that case, I'll say that 1972 was a strong year for U.S. #1 singles (Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" being a notable exception), and "I'll Take You There" was one of the strongest. The song was so good that The Staple Singers copied it a year later with "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)." And while it wasn't nearly as good as "I'll Take You There," it spent more time at #1 on the U.S. charts!

    EDIT: Oops, sorry. "Come Go with Me" peaked at #9 on the U.S. pop charts. It spent three weeks at #1 on the soul charts, though.
     
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  7. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Music was my first love

    Location:
    Norway
    One of the many hits that dutifully shows up on numerous 70s hits compilations is Marshall Hain´s evocative "Dancing In the City". I have never known just what category this songs belongs to - it´s not really disco, though it shows up on many such compilations as well.

    I just find it to be a master piece of structure, vocals and general arrangement. It´s a song I don´t play very often, but I have yet to grow tired of it. The album is OK, but the single, in its remixed form, is something of a one-off. I tried getting into Kit Hain´s solo album, but it did not have the same understated magic.

    Just a highlight of the late 70s charts for me, even though I never heard the song until the late 80s.

     
  8. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow Scotland
    I was fascinated by the charts back in the day as a teenager growing up in the 70s. I listened to the new chart being revealed by Johnnie Walker on Radio 1 every Tuesday mid day (quite a challenge while at school using a transistor radio and earplug hidden up the sleeve of my school sweater!). I listened to the Radio Luxembourg Top 30 rundown late on Tuesday night when the signal always disappeared just as the name of a new entry was being announced! I watched TOTPs every week and I bought the record Mirror which printed the full Top 50 and breakers along with the exotic Billboard Hot 100 for the same week. I also taped the Top 20 on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday afternoon- one of the ew times that pop music could be heard in stereo!!! as BBC Radio 1 was broadcast on medium wave (apart from David Hamilton's show each weekday from 2pm). The UK was very isolated and we knew very little of what was happening elsewhere in the world- we didn't see US acts very often on TV here- we only had 3 TV channels and pop/rock music didn't have the same central role in our national culture that it does today. America was a far off distant land. Watching TOTPs could be very frustrating especially when US acts had massive hits- we rarely got to see them live on the show and before video promos we were often shown the audience dancing or the equivalent of a dull Powerpoint presentation of a few phot stills of the artist or worst of all the terrible "dancing" of Pan's People or their successors. The UK was a very different country back in the 70s- almost recognisable to the kids of 2022. The majority of the chart was mediocre at best with an unhealthy helping of crap that often floated all the way to No1. Memory plays tricks on us and we tend to edit out the worst parts remembering only those amazing iconic classics. Music was also heavily censored back then. Only 1 national Pop music station- BBC Radio 1 with there dreaded "playlist". If your record failed to make the playlist then it would almost certainly sink without trace. We were at the mercy of the DJs radio producers, tv executives and record executives and of course the buyers for all the record stores. So many fantastic records that failed to get exposure and failed to sell in any great quantity at the time have gone on to become classics loved universally. The charts themselves were easily rigged. Only a handful of record stores were used to compile the chart based on log books kept of sales over the previous week. Specialist record stores that were dedicated to particular genres like R&B/Soul, Reggae or New wave/Punk weren't included neither was the store that sold the majority of records in the UK- Woolworths! For many years Woolies refused to participate. This resulted in a skewed chart. The "sample stores" were well known throughout the industry and record labels would be up to all sorts of dodges to make sure their records would sell well in these shops- special promos and even paying folks to go in and but copies to "hype" records into the chart. If they got onto the chart then it created the opportunity for an appearance on TOTPs which 99% of the time resulted in a genuine sales spike for the record. Another factor that disadvantaged non UK acts was the Musician's Union. If an American act was booked to appear on UK TV the MU insisted that a UK act had to be given a spot on US TV. A ridiculous ruling. This meant that many US stars were prohibited from promoting their record on TV due to the red tape. The bands appearing on TOTPs also had to re-record the record using MU members for broadcast on the show. They were also against the use of promo videos on any TV show. Their motto was 'Keep Music Live". All a very different landscape from how things operate today. We did get a few glimpses of America when the odd clip from an American Bandstand or Soul Train performance would surface on TOTPs but these were very rare indeed! Some of the biggest US stars of the decade never appeared on TOPS live during the 70s. The BBC were also very prudish and many records were banned from Radio or TV broadcast. The notorious Judge Dredd and his filthy (by 70s standards) lyrics, songs like "Leap Up and down and Wave Your Knickers in the Air" are just a couple of examples. Even Paul McCartney fell foul of the BBC when they deemed "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" too political to broadcast! Oh how we fondly remember the good old days.
     
  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I can remember it being a hit in 1978. I liked it, but didn’t buy it.

    It featured on the 70’s Dinner Party compilation, which was once described in a review on Amazon as the worst 70s comp ever.:D

    [​IMG]

    Think they had a follow up (Coming Home?) which was similar, but not as good.
     
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  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    You sure that was actually W.H. Smith's? That reminds me: Had Music Now (ex Top Pops, which charts were sampled exclusively from record shops in the Smith's chain) lasted past 1971 and into when "punk rock" began to make its presence known, would their chart have had you-know-what at #2 as shown here - and as the "Official" chart had? (I mentioned in the overall '70's UK #1's thread that Melody Maker kept that one all the way down at #5 - it got off "officially" in comparison. And I wasn't counting the week after when NME had it at #1 - and was headed down on the other two charts.)
     
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  11. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Great piece that evokes a lot of memories for me.



    Judge Dread! He made a little go a long way didn’t he?:D

    I never heard any of his records at the time. Obviously Radio 1 weren’t going to touch them.
     
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  12. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
  13. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Music was my first love

    Location:
    Norway
    I also have that compilation, and I do not agree with the critics on this one! It has some great, overlooked songs among the familiars. I mean, how often do you find Sally Oldfield´s "Mirrors" on a pop compilation? It has been known to happen, particularly in Germany, but not an everyday occurrence. (And I am a fan of Sally´s, so...) Also, I am so pleased to see and hear Berni Flint´s "I Don´t Want To Put A Hold On You". The best song Jim Croce never released? Not quite, perhaps, but good.

    "Coming Home" peaked at No. 39, I think, and was a different beast altogether. The arrangement is similarly airy, but it´s a ballad that drags on a little bit, if I am being uncharitable. But honest.
     
  14. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I can remember my local WH Smith’s selling albums in 1977, but I can’t recall if they had singles or not. They probably did. It’s just slipped my mind.’
     
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  15. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    What interested me about the UK charts - and I may have expostulated on this elsewhere - was the comparison and contrast between the "Official" charts and the others. There were countless "other" #1's that never made the top of the "Official" charts and are thus not counted as #1 no way, no how. For example, the Carpenters, a favorite of quite a few on this Forum, had two "other" #1's, each on a different chart ("Yesterday Once More" on Melody Maker, "Please Mr. Postman" on NME), but never had an "Official" #1.

    Wikipedia's listing of Top Pops and Music Now #1's was odd to me because even some Britons weren't aware of the publication's existence, let alone their charts, until years after the fact. (This was communicated to me by a YouTube user who puts up UK 45's which had been on said charts.) One reason is because the BBC never used their charts to compile "averaged" charts in the period prior to the establishment of the "official" chart. Yet until yours truly got involved in 2020-21, there weren't any listings of all the #1's in the Disc & Music Echo and, most important, Melody Maker charts, on Wiki. (They did have all the "official" #1's, of course, plus NME, plus Record Mirror, and also Mersey Beat(!).)

    TP/MN, though, did keep that great song stylist Lee Marvin's "Wand'rin' Star" hemmed and hawed at #2 while all the other charts ranked it Numero Uno.
     
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  16. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Imagine in 1972 you could see the biggest band in the UK for £11 in today's price, the price of a CD.
    Nowadays you would pay a small fortune I imagine.
    Of course shows were very different then, just a stack of amps and microphones, no fancy stage shows.
     
  17. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Or as some would have called him, Judge Dreck.

    Only two of his singles - "Big Six" and "Big Seven" - saw official U.S. release, on 20th Century Records. The labels can be found on the '70's UK #1's thread. They also took a "chawnce" (per Marc Bolan's pronunciation in Bang A Gong (Get It On)") on two different Goodies numbers that they put on one 45.
     
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  18. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sally turned up on this recently released Now 70s Pop set.

    [​IMG]

    The Berni Flint song doesn’t turn up on comps very often now. Even on Spotify the version there is a much later re-recorded one.
     
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  19. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Yes they did sell singles.
    My favourite record shops were the ones with listening booths.
     
  20. Well although it looks like one, I can't be certain that that's actually a pic of a WHS display, but I distinctly recall walking past our local WHS that week, and seeing their pathetic censorship, shameless in the main window. Should've gone back after dark and bricked it :righton:
     
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  21. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Your shop must have been a good one. Ours was quite basic. Still is now!
     
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  22. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Do you know if they had any active charts week-by-week, or were they going at that point by what was "official"?
     
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  23. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    I really like Sky High by Jigsaw, I have it saved to a Spotify playlist.
     
  24. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’ve only just noticed that #2 was blocked out in that photo! My God, times have changed.
     
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